Books I read in May

I wrote this post on May 29, and the intro read…

It was a very average month for me, with four books read and a few others started. Although it feels very slow-going, I’m officially only one book behind on my goal of 52 for the year, with 20 read so far. Considering that not long ago I was only reading 20 books a year, I’m trying very hard to feel accomplished! Here’s what I read in May…

And then I closed my laptop, picked up a novel, and read the whole thing in three sittings, finishing up on May 31. SO, now I am on track and, yes, feeling accomplished!

Reading Bill Bryson in NYC

Choose Yourself, James Altucher

I saw this book on one of those lists (can’t remember where!) of books that millennials should read, particularly if they’re interested in entrepreneurship. Although that doesn’t really apply to me, I’m usually interested and inspired by these kind of reads (I read #Girlboss back in March and enjoyed it), and it was available for free through the Kindle Lending Library, so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, despite a strong start, the premise ended up being “just have an idea and then make a million dollars!” which is… more discouraging than anything else. Two stars

Crazy Rich AsiansKevin Kwan

This novel has been on my list FOREVER and I finally decided to give it a go via audiobook – my first time listening to a book that isn’t a memoir or autobiography read by the author. I was surprised that I LOVED listening to it – the reader, Lynn Chen, was incredible at coming up with unique voices for each of the characters. The story was captivating and it was so fun to learn about this world of crazy rich Asians – however embellished the book may be. I’ve already downloaded the sequel! Four stars

Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton

In my ongoing attempt to be an informed voter in this insane election year, I decided to read (listen to) Clinton’s memoir from her time as first lady. (I read her book about being secretary of state in 2014). Although I generally consider things that happened in the ’90s to be irrelevant to where our country is heading, it was definitely fascinating to learn more about things that happened when I was too young to understand. Four stars

Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, Bill Bryson

This was my first Bryson book, and frankly, I was disappointed. It was fun to read about different cities in Europe, about half of which I’ve visited myself,  but Bryson came across as whiny and privileged, and the book was more about him than about the places he explored. I’ve since heard that this is one of his less-impressive works, so I do still plan to read more, but it was a bummer of an introduction to a man who is generally considered an incredible travel writer.

Brooklyn, Colm Toibin

The winner for the month, the first time in a long time I’ve gotten so swept up in a novel that I was sneaking glances at the book whenever I could. I’m a huge historical fiction fan, and it was so fun to read about my borough (my neighborhood, even!) back in the 1950s. I really think it would be a relatable read for anyone who’s made a big move – across the world or just across the state – and wondered if it was the right choice. Highly, highly recommend. I can’t wait to rent the movie this weekend! Five stars

To keep up with what I’m reading in real time, you can follow me on Goodreads here.

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