I know June’s already two weeks old and I’m late with this – but better late than never, right? Right!
Okay so, let’s wrap up last month’s reading, shall we?
Let’s also keep using worn-out uncool proverbs! Like this one: In German, there is a saying that can be roughly translated into “May makes everything new” (German: Alles neu macht der Mai).
For me, this saying has never been more truthful! These past weeks marked the beginning of a whole new job and the end of my life as a bookseller.
If you’ve read my last post you already know that because of that I was anticipating a change in my reading behaviour.
I actually think that this change has already become fairly obvious in the reading choices I made in May. I returned to the more obscure, the sometimes even weird. I read what I ABSOLUTELY WANTED to read and did not consider the selling potential of the book I chose, or the actuality of the subject. I simply read what I felt like. Admittedly, I still feel the pressure of my TBR but that’s a problem we all have, right?
(Please say yes…)
So, let’s have a look at what I read in May!
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
3 out of 5 stars
This was a fairly interesting non-fiction read. Ronson explores the world of mental illness with the premise that there’s a lot more madness to be found in our society than we might want to believe or might want to notice. The reader is taken on a trip from elaborate hoaxes played by scientists on their peers to a list of traits that determine if someone is, in fact, a psychopath. I liked Ronson’s conversational style and the fact that sometimes his book reads more like a novel or a travel log.
I only gave three stars because it got a bit too rambly and it lacked a narrative structure. Though each chapter was interesting by itself, I never knew where he was going with the whole of it. An introductory and a concluding chapter might have helped with this. Still an intriguing read if you want to know about the psychopaths among us.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
2 out of 5 stars
This is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. And I’m sad to say, not a really good one. Tyler manages to turn Shakespeare’s comedy into a boring mess of flat characters making weird decisions. I can’t imagine what she does when left to her own devices, without source material to work off of, but this was blah if you don’t mind me putting it that way.
Want a great retelling of this play? Watch 10 Things I Hate About You instead, and that’s all I have to say about this.
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
2 out 5
I sense a theme for the month of May: A great premise made into something so boring it’s barely readable.
This one is set in the Victorian Age in a fantasy world that might as well be England. It is about a female scholar who fights her way into the scientific field of researching dragons!
Female hero! Feminist goals! Victorians! Dragons! And that glorious cover! This must be the perfect book!
These were my thoughts when I read the synopsis. Alas, Brennan manages to tear all of it apart with her utterly boring story telling. Almost nothing happens! And in those rare moments when the plot is actually advancing, there’s no thrill or suspense to it because the narrator (telling her own life story) is so far removed from the events! The reader already knows that the main character is going to survive it all and become a well-known dragon expert, so we simply trudge along and hope for something exciting to happen. Something that simply doesn’t.
I am so disappointed by this. Since this is a five-part series I actually might give Brennan another chance and read the second instalment but only because the cover and illustrations inside the book are so goddamn gorgeous!
Schatten by U. Poznanski
5 out of 5 stars
This is part for in an Austrian crime series centred around police detective Beatrice Kaspary. I’m not going to go into detail about it. I’m only going to say that this is Poznanski’s best one yet and if you want to read it you should definitely read the whole series and start at the beginning! I read this in one sitting! A fun and absolutely thrilling read!
So… four books!
I think it’s been quite a while since I read a book a week.
Since I’m moving soon, June and July are going to be rather slow, reading-wise. But I feel like I’m back on track and even though most of last month’s books were not as great as I’d hoped, I’m glad to have chosen them all on my own. 😉