May 2021 Book Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s finally June 1st as I write this. May felt like a very long month. A lot of things happened to me in just 31 days. I got braces put in, which meant I spent the whole month eating soups and yoghurts, I got my first covid vaccine and spent two days with a bit of pain on my arm. I also went back to the office, and I learned how to create an embroidery keyring.

But May was so long that I couldn’t remember which books I read this month and which ones were from April. I’m glad I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading because, honestly, I read nine books in May, but I swear some of these feel like I read them months ago.

Favourite reads of May

None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

none shall sleep

This book has been considered a YA version of Silence Of The Lambs, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book so fast. I love that movie (ignoring the transphobic messaging, obviously). I love the concept and the 90s FBI agent aesthetic. None Shall Sleep is about two teenagers joining the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers. Set in 1982 and with an incredible protagonist, an eighteen-year-old girl who survived a serial killer, this novel has become one of my favourite 2021 books.

I devoured this book so fast that I don’t have any quotes. All I know is that this book is perfect, and I need more of it.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

ghosts dolly alderton

I had read mixed reviews for Ghosts, but for me, this is also a top ten of my 2021 books. I found it so relevant and relatable. The protagonist is 32, single, and all of her friends are adulting in the right way (marriage, kids, moving to the suburbs, etc.), affecting her relationship with them. She also gets ghosted by a man for the first time. 

I love books that represent the other half of women who decide not to follow the usual steps. I’m only 26, but when I think of where I’ll be in my 30s, marriage and kids are not in the picture. This book reminded me of Olive, another great book I read a few months back.

I have so many quotes. I would go back and reread excerpts that just made sense to me. Dolly Alderton is a fantastic writer.

Sometimes, when I felt despondent, I liked to calculate how many minutes of my remaining life I would spend removing upper lip hair if I lived until I was eighty-five and think about how many languages I could have learnt in that time.

It’s easier, being heartbroken in your thirties, because no matter how painful it is, you know it will pass. I don’t believe one other human has the power to ruin my life anymore.

Thriller reads

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

an unwanted guest

I have a select group of writers that I follow that always write the best thrillers, and Shari Lapena is one of them. Whenever I read one of her books, I know I will be absorbed into a fast-paced, thrilling story.

A group of strangers staying in a remote Inn, end up stranded by an intense snowstorm. What follows is 48 stressful hours where people are starting to get murdered, just another perfect whodunnit.

It’s so pleasant here, Lauren thinks, in this enchanting dining room, with the lights low and the wind howling outside, slamming at the windows, like something wanting to get in.

The Book Club by C.J. Cooper

the book club

I both liked and hated this book. I think that’s what happens when the story is good, but the protagonist keeps making stupid decisions, and you end up screaming at your kindle at 11 pm because you have no life.

This book reminded me loosely of Claire McGowan’s The Other Wife, but hers was way better. In The Book Club, a new woman moves next door to our rather stupid protagonist, and bad things start to happen to her and her group of friends. There’s betrayal, murder, secrets and lies, and a lot of stupidity. I liked the antagonist character, though, I enjoyed reading her sociopathic side of things.

Fiction reads

The Education of Ivy Edwards by Hannah Tovey

I got this book as an ebook from my local library and forgot to take a picture before giving it back!

This book was awful, it was all over the place, and the protagonist kept taking so many drugs that I just had to stop reading it. I was expecting a fun read, something similar to Ghosts, but I didn’t like it at all.

Non-fiction reads

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne

I read The Little Book of Hygge in April, so I obviously had to read what I thought was the Swedish version of Hygge, but Lagom is completely different. Lagom translates to “not too little, not too much, just right”, which isn’t a new concept for me. But the way the book described “balanced living” felt a bit meh? I finished the book, and I didn’t learn anything from it. I think my expectations were too high after loving Hygge so much.

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

I bought this book as a hardcover in Waterstones because I thought I would love it, but nope. This book was terrible. It felt like feminism for fourteen-year-olds that are just starting to notice the implications of being a woman. The book felt juvenile to me, and it was extremely repetitive. I was very disappointed because I had seen this book everywhere and the illustrations look cool. I didn’t get a new radical view on feminism or anything that hasn’t been said a hundred times already.

Growth can feel isolating. Everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world shifts right before your eyes.

I’ll Be There for You: Life According to Friends’ Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Ross & Monica by Emma Lewis

i'll be there for you

I bought this book in Urban Outfitters, so I shouldn’t be surprised this book was also terrible. I wouldn’t even call it a book. I was looking for something light and fun to read, and this book came with two pages of Friends stickers. But this book is just a bunch of random ideas and episode recaps that don’t offer any insight into the show. I wish I hadn’t lost my receipt so I could return this.

Graphic novel

The X-Files: Year Zero by Karl Kesel

I started watching The X-Files in April, and when I discovered there were graphic novels about Scully and Mulder I knew I had to read them. I got my copy for free with Amazon Prime, and it was pretty good, it followed a very similar style to the show. I’ll read more when I get another free Prime Reading trial.

I’m excited that it’s June already, which means we’re right in the middle of this year, and it’s going by very quickly. I’ve bought a few hardcover books for the month, and I’ll keep using my new library ebook app, which has many thrillers and British authors.


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