May Summary and Plans for June

The BookDepository

May was a slow month reading-wise. This was mainly caused by reading several average books in a row. I didn’t want to inundate you with negative reviews so will spread them out over the coming weeks. The good news is that my run of unenjoyable books seems to have come to an end – first with the wonderful  Anatomy of a Disappearance and then with Night Waking (review coming soon). I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my June reading will be more to my liking.

Book of the Month

Anatomy of a Disappearance

Books Reviewed in May

Anatomy of a Disappearance – Hisham Matar 

The Illumination – Kevin Brockmeier 

Piercing – Ryu Murakami 

Empire of the Sun – JG Ballard 

Monster Love by Carol Topolski 

The Periodic Table – Primo Levi 

Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman 

The Whisperer – Donato Carrisi 

King of the Badgers – Philip Hensher 

Plans for June


The Gormenghast Trilogy

My Gormenghast read-along starts at the beginning of June and I’m really looking forward to discussing it all with you. I have to admit that I couldn’t wait and read the first 50 pages over the weekend. The first few pages were hard going, but after about 5 pages I was hooked. The imagery is fantastic and it is quickly becoming one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. It isn’t too late to join in. I’m sure your library has a copy – go and grab it and read along with us!

I’m hoping to get several guest posts from Gormenghast fans who have a deeper insight into the book than me – it should be really interesting.



I don’t do a read-along for months and then suddenly two come along at once! I have been wanting to read Shantaram for ages and so couldn’t resist when I saw Aths from Reading on a Rainy Day  and Helen from Helen’s Book Blog were planning to read it.

These two chunksters will occupy the majority of my reading time for the next few months, so I won’t be able to read as many other books as usual. The good news is that I have a backlog of six books that I haven’t reviewed yet so hopefully I’ll be able to continue reviewing books at the same pace as usual.

In between the read-alongs I also hope to read some of these books:

Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
When the Killing’s Done by TC Boyle
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright

Have a wonderful June!

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  1. Karen says:

    It sounds like you have a chunky June coming up Jackie! I hope this reading month is much more enjoyable for you! I am wanting to read Anne Enright’s latest book too so looking forward to hearing what you think of this one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, I loved The Gathering so am looking forward to reading Enright’s new one too. Fingers crossed it is as good as her last. :-)

  2. Maxine says:

    To my shame I have never read Gormenghast so I look forward to your upcoming discussion. “Prof Petrona” read it years ago and we still have the ageing Penguin Modern Classics edition (pale grey) on the shelf somewhere, so I may find myself dusting it off (literally!).

    1. Jackie says:

      Maxine, I highly recommend dusting off your copy of Gormenghast. It is one of those classics that has influenced a lot of modern writing and I am loving spotting the similarities it has with other books. I’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll join us :-)

  3. parrish says:

    Will be following Gormenghast with interest & 2 readathons at one time, BLIMEY, I’ve just recently completed a very relaxed readathon with someone via twitter, the book being Georges Perec’s “A Void” & that was interesting, so best of luck & enjoy the month.

    1. Jackie says:

      parrish, Perec is one of those authors I feel I should have read, but haven’t – I’ll have to get to one of his books soon. I’m hoping my read-alongs are just as relaxed and enjoyable. :-)

      1. parrish says:

        Hi Jackie, I thoroughly enjoyed this book (A Void) which apart fro being a great novel is also a 280 odd page Lipogram, in which the letter E doesn’t appear once.

        1. Jackie says:

          parrish, I haven’t heard of a book without eees before – sounds weird, but I am intrigued. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  4. James says:

    I enjoyed Shantaram – although I thought it needed a good edit in places! It reminded me of Papillion and, to a lesser extent, The Count of Monte Cristo. Both of these are also doorstep books. Hope you like it.

    1. Jackie says:

      James, I haven’t read Papillon or The Count of Monte Cristo, but I do like long books so if I enjoy Shantaram I’ll be interested to compare it to the two books you mention. Fingers crossed I’ll enjoy it despite the excessive pages. :-)

  5. I’ve been meaning to read Ballard’s Empire of the Sun for so long that it’s almost embarrassing that I haven’t yet.

    Looks like you had a good May, and well, enjoy the chunksters in June. I’ve not read Shantaram yet, but I have a feeling that I will not enjoy it… Looking forward to your thoughts on it, irrespective.

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, You’ve probably been wanting to read Empire of the Sun for about half as long as I had :-) I hope that you get around to it one day, but I think there are always piles of books that we feel we should have read – I’m trying not to think about them ;-)

  6. Hope June is better than May for you, Jackie! I’ve read Shantaram (on my own) and it was a 4 star for me. It’s a big adventure, just a bit… long!

    I bought When the Killing’s Done a few weeks ago – maybe we can read together or at least compare notes.

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, I’ve just sent a tweet to you about When The Killings Done and look forward to comparing notes on it. Hopefully we’ll both love it. :-)

  7. stujallen says:

    you read some great books this mointh Jackie and since you’ve cut back A bit seem to pick some real gems to read ,I must get to Matar at some poit ,hope you enjoy Goremghast as much as I did he is such a visual writer a real eye for description ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, I haven’t really cut back, but am trying to read more of the books that I actually own. I’m sure I’ll love Gormenghast as it has hooked me already. I agree that it is really visual – I am loving it :-)

  8. JoV says:

    I’m so glad you love “The Anatomy of Disappearance”! and very best of luck with Shantaram. I have read it last year and I love it, again echoing what the others says a tad too long.

    May was a good reading month for me. I have reviewed 5 books and read another 5. so that’s 10!!! I tend to write long reviews so may have quite a while to catch up before I write my wrap-up post for May.

    Glad you are out of the slump! (me too). :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, Congratulations on reading 10 books in May! I hope you manage to catch up on your reviews so that I can see what you thought of them all. Let’s hope we stay out of that reading slump. :-)

  9. Stephanie says:

    Sorry you didn’t have a better month. Fingers crossed you will read some better books in June!

    1. Jackie says:

      I’ve got my fingers crossed too :-)

  10. Beth F says:

    Looks like you had a great month — look at all those stars.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, I’m not so sure – half of those stars are missing :-( Hopefully next month will be better.

  11. Christina says:

    May was a slow reading month for me as well. I hope you enjoy Girl With a Pearl Earring as I really liked it! Good luck with your chunky June!

    1. Jackie says:

      Christina, thanks. I hope to get the chance to enjoy the film too.:-) I hope June picks up for you too.

  12. I’ve had the Gormenghast books sitting around for a few years now – I watched the mini-series over and over when I was living in Japan (I had a huge crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers which is what made me get it, but in the end I loved the story so much!). I have really old secondhand copies ’cause at the time no one was printing it. I’ve been looking at them lately, thinking about starting them really soon – I’m not sure if I’ll be able to join the read-along yet, I’m trying not to commit to too many things because the baby’s due at the end of the month, but I’d love to so if I can, I’ll be there!

    I have Shantaram too because a Norwegian friend of mine recommended it to me, but I think I’ll hold off on that one for now ;)

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