Books I Read in May

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I wasn’t completely sure that I would finish three books this month. I got off to kind of a slow start, and spent more time watching TV at night. Specifically Dancing With the Stars and The Voice.  (I was fully on Team Meryl and Maks, so I’m super excited.)

Anyway… I did finish three books! The long weekend helped and then the lack of decent summer TV also helped. I spent a lot of nights on our porch under the ceiling fan devouring these books. My reviews this month are a little mixed, so read ahead!

Books I Read in May

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

This is the book that made me feel most conflicted. I liked it. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see the movie. But I also didn’t like any of the characters. But they’re flawed and they’re real. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments in this book, and quite a few times I gave the book to Todd to read a few paragraphs that had me in stitches. I love that this book gave me a strong reaction to the characters and it would be impossible not to recommend someone read it just because it was so wildly entertaining. This is not a story of a lovey dovey family. This family is full of secrets and eyebrow-raising moments. But I just couldn’t stand the characters. I’m not really even sure what to say about that. Did I like it or not? I guess I should had a strong reaction to it, and that’s a good thing.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Oh my goodness. This book stirred some emotions in me, too. I didn’t cry, but I felt so sad for both of the characters. I loved them and how well-developed they are. This book tells the story of two teenage misfits who develop an unlikely relationship. It’s set in the 80s, so there are some fun references there. I highly recommend this one just because of the great character development. I’m hoping for a sequel, and I saw that DreamWorks picked up the rights to the movie.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

This was my favorite book I read all month. Goodness, this book tells a tragic story of love, of loss, of disease, and jealousy. But it’s also a great coming-of-age book, and it had some really beautiful moments of healing and forgiveness and friendship. I really enjoyed it!

*Some people have asked what my top reading recommendations are for beach reads for the summer. You can look back at what I’ve read so far this year, but my top 3 beach reads so far are What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and now Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. (If you haven’t read these, go ahead and do it!)

 Books I Read in February

Books I Read in March

Books I Read in April

In June, I plan to read The One and Only by Emily Giffin, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, and something nonfiction. Any nonfiction recommendations?

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  1. says

    Eleanor & Park was so sweet and heartbreaking. I loved it. Just finished This Is Where I Leave You and agree that the characters are flawed and at times, unlikeable. But I really enjoyed the book. I can’t wait to see the movie either – though I would have cast some of the rolls differently. In my head, the mom was Stockard Channing, not Jane Fonda.

    If you’re looking for a good nonfiction read, I really enjoyed Brain on Fire, about a young journalist who developed a brain infection which presented like mental illness. Very interesting! Also, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail alone. Based on the descriptions, these may not sound like the most exciting books but I had a hard time putting both of them down.

  2. says

    Eleanor & Park was one of my favorite reads last year! You should pick up FanGirl by the same author — it’s fantastic. I looooooved This is Where I Leave You! I thought the characters were very real and deliciously messy.

  3. says

    I read The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan last month and really liked it. Maybe try that one for nonfiction.

    I am definitely putting Tell The Wolves I’m Home on my reading list!

  4. says

    i LOVED this is where i leave you, and can’t wait for the movie! i immediately read everything else tropper has written. such a big fan!

    i just read the dog stars, and it blew me away. highly recommended! and i just downloaded tell the wolves to read on vacation (going to europe on monday!).

  5. Keisha Dawson says

    You’re keeping my “To Read” list full, and I love it! I read What Alice Forgot this month, and I couldn’t put it down! Such a great read. I’m currently reading The Fault in our Stars, and I’m really enjoying it. Next on my list is Unglued by Lisa TerKeurst. I have this one for over a year and haven’t opened it. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it, and I know it’s time to read it.

  6. Valerie says

    Where do you get the ideas for what you want to read during the month? I’ve honestly started just taking your recommendations because I end up liking them so much. Ha, you’re like my very own bestseller list!

    • says

      Hey Valerie! Sometimes I just browse the best seller lists or look around at Barnes and Noble. I’ll pick up other books by authors I’ve read before or get suggestions from other bloggers and friends.

  7. says

    I loved Wild as well for a non-fiction read. Also, the Way of Boys is amazing and I think you would devour it in days. It’s such a good read into the minds of boys and how they operate differently than girls and how that changes over their lifespan. I cannot say enough good things about it.

  8. Mary says

    Adding all of these to my list! I just finished “the witness wore red” about a woman who escaped the warren Jeffs “camp” and testified against many of its leaders. Very interesting. I would probably give it a 3.5-4 rating.

  9. Kelly says

    I’m a voracious reader and can’t stop….my suggestions are:

    The Secret Keeper (loved it so much)
    The Orphan Train (loved)
    Defending Jacob (loved loved loved)
    The Pecan Man (loved)

    I am so very happy when I find a great book. I think about it for days. I savor it.

    Summer reading the is best…..well, so is winter reading by the fireplace.

    • says

      I read Defending Jacob last month and loved it. I have started The Secret Keeper but I’m having trouble getting into it, but I think I’ll come back to it. I have the Orphan Train on my nightstand. Can’t wait to read it!!

  10. says

    I started both the first two you mentioned, but just didn’t give them a chance I suppose. I did just start Plan B by Tropper. Maybe I’ll venture back to the others (I also started The Fault in Our Stars and was worried it was a little too sad, but it was such a easy read – sucked me right in). If you have interest in a biography – Walt Disney by Bob Thomas was really interesting – I read it a loooooong time ago but it has always stuck with me.

  11. Megan P. says

    My most recent non-fiction reads that were unputdownable:

    1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
    2. Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
    3. A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

  12. Brenda C says

    I just started “Mrs. Kennedy and Me”. It’s written by Jackie Kennedy’s secret service agent. Its been really good so far.

    Are you going to start up the bookclub again? I so enjoyed it.

  13. Stephanie says

    I have loved your monthly book reads!! They inspire me to try books that are different than I would have picked! I’ve read 6 books so far in May and am currently reading “The Husband’s Secret”. I read “Defending Jacob”, ” Where’d You Go Bernadette.”, and ” What Alice Forgot” this month since you recommended them from April. ” What Alice Forgot” was my favorite! I enjoyed the characters, and it really made me think about how I treat others. Would I like myself 10 years later. ” Defending Jacob ” was so explosive. I couldn’t put it down. The language was a little much for me though. Keep up the book recommendations!! You are darling!

  14. says

    I just finished Brain on Fire and it was very interesting – check it out if you haven’t already. Also finished up Sharp Objects and it was good, but dark. Loved Fault in Our Stars and Where’d You Go Bernadette too!! Can’t get into The Cukoo’s Calling yet. Have you read Jobs? That’s a great biography. I know – I’m random. 😉

  15. says

    I didn’t care for Emily Giffin’s new book, The One and Only. It was okay, but there was a relationship that was disturbing to me. I was just really disappointed with it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it! I am reading the sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, Goldfinch, The Selection, and reread The Giver before the movie comes out.

  16. Jodybelle says

    I highly recommend Dr. Ben Carson’s biography, Gifted Hands. He is an amazing doctor and a gracious and humble man. I found his book by accident years ago when Catie was recovering from one of her surgeries at Johns Hopkins in a Walgreen’s while I was picking up medicine. Could not put it down! He’s now retired and is on the political scene as a potential to run in 2016. I think you would like his perspective on family and his relationship with his mom. His book made me wish I could meet her too! The firsts as a neurologist are simply amazing.

  17. says

    I’m so glad you were able to check all 3 off of your list! Hooray for ticking off one more box on the power Sheets 😉 xo

  18. says

    I love, love, LOVE Jonathan Tropper books. You should try another! You’ll probably be equally conflicted, but I promise you won’t be able to put any of them down.

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