Well, I just barely met my 4 book per month goal for May. I've been on a magazine-reading kick lately after discovering that I can read most of my favorite mags for free(!) on my iPad through the library. Luckily, I finished 2 quick reads at the end of the month and now I have an exciting new shipment from Better World Books to motivate my reading for this month. From my most- to least- favorite, here is what I read in May:
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
It's been awhile since I read anything by James Baldwin. In high school, I read Notes of a Native Son (essays) and thought it was amazing. While the writing here seemed a bit heavy-handed at times, I was awe-struck and deeply moved by this book. The themes are also heavy, touching on religion, race, sexuality, and difficult family relations. I will definitely be going back for more from this incredible American writer.
- Rating: 4/5 stars
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
I don't read a whole lot of YA and lately I've been even more reluctant to pick up a YA book because many of them just seem so similar. So when I started reading this fantasy world book about an outcast girl who discovers she has great powers, I admit I almost put it down. Luckily for me, I started reading this book on an airplane and so I didn't have a lot of other options immediately available. Once I got over the "ugh, not another one of these!" feeling, I got really sucked in. No, this book isn't groundbreaking. But it is one of the most fun-to-read examples of fantasy YA that I have ever read. I like it much better than Sabriel, which I found so hard to read that it almost put me off this type of book altogether.
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Japanese Skincare Revolution: How to Have the Most Beautiful Skin of Your Life -- At Any Age by Chizu Saeki
Lately, I've been obsessed with natural anti-aging and so I picked this book up for purely superficial reasons. I had tried Chizu Saeki's "lotion mask" technique and thought it would be worth picking up a few more tips from her book. I liked a lot of what she had to say about how we really don't need the most expensive products if we use our regular products to their full advantage. I was also pretty interested in her instructions for self lymph massage and even-ing out the musculature of your face. That being said, this book was mostly pictures and a lot was pretty repetitive. It was a quick read but I could have gotten most of the information I wanted from a blog post or two.
ating: 3/5 stars
The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
When I started listening to this on audiobook several months ago, I had no idea of what I was in for. The Penguin Classics paperback version clocks in at 1276 pages(!). I found the characters to be shallow and boring, the dialogue horrendous, and the plot enjoyably but then annoyingly unbelievable. It was a relief when it finally ended. Wow, this may be one of the most negative and short book blurbs I've written yet. :)
Rating: 1/5 stars
That's it for my month in reading. Tell me, what have you been enjoying lately. Any summer must-reads to share?