May was glorious - the summer has finally made an appearance, bringing lovely sunny days,
thunderstorms and colourful flowers everywhere. Plus a bonus of two bank holidays! Not only did I read five books but I also submitted a story that I've been working on for ages.
This month's reads stretch across memoir, graphic novel, modern fiction and two novels set during WWII but are very different - one in London during the Blitz and another in the country, in the marshlands.
I nearly managed six books but I gave up a book this month too - I managed 150 pages but I found myself not wanting to read it, becoming bored with the characters and not feeling excited to read the book. I don't normally ditch books but I really needed too. I have some fantastic books on my shelves, screaming out to be read.
How to be Happy - Eva Woods
I read this over the first bank holiday because sometimes you need something an uplifting book fully of hope, happiness as well as a few tears. How to be Happy tells the story of Annie how has been sad for a long time and can't remember the last time she was last happy. When she becomes friends with Polly life starts to change. Polly has one hundred days to make Annie happy. Annie is convinced this is impossible but then she starts to realise that days are more bearable and happier and that maybe Polly needs her more than she thought. This is a touching read. Perfect for the summer.
The End of the Fucking World - Charles Forsman (not pictured)
Two teenagers dealing with the fear of growing up, and running away from their parents. Disenchanted with life, with echoes to Catcher in the Rye, they set off on a road trip and promises to change their lives. Full of sociopathic teenagers, angst and pain, The End of the Fucking World is a graphic novel that taps right into the fears of growing up.
Hunger - Roxane Gay
This intimate, painful yet admiring memoir, Roxane Gay tells the story of her body and how a devastating violence changes the way she views herself and others. Such a fantastic book on body image, food, the way we internally feel about our bodies, coping with being a victim of rape. An amazing, raw and honest read. I've always struggled with my body image, worrying that I had too many wobbly bits, comparing myself to others. I wish this book was available when I was younger.
Dear Mrs Bird - AJ Pearce
Sit in London during the Blitz, Dear Mrs Bird tells the story of Emmy who wants to desperately be a lady war correspondent but ends up working for a women's magazine, typing up the problem page for Mrs Bird. However, Mrs Bird doesn't want an unpleasantness on her pages yet all of the letters are pleading for help. Emmy can just sit there binning these letters - she needs to help these women asking for advice. I loved Emmy's voice in the book, and the way its full of authentic details and I didn't want to stop reading. Enduring friendships, and ordinary people dealing with extraordinary events. This is a great book.
Call of the Curlew - Elizabeth Brooks
This atmospheric book tells the story of Virginia, who in 1939, is adopted by a couple living on the of edge of marshland. Shifting sands, warnings not to venture beyond the wall, secrets spoken about behind doors. One day a German fighter plane crashes, and her adopted father does missing when out rescuing the pilot. Her new home becomes a dangerous place to live, and she will spend the rest of her lift dealing with the aftermath. Call of the Curlew will be out at the end of June, and my review will be appearing at the beginning of July as part of the blog tour for this book!
What did you read in May?