What I Read in (the Second Half of) May

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I read so many books in the first half of May that I decided to split up my monthly "What I Read Post" into two. Check out the first half of the month here. 

I'm also excited about the two Book of the Month Club picks that I chose for June My best friend Sammi & I will be reading Book of Essie "together" from afar, & I added The Kissing Quotient because it sounds like a cute, chill summer read. If you want to try BoTM, my referral code will get you a free book.

In total, I read 12 books in May, which... yeah, damn. I lowered my yearly reading goal from 100 to 75 books, but it's possible I could still land somewhere between the two, if I keep up at a pace like this! Here's what I finished in the second half of the month.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

This YA story focuses on Maya Aziz, a high school senior from a traditional Indian Muslim family, who wants to attend film school in NYC instead of med school close to home (like her parents would prefer). This book covers a range of topics, including first love, family tradition, faith, bigotry... it includes an abandoned house used as a first-date spot, a horrific act of terrorism, & the potential for an arranged marriage - which is to say, there's a lot going on, but it was a good read all the same. ★★★★☆

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

This was a long-ago Book of the Month Club buy that I just couldn't figure out, to be honest. It was languid & character-driven & complex but also weird & slow & overly British, like everything felt a bit too uptight & proper to be a real story. A young woman returns to seaside her hometown after her elderly father, a famous writer, is badly injured after claiming to see her long-disappeared, thought-to-be-dead mother on the beach. I just didn’t particularly care about or for any of the characters, & while the prose was really lovely, I never quite connected with the story itself. ★★★☆☆

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli 

I loved Albertalli's first book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I couldn't wait to read her follow-up novel about Simon's best friend, Leah. I didn't love this one quite as much, if only because Leah reminded me, somewhat uncomfortably, of a former friend of mine who I miss. Still, it was a cute story, well-written & personable, in typical Albertalli style, as it tells the story of slightly surly high school senior Leah, who's yet to come out as bisexual to any of her friends. ★★★★☆

Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler 

I know she's on Whose Line is It Anyway? but I mostly know Aisha Tyler from her role as a BAU agent on Criminal Minds, so I think of her as a serious actor. I was initially confused by her comedic memoir, thinking it was a serious personality trying too hard to be funny - until I realized that Tyler is actually just a really brilliant & hilarious writer with a particularly impressive ability to put together hilarious analogies. ★★★☆☆

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Another Book of the Month Club buy. A small-town Australian detective is assigned to the murder case of a high school classmate, a beautiful high school teacher with whom she has a secret history. This one was difficult for me to read, at times, because the lead character has a concurrent story  line from her past about an ex who died by suicide - but overall, I found this to be a well-paced, character-driven mystery without any of the trying-to-be-Gone-Girl stuff that seems to dominate female-centric thrillers these days. It was straightforward, well-done, & satisfying. ★★★★☆

Comment to tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past.

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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