Books, Real Life

May Wrap-Up: Goodbye and Good Riddance

So May sucked.

The Supreme Court wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Obergefell v. Hodges and Loving v. Virginia might be next.

The Buffalo and Uvalde shootings were similarly devastating.

Everyone I know is sad, mad, and scared.

I feel angry and helpless most of the time.

(I got a tattoo about it. It helped a bit.)

Small things are keeping me going: It’s Pride month now. HBO renewed Our Flag Means Death. My friend is hosting a Pride party this weekend. I downloaded a bird app. I’m almost done with school.

I hope you all are doing okay.

Time for some reading stats.

May Reading Stats

In May, I completed 34 books.

Of the books I read,

  • 67.5% were fiction
  • 23.5% were nonfiction
  • 6% were graphic novels
  • 3% were poetry
  • 41% were physical books
  • 56% were audiobooks
  • 3% were e-books
  • 12% were Young Adult
  • 62% were Adult
  • 26% were Children’s
  • 79% were new books
  • 21% were rereads

I read some gaaaaaaaay contemporary romances (apparently.)

May 2022 Genre pie chart

Because I picked up a lot of old favorites and comfort reads last month, my top moods were lighthearted, emotional, reflective, and funny.

May 2022 reading moods pie chart

I think I read a thriller or two somewhere in there.

My average rating for May was even higher than April’s! 4.11!! Things are looking up!

May 2022 Star ratings bar chart

I read several books that have become favorites..

I can’t wait to talk about them.

Notable Books

I know I said I found some new favorites.

I also read two of my least favorite books of 2022 thus far.

I read my first bell hooks book and…hated it.

I hated it so much.

The Will to Change acknowledges patriarchy and its harms…then makes women responsible for fixing it all.

The Will to Change by bell hooks

Further, it implies that men can’t find the will to change because the women in their lives don’t love them enough.

IF ONLY WOMEN HAD THE PATIENCE TO WALK MEN THROUGH THEIR OWN EMOTIONS.

(As if women aren’t already doing this and it isn’t working.)

I’ve run into this same rhetoric in Christian circles. Said communities make women responsible for managing men’s feelings and behaviors to help them grow.

(If Christ’s transformative power only manifests through women, why put men in charge?)

I never thought bell hooks of all people would corroborate these attitudes.

Since the book was published in 2004, I can sort of forgive the lack of commentary on other marginalized genders. I did start the book thinking it had been recently published. That was unfortunate.

The other book I hated was one people have been hyping left and right.

Wow, did I despise Light From Uncommon Stars.

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

With this book, I think I just didn’t click with it. I also thought some of the plotting was wonky, but that’s me.

One part really got my goat: how is it, in the age of Pops concerts and Lindsey Sterling, that Katrina singlehandedly popularized orchestral covers of pop songs?

She’s a teen who plays VIDEO GAME MUSIC on the violin! That’s unheard of!

(It is in fact not. Have you ever met a teen? Or an otaku??)

I got even ANGRIER when I learned that Katrina favored music from a video game called *ahem* NETHERTALE.

It’s a PRETTY unique game where you have to escape Hell by showing people kindness! (Ugh.)

I can’t believe I had to read about Undertale in a sci-fi novel. Will I never be free?

The introduction of not-Undertale made this book my nemesis.

Now to favorites.

Meghan and others told me I would like the second and third Brown Sisters books even more than the first.

They were correct.

I laughed nonstop during Take a Hint, Dani Brown. I fell in love with Zaf and Dani and the #Rugbae scandal.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

This book was so much fun.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown blew it out of the water.

Act Your Age, Even Brown by Talia Hibbert

We’re talking enemies to lovers with unending witty banter, lots of feelings, and not one but TWO autistic leads???

WAS THIS BOOK CREATED IN A LAB JUST FOR ME?

I laughed. I cried. I cried some more.

There were a lot of meaningful moments about work accommodations and self-worth and understanding your desires.

I adored this book.

My friend Sophia lent me the Lighthouse Family books by children’s author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Preston McDaniels.

The Lighthouse Family box set

THESE. BOOKS. SLAP.

I LOVED THEM.

Baby Tiny was my favorite character. I want to buy her egg cups and grommet beanies and other things for her to sit in.

My favorite moment came when Tiny’s brother Whistler asked a starfish what he gets up to:

“I once asked a starfish what he does all day,” explained Whistler, “and he said, ‘I solve problems.'”

“Oh,” said Cleo. “What sort of problems?”

“Well,” said Whistler, “he said to me, ‘Today it’s a mouse problem.'”

“Oh.” The octopus thought a moment. “I’m not sure,” Cleo said, “but I think perhaps he was being rude.”

This is 100% a conversation I can see having with my grandpa (he’s the starfish, obviously.)

I’m still laughing about it.

This whole series is heartwarming and fun. Pandora and Seabold take such good care of the mice children and cook them delicious food. It’s my FAVORITE.

I saw Vivek Shraya’s book of poetry even this page is white recommended on May’s blog and decided to check it out.

even this page is white by Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya’s poetry is so sharp. I love it.

I’ve been checking out her other writing, including her longform essay I’m Afraid of Men, and I’m a huge fan. She’s an amazing writer!

Oh hey, I finally finished the Twilight Saga…

…but at what cost?

Reading Breaking Dawn was a struggle.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Explain this cover to me without actually explaining it, please.

I summarized the plot for my mom during a long drive and kept interrupting myself to say, “That’s not even the worst part.”

I am begging Stephenie Meyer to stop romanticizing the more troubling aspects of Mormon culture.

The whole book bothered me and wasn’t farfetched enough to be fun.

Edward withholding sex from Bella bothered me.

Rosalie planning to essentially steal Bella’s baby bothered me.

Jacob’s POV chapters bothered me.

Oh, before I forget…IMPRINTING BOTHERED ME. WHAT IN THE ON-THE-PAGE GROOMING????

Stephenie has apparently claimed that dhampirs/hybrids/whatever like Renesmee are born with an adult’s consciousness.

So, you know. It’s okay if they end up in relationships with their father-brother-cousin-friend figures. Because they’re mature for their age.

Where have I heard that before?

I still love the first and second books for the sure absurdity of it all. I am not so sure about Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

I lied. I am sure. I don’t like them.

To end on a good note: while I’m still not reading much YA, I’m glad I took a chance on Happily Ever Afters.

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

It’s one of the best YA contemporaries I’ve read in a while, maybe ever.

I feel as fond of it as I do The Princess Diaries.

I think this book and its sequels could become YA classics.

I’m glad to see the back of May.

I hope June is marginally better.

I don’t know, though. Hope is exhausting.

Stay cool and safe out there.

4 thoughts on “May Wrap-Up: Goodbye and Good Riddance”

  1. SEE! I TOLD YOU!!! I’m so happy to hear you read and enjoyed the last 2 Brown Sisters books! Ugh they are just so good! I’m going to have to re-read them at some point!
    I don’t even know if congrats is the right word, but congrats on finishing the Twilight saga. Maybe this is why I don’t remember anything from Eclipse and Breaking Dawn… maybe they’re just so bad I block them out of mind?! I also refuse to watch the movies even though I’ve been told they’re better than the books.
    I hope you have a good June full of good readings ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“š (and hopefully the world doesn’t suck as hard, but I find the older I get the more I realize the world is just a horrible, horrible place ๐Ÿ˜•)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YOU WERE RIGHT, THEY ARE SO GOOD. Total comfort reads.
      I’m curious about the movies because I’ve seen every one except Breaking Dawn Part II and I just want to know HOW they handled all of…THIS.
      It’s…rough out there. I hope your June goes well. Also hope things get better in general.

      Liked by 1 person

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