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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~ May 2017

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments

Share with us what you read in May 2017 !


Please provide:

~ A GoodReads link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments I've had a productive reading month in May:

The Enchanted (5-star) - I really enjoyed this one, yet find it hard to describe. In general, set on Death Row, with some despicable characters & situations, this is a lovely story of choice and hope. It's kind of mystical, without being pushed into "fantasy" land. It kind of reminded me of the movie, The Green Mile, in it's mysticism.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Ulysses (5-star) - not my first time through the book but my first time listening to it as an audio. It was really superb and a lot easier to follow. I started listening back in February (its 40-CDs long) and enjoyed every bit of it.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Blind Contessa's New Machine (2-star) - Ugh... this was quick and enjoyable enough to read but it didn't have very much of a story.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Whistling Past the Graveyard (5-star) - a Southern story set during the 1963 Civil Rights movement. I really enjoyed the 2 main characters.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The L-Shaped Room (3-star) - a single woman becomes pregnant in a time where this is still taboo and reprehensible. Although a dated book (there's racism), the story of the single woman and her plight is interesting. Also, although racism is abundant, the protagonist grows even in this realm, so it shows that the world was beginning to change attitudes.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Nutshell (4-star) - one can't go wrong with any Ian McEwan book. This one is a very well done Hamlet-type story, told from the perspective of a 9-month fetus.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Japanese Lover (3-star) - I really liked this story of love, friendship and loyalty. This isn't the most riveting story but it's a calm, lovely read.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Secret Path (5-star) - a graphic novel telling the story of Chanie Wenjack, an aboriginal child who lost his life while trying to get home from a Residential School. Very well done.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Wenjack (5-star) - a prose story of Chanie Wenjack's experience. Heartbreaking.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I'm also half way through Proust's third volume, The Guermantes Way, It's not my favorite volume. The first half was rather tedious but I move on. Overall, I'm enjoying Proust's works. It just needs to be taken slowly.


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Wow ! You found time for Proust, Joyce and still had time for other books. Color me amazed.


message 4: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Well.....not sure if Joyce counts since it was just the last bit that I listened to in May...the rest was earlier in the year.
Thank you, though! Tackling those 2 together was interesting.


message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9480 comments Petra, you had a good month of reading. If you have been posting your reviews in all our monthly account threads, i missed it until today. Thanks for that touch.


message 6: by Julie (last edited May 31, 2017 09:06AM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2186 comments Petra wrote: "I've had a productive reading month in May:

The Enchanted (5-star) - I really enjoyed this one, yet find it hard to describe. In general, set on Death Row, with some despicable cha..."


The L Shaped Room is a blast from the past-I must have read that in high school years ago. It was quite taboo than so a lot of us had to read it.


message 7: by Samanta (last edited May 31, 2017 12:22PM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments A very slow reading month for me, a sure sign that my work season has started. :(

White Noise by Don DeLillo (3 stars) - read this book because David Bowie said I must. :) It was ok, with some very interesting views on life and an unexpected ending

The Hook Up, The Friend Zone and The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan - another one of my favourite contemporary romance series, which I have to re-read every few years. Enjoy them equally every time. (All three 5 stars)

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (5 stars) - this book was a, what they call today, a slow burn. It started really slow and just got better. I love Georgette Heyer.

Demian: priča o mladosti Emila Sinclaira by Hermann Hesse (4 stars) - I read this because my 14-year old sister! became obsessed with reading this book, so I, a 16 year older big sister :), naturally wanted to know what is it all about. Loved the prose. Totally unexpected ending. Overall, a good book.


message 8: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Samanta wrote: "A very slow reading month for me, a sure sign that my work season has started. :(

White Noise by Don DeLillo (3 stars) - read this book because David Bowie said I must..."


I really enjoyed White Noise. I read it a long time ago and it made me a DeLillo fan. I have his Underworld on my shelf. It's a big book so I've put off reading it so far....one day.


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments My May reads

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House--Henrik Ibsen
Fiction - play
rate 3/5
I enjoyed this classic. It tells the tale of a married woman at a time when they had few rights and were often seen as the "weaker sex" and an ornament for the husband. It caused quite a stir when it was published in 1879.

The Boys in the Boat Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics--Daniel James Brown
Non-fiction
Rate 5/5
Top rate gripping story of the U.S. Rowing team that went to the 1936 Olympics. I found it very inspirational. I read it with my library group and also here as a Buddy Read.

Ballerina Body Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You by Misty Copeland Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You---Misty Copeland
Non-fiction
Rate 3/5
I love ballet and I enjoyed this book. It had some really great photos of Misty. The diet advice is pretty generic. Though it never hurts to reinforce this type of information. It does include some of her favorite recipes. Which is nice. I especially liked reading about the various exercises she does. However, the book would have benefited from a DVD or web video link of her doing the exercises for better clarification. It's a book that any young ballet student would greatly benefit from and I think would enjoy getting as a gift.


message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments madrano wrote: "Petra, you had a good month of reading. If you have been posting your reviews in all our monthly account threads, i missed it until today. Thanks for that touch."

I had to look back. LOL! No, I haven't included them before.
Glad you enjoyed them, madrano. I'll try to include them in future.


message 11: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Julie wrote: "The L Shaped Room is a blast from the past-I must have read that in high school years ago. It was quite taboo than so a lot of us had to read it. ..."

Hahaha....I can imagine that this would have been titillating, in it's way, back in high school.
I'm considering reading the other 2 of this "series", just to see what happens to the 3 main characters.


message 12: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Samanta wrote: "A very slow reading month for me, a sure sign that my work season has started. :(

White Noise by Don DeLillo (3 stars) - read this book because David Bowie said I must..."


That doesn't seem like such a "slow" reading month, Samanta. That's a lot of reading.
I've got White Noise sitting on the bookshelf. I should start reading more from my shelves and ease some of that weight.


message 13: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You---Misty Copeland

I love ballet and I enjoyed this book. It had some really great photos of Misty. The diet advice is pretty generic. Though it never hurts to reinforce this type of information. It does include some of her favorite recipes. Which is nice. I especially liked reading about the various exercises she does. However, the book would have benefited from a DVD or web video link of her doing the exercises for better clarification. It's a book that any young ballet student would greatly benefit from and I think would enjoy getting as a gift. ..."


Sounds interesting, Alias. It is always nice to have information reinforced; it helps one remember to practice good habits.


message 14: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Samanta wrote: "A very slow reading month for me, a sure sign that my work season has started. :(

White Noise by Don DeLillo (3 stars) - read this book because David B..."


I enjoyed parts of it and some were just too boring. But, overall, I liked how the story developed.


message 15: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Petra wrote: "Samanta wrote: "A very slow reading month for me, a sure sign that my work season has started. :(

White Noise by Don DeLillo (3 stars) - read this book because David B..."


I know, Petra, but compared to April and March... this was just bad. :D :D


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9480 comments Nice reading month for both Samanta and Alias. I hope this summer allows for even more reading. I'll post my feeble list tomorrow.


message 17: by Francesca M (new)

Francesca M | 129 comments My list:

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - Daniel James Brown

Rate- 4,5 starts.

A very inspirational book, I enjoyed the way the historical background is mixed into the story and how the biographical information of all the people involved are linked to the storyline. Strongly recommended!!!


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

Rate - 3 stars

The adventures of old Alan where an entertaining reading, I didn’t like much the writing style, but overall was an enjoyable book.


Roddy Doyle THE BARRYTOWN trilogy:
Rabbitee’s family adventures in working class Dublin set during the ’90.

The Commitments
Rate 3 starts.

Jimmy Jr and some friends are creating a soul band to bring this sound in Dublin. I knew and like most of the songs mentioned and was nice playing the music while reading the book. Also some very funny moments.

- The Snapper -
Rate 2 starts

The snapper was ok I guess. Jimmy Jr sister Sharon is pregnant and the story line centres on this. Quite nice but not as much as the commitments.

The Van
Rate 4 starts.

The van was really funny. Within the trilogy definitely the book I enjoyed the most. There is a lot of swearing, but the author described the events so well, it felt like being in the van with Jimmy Sr and Bimbo selling chips and burgers!


Lanzarote - Michel Houellebecq

Rate 1 start

I was not inspired by this book in the first place, but I read it because I went to see a friend in Lanzarote for a few days and I wanted to read a novel set there. I felt there were no contents at all to this book and I didn’t like the few bits were the author described the island. Probably one of the worst book I ever read...luckily was only 85 pages :)!


message 18: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 02, 2017 04:58PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Francesca M wrote: "My list:


The Commitments
Rate 3 starts.

Jimmy Jr and some friends are creating a soul band to bring this sound in Dublin. I knew and like most of the songs mentioned and was nice playing the music while reading the book. Also some very funny moments.


I loved the 1991 movie. I saw it when it came first came out in the theaters. I also have the CD. It's a great soundtrack.


message 19: by Francesca M (new)

Francesca M | 129 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Francesca M wrote: "My list:


The Commitments
Rate 3 starts.

Jimmy Jr and some friends are creating a soul band to bring this sound in Dublin. I knew and like most of the songs mentioned and was ..."


I am planning to watch it too, with a soundtrack like that I’m sure I will love it.


message 20: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9480 comments These are the books i read last month.

Fun of It by Amelia Earhart. She wasn't a great writer but the subject was terrific. In this book she explains her career in aviation as well as sharing about other women in aviation. Indeed, she was a fine advocate for women in all areas of the field--making parachutes, running airfields, mechanics, etc. And she made a point about the lesser pay women received for the same work. I had fun with the book, disjointed as it was...and, to be fair, she alluded to that problem. While she claimed to be an avid reader in her youth, i wish she gave some titles.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Jiles is a poet whose story and prose here were very good. A traveling 60+ man who reads the news to people in small towns agrees to return a 10 or so year old girl to her aunt and uncle. The story takes place in Texas soon after the Civil War. The author researched the story well, judging by what i know about Texas history.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. A British police officer is laid up in the hospital with a broken leg in the '40s, maybe early '50s. He researches whether or not Richard III really killed his two nephews to keep them from the throne of England. Well told.

Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julia Fox. I wanted to learn more about Juana but it appeared Fox mostly wanted to write about Katherine. It seems fairly clear that Juana was not insane but it behooved first her husband, then her father to present her that way to the world so they could rule her inheritance from her mother, Queen Isabella. Sadly, Fox disappointed me. It would have been fine if the title didn't lead me to expect more.

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and I've forgotten the coauthor's name. I thought it was Phobe Suffo but can't find it. This was only okay. I enjoyed Evanovich's Plum series in the beginning and hoped this would follow suit. It didn't. It's about a very wealthy hunk of a man who likes to sleuth and the accountant who is supposed to keep him away from his gold bars. They end up a detective team.


message 21: by Petra (new)

Petra | 968 comments madrano, great reading month!

News of the World is on my TBR list. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Both The Daughters of Time and the story of Juana sound interesting. I'm going to look for both, although because of your thoughts, I may look for a book more focussed on Juana. Her story sounds fascinating. Thank you.

I like the occasional Plum story. I find them repetitive, though, so only read them occasionally.


message 22: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9480 comments Petra, like you, i want to read a bio on Juana now.

Francesca, as you may know, Doyle is a popular writer here in Ireland and his books are available everywhere, including museums. I've not read any of the trilogy, however. We have seen two movies based on the first two books in the trilogy. We felt Snapper was not up to The Commitments. Is there a third film? I don't recall hearing about it.


message 23: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 103 comments My May reads
Edge of Eternity: Book Three of the Century Trilogy: I loved all three books in the Trilogy. However because I lived during the period of the historic events in this book I believe added to my enjoyment of this book. I started this book in April but finished it in May Rating 5/5
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well: A cozy mystery in series that I read. Rating 3/5
Patterns in the Sand: A cozy knitting mystery Rating 3/5
Falling in Love Book from mystery series set in Venice that I read Rating 4/5
Once we were Brothers Rating 4/5


message 24: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2603 comments Madrano, I used to love Josephine Tey's books but haven't read one in a long time. Thanks for the reminder :)


message 25: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments madrano wrote: "These are the books i read last month.

Fun of It by Amelia Earhart. She wasn't a great writer but the subject was terrific. In this book she explains her career in a..."


I've read a bio of Earhart awhile back. I didn't recall that she had written an autobiography. Interesting. Thanks !


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 04, 2017 07:38PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Meredith wrote: "My May reads
Edge of Eternity: Book Three of the Century Trilogy: I loved all three books in the Trilogy. However because I lived during the period of the historic events in this bo..."


Looks like you had a very satisfying mystery month ! Thanks for sharing the titles with us.

I haven't read a Cozy in awhile. I should check one out next time I am at the library. Since they are easy short reads and paperbacks they would be good for my subway commute.


message 27: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9480 comments Alias, i was surprised that Earhart wrote, too. I suppose it's a stretch for me to call it an autobiography, as she only covered her childhood and a few years after her first transatlantic flight. Still, i appreciated the book very much. Was i the last to understand that she didn't actually fly across the Atlantic? Although she was a pilot, for that trip she was a passenger, there for the publicity only. She made the most of it, i must say...and later achieved the flight as pilot.

Barbara, this was my intro to Tey but i rather liked it. I hope to read more one day.

I like cozy mysteries for the ease of reading. When in a slump, they move me out of it.


message 28: by Andreia (new)

Andreia | 53 comments In May I read:

Histórias de Nova Iorque by Enric Gonzalez – I couldn't imagine it would be so amusing to read about where can we eat the best steak in New York (it has been at least 19 years since I ate my last steak), the differences between the Yankees and the Mets (I’m not a sports girl…), and so on. This book is full of curious stories and the History of this amazing city that we all (think to) know. From it's foundation by the Netherlands to the Mafia, and the World Trade Centre terrorist attack, I wish this book wasn't so short… (3 stars)

Laços de Família by Clarice Lispector – My first readings (this are short stories) by this Brazilian author. Short stories about couples, families, the relationship between mother and daughter, the “little” crisis of everyday life, the pursuit of happiness… Very raw and poetic language. My favourite was “The imitation of a rose”. (4 stars)

Um Quarto com Vista by E. M. Forster – I loved this book. A good story and lovely writing. Through an unexpected love story and the travel to Italy, the author exposes some of British social prejudices and “good manners”, which contribute to “block” Lucy’s feelings or, at least, her conscience of her true feelings. (4 stars)

O Rapaz de Olhos Azuis by Joanne Harris – A sadistic story, full of bad feelings and bad actions. Fictions within fiction, it’s not an obvious/typical story, and it kept me with no clue about the end until the last page. Joanne Harris has a gift to tell stories... (3 stars)

Ana Karenina by Lev Tolstoi – A tragic love story but so much more. Apart from Ana Karenina’s love story (that made me sick and completely indifferent from the beginning... sorry!), there are other stories that are more interesting, in my opinion. I loved the philosophic and political discussions between the different characters and the description of social and political background of Russia, and Russian society in those days. It was my first reading of a Russian author, and I did like it very much. (4 stars)


message 29: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Anderia, nice selection of books to read in one month. I agree about Anna K's love story--hers was the least interesting part of the book for me. Forester is one of my favorite English authore. His characters examine themselves so nicely.

Your ending comment on the New York book is quite a compliment to the author. I hope to read the book someday myself.


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16972 comments Andreia wrote: "In May I read:

Histórias de Nova Iorque by Enric Gonzalez – I couldn't imagine it would be so amusing to read about where can we eat the best steak in New York (it has been at leas..."


I would love to read this. I have to see if there is an English translation.

Thanks for sharing, Andreia !


message 31: by Andreia (new)

Andreia | 53 comments Petra wrote: "I've had a productive reading month in May:

The Enchanted (5-star) - I really enjoyed this one, yet find it hard to describe. In general, set on Death Row, with some despicable cha..."


Hello Petra, I had no idea what "Nutshell" was about, I haven't read Ian McEwan's books yet, but this one sounds promising...

I have Ulysses waiting in my shelf.... :)


message 32: by Mkfs (new)

Mkfs | 189 comments I'm really late with this one - May was a busy month and June even more so. Forunately, that is all in the past, so I can spend some time reading again.

In May I only read two books, or at least there were only two that I remembered to add to GR.

Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, by Sequoia Nagamatsu. Some fun stories that bring creatures of Japanese folklore (and Godzilla) into the modern world. I remember reading them, but non really stuck in my head except the Godzilla one. Oh, and the guy with the elongating neck that would use toilets to travel about the city. Three stars.

Instead of a Book by a Man Too Busy to Write One: A Fragmentary Exposition of Philosophical Anarchism, by Benjamin Tucker. Anarchist drivel, and likely the end of a revisiting of anarchist fiction and writings from my formative years. This one is notable for the literary feuds that Tucker gets into, all following the same pattern: he praises another anarchist, then he finds some slight quibble to correct them on, and finally he ends up insulting them and calling them ignorant. Two stars.


message 33: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Interesting books, Mf. What concepts. You have plenty of patience, i must say.


message 34: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 2603 comments Mkfs wrote: "I'm really late with this one - May was a busy month and June even more so. Forunately, that is all in the past, so I can spend some time reading again.

In May I only read two books, or at least t..."


Your description of the Tucker book is pretty hilarious :)


message 35: by Mkfs (new)

Mkfs | 189 comments would that the book were as funny to read!


message 36: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alas...


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