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.
- The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
- A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel, audiobook narrated by Jonathan Keeble
- The Warrior Moon (Their Bright Ascendency #3) by K. Arsenault Rivera
- Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells
- Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells
- Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, audiobook narrated by David Horovitch
- Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke, ARC provided by NetGalley
- J.R.R. Tolkien Audio CD Collection narrated by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
- Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth by John Garth, audiobook narrated by the author
- Sherlock Holmes’s Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch
- Network Effect (Murderbot #5) by Martha Wells
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch, audiobook narrated by the author
- The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Physicians of Vilnoc (Penric and Desdemona #8) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Penric’s Mission (Penric and Desdemona #4) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Mira’s Last Dance (Penric and Desdemona #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- 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:
- Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch
- The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles #1) by Dorothy Dunnett
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:
- Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly
- The Book of Lost Tales 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis
- The Bloodprint (The Khorasan Archives #1) by Ausma Zehanat Khan
- The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav
- Silence by Shūsaku Endō
- The Fellowship: Literary Lives of the Inklings by Phillip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, ARC provided by NetGalley
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.