Everything I Read In May 2020

June 4, 2020 / Books

Vessel

Fiction / Science Fiction / Mystery

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

The description of this book really got me. “An astronaut returns to Earth after losing her entire crew to an inexplicable disaster, but is her version of what happened in space the truth? Or is there more to the story….” Sounds good, right?!

This novel centers around astronaut Wells, as she returns to Earth after being presumed dead for years. Upon her return, everyone is eager to learn about her mission, and what went wrong, but she has little memory of the events. Or, so she says. When Wells starts losing chunks of time (and waking up in strange places) she is desperate to get her memories back.

While this plot sounds promising, it did fall a bit short for me. The character developement felt a little off and I wasn’t able to fully connect with Wells. While it was a compelling story, I do feel like it wasn’t fully realized, to the extent I would have liked. A fun, quick read for fans of sci-fi, but not my favorite this month.

Final Score: 3/5 or C+

The Wives

Fiction / Thriller

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

The main character, Thursday, is married to a man who has two other wives. She has never met them and really doesn’t know anything about them, but she is devoted to her husband, even though she only sees him a few days a week. Throughout the course of this thriller, Thursday discovers something that causes her to questions her husband and her marriage and puts her on a path to discovering the truth about the other wives.

This novel has a lot of twists, as all great thrillers do! It is a very quick read and does keep you guessing. I felt like I needed to keep reading to find out what happens. While I wouldn’t say this is the best-written thriller I have read lately, it was compelling. There are definitely aspects that fell short for me, such as the character arch of Thursday and some of the plot points were far-fetched, but it is a great light read.

Final Score: 4/5 or B+

Red, White & Royal Blue

Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

I will preface this review by saying about 150 pages in, I almost DNF this book. It was slow for me but picked up about halfway through and I am glad I stuck with it. This book has come highly recommended via several book bloggers I follow and I was so excited to start it.

The basic premise is: “What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?” And, it is heavy on the romance (and sex). Romance is not a genre I read often, because I typically find them to be too cliche. And honestly, there was a lot of that going on here. But, it was also an uplifting story of true love and human experience.

Final Score: 3/5 or B-

In This Timeless Time: Living and Dying on Death Row in America

Non-Fiction / History

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

Wow. I am still thinking about this book. This book is a collection of photos and the stories of the men who are living on Death Row in Texas. It also explores “the convoluted and arbitrary judicial processes that populate all Death Rows.” It was illuminating for me and has me thinking about Death Row in new ways.

This book is split into three sections, the first mostly being photographs, and the last two being the stories of the men and commentary on our judicial system in relation to Death Row. “The third section, “Working,” addresses profound moral and ethical issues the authors have encountered throughout their careers documenting the Row.”

Final Score: 5/5 or A

The Illness Lesson

Fiction

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

This novel is set in 1871, and while the book description would lead one to believe it is going to be a mysterious thriller about the red birds that descend on a Massachusetts town, I found it more so to be an exploration of family ties, female experience and commentary on the way history has treated women.

Caroline and her father, have started a school for girls, on their farm in Massachusetts, when a flock of red birds appears. When the girls start exhibiting bizarre symptoms, a physician is called in. When he starts “treating” the girl’s, Caroline begins to question the all-male authority around her. She must take drastic steps to protect the girls in her school, and herself.

The writing of this book is different, and sometimes hard to follow. It is unique and has historical and feminist aspects, but I don’t think either of those points were fully realized. I think the pacing of the plot did, in some ways, take away from the author being able to fully dive into the historical and feminist themes she was trying to reach. That being said, it was an interesting novel and one that I would recommend!

Final Score: 4/5 or B

Three Women

Non-Fiction

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

I had really high hopes for this book, after seeing it talked about in such a positive light in the book blogs I follow. It is marketed as “the riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women” and I suppose that is what it is about. However, I wouldn’t say this lived up to the hype.

When I started this book, I expected that it was going to be a powerful commentary on the nature of women’s desire or at least a thoughtful analysis. What it actually is, is an accounting of the “facts.” Being that the author spent so much time with these women, I also expected that it would be an accounting of their sexual lives over time, however, each women’s story was about a specific event at one point in time of their lives. And, truly, at 300 pages, I don’t think the author has enough pages to dedicate to even one of these stories, let alone all three. I was just left thinking, “Okay?” at the end, and unsure of what I was supposed to take away from this book.

Final Score: 3/5 or C+

You Can Only Yell At Me For One Thing At A Time: Rules for Couples

Non-Fiction / Humor

What I Read in May 2020. Reading List 2020.

This short, graphic comic, doles out advice to those who are coupled up and cohabitating. While the advice is very funny, it is really the illustrations that got me with this one! While there is nothing earth-shattering in this little book, it will definitely have you nodding your head in agreement. If you just need a little humor in your day, pick this one up from your local library!

Final Score: 4/5 or A-