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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~ May 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments

Share with us what you read May 2018 !

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 Alias Reader (last edited May 28, 2018 02:46PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments I thought I would put this up a few days early. Perhaps with the holiday people will have more time to post.


message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments Don't tell me it's near the end of the month already! I have been in a reading slump, i guess. I've started 3 or 4 books, only to postpone reading far into any of them and there's not a single one i can finish reading to add to May reads. Yikes!


message 4: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments It happens, deb. You will get back on track.


message 5: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments I appreciate the encouragement. After posting i read three more chapters of Jacob A. Riis's How the Other Half Lives, which is considered a classic. What surprised me is how racist it is. Frankly, i hadn't heard that about the slender book. ANYway, i'm still holding out hope for finishing this one by tomorrow night. :-)


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments madrano wrote: "I appreciate the encouragement. After posting i read three more chapters of Jacob A. Riis's How the Other Half Lives, which is considered a classic. What surprised me i..."

If the topic interests you, you might want to check out
Wrestling with Moses How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City----Anthony Flint


message 7: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments I have that title on my TBR and my note states you read it, which is why it's on the list. The topic appeals to me. I wanted to read Riis first because he is most often cited in books i've been reading on poverty. So i thank you.


message 8: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1103 comments Deb, How The Other Half Lives sounds fascinating. I'm going to look for a copy.

Sorry that I haven't been around much this month. I threw my back out, which kept me pretty much off-line and off-life for a couple of weeks. Then we had company staying with us for a week.

Despite that, I managed to finish a number of books:

Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer's Journey (audio; 4-star) - some helpful ideas of communicating with people who cannot communicate.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (audio; 5-star) - I listened to this while jogging (mostly in the previous 2 months) and very much loved the story.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Vi (3-star) - a story of finding self after immigration and witnessing horror against people.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" (3-star) - an important story & an interesting one. Not much on details, though.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Smile (graphic novel; 5-star) - a YA look at early teen years of anxiety about looking & feeling different, true friendship and fitting in.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Voyage Out (4-star) - another wonderful story by Virginia Woolf. This is her first novel. Wonderful as it is, it does come across as less polished than later novels. It's still a fantastic first work.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Dune (audio; 5-star) - a great sci-fi story, filled with politicical and religious maneuverings. Those Bene Gesserets have very long-term planning goals.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Summer Book (3-star) - some lovely stories of the relationship between a grandmother and her 6-year old granddaughter. I'm not sure how these stories fit together as a novel....perhaps this was meant as a short story collection. The writing is lovely, I must say.
Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments Petra wrote: "Deb, How The Other Half Lives sounds fascinating. I'm going to look for a copy.

Sorry that I haven't been around much this month. I threw my back out, which kept me pretty much off-line and off-l..."


Sorry to hear about your back, Petra. :(
I'm glad that you were able to still enjoy reading and hopefully take your mind off your pain.


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3061 comments Petra, 'Dune' is a favorite of mine. I liked he movie too (unlike most people). Hope your back is better. 🙂


message 11: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1103 comments Thanks, Alias & Barb. It's getting better. I only feel it now when I stand up. It should be completely gone soon.
I'm going to try going for a short run tomorrow. It'll be the first time in two weeks. I've been walking and that has been good on my back.

Barb, I haven't seen the movie of Dune but am interested, if only for comparison reasons.
Back in high school, I read the first 3 or 4 Dune books and I'm now curious to keep reading. I'd rather listen to them but my library doesn't have the next couple of books in audio format.
Have you read into the series more?


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3061 comments Petra wrote: "Barb, I haven't seen the movie of Dune but am interested, if only for comparison reasons.
Back in high school, I read the first 3 or 4 Dune books and I'm now curious to keep reading. I'd rather listen to them but my library doesn't have the next couple of books in audio format.
Have you read into the series more?
.."


I've only read the first book Petra. I'm not sure why.


message 13: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments Petra, i'm sorry to hear about your back. It's nice to read that the situation is improving. Continued healing.

What a great variety of books you read in May. I have Barracoon on order from the library but the waiting list is long. I'm sorry that it is scarce on details, though. I thought Hurston would have provided many.

I don't know that i was aware of that first Woolf novel. I'm going to look for it. Thanks for the listing of your books this month.

Alas & alack, i only finished one book in May.
Half Blood Blues is about jazz musicians in Europe during WWII. Author Esi Edugyan told a good story about blacks living in Germany and France during that time. It was tough for me to get into the slang but once i did the novel flowed better. The story also flashes forward to the future in the US for two of the now 80 year old characters. It ended oddly, imo.


message 14: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1103 comments Deb, I managed to find a cheap ebook copy of How The Other Half Lives. I don't know when I'll read it but am looking forward to it (as much as one can for the topic and the heartbreaking situation of the people).

Barracoon is an important story and well worth the read. Perhaps I was expecting more of a detailed look into that time, rather than a passive telling of a life story. It's a story that could (and should) have been so different. It is a story that should be told.

Half Blood Blues wasn't a favorite of mine, either.


message 15: by Alias Reader (last edited Jun 01, 2018 08:55AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments My May Reads:

I had a very nice reading month.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine~Gail Honeyman
Fiction
Rate: 5/5
I really enjoyed this heartwarming novel. I definitely recommend it. I was quite surprised to learn it was the authors first novel. Well done !

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan The Death and Life of the Great Lakes-Dan Egan
non fiction
Rate: 3/5
This was a NY Times/PBS book club selection. It's a well researched book and I learned quite a bit about the delicate balance of this rare source of fresh water on our planet.

Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg-Irin Carmon
Non-Fiction
Rate: 4/5
I enjoyed this bio of the Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg. She is really an amazing women.

The War to End All Wars World War I by Russell Freedman The War to End All Wars: World War I-Russell Freedman
Non Fiction
YA
Rate: 5/5
Terrific book and I learned a ton. The book also has wonderful photos.

Younger Next Year The Exercise Program Use the Power of Exercise to Reverse Aging and Stay Strong, Fit, and Sexy by Chris Crowley Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program: Use the Power of Exercise to Reverse Aging and Stay Strong, Fit, and Sexy-Chris Crowley
Non fiction
Rate: 2+
This is a good book. However, for me, it was a bit too basic. However, if you are just starting an exercise program, definitely check this book out.


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments Petra, i hope you like the book more than i am. For some reason (could it be the era in which we live?) the racism bothered me, coming from someone who seemed to want to help. When he breaks down the population areas (Chinatown, Jewtown), he seemed to be particularly biased. For instance, having described the squalor of previous areas, including the filth, he dismisses the fact the area where the Chinese settled for being clean! As a result, i stopped reading for awhile, despite planning on continuing.

The photos are remarkable, however. And the facts are strong, and he makes valid points about the above two areas (drugs, for instance). Sign of his times, i suppose. And i can see why it is a classic, as few others were willing to look at the poverty of the city at all.

Alias, i've taken note of a couple of your titles. Nice month, it seems to me.


message 17: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1103 comments Deb, I'll keep that in mind when I read this. I find it difficult when racism appears in books. I try to put it into context of the times when the book was written and not put today's eyes on it but it's difficult.
The subject matter sounds so interesting. We have the same sort of situations going on today still (although probably somewhat different than in this book). It would be a nice world if everyone had a safe, warm home.


message 18: by Petra (new)

Petra | 1103 comments Nice reading month, Alias!

I really should get to Eleanor Oliphant soon. It sounds terrific.


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments Petra wrote: "Nice reading month, Alias!

I really should get to Eleanor Oliphant soon. It sounds terrific."


I am not a big fiction reader and I seldom give a top rating for it. This one just really touched me. The main character has some traits of a someone with Asperger. It's at time funny and others quite sad. I thought it was well done.


message 20: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2529 comments Petra wrote: "Nice reading month, Alias!

I really should get to Eleanor Oliphant soon. It sounds terrific."


One of my favorite books this year. A delightful surprise!


message 21: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 105 comments My May reads
Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton
Rating 3.5/5 This was the final Kinsey Milhone mystery. I enjoyed a visit with old friends and the mystery was good
Songs of Willow Frost byJamie Ford
Rating 4/5
The Summer Before the War byHelen Simonson
rating 4/5 This book about the inhabitants of an English village during the summer leading up to WWI was wonderful. The characters were wonderfully drawn. You could totally picture them.
The Green MileMurder by Kerry Greenwood
Rating 3/5
This is the 5th in the Miss Fisher Mystery series. The stories take place in Australia during the 1920s


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments Meredith wrote: The Summer Before the War bMajor Pettigrew's Last StandyHelen Simonson
rating 4/5 This book about the inhabitants of an English village during the summer leading up to WWI was wonderful. The characters were wonderfully drawn. You could totally picture them.


I absolutely loved her other book Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. I could hardly wait for her next novel. However, for some reason I just couldn't get into The Summer Before The war. I gave it 2/5 rating which was below expectations. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.


message 23: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Petra, i fully agree about racism and the way we'd like to see the world.

Alias, i remember your disappointment in that later novel.

Meredith, was it sad to read "Y", knowing it was her last? I think i would feel that way about Anne Tyler's last book--may it be decades from now!


message 24: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1126 comments Helen Garner is one of Australia's best writers, whether it's long or short, fiction or non-, and she's a firm favourite of mine. This volume comprises 3 previous books in one, plus some. Love it!
True Stories: The Collected Short Non-Fiction
True Stories The Collected Short Non-Fiction by Helen Garner 5★ Link to my review


message 25: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Patty, i saw your post about this book elsewhere, too. It sounds good.

Meredith, last night we had dinner at a friend's home and Grafton's book was on her coffee table. I shared your post with her. She's sorry to see the end. My friend started reading the series when she wanted to try her hand at writing a mystery, so feels as though her mentor has died.


message 26: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1126 comments We need a new thread for June, but I'll post this here anyway.

I'm enjoying Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. The Likeness is #2, in which Detective Cassie Maddox goes undercover.
The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2) by Tana French 4★ Link to my review


message 27: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Sometimes it can get a tad confusing. This thread is where some of us post all the books we read in the last month, May in this case. The other thread is usually where we mention books we're reading or just finished. I don't think it matters much though, as long as we are sharing titles & opinions on books!


message 28: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 1126 comments Madrano wrote: "Sometimes it can get a tad confusing. This thread is where some of us post all the books we read in the last month, May in this case. The other thread is usually where we mention books we're readin..."

I'll stick to the other thread then - thanks!


message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments Sorry for the confusion. I opened up a June thread. Somehow I forgot to do it this month.


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 20479 comments This is the thread where we post at once all the books we read in the prior month. I hope more participate here as it is a fun thread to see all the books you read in one place.


message 31: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 105 comments Madrano wrote: "Petra, i fully agree about racism and the way we'd like to see the world.

Alias, i remember your disappointment in that later novel.

Meredith, was it sad to read "Y", knowing it was her last? I ..."


Deb Not sad but I did read it slowly because I knew this was the last visit with these familiar characers


message 32: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments That makes sense, Meredith. Thanks for the reply.


message 34: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments One lesson from two of the books listed above--do not bring home injured people!! Call for help instead. Scary stories.

But it turns out the one which really sends chills up my spine is the Harker book relating true stories. It's one thing to read fiction about Ouija, demons, mirrors, etc., but to read what others have experienced &/or believe is frightening. It's the stuff my dreams are made from!


message 35: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 3061 comments madrano wrote: "One lesson from two of the books listed above--do not bring home injured people!! Call for help instead. Scary stories.
.."


I've thought this many times when reading a book with this theme. Seems like a REALLY bad idea. 😊


message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments Great minds think alike, Barbara. :-)


message 37: by Marie (new)

Marie | 232 comments madrano wrote: "One lesson from two of the books listed above--do not bring home injured people!! Call for help instead. Scary stories.

But it turns out the one which really sends chills up my spine is the Harker..."


Well the Harker book makes you think a lot when you go to flea markets or yard sales because with "things" you buy you really do not know if there are any attachments. Best to buy new! lol :)


message 38: by madrano (new)

madrano | 13376 comments Marie, it's something i never would have considered. My family has no qualms about bringing stuff from markets/sales home, unless it's upholstered, that is. Indeed, long ago my dad owned a "Junk Store" (what the family called it) full of used items for sale. I guess i should count myself lucky we weren't endangered! ;-)


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