Wrap Up | May 2019

Welcome one, welcome all, to my May Wrap Up! May brought with it the very first readalong I’ve ever hosted, of Les Misérables which I called #MiserablesMay (aptly, I think). As always with these long readalongs (see: War and Peace and The Count of Monte Cristo), I was behind pretty much every day of the month, but I still enjoyed reading and writing weekly progress posts. Plus, it’s nice to be able to tick off a book that, for years, I’ve said I’ve practically read because I’d skimmed a bunch of it and then closely analysed various passages for my undergraduate dissertation. It’s nice to be able to definitively say I’ve read Les Misérables from cover to cover. I’m sure I’ll do a proper review of it at some point but, for now, I’m just revelling in not having to read 60+ pages of a long French classic every day to keep up with my own readalong. Of course, true to form, June brings me participating in two readathons at the same because, apparently, I never learn. But, first, let’s see how May’s reading looked (spoiler alert: I’m pleasantly surprised I managed to read anything else on top of Les Misérables):

In May, I read a total of 7 books 7 fiction and 0 non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 3278 pages in total.

In terms of format: 1 were hardbackwere paperbackwere audiobooks, and was an ebook.

As for genre, were YA fantasy/mysterywere contemporary/romancewas fantasy, and was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

Jackaby by William Ritter

Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: YA; fantasy; mystery
Format: paperback
Pages: 310
Read: 4th – 10th May
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 26: 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #4 Something Blue)
Review: “Although Jackaby seemed a tad too derivative of Sherlock Holmes stories for my liking, I did think the transplanting of a similar kind of detective and assistant narrative into a paranormal and New England setting was a breath of fresh air for your typical mystery story.” (Full review)

The Map: A Jackaby Story by William Ritter

Rating: 3/5
Genre: YA; fantasy; mystery
Format: ebook
Pages: 56
Read: 10th May
Review: A fun enough novella involving a birthday treasure hunt for a reluctant Abigail that results in magical crackers, a carnivorous rabbit, and a pirate map because, well, why not?

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Rating: 5/5
Genre: contemporary; romance
Format: audiobook
Pages: 295
Read: 12th – 15th May
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 7: 2 books related to the same topic, genre, or theme: fake dating)
Review: A fluffy contemporary romance set in the West End theatre world. The characters were hilarious but allowed to be genuinely flawed and the story somehow felt very realistic – I LOVED this.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Rating: 4/5
Genre: contemporary
Format: hardback
Pages: 410
Read: 30th April – 21st May
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 24: 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #2 Something New)
Review: “From what initially seemed like a plot based around a well-trod (but nonetheless compelling) trope, Beth O’Leary wove a convincing and cute story of two very different characters whose journey to get to know one another through post-it notes, leftovers gifted to the other, and signs of their mutual inhabitance of the same flat (and the same bed) turned into something much more emotional and uplifting than I ever realised it could be.” (Full review)

Beastly Bones by William Ritter

Rating: 4/5
Genre: YA; fantasy; mystery
Format: audiobook
Pages: 320
Read: 21st – 25th May
Review: Lots of fun to be found in this second book in the series as Abigail and Jackaby continue to investigate supernatural occurrences in New England. This one had mention of vampires, dinosaurs, and dragons so obv was A++.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman *

Rating: 5/5
Genre: fantasy
Format: audiobook
Pages: 424
Read: 26th – 30th May
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 30: A book featuring an elderly character)
Review: This is still one of my favourite books ever, I did a timely re-read (via audiobook for the first time) before the TV show premiered. I love the humour, I love these characters, and I just love this book.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: classics
Format: paperback
Pages: 1463
Read: 1st – 31st May
Challenge: Around the Year in 52 Books (Week 27: A book off of the 1001 books to read before you die list)
Review: This was a very long read that proved to be equal parts frustrating and fulfilling. Part of me is just glad I finally actually read all of the book and can now feel the sense of accomplishment from doing that… and it makes me appreciate my favourite musical (and its abbreviation of this narrative) a lot more too. (Full review to come)

How did your May reading go?
What was your favourite book you read this month?
Please do share in the comments below and let’s chat books!

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