May Summary and Plans for June

May has been a busy month reading-wise. The slim list below hides the massive number of pages I’ve actually read. I’ve nearly finished  The Noonday Demon, which is 1000 pages long, and both Encounter with Tiber (656 pages) and A Tale for the Time Being (400 pages) were long reads. I plan to continue reading chunksters as I tend to enjoy them more.

Book of the Month

Encounter with Tiber

 This piece of science fiction felt extremely realistic. It combined Buzz Aldrin’s experiences in space with his knowledge of shuttle technology to produce a compelling insight into the future, showing what might happen if humans came into contact with alien life. It isn’t perfect, but the ideas will stay with me for a long time. 

Books reviewed in May:

Encounter with Tiber by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes 

The Son by Michel Rostain 

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima 

The Engagement by Chloe Hooper 

The Uninvited by Liz Jensen 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra 

Did not finish: Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley, Ferney by James Long, Intrusion by Ken Macleod

Plans for June

I have no firm plans, but hope to read most of these books: 

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Blue Fox by Sjón

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston

My Notorious Life by Madame X by Kate Manning

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

A Man In Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer

Death of an Ancient King by Laurent Gaudé

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Have a wonderful June!

18 replies on “May Summary and Plans for June”

“We Were the Mulvaneys” is one of my all-time favourite books, Jackie, and for me Oates at her very best, marrying her sometimes melodramatic style (all capitals and exclamation marks) to a story that crackles with urgency and intensity. I can’t wait to see what you make of it. And I loved “The Round House” when I read it last year. I actually did the UK paperback cover for “Death of an Ancient King” (the one with the horse galloping across the top) so I read that a few years ago – can’t say that I remember it all that well or particularly enjoyed it (hence the rubbish illustration!).

I haven’t read as much as usual in May (very busy with work and was also sick for a couple of days), but the stand-outs for me was Patrick Flanery’s “Fallen Land”. Claire Messud’s “The Woman Upstairs” was very good though it didn’t fully engage me for some reason. I haven’t got any particular plans for June either, though at the moment I’m reading Melvyn Bragg’s new one.

David, I haven’t tried Oates before so am pleased you think this is one of her best. I hope that I enjoy it as much as you did.
I almost imported ‘The Round House’ last year too. Now it has finally made it over here I hope it lives up to my expectations.
Sorry to hear that you don’t remember ‘Ancient King’ I’d heard it was very dark so expected it to have more impact (good or bad!) than it seems to have had on you. Hope you enjoy the Bragg and have a wonderful June!

Stu, Good luck catching up with the reviews. I have the opposite problem – I need to actually finish a book so I have something to write about.

The only one from your June list that I’ve read is The Dinner and I really enjoyed it. I’m pretty sure I read We Were The Mulvaney’s years ago in high school but the fact that I’m only pretty sure means I started and didn’t finish or just didn’t find it that memorable. My reading tastes have changed since high school though!

Shan, Yes, my tastes have changed a lot since school. I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it as a teenager either. Hopefully the adult me will love it!

Erdrich’s award-winning novel tells a story of brutal rape and a boy’s coming of age on a Native-American reservation. Arguably Erdrich’s most shocking sentence is “1 in 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime”.

I missed the ‘fiction’ in the Buzz Aldrin book and from that it sounded good. But fiction would explore a lot more, and it sounds fascinating there. Your list is pretty good, and then the page counts… wow!

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