May Wrap Up and June TBR Readathin May 2020

May Wrap Up & June TBR | READATHIN

The months go by so fast! Seems like only a week ago I was posting my April Wrap-Up and TBR! Today, I’m going to combine my May Wrap-Up and June TBR because I think that’s tidier?

To recap, in May, I took part in Readathin, and I wanted to read 12 books. Stats wise, how did I do?
TBR: 12
Books Read from the TBR: 11
Books Read Not on the TBR: 1
Books Read This Month: 12
Books Left on the TBR: 1

Seeing as I was doing Readathin last month, let’s go over the prompts and the books I chose!

1. Read a fantasy that takes place in a made up world. NO BOOK CHOSEN.
2. Read a book with a character who escapes. Authority – Jeff VanderMeer.
3. Read a contemporary that takes place in a country outside your own. Outline – Rachel Cusk.
4. Read a book that has been stranded on your TBR the longest. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen.
5. Read a book chosen by someone else. Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith.

I was only aiming to complete 4 of the prompts as I don’t read fantasy, so I made it! And I was right about Authority, it does feature a character who escapes.

Now, on to the books I read:

1. Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith. 4 stars.
I didn’t realise how much love I have for noir, or psychological thriller, but this one really unlocked a hidden passion. If you like psychological thriller books, and getting an insight into the head of a psychopath, you might be interested in reading the review I posted to my blog.

2. The Inner Room – Robert Aickman. 4 stars.
This one’s for fans of the supernatural! A short story with a spooky twist. If you’re scared of dolls, maybe give this one a miss, but I really loved the spooky psychological nature of it. You can find my review on GoodReads!

3. Shanti – Vikram Chandra. 4 stars.
Wow this month really has all the 4 star reads! This is yet another short story, this one telling stories within stories, crafting a complex, yet surprisingly easy to follow, narrative. It’s a story of travel, of grief, desperation, and loss. I posted a review to GoodReads.

4. (AD, gifted) Resist – ed. Ra Page. 4 stars.
I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, Comma Press, in exchange for an honest review.
I promise I don’t just rate everything four stars. Honest. This is a really unique book, a mix of short stories and accompanying essays. It gives an overview of the history of protest in Britain, detailing uprisings over the years. Fascinating read for anyone interested in history/politics.

5. Mostly Hero – Anna Burns. 1.5 stars.
See? I don’t give everything four stars! This book really missed the mark for me. The humour didn’t land, and I found this superhero satire grating and annoying. Read more of my thoughts on GoodReads.

6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen. 5 stars!
Look, we all know what this is about right? Girl meets boy, boy is rude, girl hates boy. Boy loves girl, girl rejects boy, boy grows as a person. Girl loves boy! Girl and boy marry! Classic. If that just spoiled Pride and Prejudice for anyone, I’m sorry. But… it’s Pride and Prejudice! Anyway, I admire Austen most ardently (see what I did there…). Read more of my gushing in my review.

7. Outline – Rachel Cusk. 3 stars.
I wanted to like this more than I did, but I found it quite difficult to feel involved. I definitely got more into it as it went on, so perhaps it’s partly my fault for not reading it in bigger chunks. I posted a little GoodReads review, though, if anyone wants to hear more!

8. Transit – Rachel Cusk. 3.5 stars.
OK, I admit, I enjoyed this one a bit more than Outline. Perhaps I was more used to the style, and I read this in longer chunks rather than short bursts. You can find my GoodReads review here!

9. Authority – Jeff VanderMeer. 3 stars.
I wasn’t that impressed with this book, which was a shame, because I enjoyed Annihilation. As it takes place outside Area X, the stakes seem much lower than in the first book, and there’s a sense of urgency missing that was present in the first. You can find my GoodReads review here, if you want to hear more of my thoughts.

10. Acceptance – Jeff VanderMeer. 3 stars.
I soldiered on with this trilogy, but I have to say I think Annihilation would’ve been better as a stand alone. We return to Area X in this, but the narrative is so fragmented, across different perspectives and time periods that it got somewhat difficult to get into. Again, my review is on GoodReads, if you want to hear a bit more.

11. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing – Eimear McBride. 4.5 stars.
This stream of consciousness novel follows the story of a young woman and the ways she is affected by her brother’s brain tumour. Fascinating narrative style and incredibly well-written, this book deals with a lot of heavy topics, and it will stay with you. You can find my review here.
TW: This book deals with topics including cancer, rape (underage and of-age), and various forms of abuse. 

12. Solar Bones – Mike McCormack. 4 stars.
Apparently I’m on a spree of reading Irish stream-of-consciousness novels? Not intended, but I’m loving it! I gave this one four stars because, honestly, the ending let me down a bit! Despite being another stream-of-consciousness novel, it was stylistically very different to the McBride. Rather than short, fragmented sentences, it was all one sentence, and I enjoyed the way it built dialogue into the text and built on concepts through repetition. Find my GoodReads review here.

May Wrap Up & June TBR

June TBR

So, that was May. But what about June? Well, to stay on track with my GoodReads Goal, I need to read 7 books in total in June. Sounds manageable to me! In fact, I’m so confident I’m going to put 13 books on my TBR. It’s good to be ambitious, right? And I read 12 books in May, so it’s doable… I think!

Confession: I joined a load of book clubs recently, so I’m deviating from my Spring TBR somewhat. Here are my Book Club reads!

1. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins-Reid (Daisy Book Club)
2. The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang (Black Lotus Book Club)
3. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Let’s Get Classical Book Club)
4. Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (Murakami Reading Club)

I’m also planning to start a couple of buddy-read type things, so there’s the fourth and fifth book sorted!

5. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
6. Emma – Jane Austen

The rest should really be from my Spring TBR, but… Hamnet. The rest are from the Spring TBR I wrote back in March. Books marked with a * are short stories.

7. The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times – Xan Brooks
8. Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
9. The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
10. Patient X: The Case-Book of Ryunosuke Akutagawa – David Peace
11. On Beauty – Zadie Smith
12. The Victim – PD James*
13. Sonny Liston was a Friend of Mine – Thom Jones*

That means that left on my Spring TBR are 8 books! If, if, I get through all 13 of the books I just listed, I’ll go on to one of these. If not, expect to see them pop up on my July TBR!

1. Counternarratives – John Keene
2. The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
3. (I have previously received PR products from Picador) The Confession – Jessie Burton
4. Let the Old Dead Make Room for the Young Dead – Milan Kundera*
5. Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak
6. Everything Under – Daisy Johnson
7. The Female Persuasion – Meg Wolitzer
8. Calypso – David Sedaris

So, as I said above, I don’t think I’ll finish the Spring TBR. I’m not too annoyed that I won’t complete it, because it wasn’t really set in stone, and I read more than I expected to. So even though I didn’t read everything on the TBR, I did read other books that I wanted to read, and the ones that are left can go on my summer TBR!

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