May was quite a productive month! My soon-to-be father-in-law and uncle came to visit and helped replace the cracked siding on the house. My mother came to visit and we did some wedding planning. I performed in a band concert, really started to dig into my new job, I celebrated my birthday (yay me!), and we finalized all the details for our trip to Croatia! Quite a busy month in my personal life, for sure.
My bookish life was always quite busy. Getting my blog back up was really unfinished in April, so my AWESOME Admin (<3 you DarthGoat) helped me wrap some things up this month. I learned a TON from that experience; you can expect a full post on that in the future. I finished all my work with the Empty Pages writing club. It was incredibly fulfilling participating in this project with them. In fact, they gave me the greatest compliment I think I’ve gotten as an adult, that I am “critical without soul-crushing”. D’aw. I look forward to working with them more in the future!
Finally, I also joined up with Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf to co-host an Anne of Green Gables read along. This has been an incredibly rewarding partnership only in the past few weeks. Jane has some brilliant ideas and I’m so glad to get to know her in this way. Plus, I can’t wait to share my posts, discussion questions, Top 5 lists, giveaways, and more. Join in the fun with #AnneReadAlong2017 !
List of Reads
May was an interesting month for everything it seems, including reading. I read a variety of books from different genres and they all received a variety of different ratings. I read fiction and non-fiction. Short stories, graphic novels, kids books, adult books, classics, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and more. Honestly, it’s really satisfying looking back at the whole month.
Read – 12 total books
MUST READ this month:
Hattie Big Sky – There were so many good books this month! How could I even pick one? But there is something about Hattie Big Sky which still speaks to me long after I’ve finished reading the book. I learned so much about being a Honyocker, WWI anti-German sentiment, and how to general persevere when life gets hard. There are a lot of great lessons in Hattie Big Sky, all of them still relevant today, and told through the eyes of captivating characters and settings.
Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:
The Higher Power of Lucky – This is the first Newbery Prize-winning book which I read and thought to myself, “Why did this win?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great book. It’s a story about grief, sadness, and loss which younger children should be able to relate to easily. But it just didn’t do anything for me.
I’m making slow by steady progress on my yearly reading challenges. I’m about where I should be for June, which feels great. I was anxious at the beginning of May that I was lagging behind. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
- Overall Reading Challenge: 65/110 (59%)
- Listopia Challenge: 8/15 (53%)
- PopSugar Reading Challenge: 21/52 (40%)
- Read Harder Challenge: 13/24 (54%)
It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me!
As most of you know, tsundoku means the act of leaving a book unread after acquiring it, typically piled up together with other unread books on shelves, floors, or nightstands. In my case, I get most of my books from the library. But, having 21 books checked out and waiting to be read can be overwhelming (even if it is down from the 31 I had last month!). I interpret my tsundoku as a combination of the physical books waiting to be read, but also the gigantic TBR I have listed. My goal? SHRINK THE TBR.
This month I bought two books according to Amazon, however, one of them is the Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed set. So, according to Amazon I only bought two books… that counts as two, right? But in all seriousness, I also won a giveaway hosted by Danielle @ Books, Vertigo, and Tea (4 e-books!) and one by Melanie @ Grab the Lapels (so excited for this book to arrive!) and I couldn’t feel more blessed. But that means I acquired 15 new books this month. Not great for the TBR, but I’m excited to read them all!
In April, my pile was 1,398 books. Now…
Unlike the previous few months, I didn’t set aside time to do a Goodreads culling. So, the drop in my TBR isn’t that large compared to previous months. There was just too much going on! Oh well. Perhaps this month I’ll prioritize the culling?
- Our Shared Shelf – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Kids Lit – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- West Side Stories – A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Brunch Books – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- VACB Book Club – Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
- Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
- Popsugar Challenge – Stuart Little by E. B. White
- Read Harder Challenge – Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
- Listopia Challenge – Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
With the upcoming trip to Croatia, I’m not particularly worried about getting my reading time in. Yay vacation!Thank goodness for my Kindle, as well, or I’d never get to them all. That would be far too many books to travel with. 😉
2017 Goal Update:
- Never have a backlog of more than 5 books which need to be reviewed:
- I was only successful in this one month this year. It was January. I almost wonder why I am even trying.
- Spend 5 minutes a day blog hopping:
- I was really close this month, but not quite daily. I’ll try harder (sans vacation) this month!
- Expand the book discussion question database by at least one book a month:
- Alas, I also didn’t make this happen this month. But I have hopes to put together discussion questions for Anne as well as A Handmaid’s Tale before too long. Here’s hoping!
- Maintain posting twice a week:
- I missed this by one day, sadly. I posted on May 8th and again on May 16th, meaning 7 days had passed. But, I made up for it with my Empty Pages Writing Club posts! Thanks to Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books I now have a sweet schedule tool I’m trying to stick to. So far, so good!
- Participate in 5 cross-post style events:
- A HUGE shout out to so many people for helping me out! Both Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books and Wendy @ What The Log Had To Say offered cross-posting ideas (I swear I’ll get back to you both soon!), and now with the #AnneReadAlong2017 I’m co-hosting with Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf, I’m golden for the year. This goal should be completed shortly!
- Make the Thanksgiving Readathon with Ottavia a real thing!
- This is something we’ll chat about closer to Thanksgiving. Probably early Q3.
- Expand my non-book review posts:
- NAILED IT. This month I had 6 non-book review posts. Now, that’s a higher ratio than I’d like, but it was an anomaly due to the Empty Pages Writing Club review posts. And I’m counting those as non-book-review. There should be at least two a month going forward, but hopefully three with my Building Better Book Clubs series coming back.
Okay. Yeah. I really stunk at my goals this month. I need to stay focused and on track going forward, for sure. But I’m not worried– yet. 😉 I CAN DO THIS!
It’s hard to believe summer is finally here. Are you ready? I know I am. There is so much to do and I couldn’t be more excited to work towards all the reading, reviews, and other bookish goals. Bring it on!
What do you think?
- What are your summer plans? What books are on your summer TBR?
- What was your favorite blog post/book read in May?
- Are you on track for your reading goals for this year? Where are you winning and where are you behind?
- There is so much damn text in this post. What should I cut for future Month in Reviews? What suggestions do you have for improvements? I am not afraid of your feedback. 😉