Looking back at May and forward to June

May has been a better reading month for me than April was. I read nine books, most of which I enjoyed, and have written about five of them; I’ll be posting my thoughts on the other four in the next few weeks.

The Invention of Fire The first book I read in May was a non-fiction one – Piu Marie Eatwell’s The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse. I was pleased to find that the book was as fascinating as the title suggested! I then read The Invention of Fire by Bruce Holsinger, the sequel to A Burnable Book which I read last year. Both novels are historical thrillers following the adventures of John Gower, 14th century poet and ‘trader in secrets’.

My next read was also part of a series…When Will There Be Good News?, the third in Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series. Having loved the first three, I’m now looking forward to reading the fourth book in the series.

A Country Doctor’s Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov was the book chosen for me in the last Classics Club Spin. It was very different from the only other Bulgakov novel I’ve read (The Master and Margarita) but I really enjoyed it for its humour and its insights into life in a remote Russian hospital.

thetutor Back in March I signed up for the Once Upon a Time challenge. I knew this really would be a challenge for me as the genres it covers (fairy tale, folklore, fantasy and mythology) are not ones that I often read, but I’ve finally read a book that counts – Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I won’t say too much about that book here as I’m hoping to post a review soon. I also still need to tell you about The Tutor, Andrea Chapin’s new novel about William Shakespeare. I welcomed Andrea to my blog in April to talk about her research for the novel, so it was good to have an opportunity to read the book for myself.

In the middle of May I visited Dubrovnik and this inspired me to pick up Sara Nović’s new novel, Girl at War, a book set in Croatia during the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s. Also this month, I read The Chosen Queen, the first in a trilogy of historical novels by Joanna Courtney telling the stories of three women who played an important role in the Norman Conquest. And my final May read was The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson, which I enjoyed, though maybe not quite as much as the other Ibbotson novels I’ve read.

Plans for June

As we move into June, I am in the middle of two books by two authors who are very different but both of whom I would name among my favourites: Alexandre Dumas (The Vicomte de Bragelonne) and Sharon Bolton (Little Black Lies). I want to concentrate on finishing these two books first, but I have also set myself a little challenge for June…to read the three plays on my Classics Club list. They are:

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

I struggle with plays and have been avoiding reading these, so it would be nice to be able to cross them off my list!

Another thing I would like to do in the next few months is try some of the books on Ancient Rome that were recommended to me in the comments section of my last Historical Musings post. I have compiled a list of all the suggestions which you can see here – feel free to add more!

What are you hoping to read in June?

11 thoughts on “Looking back at May and forward to June

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    I’m excited for Uprooted. From the reviews I think it’s one book I can buy in hardcover and know I won’t be sorry! So that’s one I hope I will get to in the next month or two. Reading plays always makes me want to go to the theatre — I just read The Matchmaker for Classics Club and was itching to see a good production! The good thing about reading plays is that they’re short, so you should be able to do three in a month.

    • Helen says:

      I haven’t made much progress with my Classics Club list this year, so if I can read the three plays this month I’ll feel that I’ve really accomplished something. It does help that all three are quite short! Uprooted is a great book – I received a review copy but wouldn’t have been sorry if I had spent money on it.

  2. jessicabookworm says:

    Looks like you had another good month of reading. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed The Morning Gift and I look forward to reading your thoughts on Uprooted. Happy reading in June. I am really hoping to finish The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens in June 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! I’m hoping to post my thoughts on both The Morning Gift and Uprooted this week. Good luck with finishing The Pickwick Papers in June.

  3. Tracey says:

    Totally with you on the plays. I had to do a couple of semesters on plays when I was doing my English degree. Much prefer watching them rather than reading them.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, so do I – though I suppose that’s understandable as they were written to be performed rather than read. Other than Shakespeare, I’ve read very few plays so I’ll be interested to see how I cope with the three on my list!

  4. Laurie C says:

    I have a big pile for June, and doubt I’ll get to half of them, but I’m definitely hoping to read my ARC of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry that I picked up at a library conference in May!

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