May was a great month for me. I got back to running after having a hurt knee for a good 6 weeks. I studied a lot of Portuguese, picked up some new clients, and am very close to getting my Brazilian residence visa. The weather has turned to be cooler and the days are both sunny and rainy, so it's the best of all the worlds.
I want to do a quick numbers count of books I've read this year.
written by men: 18 / 35%Conclusion: I need to read more YA! Any suggestions??
written by women: 24 / 46%
non-white authors: 14 / 27%
non-fiction: 14 / 27%
YA: 10 / 19%
Adult FictionThe Hundred Secret Senses // Amy Tan
A Chinese-American woman whose marriage is on the rocks goes on a documentary work trip back to China with her crazy Chinese sister and her husband. It made me laugh out loud with its perfect descriptions of Chinese logic, and the writing is so on the nose that I enjoyed every minute of reading it. This book came highly recommended from two friends and I seriously loved it!
Longbourn // Jo Baker
If you love Pride & Prejudice and ever wondered about the other issues besides upper crust courting concerns that were going on in Georgian England, give this a shot. As for me, I found that I didn’t really care about the servants or the war because I was went into it searching for another juicy angle on the Bennet sisters’ love interests.
Young Adult FictionA Gathering of Shadows // V.E. Schwab
Fast, fun, spunky, modern, this is the second book in a fantasy trilogy that jumps through Londons… all four of them. I am such a fan of this series, guys. The only thing bad about reading this book now is having to wait until next year for the next one!
The Orphan Queen // Jodi Meadows
YA TROPE ZONE ALERT!!! The writing is so, so, so bad. And the story is incredibly predictable. BUT I read a good 33% and by then it had me so sucked in that I had to finish it (because what if my predictions are wrong??). And now I’m on the hold list for the next book in this series. SUE ME. All you need to know is: fantasy, magic is illegal, a badass orphan girl is going to take back her kingdom.
The Raven Boys // Maggie Stiefvater
People who I trust love this series, so I had to see what all the fuss was about. I like it but I’m still not exaaaactly sure where it is headed. The beginning of the book was pretty slow-paced and I felt lost for a while because of how it meanders around, but the writing itself is so tasty. Yummy books. I stuck it out, and I’m going to continue. The other bookclub member (my boyfriend) liked it too.
O Pequeno Príncipe // Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Ugh, finally finished this. Am I perhaps the only person in the world who thinks this book is boring and pretentious? I kept getting the feeling that the author was writing to adults under the guise of writing to children. gag.
Poetry / Non-fictionHorses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful // Alice Walker
Approachable poems about social justice topics. This is the kind of poetry I like.
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts // Laura Tillman
The second read for the #SJBC was so-so. This is a journalist’s personal journey into trying to understand what caused a man to snap and stab his three toddlers to death. Along the way she debates questions of capital punishment ethics with… herself. It was interesting but I wish I had known it was just as much about the author (if not more so!) as it was about the story, because maybe I would be less critical of it.
The Ragamuffin Gospel // Brennan Manning
A very down-to-earth, honest-about-the-dirt book about what it means to follow Jesus’ teachings without trying to earn love and blessings from God. I missed the discussion questions in the back, so when I reread (which I will definitely do!) I will journal along with those. Seriously the best book to read if you are burned out with religion.