May Round-up

I read 14 books in May, 2 non-fiction, and the rest fiction.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. If you think you don’t like science fiction, I encourage you to give Willis a try. She just writes good stories. This is another time travel tale (my favorite sci fi scenario), set in Victorian England. The title comes from the Jerome K. Jerome book, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), which I am actually reading right now.

Anthem for Doomed Youth by Carola Dunn. I have finally reached the end of the Daisy Dalrymple series (until Dunn writes some more I suppose). If you like cosy mysteries, it’s a good series, but nothing too brilliant.

Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton. Another cosy mystery series that I’ve been reading for a while – this one is set in the Scottish Highlands and features a village policeman (one Hamish MacBeth). If I want a quick read that doesn’t require a lot of thinking, this series is a good choice.

Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell. I have never enjoyed another Vowell book as much as I enjoyed Assassination Vacation (which was the first of hers I read – although not the first she wrote). I do enjoy her obsessions with history, and I learned a lot about Hawaii, but this wasn’t my favorite.

Bossypants by Tina Fey. This book only made me love Tina Fey more – smart, funny, feminist, well-written and quick, amusing read. Worth all the hype.

Sidekicks by Dan Santat. Cute, well-done graphic novel about a superhero’s search for a new sidekick. Good for the late elementary school set.

A Curtain Falls by Stefanie Pintoff. This is Pintoff’s second book, and it is just as good as the first. The mysteries are set in the early 1900s in New York City, and in this one, detective Simon Ziele has to discover who is murdering chorus girls. Pintoff is a great writer and I’m happy to have discovered her. (She has a third mystery out as well, which I can’t wait for the library to get.)

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. This was our May book club book, and it was really good. I’ve never read anything by Robinson, but I enjoyed this story of two girls being raised by female relatives in a small town. The writing was beautifully lyrical and the book reminded me a little bit of Surfacing by Margaret Atwood.

Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond. This was a cute picture book by Ree Drummond (of the Pioneer Woman Cooks) about a basset hound named Charlie and the hard work he does on the ranch. As our dog is a basset hound by the name of Charlie, we of course read this to him to try to inspire him to get a job. He seemed singularly unimpressed, but I liked the book!

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. A fun graphic novel about a girl who must rescue her friend when he sucked through a vortex into Outer Space. I loved that the hero of the tale was a girl!

Swim! Swim! by Lerch. A picture book about a lonely goldfish’s quest to make a friend.

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear. This is the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series, which is sort of like the Daisy Dalrymple series (set in the same time period, also in England), but smarter. Glad to still have more books in this series!

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei 1: The Power of Negative Thinking by Koji Kumeta. I’m not really sure what to say about this manga, other than sometimes the Japanese are weird. The book is about a suicidal teacher (not just depressed, like actively trying to kill himself throughout the book), and his class of misfits, each of whom gets her own chapter (although there are appear to be boys in the class, all the misfits are girls). Maybe something got lost in translation. I didn’t think it was bad, just odd.

The Sons of Liberty, Book 1 by Alexander Lagos. Combine a superhero story with a history lesson on Colonial America, and you would get the Sons of Liberty. Through electrical experimentation, Ben Franklin’s son transfers superpowers to two runaway slaves. Slightly violent, but would certainly appeal to teenage boys.

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May Round-up