The Year in Books: May

My book for May is going to be Shoes For Anthony by Emma Kennedy.  I've won quite a few books from Goodreads recently and this is one of them.  I'm a few pages in, and so far so good.

April was a mixed bag for reading.  My book for April was Going Out by Scarlett Thomas, a recommendation from a friend.  Luke and Julie are in their mid-twenties, each with their own issues: Luke is allergic to the sun and can't leave his house, Julie is afraid of pretty much everything and won't leave her home town.  But then something happens and they, with a few friends (who also have quite a few issues) decide to go on a road trip (which takes much, much longer than it should as Julie won't drive on motorways).  It's a good story and I'm pleased I've discovered this author.

Running From Twenty Four by Shem Douglas was another Goodreads win, I loved the personal note paperclipped to the cover!  The parcel also included some bubblewrap to pop.

It's quite short at 123 pages and so I read it in a couple of sittings.  It follows one night's events and how a group of friends respond to what is happening.  There is a little twist towards the beginning with one of the characters which I really liked.  Whilst I understand why it is short, and only about twenty four hours, I would happily have read a much longer book to find out what happened next.

I'd seen lots of reviews last year about The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and had it as one of those books I'd like to read if I came across it.  I found it in a charity shop and Ben kindly bought it for me.  Definitely worth the £2 he paid as I really, really enjoyed it.  Cecilia has a happy family and a successful business and accidentally finds a letter written by her husband to be opened after his death.  Even though he is still alive, she reads it, unleashing his secret and all its ramifications.  There are a few families involved in this secret and the book follows them as they are living now, and how they are linked with the past.  Now, I freely admit to reading the ends of books when I'm only a few chapters in, and many people argue that this surely ruins any surprises the author planned, any twists and turns.  Of course it does, but I like knowing things so this is why I read the end.  (When I went to the launch night of the final Harry Potter book, I was standing in the queue to pay, reading the end to see who had survived.  A little boy behind me told me off and I promised I would keep it a secret.)  With this book, knowing what was going to happen only enhanced my enjoyment of the story as a whole.  Highly recommend!

I won a copy of A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh through Waterstones - I enjoyed Trainspotting when I read it years ago and had high hopes for this one.  Sadly, I just didn't enjoy it.  It's written in Scottish dialect (as I think all his books are?) and I just couldn't follow it.  Sometimes I have no problem reading with an accent (Shoes For Anthony I'm having no problem with reading in a Welsh accent) but this I did struggle with.  Possibly a book to come back to at a later date, but I have no room to keep books I may or may not ever read again, so it was added to a package of books and birthday presents for a friend and sent away!.

I don't like seeing a film adaptation until I've read the book, and I finally found The Fault in Our Stars by John Green in the library the other week.  A lot has been written about the film and the book, and I've seen glowing reviews as well as ohmygoodnessthisbookisawful reviews.  I, for one, loved it.  It focuses on two teenagers who are trying to cope with being teenagers, falling in love, managing friendships, worrying about the future, and having cancer.  I'm not someone who cries at books but I admit this did bring a tear to my eye once or twice.  

I first read an Agatha Christie book when I was travelling in South America and my reading options were limited to the books available on swap shelves in youth hostels.  I can't remember which one it was, but it was a standalone book.  I think.  Anyway, I liked it.  I read Murder on the Orient Express a while ago and enjoyed that, too, so wanted to read some more by her (especially now that I'm going to be commuting a lot and want smaller books to carry on the train).  I picked They Do It With Mirrors simply because of the title.

I didn't get too far with it.  It's a Miss Marple book and I don't think I like Miss Marple.  Nothing seemed to happen. I read about a third of the book and the crime hadn't even occurred.  I asked on Instagram if people could recommend alternative titles and the consensus seemed to be to try the standalone books.  I have a few suggestions so I'll see if my library has them.  

A varied month of reading!  Some space has been cleared on the bookcase and borrowed books have been returned to their owners.  Although as soon as I post books, more arrive, but I guess that's no bad thing!

Joining in with Laura for The Year in Books.

Also joining in with Rosalilium for Blog Every Day in May.  I'm already off-topic!


  1. Ooh I won Shoes for Anthony as well on GoodReads! I'm halfway through at the moment and I'm quite enjoying it. I'm doing BEDM as well but I reckon I'll be off topic every single day; it's also my third year doing it - I must be mad! :-) xx

    1. Haha, well done for winning a copy too! I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I'm enjoying it so far.

  2. Wow, you have really good book-winning luck!

    I really like Going Out and Scarlett Thomas's novels generally. I'd recommend her (sadly fairly difficult to get hold of) Lily Pascoe trilogy of crime novels set in Cornwall.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll see if I can find them anywhere.


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