April was a stressful month, and May turned into kind of a mess of a month too. While I can think of a couple specific events that threw me off my game or caused some consternation, I can’t quite account for how grumpy the month made me and how happy I am to put it in the past. Two slumpy months in a row? Boo.
Despite general malaise, I did get a fair amount of reading done. And it was a strangely even mix of books: four fiction, four nonfiction, and four comics. Here’s the list:
- Johansen, Erika: The Invasion of the Tearling (fiction)
- Tamaki, Jillian and Mariko: This One Summer (comic)
- Gee, Allen: My Chinese-America (essays)
- Koerner, Brendan: The Skies Belong to Us (nonfiction)
- Riordan, Rick: The Red Pyramid (young adult)
- Stevenson, Noelle: Nimona (comic)
- Soule, Charles: She-Hulk, Vol. 1: Law and Disorder (comic)
- Soule, Charles: She-Hulk, Vol. 2: Disorderly Conduct (comic)
- Atkinson, Kate: A God in Ruins (fiction)
- Finkel, David: Thank You for Your Service (nonfiction)
- McDermid, Val: Northanger Abbey (fiction)
- Krakauer, Jon: Missoula (nonfiction)
If I had to pick a favorite in each genre, I’d go with A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. The Skies Belong to Us was a close second for nonfiction – a total page-turner, but it lost a little momentum at the end. And both volumes of She-Hulk were delightful in premise, but had some hiccups in execution (confusing panels and at least one issue of really ugly drawings).
Thanks for those who offered up suggestions on how to work through a review-writing slump. I’m going to take a suggestion from Bryan (Still Unfinished) to do a few posts on my reading highlights for the last couple of months, probably split into comics, fiction and nonfiction, then see where my blogging mojo takes me next. The nice thing about this space is that I can keep it focused on what I like to do which, for the moment, is reading and writing about books without formal reviews.
A Look to June
Hooray, summer. I am so excited. We’re heading to the cabin for a long weekend with friends mid-month, so I’m sure I will spend time agonizing about which beach reads to bring… then ignore them entirely in favor of day drinking and swimming. I’m hoping to make some progress with my summer reading list, as well as a book that just came from the library this week, In the Woods by Tana French.
I also just came across this summer reading guide from the Los Angeles Times that is very impressive. I haven’t dug into it very far yet, but the nonfiction list is great – so many titles I didn’t recognize! I’m on a book buying hiatus in June (sob!), but will be saving many of these titles for July and August.
I guess what I most want for this month is to bring the joy and the fun back into my life and, by extension, my reading life. I’m don’t quite know what that means, but I’m excited to see where a spirit of openness takes me in June…. I’ve turned into such a hippie!