This was a pretty good month for buying books! Though, let’s be honest, all of the months are good for buying books. And I definitely take full advantage of it. But May was my birthday month, so I definitely treated myself. With too many books.
The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler. I went with something a bit different for my May Book of the Month pick. As much of a history nerd as I am, I realized I don’t read all that much about more recent history. And I can probably fill an entire bookcase (at least) with my collection of American and European history, but I don’t have much on the rest of the world. This one sounds incredibly interesting, and it looks like I’ll learn a lot from it.
The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. This was also a BOTM pick – and I’m pretty excited about it. You probably already know I have a bit of an obsession with true crime and the psychology behind it. So this is right up my alley. I loved Mindhunter (the show – I haven’t read the book yet), so I think I’ll like this. I also picked up the audiobook, because Jonathan Groff reads it, and I couldn’t resist.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This book is a lot of things I don’t really like. It’s a contemporary romance. With millennial main characters. And I loved it. I don’t read a lot of romance, especially contemporary romance, but this is easily top three, if not my favorite one. Obviously, I had to buy it. (I got a digital ARC, so I actually read it in March, even though it was released in May.)
Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir. This is the fourth book in The Six Tudor Queens series, which I absolutely love. This is probably my least favorite so far, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I just love the way Weir writes historical figures. Another ARC I’d already read, but needed to own.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates. I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love Bill and Melinda Gates, so I obviously had to pick up her book. And I loved it. She does such a great job discussing how empowering women helps everyone. Not just women. (Though if it did, still worth it.)
Beowulf, a new translation by J. R. R. Tolkien. Does anyone else own nice, special editions of books and then buy cheaper copies to actually read? No? Just me? I really wanted to (finally) read Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf after watching the new biopic about his life. I think it’s finally time to actuall read some Tolkien, and just finished The Fellowship of the Ring after not reading it for like seventeen years.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I’ve been reading more and more generational sagas lately, and this one looked good. Plus, it’s been a really long time since I’ve read anything by Sue Monk Kidd – I loved The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair in high school – and this was in the dollar bookstore, so I grabbed it.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Another dollar bookstore find, this one was recommended by my grandma years ago (not sure if she read the book, but she did love the movie). And I’ve been trying to read more Pulitzer Prize winners, and this was on the list. Plus, the sequel is coming out this year, so if I love it, I can just keep reading.
Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie. The thing I love about dollar bookstores is that they give me the opportunity to try books I probably wouldn’t pickup otherwise (also they support charity). If it’s only a dollar, why not? This was an impulse buy, but it looked interesting.
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. I tend to pick up books at the dollar store that I vaguely remember hearing about one time. This is one of those books. But it looks interesting,and has fairly good reviews, so I was curious.
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland. This is one of the few YA books that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. I’ve heard good things about the mental health representation in this book, which is something I’m always interested in, especially YA. I get asked for YA recommendations a lot, and never have anything new to recommend, so I’m always on the lookout for good YA books that haven’t been getting a ton of hype. I saw this one at a discount bookstore and snagged it.
I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert. Have I mentioned I love Stephen Colbert? Because I love Stephen Colbert. I think I paid less than $2 for this, so, obviously, I needed it. I have no idea what it’s about, but the title makes me happy.
The Tiger’s Daughter and The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera. As soon as I ordered these, I remembered I actually have The Tiger’s Daughter already. (Cons of having too many books: I can no longer see what I already own, and I will likely be crushed under piles of books if there is ever an earthquake – it’s a good thing I live miles from a fault line.) But I’m not even mad because I heard great things about this series. And now, when I recommend it to someone, I can just give them my extra copy. If I ever find it.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first read Eugenides in college (Middlesex was a great introduction to transgender issues) and really enjoyed it. This is probably his most famous work, so when I saw it on sale, I grabbed it.
Fredrick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight. If I had to pick two famous people who give the best book recommendations, they would be Bill Gates and Barack Obama. This piqued (homonyms are weird) my interest when Obama put this on the list of his favorite books of 2018. I don’t read a ton of biographies, but I have been getting into them in the past few years. And I realized the biographies I’ve read have not been very diverse. Seriously, the most non-white subjects of those biographies have been Alexander Hamilton and Albert Einstein. (Though Leonardo da Vinci was gay, so there is a little diversity there.) But I definitely need to fix that.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It’s rare that a nonfiction book gets the level of hype this one did, and I think it’s because it was a selection for Reese Witherspoon’s book club (Hello Sunshine). I think this might make me sad, because books got hurt (seriously, I’m still upset over the Library of Alexandria), but I’ve heard great things.
Tradition by Brendan Kiely. I loved All American Boys, a book Kiely wrote with Jason Reynolds addressing the black lives matter movement. So I’ve been meaning to pick up this one, which explores campus rape culture, especially how it relates to privilege. Another book that’s probably worth reading, but will most likely make me angry.
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. I’ve been slowly collecting matching editions of H. G. Wells, and I think this might be the last of them (or, at least the last available in that edition). I’ve only read a few books by Wells – I love The Time Machine, and enjoyed War of the Worlds – but I definitely want to read more.
Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese. This was a case of pretty cover, good reviews. I don’t know too much about this one, but I do tend to like historical fiction involving art (like The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova). Plus, the cover is gold!
That’s it for this haul! Let me know if you’ve read any of these, and which books you think I should read next!
If you missed it, also check out my April Book Haul!