I went into May with kind of ridiculously ambitious reading goals. Naturally, things didn’t really go according to plan. One book I read for this month’s reading experiment kind of put me into a bit of a slump (even though I did like it). So I didn’t end up reading everything I had planned to read. But it ended up being fine, since I’m pretty sure my most recent read took me out of it. All’s well that ends well, right?
What I Read
I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but I figured there was no better time than my birthday month to read books recommended based on the date of my birth. This was a really fun experiment, mostly because the five books I read were all so very different. If you’re curious to see which books I read and what I thought of them, you can head over and check out this post.
Here’s everything else I read this month…
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – ★★★★☆
Last year, I read and absolutely loved my first Matt Haig book, How to Stop Time. This one sounded amazing, but it ended up being one of the 2020 releases I picked up and never got around to actually reading. But I finally did this month, and it ended up being pretty perfect for Mental Health Awareness month. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Carey Mulligan, and really enjoyed it.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – ★★★★☆
Full disclosure: I did not succeed in reading my TBR for this month’s Asian Readathon. But I tried! This was one of the two books on that list that I finished. I was kind of expecting to love this one, but I struggled a little bit with becoming invested in the story. Still, it was a good book. Just not a favorite.
You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes – ★★★☆☆
This is easily my least favorite read of the month. I almost gave it two stars. But I had to give it credit for succeeding in its goal of making me a little bit uncomfortable. And also having a really twisty ending I did not see coming at all. I do enjoy this series. It’s dark and really messed up. But I’m still not sold on reading any more of these books. You felt really original, but the novelty has definitely worn off.
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu – ★★★☆☆
Now this was a really fun and original novel. I don’t think it was quite for me, but I did enjoy the writing style a lot. It felt so fresh and new. Even though I didn’t love this one, I am definitely interested in reading more by this author.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – ★★★☆☆
I cannot express how disappointed I am that I didn’t love this book. Homegoing is one of my all-time favorite books and I was so excited when I found out Yaa Gyasi was finally coming out with a second novel. But this one just didn’t really work for me. It didn’t have the same magic. It is entirely possible that my expectations were just too high, but I think this just wasn’t the right story for me. Which I was honestly worried about since this is so different from Homegoing.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★★
And, finally, we have a five-star read. I love everything Taylor Jenkins Reid does, and expected no less here. I absolutely loved it. Even though I’m pretty sure it is the first one of her books to not make me cry (I maybe only got misty-eyed at One True Loves, but I can’t remember – definitely sobbed when I read Evelyn Hugo, though). It’s out tomorrow, so definitely keep an eye out for it then!
What I’m Currently Reading
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Yes… I am still reading this. I will finish it before the end of the year. I hope. I am actually really enjoying this, it’s just really long and other things keep getting in the way.
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
I started this on audio right after finishing The Midnight Library. And then I kind of got into an audiobook slump. I was reading, but just didn’t feel like listening. Plus, I kind of have a hard time concentrating on heavier books when I have too many other things going on, and this was definitely one of those.
Beowulf: A New Translation by Maria Dahvana Headley
Since I am so clearly doing a brilliant job with all of my other reading plans, I decided to attempt a massive reading experiment post for August. Which is basically the reading equivalent of a grad school literature course (I know, because I’ve done that before). It might kill me, so I decided to get a head start. And I am completely obsessed with this new translation of Beowulf. It is perfect and amazing and easily my favorite. Yes, I am that much of a nerd that I have a favorite Beowulf translation (I’ve read three others).
How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
I made it a little over halfway through this book of short stories, and I am really, really enjoying it! Definitely want to try and finish it soon.
What I Watched
A Quiet Place: Part II
This was my first post-quarantine movie theater movie! And it was perfect. I am not really a horror fan, but I’ll watch it if it’s well-written. And A Quiet Place definitely is. So, so good. And the second one was just as brilliant. I loved it!
I’ve been actually succeeding in completing one reading experiment every month, and this was May’s. It was actually a lot of fun so definitely go check it out if you missed it!
That’s it for May! I’d love to hear from you! What was your favorite book this month? Are there any new releases you think I’d like?