Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For the Record: May 2011

Whew! Crossing May off my list. (That feels good!)

I actually got a lot of reading done in May.  I'm not real sure how that happened, but I think it has something to do with it being the end of the school year and my 3 home-schooled kiddos running out of work to do.  Like I mentioned on Thursday, I actually started to feel like I was reading too many books, (everything was starting to feel somewhat mediocre) and switched to some slower reads.  Hopefully that's a sign that I'll be able to pick up those previously abandoned classics soon (Our Mutual Friend, Daniel Deronda).

11 Books Read in April: (52 Year-to-Date)
1 Read-Aloud to my kiddos:
  - The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps by Stephen Krensky (educational Gold Rush--2.75)
1 ARC:
  - Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb by George Rabasa (probably the best ARC ever--4.5)
1 for Book Club:
  - The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (3)
3 for Challenges:
  - The Troll Garden and Others by Willa Cather (for my personal Cather Challenge--3.5)
  - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (for my Pulitzer/Back to the Classics Challenge--3.5)
  - Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor (for my Top 5 of 2010--4)
4 from Recommendations:
  - Townie by Andre Dubus III (from Indiespensable--3.5)
  - If I Stay by Gayle Forman (from ??? book blog--sorry! 3.5)
  - Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff (from Indiespensable--3)
  - That Night by Alice McDermott (a book club alternate pick--3.5)
1 Just Because:
  - Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (what a book! --5)

The Iron Dragon Never SleepsMiss Entropia and the Adam BombThe Weird SistersThe Troll Garden and OthersGilead: A NovelGhost Light: A NovelTownie: A MemoirIf I StayBright Before Us (A Tin House New Voice)That NightRevolutionary Road

Chocolat1 DNF: -Chocolat by Joanne Harris--the second month in a row that I didn't finish a book club selection, and I feel really guilty about it.  At least they were for different book clubs. Right? Hm.  Anyhow, Chocolat was fine.  I stopped about 1/3 through (around page 100) partially because I wasn't going to be able to go to my book club (or finish it on time if I could go) but mostly because it was starting to rub the magic off the movie.  My apologies to the author, but the movie had Johnnie Depp and great music.  You know?  If the movie was going to stay a favorite, the book had to go.

3 Current Reads:
  - The Story of Christianity Vol. I by Justo L. Gonzalez (non-fiction)
  - If There is Something to Desire by Vera Pavlova ( good I don't want it to end)
  - Stolen Village by Des Ekin (non-fiction...about Ireland!)
Story of Christianity: Volume 1: Volume One: The Early Church to the ReformationIf There is Something to Desire: One Hundred PoemsThe Stolen Village, Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates

On My Nightstand:
  - Beloved by Toni Morrison (my next book club book)
  - Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (saving this for when I need a quick read)
  - Eli the Good by Silas House (LOVE Silas House...but this YA title is also being saved for a needed quick read)
  - A Chunkster: either Gone With the Wind, or I'll be responsible and finish up Daniel Deronda/Our Mutual Friend.  We'll see.  I'll conquer Beloved and we'll go from there.
Beloved (Everyman's Library)Girl, InterruptedEli the Good

Plan for June:
  - Worry less about # of books per month, and more on my challenges.  And, um, catch up on book reviews.  Still.
  - Shoot!  I just realized I haven't made any summer goals yet!  Yikes!  Plan for June: make summer goals before summer is gone.


  1. That is a very impressive line-up. Richard Yates is stunning but also devastating (I base this opinion on his short stories). Looks like you have a good list for June, too.

  2. I read Chocolat in high school and was completely unimpressed by it. It's one of the only books where I preferred the movie.

  3. New follower here! I happened to see your comment on one of BookBelle's posts...she's one of my favorite book blogs!

    I know what you mean about making summer goals and plans before summer is always goes so fast!


  4. Lisa, I totally agree about Richard Yates. Stunning and devastating is a great way to put it. I'll definitely be putting more of his works on my TBR. Glad to hear that his short stories follow suit.

    Gabriel, I'm so glad to hear that...I kept thinking that maybe it was my fault (being in a rush to finish the book in time for book club) but I just found very little to love in the book. It was like one of those Disney books that they write after the film...uninspired.

    Rebecca, so nice to meet you. :) Isn't Belle fabulous? I started looking at my summer calendar sure disappears quickly, doesn't it? Fortunately, making plans and goals and lists with books is one of my favorite things...oh the possibilities!

  5. You'll have to share your summer list with us! May is a hectic month and I'm sort of glad to put it behind me (even if it means I'm one month closer to a new and bigger age). I'm going to have to read 14 books this month in order to make it to the 1/2 mark for 100. I think I'm going to have to read some shorter books or middle school books that are lying around.

  6. What a month - hurray for Richard Yates! My May reading included two of his novels and a bio.

  7. I read only one book this month. I think I needed some time off. I have been meaning to read Revolutionary Road for a couple of years because I keep hearing that it's just stunning.

    But I haven't been able to bring myself to read it simply because it seems so depressing. I know--what a terrible excuse!

  8. Congratulations on your progress in May :) It looks like you've got some great books to look forward to! If you haven't seen the movie Girl, Interrupted, I would see it to compare with the book. Frankly, I liked the movie a lot better.

  9. Good month! I'm hoping I can up my books read over the summer. The college where I work is still in session, but I get something of a break from the online classes I usually teach. Cheers going into June!

  10. I loved Miss Entropia!! It was such a wonderful read! You had a fabulous month in reading!

  11. Belle, I started doing the after-school-year-organization project and am thinking that I'll be adding in some of those younger titles this summer just for fun. I look forward to seeing what you get your hands on in the next couple of months!

    JoAnn, after reading Revolutionary Road, I'm curious to know more about Yates. I remember seeing you mention him, but I didn't read the posts because I didn't want it to affect my first impressions...I'll go check it out now.

    Jennifer, I definitely have times when I need a little break from reading, but then there's always the crazy spurts that make up for it. :) I thought that RR would be more depressing than it was. It might depend on how much you identify with the characters? I was just constantly amazed at the characterization and brilliancy in writing.

  12. Teacher/Learner--I have only vague memories of the movie (Girl Interrupted) so thanks for mentioning it...I'll be sure to watch it after reading the book. I love book/movie comparisons.

    Andi, I hope you get some time to relax and enjoy some good books this summer...I always enjoy reading your thoughts!

    Aths, Miss Entropia was fabulous! It sealed my new infatuation with Unbridled Books. I'm hoping to read another book or two of theirs this year.


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