Feeling Hopeful Towards the Future – My May Wrap Up

Posted June 7, 2021 by Amber in Checking In / 0 Comments


Hello loves and welcome to another monthly wrap up, where we talk all things books, reading, and writing in the month of May!  As you all know, April was a tricky month for me – I took a hiatus during April, for starters.  In watching my stats over the last couple years as well, I’ve found April to be a low reading month.  I always feel relieved in May when things start to look up a little, you know?  And they definitely looked up this year!

Even though things aren’t “normal” still in the world, I have more hope for this year.  I try to find silver linings in things and I like to think that 2020 made enough of a difference in the hearts of enough people that maybe, just maybe, humanity’s course has shifted a little towards compassion and positive action.  Even i it’s just been one step out of the shadows… that makes a difference.  And that (perhaps naive) hope is the mood I’m riding on as I write this post.

All the things I’ve been reading

May’s reading started off slow, if I’m being honest.  Not bad, just slow.  I was still reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which remains a book I enjoy.  However, like I said last month, it’s a long and complex novel and I read it slowly.  Despite that, I did well in physical reading and audiobooks.  And there were a lot of heavy books.

9 books found
Ain't I a Woman by bell hooks


American War by Omar El Akkad



Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan


Exit Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnson


Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl


The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna


The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring




This month, I leaned toward emotional and challenging books.  This is a change for me, but I read a lot more literary stuff in May.  I favored slow-paced books that were between 300-499 pages, and I read both fiction and non-fiction this month.  My most read genre in May was young adult, with contemporary and mystery coming in second and third.  My average rating was 3.98 stars, which is actually pretty good this month!

For all the hardcopy books I read, Illusive was probably my favorite.  I know that doesn’t show in the above list because the review didn’t drop on the blog until June 4th, but I really enjoyed it and it was nice to read a superpowers story that felt more popular with a setting that felt somewhat relevant.  My favorite audiobook in May was far and away They Both Die in the End, which was also my overall favorite book last month!

Readathons & Reading Challenges

I read my four books in May!  I’m always pleased when I hit my hardcopy reading goal.  Even though its been the same goal for years, depending on the books and the events of any particular month, I often don’t read four… so hooray for May!  I did!

4 books found
Exit Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnson


Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones


Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl


The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna


These books surprised me a little because I ended up keeping ones that I though I would get rid of (Exit, Pursued By a Bear) and getting rid of ones I really thought I would keep (The Gilded Ones).  Situations like these make me appreciate why it’s important to try books out of your normal comfort zone because you never know when you’re going to love something… and unfortunately what will disappoint.

Psych Reading Challenge

With the month of May, the Psych Reading Challenge has come to an end.  In reading both Exit, Pursued By a Bear and Illusive I’ve completed the challenge!  Huzzah!

? #10. Exit, Pursued By a Bear – Interim Chief Vic
? #15. Illusive – Psych Man and Magic Head

Total Pineapples: ???????????????

With that, this section will be phasing out of my weekly wrap up, as I don’t think I’m going to do another reading challenge this year and I want to focus on reading through my hardcopy, which is my never ever ever ending quest.

Magic and Mischief on the Blog

I’m still writing posts, I’m dragging myself forward on the blog!  I know that doesn’t sound great, but I promise, it’s a lot better than I’ve been most of the rest of the year.  I haven’t been doing my backlog tasks, but I’m slowly climbing back up the mountain.

The only change here – a minute one – is that I added Sara Faring to the Problematic Authors page.  Not a big update, but yet another author on the list.  I know I have another one to add for June – for once I’d just love a month where I didn’t stumble upon a book with an author who has done, said, or written something hurtful.

In Other News: I'm Back, Baby (& a Bit of a Personal Check In)

Writing Thoughts: How Word Counts Can Be Toxic to a First Draft

From Page to Screen: Moxie

Book Talk: Magic Must Have Consequences

Adventures in the real world!

Um, so, exciting life things in May!  I think I already mentioned that our Greece trip is ON for July?  If I haven’t… it is!  But beyond that, completely unexpectedly… our Alaska cruise resurrected itself.  I had completely written off the trip, never expecting that the Alaska Tourism Recovery Bill would be passed.  But it has and I am so excited to be going to Alaska on the beautiful Norwegian Bliss in September.  We’ll be up there around the time of the aurora borealis, so I’ll be tracking that and hoping for an opportunity to see the northern lights.

In fact, travel is heavily unrolling in the second half of the year.  Expect a lot of travel posts, weekly from about August to next April.  Yup, after a year and a half of nothing… travel content is going to explode on this blog.  We will be taking so many precautions – masks and tests on top of our vaccines – but I have never been so ecstatic to see the world.

What’s Coming Next?

Once again I’ve managed to put together a whole month’s worth of posts – yay! I’ve got a bit of everything – bookish content, book vs. movie.  A little here, a little there.  I’m working to continue to push forward and get ahead before all the travel stuff starts to drop later this summer.

In he meanwhile, here are some (but not all!) of the books on my upcoming hardcopy TBR.

3 books found

There’s a good variety of genres in my upcoming TBR, though I’m missing some historical fiction and science fiction in hardcopy.  Fortunately, I’ve got that in audiobook format (for example, I’m listening to Zadie Smith’s Swing Time right now).

Thanks, as always, for being with me here for another month.  I know that my blog isn’t exactly blossoming at its best right now, but I’m still grateful for those of you who pop in – even if you only pp in for the Problematic Authors page.  Love you all – thanks for sticking around.


What did everyone do this month?  Did you get a lot of reading done?  Did you start on a new WIP?  Did you go on any grand (or small!) adventures?  I want to hear all about your experiences – let me know in the comments!

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