Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Wrap-Up

May was a great reading month for me! I'm excited that I'm coming out of my slump! I'm looking forward to 4 lovely months of reading outside in my gazebo after work.

2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge progress: 21 out of 40 - over halfway home!
Total books read so far this year: 23
Books completed in May: 5 (yay!)

Completed 5/10/16:

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #2: A National Book Award Winner
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

I've had this book on my TBR for years, and I wanted to like this memoir more than I actually did. At times, her language is absolutely beautiful, but there were parts that felt disjointed because she didn't provide transitions. It was also a bit frustrating that she seems to assume her readers will just know a lot of the people she discusses. While obviously Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, and Jimi Hendrix are household names, most of the people she lists are significantly outside the mainstream, so the overwhelming name dropping just fell flat for me. Every couple pages or so, she just feels the need to throw out a handful of names of people who may have frequented a particular club, etc. I'm glad I read it, but I'm glad I only checked it out of the library as opposed to buying it.

Completed 5/19/16:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #3: A YA bestseller
Rating: 4 out of 5

I had high expectations for this book since I've heard a ton of good things about it. I loved her writing style, especially in the beginning of the book, since it felt so authentic and and was funny. However, the second half of the book fell apart a bit for me. I was increasingly frustrated with Anna and the relationship melodrama. I don't usually feel this way about YA, but maybe I'm just too old for this book and the petty drama. I think if I read this book when I was in middle or high school, I probably would have really enjoyed it.

Completed 5/21/16:

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #9: A book that's under 150 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This is a commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard put into book form. It was interesting and inspirational without being too sappy. Makes me kind of wish I attended my own college graduation. It also provided some details I didn't know about J.K. Rowling, for instance that her degree is in Classics (I had presumed English) and that she had worked for Amnesty International.

Completed 5/29/16:

The Progeny by Tosca Lee

Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Loved. See my full review here.

Completed 5/31/16:

Night by Elie Wiesel

Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge #19: A book from Oprah's Book Club
Rating: 5 out of 5

Never would I have picked up this book without the Popsugar Reading Challenge. Nothing was grabbing my interest in the Oprah's Book Club category, and I saw that this book was short. I read it in 2 sittings. It's an absolutely riveting (and beautifully written) memoir of a young man who survived a concentration camp. This is definitely the best book I've read so far this year.

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