Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May Books

Can you believe that reading wasn't my jam growing up?! Clif Notes were my best friends in high school - I'd "read enough" to get by for a paper or test, but other than that I did not enjoy the act of reading so never did it... like ever. Maybe I wasn't reading things that held my interest or maybe it was because it was "required" so I didn't find it enjoyable, but whatever the reason, I'm glad I challenged myself to add the goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (which turned into 88 books in 201777 books in 201867 books in 201966 books in 2020 and 67 books in 2021). In the last year or so, especially since going back to work outside of the house full-time, the majority of my "reading" has been through audiobooks since I don't have as much time to sit and read physical books (not to mention I walk to work and walk on my lunch break so have two-ish hours a day I can listen to something). Even still, holding a physical book is the bomb diggity and I hope to get back to adding more reading vs listening. Just like in years past, writing a monthly recap of the books I get through is a great way for me to both record what I'm reading and to stay accountable. So here are the books I finished in May:

  • Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune - I was so excited when I saw this book hit my Hoopla app. TJ's previous book, The House in the Cerulean Sea, was one of my favorites that I read last year and is on my short list of my favorite books ever. I have been wanting to check out this new one for months now, but it hadn't been available as an audiobook and I realistically haven't had time to read a physical book recently. All that to say I was stoked to finally give this title a listen. Truth be told, because I loved The House in the Cerulean Sea so much, I probably had unrealistic expectations for this one, but I am happy to report I really enjoyed it. I know some folks have said they like this one better, but I think I still prefer The House in the Cerulean Sea. This one is definitely awesome and kept me interested the entire time, but I think I liked the "subject matter" of the previous one better. Although the genre is not normally my go-to, I still enjoyed the book immensely. I would say that it felt a little predictable, but who doesn't love more of a happy-ever-after ending, #AmIRight?! Here's to hoping that TJ puts out another book sooner rather than later ;) I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Dolly Parton, Songteller - I'll be honest, I haven't been super inspired by the books I have saved in my Hoopla app. I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but I actually didn't finish ANY books in April! I still scroll through the app frequently to see if something catches my eye, but for the past 6 or so weeks I haven't been excited by what I see. I thought I'd change it up a bit and go for more of a biography this go around and picked one my Dolly (she also reads the audiobook, which is awesome!). #RealTalk I am not much of a country music fan, so I don't know a ton of songs that Dolly sings, but this book is not only about the songs she sings, but also about the songs she writes, her creative process, those people who have shaped and impacted her music, etc. I definitely walked away with a deeper appreciation for this woman than when I started. Also, I sort of LOVE that when she's talking about a song she often will say it's her favorite. I don't even know if she realized she was saying it every time. Obviously they can't all be her favorite, which is why it made me smile every time she said it. (Although, she described her songs sort of like her kids - you love them all even if they aren't perfect ;)) Note: if you are interested in this one, I'd totally recommend listening to the audiobook if possible because it plays a portion of the song she is talking about at the time. Also, Dolly's voice just makes me smile! It "reads" more like a long interview than I was expecting, but it kept me engaged and smiling the entire time (with a career as long and successful as Dolly's, she definitely has some stories to tell). I would give it a 8.5 out of 10.

With that, May has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list! 

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What's the best book you've read lately? 

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