May Reads 2022

selective focus photo of pile of assorted title books
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

The month of May seemed to drag on forever. And as I look back on my reading for the month, my book count agreed. I read eighteen books! A new high for a month’s time. I’m on track to surpass my goal for the year in a week or two (haha) but I didn’t set it that high so maybe I should readjust. I also marked a few books off my reading list and the Book Riot’s read harder challenge list. A good month for books.

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle L. Gomez *Challenge 8*
I thoroughly enjoyed 3/4 of this book. It had a very refreshing take on vampires, and Gilda’s life was very interesting. The different paths she took in every place and the human connections she made were full of life and emotion.
But I didn’t like the end. I understood the point behind the final chapter, but it left me feeling pretty meh. Overall, a beautifully written story.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
I felt all the emotions with this one. I laughed, and I cried and I was frustrated and I was delighted.
The relationships were so real and entertaining. August’s roommates were hilarious. And on top of all that, there was a bit of magic.
A very fun read that I couldn’t put down.

Mastering Character Arcs by Lewis Jorstad
A very detailed guide for every type of arc imaginable. Handy tips and structural guides to pace the arc throughout your book. Will use this a lot.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee *Challenge 11*
First, I didn’t know this was a sequel, but it reads just fine on its own.
Second, I loved it. Felicity has so much bite and sass, and I feel like we could have been great friends.
Her adventures and her pursuit of her passion get her into some tight spots, but she uses her brilliant mind and wits to get out of them.
I’ll have to go back and read the first one now.

An Inconvenient Woman by Stèphanie Buelens
A fast-paced book that takes you along for an intensely emotional ride.
At first, you wonder who could be telling the truth – but more and more facts are brought to light and there can be no more questions.
I wasn’t a fan of Claire’s friend – she could have been more supportive. And introducing a romantic interest felt a little unnecessary. But a good book with a satisfactory ending.

Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The events being described in this book are horrifying. To think a company would go to such great lengths to avoid being held responsible for damages they’d caused is terrifying. But not shocking. Corporate America is just as bad today. But people were literally falling apart, and no one seemed to care to get to the bottom of it. Very upsetting to read about.
The writing itself wasn’t super great. It felt like the author couldn’t decide on being straight informational or trying to make it read like fiction. Either way, a good read.

The Girl in Cabin 13 by A.J. Rivers
Emma was not only super annoying, she was also terrible at her job. She’s supposed to be a great yet misunderstood FBI agent with a dark past, but she constantly lets her emotions get the better of her and doesn’t listen to her superiors. And her ‘dark past’ got brought up too often for me to care. The flashbacks weren’t necessary on top of all the mentions in dialogue.
The bad guy and the creepy stuff he did were the only good thing about the book. But even that wasn’t that great. Plus I didn’t buy the Sheriff suddenly being a good and understanding guy.
Will not continue the series.

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
I love that Harry is such a mess and yet he’s a hot mess because the women always end up wanting him. And he doesn’t get it either, he just rolls with it.
But this case was bonkers. At no point did I understand where it was going to lead, and that is my favorite part of this series.
The ending hit me right in the feels too. Can’t wait to get into the next one.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson *Challenge 6*
This was a powerful and eye-opening read. As someone who questioned my sexuality growing up and my answers changing over the years before I found where I fit, I strongly related to his childhood years. Kids are mean and kept me in the closet for years beyond the time I would have liked to be myself.
This was the type of book I wish I’d had available to read when I was younger and I’m glad it is in the world for others to experience.
Lovely from start to finish.

Take Joy by Jane Yolen
This book was more about perspective and less about learning. But having the right mindset for writing can be just as (if not more) important as knowing technique.
Remembering that you love the work you’re doing is essential when you’re in the weeds of the process. And this book was a great reminder

Phantom by Jo Nesbo
This one pulled on all my heart stings.
Harry’s got himself stable again just in time to fall apart over his true love and the child he helped raise.
I wanted Harry to find the truth so bad, but I’m upset by what the truth was. And the ending made me want to cry. I’ll be starting the next book ASAP.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
A very enlightening book. I don’t follow much of political news or anything like that, but I felt this book was worth reading. I learned a lot. Not only about RBS’s life and her work but also about how the system works.
A very intriguing read and delightful on audio.

Eight Kinky Nights by Xan West *Challenge 7*
Almost DNF’d this one. Skimmed it after the 50% mark.
The story was fine. My issue was with the writing. The dialogue felt completely unnatural and info dumpy. Two lifelong best friends wouldn’t talk to each other like that.
I tried my best to enjoy it, but it was just such a clunky read I couldn’t get into it.

Idiot by Laura Clery
I’ve been a fan of Laura since the Help Helen Smash videos, but I never knew about her books. She tells it all. Every dirty detail. And shows that anyone can control the outcome of their life if they put their mind to it.
Some of it was sad, some of it was frightening, but she never let go of her positivity in her tone.
Now I need to get my hands on her second book – stat.

Look me in the Eye by John Elder Robison *Challenge 23*
This book was a very interesting read. People in my life are on the spectrum and this has opened my eyes to what that looks like for them.
John Elder’s life, though filled with his own unique struggles, was also very amazing. To think he accidentally ended up creating special effects for guitars for famous rock stars! He has such a unique sense of humor and I really enjoyed his story.

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
This made my heart hurt as a mother. And if it had ended any other way, I would have been pissed.
But it proved to be a great book with amazing characters. I enjoyed watching them grow and adapt to their situation.
And I didn’t guess the guilty party until Rachel did, a nice perk to the mystery. I’ll be looking for more books by this author.

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
This book was incredibly entertaining. Amy is everyone working in a ridiculous retail job. And as terrible as all the things that happen to her coworkers are in this story, we all wish our days could be at least half as interesting when dealing with customers.
I feel like a little more time and detail could have been spent on the actual carnage of the book, but I loved it and the ending was a nice touch.

Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
I read this on recommendation from my doctor because I am still struggling to lose weight three years post baby.
And as much as I’m still sure hormones have something to do with my problem, this book had some good points.
The food pyramid we grew up with just isn’t it anymore and starting this week, I’ve added more fruits and veggies to my diet. We’ll see how much it helps.
Plus, the book included a shopping list and a meal plan, which I loved and found super helpful.

Wow. That was a lot. And they were really diverse too. Go me, haha.
That’s all for today.

Thank you so much for reading!

I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment or message. 

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