I read a lot. Insanely a lot. But for a couple of years, between moving to a different country, university, and so on, I have been in a very long reading slump until I finished my dissertation and found the joy in reading again. It was also the year when I have done short work experience in publishing, followed by marketing internship in the same industry a couple of months later, and now, and somewhere in between I started reading a lot yet again. This year, as I find myself working in publishing permanently, I have been drawn to books even more – especially as my commute was taking around 6 hours of my day everyday… well, until lockdown started anyways.
And yet, in May, I felt like I hit a major reading slump, not being able to focus on a book for too long, and rarely getting excited about a storyline or characters. I still finished 18 books, including 1 poetry collection, 1 non-fiction book, 2 novellas, 4 graphic novels and 10 fiction books. Below are the top five books I read in May.
My Top 5 Books in May
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli / My rating: 5/5
I watched the movie based on Becky Albertalli’s book quite a while ago, and it was really good, but it took me a while to pick up this book. And I’m so glad I did it! It has been such a lovely read, with so many strong and interesting characters. As YA books come, this one has definitely been one of my recent favourites. The writing style is lovely, characters likeable for the most part (except Martin…), and the storyline believable and nice to follow. I would totally recommend this book!
This Book Will Change Your Mind About Mental Health by Nathan Filler / My rating: 5/5
This is a book I will be properly discussing separately as well because talking about mental health is so important. While Nathan Filler’s book centred mostly on schizophrenia and related mental health issues, focusing often on very personal accounts, I have found the book both informative and fascinating. And also, on many levels heart-breaking and distressing, with many of those mentioned in This Book Will Change Your Mind About Mental Health going through some terrible events.
Szafa (The Wardrobe) by Olga Tokarczuk / My rating: 4/5
This is something I need to do more, reading Polish authors and introducing them to my English friends. Olga Tokarczuk’s writing style is unique and absolutely alluring. Her books are not easy to read at moments, and you need to be in a particular mood to get completely drawn into Tokarczuk’s writing, but it’s so worth it. Szafaas many of her other pieces is very philosophical and brings about deep and interesting topics. Olga Tokarczuk is also the 2019 Nobel Prize laureate for her writing. Her best-known book Bieguni (Flights) is on my to be read list, so I’ll be reviewing it at some point this year!
Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell / My rating: 4/5
While I kind of wish I have left this graphic novel for the next Halloween period, it has been such a lovely read! It was a very lovely story following Josiah and Deja’s last day working on a pumpkin patch. It was absolutely cute and adorable, and it made me smile so many times.
Cinderella is Dead by Kallynn Bayron / My rating: 3.5/5
Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC of this book. I will be writing more about this book closer to the publication date, but for now, I just want to say that this book has been so much fun. I’m a huge fan of fairytales retellings in general, and Cinderella is Dead is a well done one. With the LGBTQ black character as the main protagonist who teams up with other strong female lead to overrule patriarchy, this book is such a timely retelling! It’s getting published in August, so keep an eye on this one!
What’s the best book you’ve read in May? Because I honestly can’t decide…