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May Monthly Recap


Time for our May 2017 monthly recap. Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out next month and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading in June.

Jen: My big accomplishment this month was finally finishing Infinite Jest. It was all consuming and had a big effect on my usual reading style and choice of books. So I read considerably less literary fiction over the month of May because I simply didn’t have the energy to tackle many other thought-provoking books. I’m hoping my reading goes back to normal in June.  I read 11 books in May and with the exception of Infinite Jest, all of them were written by women. Four books were centered on, or set in non-U.S. countries (e.g., India, Bangladesh, China, and Colombia) and two set in fantasy worlds. Three featured LGBTQ main characters. Five were written by PoC or ethnic minority authors.

Favorite book read in May: Infinite Jest. It wasn’t always the most enjoyable of reads but it is one of the most unique and intelligent books I have ever read. Honorable mentions: The Leavers by Lisa Ko and Delirium by Laura Restrepo.

Least favorite book read in April: Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I didn’t hate this book, I just didn’t love it. After reading and liking Cinder, I felt a little let down. The main character was kind of whiny and annoying and the plot fell flat for me.

Future Goals: I’m headed to Book Expo today and hope to pick up a lot of new books to read and review here. I’m also starting to do some serious thinking about Man Booker nominees and hope to read several books published this year to help me decide on my first round of predictions.

Book Worm:  After a few slow reading months I finally feel that I am getting back on form. In May I managed to read 11 books 6 of which were set in countries not the US or the UK these included Denmark, Israel, France, South Africa, Argentina and Norway. This variety of book locations is mainly down to my personal challenge of reading all the Man Booker International 2017 shortlist before the winner is announced on June 14th. I am currently at the beginning of book 5 of 6 and, so far, I have say the list is made up of very strong contenders.

Favorite book read in May:  The book that really blew me away in May and earned a rare 5 star rating was Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. See full review here. Honourable mentions go to the other shortlist books: The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen and Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors. I would also like to mention Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis. While I didn’t love this book, it has certainly made me think, and the narrative technique is certainly interesting, if a little gimmicky.

Least favorite book read in May:  The Story of O by Pauline Reage. Anyone who follows me over at Litsy will have already been subjected to my book rants about this book. I have not felt this angry about a book in a long time and I really wish the editors of The 1001 Books to Read Before you Die would stop choosing books whose only “merit” appears to be how much they can disgust the reader.

Future Goals: I will be finishing the Man Booker International 2017 shortlist books and keeping an eye out for Man Booker 2017 contenders. I need to make progress on Romance of the Three Kingdoms and to start Dangerous Liaisons and I-Robot. As usual I will also be aiming to clear the TBR pile….


What can you look forward to on our blog in June? We’ll be continue with our Read Around the World reading challenge with all of you. June is Thailand. Who will be traveling with us? The challenge will last for 1 year with each month focused on a different country nominated by all of you. You can join in for every month or the months that appeal to you. We’ll also be featuring our usual blog posts and now that we’re done with Infinite Jest, we should be back to our usual features.

June 2017 book releases. Here are a few books coming out in June:
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass
You Should have Left by Daniel Kehlmann
So Much Blue by Percival Everett
The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro

We want to hear from you. So what are your plans for June? Which books were your favorites and least favorites in May? Anyone attending book expo today -Friday?

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tracy S #

    I got 20 books read this month- 15 were diverse reads. Of note: Infinite Jest, which was the most unique and thought-provoking read I’ve ever seen. Thanks, Jen, for the Litsy group- I would have been lost without it!
    I also loved The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, and The Power by Naomi Alderman.
    Plans for June: continue to read diversely, a 7 book challenge on GR, and finding a book to meet the Thailand challenge- I’m hoping Jen and BW have some good suggestions.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 31, 2017
  2. Have fun at Book Expo! I really need to read all the Man Booker books, they all sound so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
  3. I started reading Delirium about 5 years ago – put it down half way through and haven’t picked it back up since then. One day i will read it but so much time has elapsed that I’ll have to start at the beginning

    Liked by 1 person

    June 1, 2017
    • that’s too bad. I hope you like it more if you ever try it again. I really enjoyed it.


      June 4, 2017
      • I’ll certainly be giving it another go


        June 5, 2017
  4. I managed 8 books last month, which is about right for me. 5 were by women. 2 were disappointing – I really don’t understand why The Dark Circle is on the Bailey’s Prize shortlist, and I think Jonas Jonasson has run out of steam with his third novel. I loved the reading experience Every Man for Himself gave me – this was the Folio Society book I received as a prize from the Winter Scavenger Hunt on here, and the physical perfection of the book enhanced the story. Top reads were Pachinko and There But For The.

    I’m still whittling down my pile of books I’ve bought or been given but not read yet. I’m trying really hard not to buy new books this year.

    I’ve just started reading The Dove’s Necklace and am loving it. I want to read Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy this month. I’m trying to read a book set during the First World War for each year of its centenary.

    Liked by 2 people

    June 2, 2017
  5. We finished Infinite Jest! 🎉🎉🎉 thanks Jen, the Litsy buddy read was the only way to do that book. I absolutely loved it, and all my other reading suffered. My post-IJ antidote was smart, fun legal thriller The Plea. The Hate U Give lived up to the hype, as did The Wangs vs The World (although I found myself skimming), but The Dark Circle was slow. Wonderful to read The Return and meet Hisham Matar. I’ve just started The Sound of Things Falling for read around the world Colombia (um, slightly behind, let’s blame IJ), and look forward to Thailand recommendations. Excited to see Daniel Kehlmann has a new book coming out – I love him!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 4, 2017

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