I didn’t finish as many books this month, but I am currently reading five books, so next month should even things out. I read five books this month, which gives me a total of 45 this year, which is on track for reading 100 by December.
Let’s take a look at what I read in May…
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
An incredibly well-known poet, Rupi Kaur made her writing known by her self-published book of poetry, Milk and Honey (2014). I do own both of her books, but I read this one first because the cover was nicer. (I know, I know, that’s ridiculous.)
Rupi Kaur’s poetry is quite different to poems I usually read. They hold a different rhythm that doesn’t feel quite natural. Most of them are also quite short, and very quotable; they float around Instagram because of this.
I did want to like this book more than I did, but I also think I need to read it again, because I didn’t actually connect with most of the poems. Themes include her culture and what life was like for her parents and her younger years. I’d love to grasp more of what she’s trying to convey.
My rating: 3/5 stars
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Despite being translated, this memoir is easy to read and flows from page to page. At the end of each chapter I had to keep going, which resulted in me reading this in one weekend.
A memoir about Haruki Murakami’s journey as he began running at age 33. This book was fascinating in the dedication he has to life. He runs every day for an hour or more (sometimes 3 or 6 hours), waking up with the sun and writing habitually. In between writing novels he participates in marathons, which I find incredibly, incredibly motivating; he makes sure to do at least one a year. Not that I’m drawn toward such serious running, but there is a certain appeal about the whole thing.
I like the way he correlates running with writing, and though there are no great revelations or pieces of advice, there is so much to learn through this book as you read his experiences in both.
I also appreciate the way the author approaches the topic. He’s very humble and matter-of-fact about his life without pushing anything onto the reader. He doesn’t tell you to run, doesn’t tell you to exercise like he does. He doesn’t tell you that his routine is the best; he simply writes about his life experience and how running has become a contemplative part of daily routine.
This book is rich, and I think I will always be able to go back and read through the pages.
My rating: 5/5 stars
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
It’s funny; I’ve rated this book 4 of 5 stars, but in truth it didn’t stand out to me as a great book; it didn’t meet my expectations.
A few things I appreciate about this novel: the chapters alternated between Leon’s point of view and Tiffy’s. They had incredibly different ways of thinking and speaking, which I’m impressed by because it’s hard to do.
The storyline was much deeper than it could’ve been. It sounds like a fluffy novel – which it definitely has aspects of – but the characters have much more to them than what first appears, and the thought that went into the plot is evident. The characters have real problems to overcome, and the author hasn’t shied away from discussing them.
I’ve given this book 4 of 5 stars for the techniques used, and the way this novel has impressed me. While it hasn’t stood out as a brilliant novel, 3 stars doesn’t feel like enough.
I may read this again in a few months and see how I find it then, but no promises.
My rating: 4/5 stars
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Milk and Honey isn’t for everyone. The world seems divided; those who love the short poems of Rupi Kaur, and those who don’t.
I don’t know if I love them or not.
Regardless, I admire Kaur’s honesty, vulnerability, raw feelings on the page. I admire her for writing about difficult things, I admire her for self-publishing this book regardless of reception. And because of this I’m going to give it 5 stars. I did also ‘enjoy’ this book more than her other poetry book, and found these words resonated more with me.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Model Undercover: London by Carina Axelsson
Alright, before we jump into this review, I know that I’m a bit older than the typical audience for this book. But I was at the library, and the other books I borrowed are heavier, so I wanted something to break them up.
Even though I could tell this was aimed at teenagers, I was impressed by the writing. The first person narration was worded very simply (the term “Arghhh!” was definitely overused), but the story itself was good. About a model who works as a detective, the case went deeper than I was expecting. It wasn’t Sherlock Holmes, but I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to end.
This novel was very easy to get through – I read it in a day – but it wasn’t a bad way to spend my time.
My rating: 3/5 stars
There are a few days left of May, but I’m not feeling hopeful about what I can read in this time; I’m slowly getting through many, many things, but it’s definitely taking a while. I’m making my way through the entire ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’, which I haven’t been reviewing, and I’ve also just started the ‘Finnikin of the Rock’ trilogy, which I will review next month.