Another month in quarantine means more walks outside with Millie girl, more days driving to pick up coffee just to get out of the house, more lunch breaks and dinners at home cooking instead of eating takeout, and more reading (or listening to) good books! This time has taught me so many things, which I am planning to share eventually once I can wrap my mind around it, but it has also brought me so much joy in reading again. I’ve always loved it, yes, but the simple joy of just picking up a book at lunchtime, or listening as I walk in the sunshine, is lovely. But without further ado, here’s what I read in May!
SEVERANCE BY LING MA – 5 STARS
I knew nothing about Severance when I picked it up at the beginning of May, and let me just comment on the insane coincidence of that. Severance is about Candace Chen, a millennial living and working in New York City when a deadly pandemic called the Shen Fever sweeps the globe. Candace finds herself in a group of survivalists traveling across the devastated United States. The parallels to the fictional story and what was happening in the world literally as I read this book were uncanny, but I’m a sucker for this type of story. Very similar to Station Eleven, I really enjoyed it, and will probably re read it again when it doesn’t hit so close to home.
LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT – 3 STARS
To be perfectly honest, I read this book because I felt as though I should. Sometimes I feel as if that’s how I end up reading most classics, out of a sense of obligation. I started this one because I wanted to watch the movie, but also wanted to know the true, original story. Four sisters and their coming-of-age into society, experiencing love and loss and everything in between. The writing was lovely, and there were many times I stopped to write down a quote, but overall, I hate to admit that I was bored. Had I not listened on audio, I doubt I would have finished it. It’s a wonderful story, but just not for me.
CITY OF GIRLS BY ELIZABETH GILBERT – 5 STARS
What a story! I have seen this book raved about since it was released but it took me forever to finally pick it up, and wow, I loved it! Set in the 1940s, it’s the story of Vivian Morris, a 19-year old Vassar dropout who moves to New York City and moves into her Aunt Peg’s play house. Escapades ensue, and it really is a story that I didn’t expect. I was a fashion major in college, so whenever Vivian talks about her sewing machine and designing showgirl costumes and wedding gowns, I’m all in. I highly recommend!
11/22/63 BY STEPHEN KING – 5 STARS
This has been on my list forever, but it’s a daunting book to pick up. I finally started it and devoured it in less than a week. We start out in 2011, introduced to Jake, a high school English teacher, who somehow gets tasked with traveling back in time to stop JFK from being assassinated in 1963. It sounds crazy (I’ve never been into sci-fi or that kind of story in the past), but I couldn’t get enough. It was about the JFK assassination, but also about so much more than that, and I was sad when it wrapped up. After I started reading, I realized there’s an Amazon Prime series based off the book that I’ll probably watch soon.
TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN BY LAUREN GRAHAM – 3 STARS
If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, Lauren Graham’s memoir is a fun, quick read! I listened to it on audio, where Graham herself narrates, and really enjoyed it. She shares a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes details about the filming of Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, fun facts about working in Hollywood, and, of course, she’s hilarious!
ONE DAY BY DAVID NICHOLLS – 4 STARS
I’m late to the game here, as the movie adaptation of One Day premiered in 2011. I never saw the movie, but heard it was good (and sad), so I picked up this story to find out for myself! It was quite hard to get into at first – each chapter is told from the same day each year, July 15th, from the day Emma and Dexter met through the next twenty years. Once you get into the rhythm, it was interesting to see where we would find them each year and how their lives would change. Everyone was right – the ending was sad, but I expected that so I was still happy with how it all wrapped up.
KNOW MY NAME BY CHANEL MILLER – 5 STARS
I don’t have the words to describe this book. You probably know the name Brock Turner because of the media, but you don’t know the name Chanel Miller. Chanel is the woman that Brock Turner sexually assaulted in 2014, and she is now sharing her story. Her writing is beautiful, and her story is heart-breaking and at times difficult to read, but so, so important. If you haven’t, add this one to your list.
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE BY J.K. ROWLING – 5 STARS
I’m getting sad that my Harry Potter reread is nearing its end, so there may be even more HP content coming your way soon!
LOVE WARRIOR BY GLENNON DOYLE – 5 STARS
This was an interesting read for me. Earlier this year I put out a question asking for recommendations on marriage and relationship books, and this was one that came up several times. I didn’t know much about Glennon Doyle, but I recognized her name from social media, so I finally picked up this book. It’s about her growing up years, dating and marrying her husband, his infidelity, and the reconciling of their relationship after much heartache and work. While reading, I decided to do some research and realized that Glennon Doyle is no longer married to Craig, but now married to Abby Wambach, the American women’s soccer player. The book on its own was lovely and so very insightful, but I struggled to connect after realizing that the book so many had recommended was about a marriage that no longer existed. This was just a personal dissonance for me, but I still loved the book tremendously.