May Summary, June Preview

2020. I have to say– the first five months of the year have been the longest five years of my life.

Books have been for me, like never before, a refuge from the madness of the world. The more accustomed I grew to the strictures of stay-at-home suggestions and business closures thanks to the spread of COVID-19, the more I wanted to read.

And read I did. I finished twenty things in May, and while two or three of those things were books or audiobooks I’d begun in April (or March), that’s still seventeen or eighteen things I read entirely in May.


Statistically Speaking:

  • 65% of what I read was written by women, while 35% was written by men
  • 55% was written by Americans, 35% by English authors and 5% each were written by Canadians or British-Mauritian authors.
  • 40% were physical books, 40% were audiobooks, and 20% were ebooks
  • 40% was fantasy, 20% was science fiction, while historical fiction, YA historical fiction, nonfiction, mystery, biography, YA fantasy, and fiction were 5% each.
  • 50% were from my own shelves, 40% were from the library, and 10% were from NetGalley
  • Publication dates ran from 1955 to 2020
  • None of the books I read were works in translation

My favorite book of the month was Network Effect by Martha Wells, and outside the Tolkien and other Murderbot books, The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant is also up there among the favorites.

My least favorite book of the month was Of Silver and Shadow, a YA fantasy debut by Jennifer Gruenke, which read like a thrice reheated version of Throne of Glass, and we all know what I think of Throne of Glass and its ilk…


What I’m Carrying Over from May Into June:

These are both engaging historical narratives, but they are densely written and so take a long time to get through. I am enjoying them, though, and will eventually get through them.

Otherwise, my June TBR is in flux, thanks to world events. Really, the only book I for sure have on my TBR is Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, which is for a buddy read with Jackie @Death by Tsundoku. Otherwise, what is tentatively on the agenda are the following books:

I have several ebooks or audiobooks by Black authors on hold from the library, so my TBR might end up shifting, depending on when/if they arrive in June. The hold times for them are something like 4-12 weeks, so we’ll see.


22 thoughts on “May Summary, June Preview

  1. I love Murderbot! My next read in the series will be Exit Strategy and I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since I read Smith of Wootton Major, I think the same time I read Farmer Giles of Ham. Also since I read The Dancing Wu Li Masters. I don’t see any of those mentioned very often, and my memory of them all is vague but I think I remember enjoying them all. Many other books here I’d like to read, some of which I have but many that are new to me. I hope you get some enjoyment out of June despite all that’s happening in the world.

  2. Murderbot is great! I hope you enjoy the next two in the series! It’s been a bit since I read Farmer Giles, too. I plan to remedy that soon. I’ve never read The Dancing Wu Li Masters, so I’m looking forward to it. I hope June will be a good month for you, too. It’s been quieter the last couple of days, and things have been happening– at least where I live– that give me hope that things will change for the better.

  3. Wow, lots of great reads in May! And some more great titles on your tentative TBR. My June TBR is also currently undefined for the same reasons you mention. But I actually own a hard copy of The Fellowship, so perhaps I should consider reading it…

  4. I don’t know if I’ll get to The Fellowship this month, partly because I’m in the middle of two books I started in May. They’re wonderful, but they’re dense and it’s taking a lot of time to get through them.

  5. “which read like a thrice reheated version of Throne of Glass,” I laughed so hard my husband had to come see what was wrong with me. Oh I adore you. Thank you.

    Great job with your reading this past month! Wow! I know you were flying through the Tolkien, but I had no idea you managed to complete so many texts. I’m, as always, impressed. I’m also happy to hear that Network Effect was a favorite. I hope to finish the Murderbot books this year, but I’m picking them up slowly. I don’t want to run out too quickly!

  6. *lol* Thanks! Glad I could make you laugh!

    The ‘lesser’ Tolkien works are fairly short, so it’s easier to get through them than it is to get through The Silmarillion or The Lord of the Rings. I haven’t picked one up in a few weeks by now, though, so a long way to go still. Murderbot is great! I don’t blame you for taking them slowly. I can’t help but run through them whenever I start the series again.

  7. Throne of Glass is terrible. Fact.

    With novellas, it’s easy to re-read the entire series when a new book comes out. I was burned so hard with The Wheel of Time, so I tend to be cautious with unfinished series (as you know) — but Murderbot is definitely an exception. They are so good and so easy to read. I love it.

  8. Definite fact.

    Wheel of Time… ugh… I don’t think I would have finished that series even if it had been complete when I tried it for the first time. I was just so over it by the time book 9 rolled around… I got bored with it halfway through book 2 on my second try.

    Yay Murderbot! I love that the stories are basically self-contained while expanding Murderbot’s story and the universe around it.

  9. Hahaha. I will need to keep reading The Wheel of Time soon. I had hoped to kick off a re-read when we read The Eye of the World, but it just never manifested itself for me. I love how Sanderson concluded the series. There are so many wonderful things hidden in it. But, I don’t blame you for stopping. If you’re bored, stop reading. Always.

  10. I wish WoT could have captured my attention, but I kept seeing so much Judeo-Christian stuff in there that it was distracting. Also, all the repetition, repeatedly repeating itself while tugging its braid before folding its arms under its breasts. Repeatedly.

  11. XD I’m dying over here. “The Slog”. David and I are officially referred to it as such going forward.

    I find After The Slog to be the best parts of the books, honestly. Also, Sanderson’s writing is so succinct — he really pushes the plot forward in the last 3 books.

    And no, I’m not trying to convince you to read them. Just sharing a perspective. 😉

  12. I’ve heard it called ‘The Slog’ by several WoT fans, and it feels appropriate. 🙂 I’ve also heard that Sanderson moves things along, but I’m still not going to go back through them. I’ll give the show a shot, at least.

  13. I will cross my fingers for you!

    On the flip side, I honestly don’t care about the Lord of the Rings show that’s going to be on Prime, too. I just don’t see how they can do the Second Age and do it well. Especially now that Tom Shippey isn’t part of production. It’s weird. The Tolkien group I’m part of is mostly “meh” about the idea of the show.

  14. Yeah, they’re making a show for Prime, but so far they’ve said next to nothing about it save that they’re spending something like a billion dollars on the first season, that it’s based on the Second Age, and a little bit of casting. That’s pretty much it. They’re so secretive about it they can’t even drum up enthusiasm among major Tolkien fans, which really doesn’t bode well. People just call it ‘the Lord of the Rings show’ for lack of anything else to call it, even though it won’t have anything to do with the Ring or hobbits.

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