May in review

I did not post much in May as, quite frankly, I’ve been in a bit of a funk for a while. I attribute a lot of that to the weather – it was a particularly gray and rainy spring here in Rhode Island. It’s generally a mood that hits me in February, and I thought I had skipped it this year. But, I did spend a good portion of May wallowing on the couch, not wanting to do very much. I think I’ve come out the other side of that, though.

And, since I’m up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to try and get Hamilton tickets at PPAC, I thought I’d review my May reading while I’m waiting for my turn in the virtual waiting room. So…for anyone who’s keeping score: books read in May: 12, books read year-to-date: 60, books behind schedule: 3.

In keeping with my mood, I read a lot of books last month with heavy subjects. Oddly, though, some of them were my highest rated reads. I had three “four star” books this month: “The Snow Gypsy” by Lindsay Jayne Ashford, which was about a woman searching for her missing brother after WWII, who connects with a family of gypsies as her search takes her to Spain.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini told the story of two women in Kabul, set mostly in the 90s and early 2000’s. This one was on my to read list for quite a while, and I’m glad I finally read it, but it was brutal. Still one of the best books I’ve read in a while, though.

My third 4 star book was “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris – the first Hannibal Lecter book. I have seen (and been terrified by) the movie, and I have to say it is pretty true to the book. There is one scene that has always haunted me and I got goose bumps reading it. For anyone who has seen the movie, I’ll just say – “Do you see?”

Pretty much everything else I read in May was a 3 star book. Interestingly, a few of them came from a box that I rescued from a minor basement flood when our water heater let go. “Red Dragon” was in there, but I also discovered Steinbeck’s “The Winter of our Discontent” and “The Wind is My Mother” by Bear Heart.

“The Wind is My Mother” was interesting, but it struck me more for the memory of where it came from. There used to be a store called Buck-A-Book which was, as the name implies, a store where every book was a dollar. I purchased a lot of books during the short time it was here.

I had two Robyn Carr’s this month – “The Summer That Made Us”, about a family of cousins reuniting at their family’s lake house, and “The Best of Us” – book 4 in the Sullivan’s Crossing series. Another good installment in that series, but I had one complaint – overuse of the word “prolly.” It’s not really a word in my opinion, although I acknowledge that people say it. But Sully’s character said prolly in virtually every conversation he had, sometimes more than once. It was very frustrating and almost made me stop reading. I’m all for using slang in writing, but this was prolly overkill.

Because we briefly reinstated our subscription to HBO in order to watch the last season of Game of Thrones, I also read and watched “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. I enjoyed the book – it was suspenseful and had great character sketches of each of the women portrayed. I didn’t love the tv series. It was ok, but some of the changes from the book seemed unnecessary. I’m sort of ambivalent as to whether I will watch season 2 before we give up HBO again.

So there’s a recap of my reading highlights for May. And since I seem to be more inclined to write again, I hope to be a more frequent poster in June. Stay tuned…

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