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May 2020 Reading Round Up

It has indeed been a breakthrough: I read seven books this month. I have been out in the sunshine but more than anything else, and this will come as no surprise, quality and variety helps. And that quality and variety including old favourites helps even more. Here’s what I read in May as I planned podcasts, supervised a couple of bunny arguments (who would have thought that stealing your sibling’s food from their mouth repeatedly would make them upset), and looked to emulate literary pleasure from those times when we all used to go outside and visit each other.

The Books

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Nicholas Royle: Mother: A Memoir – Royle looks at his childhood, brought up by his mother, and her impact on the family. A fantastic book that’s very different to a regular memoir, full of word play and literary aspects.


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Chibundu Onuzo: Welcome To Lagos – A group of individuals from very different backgrounds end up living and working together in their quest to find a better life; this leads also to the introduction of an ex-government minister and a journalist (this is simplifying it – there’s a lot going on that would need more sentences to explain). A very good book that uses its group of varied people to do what it says on the cover.

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Isla Morley: Come Sunday – The young daughter of Abbe, a woman who is struggling with her general situation, dies in an accident and Abbe has to wade through the repercussions of this whilst learning to live with her grief. An exceptional look at extreme grief and bad circumstances and the process towards acceptance and hope.

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Isla Morley: The Last Blue – 1937: a photographer and journalist travel to find out the news on the ground but instead discover a situation they could never have expected; outcast away from the town centre is a family with two young adult children whose skin is somehow permanently blue. An excellent book that fictionises a real medical event to brilliant social commentary effect.

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Shannon Stacey: Yours To Keep – Emma told her grandmother that she was engaged so that her grandmother wouldn’t worry about her when she moved to Florida, but Emma chose as her pretend fiancé a very real person who has just returned and with her grandmother on her way back for a trip home, Emma needs Sean’s help in keeping up the pretense.

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Terri Fleming: Perception – Continuing the stories of Pride And Prejudice’s Mary and Kitty Bennet, Mary, who does not expect to marry meets a young gentleman who asks her to help him catalog his father’s library; Kitty who is expected to marry, finds a prospective suitor amongst the family’s acquaintance but he’s not well thought of. A fab sequel, firmly in the vein of Austen.

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Zoë Duncan: The Shifting Pools – A woman who has pushed aside trauma from her childhood (her family were killed in war) finds the pain catching up with her; whilst this happens, a distant land called Enanti awaits the coming of a woman prophsised to aid them. A wonderful story of affects that looks at (possible) allegory in order to tell its tale.

Four new books and three older favourites. Of the new books, I think Come Sunday just about pips the others to the post – they were all pretty excellent.

I said last week that I wasn’t sure what book I’d pick up next – this morning I started Christina Courtney’s Echoes Of The Runes.

What genres are you reading at the moment?



June 1, 2020, 5:19 pm

You had a great month! I totally agree… reading a variety of genres helps. I also like deciding on the spur of the moment what I’ll read next. (so I guess it’s a good thing I don’t read for review very often) May was a good month for me, too. I’m currently reading Fantasy (Terry Pratchett), a genre I don’t dip into as often as others.

Freda Mans-Labianca

June 1, 2020, 8:27 pm

Happy June!


June 5, 2020, 3:59 pm

Wow Charlie, that is a great month’s worth of reading! I always find re-reads help in difficult times or when I have generally lost my reading mojo – Glad to see it worked for you. I also re-read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, as well as reading for the first time her debut novel, The Loving Spirit; all for Ali’s DDM Reading Week 2020. So it was all quite Gothic in my reading. 💀 Happy reading in June! 😀



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