May was a very eclectic reading month, and I managed to finish seven very different books. I had a couple of duds, a life-changing audiobook, and a scary horror-ish book about vampires! It also read one of my favorite non-fiction books of the year.
I’ve never been a close follower of Oprah’s Book Club, but I am so glad it’s back! I devoured this book about a family of twelve children, half of who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was a look into family dynamics and the history of mental illness. I haven’t read a lot of nonfiction this year and was so glad to find this one. It was complex, interesting, and thought-provoking. I learned so much and had trouble putting it down because it was so compelling.
Well, I didn’t think a book about vampires would make my list of books, but 2020 has been weird so nothing should surprise me anymore! I stayed up until after midnight finishing this and then couldn’t sleep because I was so scared. The entire book isn’t scary, but it is gory and intense. It was so unexpected and weird and I really liked it. The plot and characters were excellent and I recommend it to anyone who isn’t too squeamish when it comes to reading. (This one isn’t for you, Mom!) It was so out of character for me to stay up past midnight reading, but this one had me literally unable to sleep.
I really wanted this book to be better 😦 Years ago, I read a novel by Hannah Kent about a woman sentenced to exile in Iceland on suspicion of killing her husband. This book gave me the exact same vibes as that one, except the characters were so. boring. I thought I was going to read a story about strong female characters, instead I read a story about women turning on one another. BOOO. I am not here for that. I almost didn’t finish this one, but I ended up reading to the end just to see what happened. It’s based on true events and I’m usually here for any historical fiction that’s nuanced and not WWII, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
Everyone, this is such a great summer beach/lake/pool/staycation book! I’m upset it’s not getting more attention. It was published in January, maybe that’s why? It’s about a young girl who’s older sister goes missing on their family vacation. It flashes back and forth in time from past to present, but it is much more than your typical thriller. If you like your thrillers really page-turney (that’s a phrase I just made up) then this might be too slow for you, but I thought the pacing was great. It was really unique to its genre and the writing was really good. It wasn’t the best book I’ve read all year or anything, but it was really good!
This is the second book that I had to make myself finish in May. It was so disappointing! The marketing was excellent: imagine a love story that starts on the tube in London. Only then, it takes the entire book for the two main characters to meet. I felt annoyed reading it but I just love London and public transportation so much that I kept reading just so I could imagine the setting. I was hoping for a Flatshare read-a-like because that was my favorite rom com read last year, but sadly this was a far cry from that quality of writing. And plot.
If you follow me on Instagram @thelazybookshelf, then you might have seen me call this ‘the next Harry Potter’. BOLD WORDS, I KNOW. But I am an evangelist for this novel now and I have big opinions! One of the reasons Harry Potter is so great is that it is a children’s book adults can read and love too. That is exactly what this book is. It follows three people and a harmonica, and that is literally all I am going to say about it. If you can, listen to this on audio because the voices and the musical tie in is quite spectacular.
I’m going to write an entire post reviewing The Book of Longings because I’m still thinking about it! Imagine that Jesus was married to a woman named Ana. Her first person story is told in this remarkable, unique, historical fiction novel. The amount of research is evident on each page. The writing is beautiful, the story was so good, and as a Christian, it gave me so much to chew on! I only had a couple of critiques. It made me think, it made me look inside myself and thing of my own longings.