Reading Wrap Up 05: What I read in May

I'm still playing catch up on blog posts after a busy few months. When I realized how many books I read in May, I was honestly pretty shocked because it was the BUSIEST month of the year so far. At work we celebrated the end of the year with the graduating seniors and prepared for Reunion Weekend. At home, we celebrated Mother's Day, my brother's college graduation, my brother's birthday, my husband's birthday, my husband's grad school graduation, AND our anniversary. To say the month was kind of insane (in mostly a good way) is accurate. So I was happy I was able to sneak so many books in, I kept it a little lighter this month since I knew I would be dipping in and out of books.


Here's what I read in the month of May:


I started the month off strong with The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker. I was so excited to finally pick this one up after hearing such good things about it. I started reading it while I was up in Maine photographing a wedding and an entire morning with a hotel room to myself and a good book was maybe the highlight of my entire month. Female friendship, badass ladies, creative pursuits...all the themes of this one were right up my alley. I loved the portrayal of the female friendship/creative partner dynamic between Mel and Sharon and I LOVED the fact that I learned so much about the animation field through this book - it was so interesting! This story was much sadder than I thought when I read the synopsis, but it was a cathartic emotional journey and these two characters will stick with me for a very long time. Whitaker did an amazing job at weaving the story together and hinting towards things but building up to really emotional moments.

After that, I picked up Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. If you are an astrology fan, this one is for you! I thoroughly enjoyed this one with all the zodiac references and even found that it was less rom-com than I thought. It was mostly a bunch of quirky characters in a small charming city in Europe being obsessed with their horoscopes. I can only describe this one as pleasant and fun!

I then picked up How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper. One of my goals for May was to catch up on my Book of the Month selections. I successfully completed this one, but didn't have the chance to finish my April pick so that has carried over into June. This book was enjoyable, but I can't say that it really stuck with me. I liked that it covered themes of loneliness and grief, but it felt quite predictable. I didn't not enjoy it, but I wanted something a little more from it.


Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis took me completely by surprise. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I went into it but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I picked it up because her writing was compared to Sloane Crosley, one of my all time favorites, and I can see where they are similar. Full of humor, wit, and some edge, I enjoyed most of the essays in this book. As with any book of essays, some are bound to resonate or stick with you more. I will say that I struggled at moments with the level of privilege in some of these stories, but overall I enjoyed it!


Lastly, I squeezed in a YA novel at the end of the month. I had started Miracle Creek but wasn't able to concentrate so set it aside and picked it back up this month. I was so excited to read With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo because I love a book that features food as a prominent part of the story line. I devoured (haha, get it?) this book in two sittings over the course of 36 hours and fell in love with Emoni's character. I thought Acevedo's portrayal of a strong, independent teenage mom was so refreshing.


What were your favorite reads of the month? Or let me know if you plan to read any of these!


Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Additionally some of the books above were generously gifted to me by publishers. All opinions, however, are my own.

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© 2019 by Michelle Martin