So. May. Spring. Very Spring-like, if Spring involves a lot of clouds and 45F weather with a couple of days where the temperature decided to hop up to 90F because the weather here is temperamental and can’t decide what it wants to do. I’m really hoping that the hot weather we’re expecting for the first weekend of June doesn’t stick around. Do I want warm weather? Sure. Do I want hot weather? No. I dread those months were the weather slouches from ‘blast furnace’ to ‘sauna’ and stays gross-hot even in the middle of the night. Also? Cicadas. I hate them. They’re huge and loud and they never shut up.
Although I have to admit that I am looking forward to the return of fireflies. I’m good with them. They’re one of the good things about summer.
What I Finished Reading in May:
I finished fifteen titles in May. According to The StoryGraph, I read 5,791 pages, which seems like a lot, but three of the books had more than 500 pages (The Return of the Shadow with 512 pages, Rule of Wolves with 528, and The Broken Crown with 764). So I read a lot. It was great.
- Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries #6) by Martha Wells
- Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano
- The Lost Road and Other Writings (The History of Middle-earth #5) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley, ARC provided by NetGalley
- A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein
- The Return of the Shadow (The History of Middle-earth #6) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Bastion (The Collegium Chronicles #5) by Mercedes Lackey
- The Broken Crown (The Sun Sword #1) by Michelle West
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- St. Peter’s Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #4) by Ellis Peters, audiobook narrated by Patrick Tull
- Broken Homes (Rivers of London #4) by Ben Aaronovitch, audiobook narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
- Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo
- Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London #5) by Ben Aaronovitch, audiobook narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
- The Tangleroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie Liu (ARC provided by NetGalley)
- The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner, audiobook narrated by Steve West
- 66.7% of what I read was written by women, while 33.3% was written by men
- 46.7% of the books were written by American authors, 40% were English, and 6.7% each were written by Canadian or Japanese authors
- 53.3% were physical books, 33.3% were audiobooks, and 13.3% were ebooks
- Genre-wise, 53.3% were fantasy novels, 20% were YA fantasy, 13.3% were science fiction, and 6.7% each were mystery or historical fiction
- 46.7% of what I read came from my own shelves, 40% was from the library, and 13.3% were from NetGalley
- Publication dates ranged from 1981 to 2021
I enjoyed pretty much, everything I read in May, except Dragon Sword and Wind Child, which was very surface level. I don’t know if it was because of the translation, or if that is just how the book is. It was fine otherwise, but I wish it had been deeper. I did not like The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley, which has a great premise but I thought the execution was lousy. The older I get, the less I like it when we’re supposed to be okay with letting characters get away with murder just because the protagonist thinks they’re pretty. Also, a premise introduced at the beginning (that sets off the whole novel) feels like it was abandoned at the end for the sake of convenience, and this character that the MC is desperate to get back to up and disappears by the end and after that happens the MC basically shrugs and goes, “well, that’s life”.
My favorites were Rule of Wolves, A Tip for the Hangman, Fugitive Telemetry, The Martian, and The Return of the Shadow. I’ve begun two new series (The Sun Sword by Michelle West and The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner), and didn’t finish any series, though I’ve picked up Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London books again, and I imagine I’ll finish up that series later this summer, as I only have three books left in it.
What I Plan to Read in June:
I am taking part in the Shelf Space Discord server’s Olympics Readathon. I’m on Team Nyx (goddess of the night) with a bunch of other women (and maybe some men? I don’t know. I haven’t seen any guys pop up in the chat). It looks like most of us are reading SFF novels, for the most part, which is fine by me. More for me to talk about and recommend.
So. I have a crazy number of books on the docket, because there are a series of prompts based on Greek deities, and we get extra points if we read books for the prompts. There are sixteen prompts total, and I’ve selected books for fourteen of them:
Are some of these rereads? Sure. Do I care? No. Some of these are my favorites, and I never mind rereading them, and some are books I read years ago and always meant to revisit. There are several books not on this chart that I’m intending to read, too, like the June selection for my big books challenge (Ovid’s Metamorphoses), and the next book in The History of Middle-earth (The Treason of Isengard). And I have a novella that came in at the library for me (Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor).
So here is the June TBR so far:
- The Uncrowned King (The Sun Sword #2) by Michelle West
- Metamorphoses by Ovid, translated from the Latin by David Raeburn
- Big Machine by Victor LaValle
- The Curse of Chalion (The World of the Five Gods #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden
- When True Night Falls (The Coldfire Trilogy #2) by C.S. Friedman
- Crown of Shadows (The Coldfire Trilogy #3) by C.S. Friedman
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
- The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano
- Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- On Time and Water by Andri Snær Magnason, translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith
- The Assassins of Thasalon (Penric and Desdemona #10) by Lois McMaster Bujold
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of Middle-earth #7) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
- Closer to Home (The Herald Spy #1) by Mercedes Lackey
- Beyond (The Founding of Valdemar #1) by Mercedes Lackey
- The Ice Lion by Kathleen Gear O’Neal
- Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
- Books Promiscuously Read by Heather Cass White
That’s twenty books if you weren’t keeping track. That’s a lot of books. Some of them (the ARCs in particular) I need to prioritize. Some (like The Fire Next Time, The Dream Hunters, and Remote Control) are short and won’t take very long for me to get through them. I also don’t think it will take me long to get through my favorites (like Neverwhere or The Curse of Chalion).
And you want to know a secret that the other teams don’t know?
I have a bunch of vacation time to use up before the end of August, so I’m taking off a couple of days this month specifically to read. So I’ll be getting through a lot of pages on those days.
Suffice it to say that I will not be watching very much television this month. Not that I usually do, but there will be even less of it this time.
It’s going to be fun.