The May Book Report

May was an exciting month in my reading life. I’m happy to say that I have not purchased a new book in over a month – and for me, this is HUGE! Before finding The Unread Shelf Challenge, I bought 2-3 books a week. After the first month of this challenge, I’ve shifted my focus and rediscovered the books I already own. I’m being much more honest with myself about what I’m interested in reading and getting rid of titles that no longer apply. I doubt I will go back to buying so many at a time.

Thankfully, our local library opened its new location, and I can already tell I will quickly become a regular there. I did borrow one book from there this month – Ending Parkinson’s Disease: A Prescription for Action. I’ve been reading about this topic for a book I’m interested in writing. Also, thanks to all the summer reading lists that have recently been published, I have put several books on hold. I’m hoping they come in soon so that I have plenty to report on in my June book report post.

But I’m getting ahead of myself now. Here is what I read in May.

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is a brilliant writer that I learned about fairly recently. I heard her speak at a virtual book tour event for her latest title and loved her wisdom, humor, and candor. I am on page 165 of this book. It is taking me a while to read it because I want to savor each chapter. Through this book, she teaches a class on writing, and I (along with many fellow writers) am her eager student. I am soaking in her advice and learning a lot from her. I don’t want this book to end, but I’ll finish it eventually.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins-Reid

From the best-selling author of Daisy Jones and the Six (which is still sitting on my nightstand to read), this was the novel our book club chose to read this month. Evelyn is a Hollywood starlet who has said and done a lot to get to her level of stardom. Now, she is telling her story to a little-known writer, and what she reveals will change both of their lives. Evelyn married seven times, and with each husband, we learn more about her, her relationships, and her road to fame and fortune. It’s a bumpy (and fun) ride! This author has a new book coming out in a few days called Malibu Rising. I already put a hold on it at the library.

Books I DNF’d

I also listened to The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory on Audible. This is a title I heard so much about and was looking forward to reading. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for it, and you can read why here.

In addition, I am donating the following books that no longer suit my reading life. These books were gifted to me. I hear they are excellent reads, but there are so many books and so little time. I’d rather share these titles with those who will appreciate them.

A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Up Next

In June, I am going for an ambitious list of four titles to kick off my summer reading. I will read the Parkinson’s book, and I just started Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. I am only three chapters in and already having trouble putting it down. As a bonus, one of the main characters is named Elisa. 🙂 Our book club picked The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth (who wrote one of my favorites, The Mother-In-Law). But, I am most looking forward to reading Andrew McCarthy’s memoir, Brat, An ’80s Story. Many people are waiting to read this book at the library, so this may be one that I break my book-buying fast to purchase. I hear it will be worth it.

A Quick Note

If you decide to buy any of these books, I hope you will support your local, independent bookstore. Yes, Amazon is faster and probably cheaper, but buying local helps families. Please keep them in business because I shudder to think of a world without bookstores.

Happy reading!






8 comments on The May Book Report

  1. Elena W
    June 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm (12 months ago)

    I really enjoyed Next Year in Havana as well as other books set in Miami and/or Cuba by Cleeton. SO much history I had no idea about! And the characters are so intriguing!

    Linking my recent reads, if interested!

  2. Florence Callender
    May 30, 2021 at 9:47 pm (12 months ago)

    I’ve heard about Bird by Bird and it’s on my list of books to read.

    I agree with you about supporting local, independent bookstores. Sadly, there are no more in my neighborhood. One by one, they closed down.

    • Elisa
      May 30, 2021 at 10:29 pm (12 months ago)

      Oh no! That is a shame about the local bookstores. Definitely read Bird by Bird. It’s been on my list forever, and I’m so glad I read it.

  3. Doug
    May 30, 2021 at 9:32 pm (12 months ago)

    my previous comment says “the book”. If it were only one book, it might have been easier to get rid of, but then again, I might have been more attached to it.
    Please correct my previous comment “to get rid of the books”.
    Thanks for the book report.

  4. Doug
    May 30, 2021 at 9:29 pm (12 months ago)

    I agree with “so many books, so little time.”
    I have been coerced to get rid of the books that I have accumulated over the first 60 years of my life. Now I search out electronic copies which I can borrow of buy. Occasionally I will borrow one from the library. Now that the Blog Challenge is over, I will have more time to read a couple of books a month. Recently I have been buying eBooks from the people I know.

    • Elisa
      May 30, 2021 at 10:28 pm (12 months ago)

      Fixed! 🙂 Thanks, Doug for commenting all month long! Happy reading.

  5. Rachel Lavern
    May 30, 2021 at 7:00 pm (12 months ago)

    Oh, I own the book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott also; however, I have not had a chance to read it yet. Since we are moving towards being minimalists, I decided that I would not purchase any additional books until I have read all that I own and have given them away.

    I have been purchasing my books my books on Amazon for the last couple of years just of the sake of convenience. But I love sitting in Barnes & Nobel for hours–both working a bit on my laptop and also browsing books. I will consider buying them locally when I find a store that did not close its doors due to the pandemic. 🙁

    • Elisa
      May 30, 2021 at 7:05 pm (12 months ago)

      I highly recommend Bird by Bird. It has given me a lot of confidence and strategies for writing. Good for you for reading your own books before you buy others. I find that there is a reason I bought those books, and it has been a joy to rediscover what I already have on my shelves. Hope you find a good independent bookstore nearby.

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