Monday, June 4, 2012

June: A Novel Month

May was an amazing month. Spring ripened in St. Louis and has slowly turned into summer. I finished my graduate coursework and was able to spend some much-needed time with friends and family. I started my thesis with renewed vigor and energy, working under a professor I greatly admire. And I read. A lot.

May was a month of memoirs. I read some truly amazing books- really, some of the best that I've read yet this year. Then I read some that did not agree with me so much. Here is the list, in full, of books I read in May:

Haren, B. Escape From Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West (4/5)

Finch, D. The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Many's Quest to Become a Better Husband (4/5)

Winterson, J. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (4/5)

Smith, P. Just Kids (2/5)

Larson, E. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (5/5)

Strayed, C. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (4/5)

Hillenbrand, L. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (5/5)

Wiesel, E. Night (5/5)

Mahon, E.K. Scandalous Women: The Life and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women (3/5)

Brewster, H. Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First Class Passengers and Their World (4/5)

Reynolds, G. The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer (5/5)

Fisher, C. Wishful Drinking (2/5)

Beah, I. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (5/5)

Schiff, S. Cleopatra: A Life (3/5)

Armstrong, K. Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (3/5)

Bolte Taylor, J. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (4/5)

Swanson, J. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (5/5)

Siegel, E. Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for the Truth (5/5)

The venture to read memoirs in May was a lot of fun. The "memoir" section in my bookshelf now has a satisfying hole in it. Some of the books were sitting on my shelf for a few years, gently goading me and making me feel vaguely guilty (I'm looking at you, boy soldier).

So now I'm ready to do the same with June. I'm starting with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, about which I've heard amazing things. I'm also excited to read Elegies for the Broken-Hearted, the second-to-latest Dexter book, and a few others that have been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years, gently goading me and making me feel vaguely guilty (I'm looking at you, Cutting for Stone). As always, I am rapt for suggestions.

Currently Reading: Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for the Truth 

 Books read in 2012: 56


Jonathan Wilhoit said...

It always amazes me how fast you read. What's your secret?

And of the books that you gave 5 out of 5 stars, which one was your favorite?

Anonymous said...

Holy moly! You read so many, and not cheesy romances!
I have the boy soldier book on my shelf too, it has been there a couple of years and it should be dusted off. Glad to see you gave it a good rating...maybe it will be sooner rather than later...hope June is just as fruitful :)

Ryan said...

I read A Stroke of Insight. I was mesmerized by her account of her stroke and the immediate aftermath but the last two thirds of that book lost. Too self-help-y, touchy-feely.

Also, i am humbled by your reading speed.

Tiffany Price said...

Congrats on finishing your coursework and good luck with the thesis.

Erin Seals said...

Jonathan: "Unbroken" and "In the Garden of the Beasts" were definitely my favorite two books of the month. They took my breath away.

Ryan: I completely, completely agree with you about "A Stroke of Insight".

Thanks guys :)

Barbara said...

Congrats on finishing your coursework and on reading so many books - you must be a very fast reader.

Ethan said...

Congrats on all of your accomplishments! With summer finally here, I too am looking at reading some of my shelf dwellers.