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Monday, 2 June 2014

May: What I Read, What I'm Reading

Flipping 'eck, the months are just rocking by in 2014 aren't they?  It's terrifying, really.  It's actually been quite a busy month for me, heralding my valiant attempt to get up and start living again after my months of crippling depression.  The sun's finally started shining after the long damp winter, and I've been outside on a sunlounger every day it's been warm enough, absorbing Vitamin D and relaxing.  Here on the blog, life has been quiet, although I did take part in the Bout of Books 10 readathon, managed the first three weeks of posting for the Lady Audley's Secret readalong, and had an afternoon of book shopping and beverage imbibing with Hanna

I'm just... not feeling the whole 'writing about what I'm reading' thing at the moment.  It's actually been quite liberating.  For the first time in YEARS, I'm reading books without stopping to scribble notes and page numbers on a piece of paper every five minutes!  My reading is more eager, knowing that I don't have to write a book report before I can fully commit to my next read.  I guess after everything that's happened, I'm just enjoying reading in the moment, living in the moment, sunbathing in the moment, without worrying about sharing these experiences online immediately afterwards.  HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I can't share the love at the end of each month, does it?  :)
  
 
~ What I Read ~

Life Support
by Tess Gerritsen
This is my second taste of Tess Gerritsen's medical thrillers, and although it didn't live up to Bloodstream (which I read and reviewed back in 2011), I still really enjoyed it.  I think part of my disappointment stemmed from the poor blurbing, to be honest.  It was made out to be a kind of bio-weapon imminent-epidemic novel (at least, that's how I read it) whereas it's actually far more contained and subtle than that.  It's more about medical ethics and the pursuit of youth than anything.  That said, it was still veeeery creepy in parts, outright shocking in others, I liked the characters, and it definitely kept me glued to the pages enough that I finished all 460-ish of them within a couple of days.  3.5 stars, tentatively recommended.
 
 
Bossypants
by Tina Fey
I'd initially decided not to bother with this book, even though it sounded funny, because I haven't really seen any of Tina Fey's work and I thought that might exclude me from great swathes of what she was writing about.  Then I read Charlotte's audiobook review and decided to give the paper version a try after all.  The blurb on the back made me laugh, which seemed to bode well!  Happily Fey has the same knack - like Caitlin Moran and Charlie Brooker - of making her writing accessible and hilarious even when the reader hasn't seen the sketches or shows being referenced, and I ended up really enjoying the insight into things like photoshoots and TV production, even when I wasn't familiar with the end results.  There's also plenty about TV comedy, family and being a woman in the public eye, which I found thought-provoking and relatable even as it was making me smile.  An easy, interesting and very enjoyable read for the summer, 4 stars!
 
 
Damned
by Chuck Palahniuk
Although this still hasn't topped my first Palahniuk - Rant - I definitely felt a sense of the familiar madness descending as I plunged headfirst into this novel.  Basically, Damned is the testimony of a thirteen year-old dead girl called Madison, who wakes up in a cell in Hell and proceeds to take Hades by storm, befriending a demon (and a bunch of other teenage inmates), defeating Hitler, finding she has a knack for telemarketing (one of the two career options in Hell - the other being dodgy porn webcam sites) and generally becoming a bit of a celebrity in the Underworld.  Meanwhile, we slowly piece together bits of her life and death, while Madison hunts for Satan to try to find out exactly why and how she ended up here.  It's all very bizarre, a bit gross, vaguely jumbled and occasionally shocking - and I raced through it, as usual.  I'll be reading the sequel in June!  Very tentatively recommended (Palahniuk is definitely not for everyone!) - 3.5 stars.
 
 
~ What I'm Reading ~


Yes, that's four books on the go again, ooooops.  I actually finished Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon yesterday - I only had one chapter left, plus the short essay in the back of my PEL edition - so that'll be the first title on my June wrap-up.  I'm also reading A Match to the Heart: One Woman's Story of Being Struck by Lightning by Gretel Ehrlich, which was the book I chose to topple in May for my TBR Challenge.  It's a tad purple of prose at the beginning, but already extremely interesting, so hopefully it'll turn out to be a winner.  Alongside that I randomly started reading The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort, mostly because it sounds so much fun to read, all scandal and excess.  Perfect summer reading, in other words.  I haven't seen the film yet, but I will!  And finally, I'm still slowly working my way through The Pleasures of the Damned, a collection of Charles Bukowski's poetry. 

Next up on my reading list are two library books that REALLY need to go back soon: Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk (hence reading Damned in the last week or so) and Serial Killer Investigations by Colin Wilson, a book about forensic investigation and criminal profiling.  I'm also going on holiday at the end of this month, so hopefully I'll get a few sunlounger/travel-time reads toppled that week too!


How was your reading month?  What was your favourite book of May?  And what are you reading to kick off the summer season?  Happy reading for June!
 

4 comments:

  1. Summer time is looking sunny and positive for you my lovely which I'm so happy about! Is it properly sad that I'm already really excited to read your holiday reading post? I bloody love them! I've had the same sort of month, very busy and when I'm not busy and the sun is out you can find me in the garden with my book. Here's to more of the same this Spring/ Summer!

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    1. I do hope so! And not at all - I'm a bit of a sucker for holiday reading posts, especially if they come with pictures and general summery chatter. Makes you feel sunnier if the summer rain's coming down again!

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  2. Awesome books here! I have never read Damned by Chuck P. is a great writer and always intriguing. I also enjoy most of Tess Gerritsen's novels, I highly recommend The Surgeon if you like that genre! I am currently tackling Lolita at the moment!

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    1. I looooove Chuck Palahniuk. For some reason even if I only end up rating a book of his with 3 or 4 stars, I KNOW I'll have had a fun reading experience and they definitely stick in my mind. He's an insta-buy author for me, and I always look for his books when I'm book shopping or poking about at the library. :)

      I still haven't quiiiiiite gotten around to picking up Lolita - mostly because of my library pile, oops - but I really do want to squeeze that one in soon!

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