Goodbye and Good Riddance To May, Bring On June…

I won’t lie to you, May was a wonderful month for going off and doing lots of lovely things and seeing lots of lovely people, it was an absolute devil for books and blogging though. Seriously, one of the worst months that I have had, if not ever then certainly in the time that I have kept this blog. I read 3 and a half books, which isn’t dreadful but one of them was, so much so that it almost killed my every waking desire for books. The struggle to finish it was real and it then made me very, very book bolshy for the rest of the month. Isn’t it awful when that happens? Thank goodness then for having still got some of Christos Tsiolkas’ short stories left which saw me back on track after the two weeks of very real fictional fury.

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It wasn’t just a lack of books being read that bothered me, it was also the lack of books being reviewed. I reviewed two last month, TWO! I feel ashamed to call myself a book blogger. The additional nightmare to that is that I have about twenty or more outstanding (and I don’t mean in a good way) reviews that I would like to share with you. I think it is going to have to be a case of separating the good, the bad and the mehing ugly and doing some round up posts, or maybe its a case of just having some up my sleeve when I have months like May in the future where I can’t blog as much as I would like? I’ll think on that, there will be some coming though which is nice, hopefully.

The month wasn’t all dreadful for book related things, I got to interview Charlotte Wood for You Wrote The Book, which you can hear here, about The Natural Way of Things which was one of my books of the year last year and you all need to read if you haven’t. It is out in the UK on Thursday, buy it or I am afraid I will have to do something nasty, like kill this blog or something – this is not an idle threat. Well, maybe slightly, just like the person writing this post. Ha. I have also dipped my toe tentatively back into the world of Booktube, you can have a gander here but I will be wanging on about it in more detail soon. Speaking of booktube though I have noticed that two (of my many new) favourite people on YouTube, both David of The Poptimist and Peter of Peter Likes Books, have said in their wrap ups they too have had dreadful months. Maybe something is in the air? Bring on June!

Before we get rid of May completely though, how has it been for you? Have you had some kind of pre-Summer slump or are you hurtling through books like there is no tomorrow? What have you been reading and loving, or indeed loathing? What else has been going on? Come on, time to check in and let me know how you all are, what has been happening, what you have been reading or buying as well as any other news. Ta ducks.

*The book in question was Muriel Barberry’s The Life of Elves, which having the quote ‘beguiling fairytale’ had me at hello when the initially nice but soon very pushy freelance publicist contacted me. However when I then read the full review, after the book took two weeks of fighting to finish, I discovered that was a very choice quote. I was furious. Why do publishers do this, actually that could apply to the pushy thing too. Anyway.

12 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

12 responses to “Goodbye and Good Riddance To May, Bring On June…

  1. Thank goodness for sample chapters – I jumped on The Life of Elves (because I loved Hedgehog and The Gourmet) but, by the end of my sample chapters I knew it wasn’t to be… How does an author who has written such wonderful books write such a bomb? Are we all missing something?

  2. Sorry you had a rubbish month for books. Luckily you’re onto a winner with The Essex Serpent!

  3. I have been in a complete slump on my blog. I think a wrap up on your 20 books would be good. At least we would hear about them. Then start fresh. Think how good you’ll feel. 🐈🐈🐈

  4. I loved The Life of Elves! I knew from page one it’d be one of this year’s most marmite books though.🙂

  5. David

    Worry not, Simon – sometimes life and work and stuff just gets in the way of reading. Happens to the best of us. Thank goodness for my strict routine of reading a short story each morning when I get up, otherwise I’d have got through hardly any books so far this year, never mind in the past month.

    I’ve been working on a children’s book for the last nine months that is eating up every hour of every day so if I can get through two novels a month I’m doing well. In May I read Barry Hines’ classic “A Kestrel for a Knave” (loved it) and Chris Cleave’s “Everyone Brave is Forgiven” (great fun, with some different perspectives on WW2). As a result of all this though, I’ve discovered audiobooks – being read to whilst working is actually really conducive to concentrating on the task at hand if the story is compelling and not too demanding and the narrator good. So far I’ve listened to ten Michael Morpurgo novels (almost uniformly brilliant, especially “War Horse” and “Alone on a Wide Wide Sea”) and am currently in the middle of listening to David Suchet narrating (and doing all the voices!) Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile”. Funny: I hate Poirot on telly – I find it mind-numbingly slow – but on audio the hours are just whipping by.

  6. May was a slow-reading month for me too. I have two recommendations: one to read, and one to avoid. The former is “The One-in-a-Million Boy” by Monica Wood (the author’s ability to sustain different character voices is amazing), and the latter is “We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to be French” by Emma Beddington (over-hyped, to my mind, and basically just a big long whinge).

  7. I don’t think you need to feel ashamed to only have done two reviews, I’d rather read two of your wonderful posts than ten that you felt forced to write🙂 Glad that May was only bad in terms of blogging and that otherwise you’ve has a lovely time.

  8. I’ve just read a book called Loving Le Corbusier by Colin Bisset. It’s told from the point of view of Yvonne Gallis who was the wife of Le Corbusier, the architect. She was a very down to earth Monaco girl and Colin gets a great deal of humour from the gap between a man who would put a bidet next to a dressing table and put a bed on one meter high metal legs and Yvonne who was not very impressed by such goings on! The moral of the book is perhaps steer clear of visionaries. For research I’m reading Adam Hochschild’s book on American involvement in the Spanish Civil war – it’s excellent. Oh and I picked up a proof copy of The Natural Way of Things in a 2nd hand bookshop because I read your review so … don’t let the elves get you down ….

  9. Oh I hate months like that when I get reading-stuck, and giant boo to pushiness all round. Here’s to a June of fab books!

  10. I’ve read next to nothing in May, too.
    Reassured that you liked Christos Tsiolkas’s short stories. I’ve read all of his work but am not very keen on short stories. May have to get over myself there.
    Just finished a netgalley treat, “The Facts of Life” by Patrick Gale. Not bad at all🙂

  11. chatebooks

    Looking forward to more interesting book titles this month! With a long list of book releases coming up, I might break out of my reading comfort zone.

    ChatEbooks recently posted https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-Writing-a-Book-5-Tips-on-Creating-Your-Own-Writing-Sanctuary

  12. My book reading has slowed down as well. I have been struggling to find the time. I gave up on The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas and currently reading The Lie Tree. I did buy The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon. I don’t usually like short stories but keen to give them another go and I do like Mark Haddon as a writer.

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