monthly review

Month in Numbers: May

April was not a good reading month.  At all.  I only read two novels, the rest of what I read was comics or audiobooks and even they weren’t great. May, however, was EXCELLENT.  I’d finished a huge project at work and got my weekends and free time back.  Time that I used to catch up on my reading.

Books Read

I read 10 books in May.  A couple were ones that I’d started during April but only just so I read a little bit less than 3,000 pages.  A huge 95 page a day average.  The highest numbers in any month of my year so far.

Easily the best book I read during the month was If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio.  Hanna raved about it when she read it and then when I went to Waterstones to pick it up, two booksellers also told me how amazing it was.  I started it pretty much straight away and loved it from the get go.  I’m trying to write a review of it but in the meantime: it’s wonderful and tense and one of those books that you just know will be five stars from the moment you pick it up.  There were also a few 4 star reads (Circe by Madeline Miller, The Extinction Trials by S. M. Wilson and In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott).  The remaining 6 were a bit of a mixed bunch.  I’ve been really disappointed with the last three volumes of Lumberjanes and this month I read the fifth volume and have finally decided to give it up.

My average star rating so far this year is now 3.4, which is a bit disappointing. I might do a blog take on a ‘5 star prediction’ post soon with books that I’m pretty sure I’ll love and focus on some of those for the summer.  I also still haven’t read anything in translation, which I really need to fix given the number of Peirene Press books I own!

Books Acquired

I bought 16 books in May.  So even on my best reading month of the year, I’ve acquired a good six books more than I’ve read.  Probably less than ideal.  My average spend per books for the year to date is still only £3.19 but I’ve picked up 128 books so still a not inconsiderable habit.  I think when I FINALLY get to shelve my books next weekend (for real this time), I’ll rein in the buying when I get back everything that I’ve had in storage for years.

I started the year with a TBR pile of 413.  It’s now 511.  It doesn’t stress me out as such but keeping track of what I’m buying is making me realise that it’s a touch excessive.

Book I acquired in May that I’m most looking forward to: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson (which I’ve got on my Kindle and am saving to hopefully get me through a long flight out to Canada in two weeks!)

Challenge Update

Science Fiction v Fantasy Bingo: I’m quite happy with my progress on Ellie’s challenge during May!  I knocked off four of the squares:

Cyberpunk – The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan

Fantastic Beasts – The Extinction Trials by S. M. Wilson (dinosaurs!)

Re-telling – Kissing the Witch: Old Stories in New Skins by Emma Donoghue

Immortal – Circe by Madeline Miller

TBR Pile Challenge:  Zero.  I am finally reading my first one, though!  Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

Beat the Backlist: The average time that the books I’ve read have spent on my TBR is 5 months. Of the 10 books I read, 8 were books that I’ve acquired since the start of 2018.  And the other two were from 2017…hardly a great show! Another one I’m sure will improve when my older books are returned to me!