For The Love Of Books | May 2017

I managed to finish four books and start one more in May. I am super happy with my reading progress this year and am finding that it's bringing me so much joy in my everyday life and really encouraging me to slow down.  

This post is part of my monthly series " For The Love Of Books" where I track and share what I've been reading in 2017. I'm also trying to do that on Goodreads as well if you are already into that platform. My hope is to post on or near the first of each month to share what I ended up reading last month and then share what books I'm selecting from Book Of The Month (BOTM) for the next month.

Please Note // This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Today is June 1 and that means it's time for current BOTM subscribers to choose books from this month's selections. If you haven't joined yet read below for a cool joining bonus this month. 

For June's Book Of The Month I chose the following books: 

Sometimes people ask how I have my books already when most people are just choosing? I initially received a gift subscription from Katie for Christmas and started posting about it on Instagram because I was so in love with the idea of getting a book in the mail each month. After that I was contacted by their media team and invited to be part of their Ambassador program where they give me the chance to see the books in advance and they send them to me in exchange for a post when the new books become available each month.

JUNE BOTM PROMOTION // Sign up for a 3-month membership for just $10 per month.


IN PROGRESS

Currently Reading:

  • The Sisters Chase (BOTM)
  • Old Friend From Far Away:The Practice Of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg // Finding myself obsessed with books about writing memoirs right now - most likely because I was in the middle of putting together my Story Camp workshops. This one is totally speaking to me right now. Highly recommended if you are looking for some ideas for your personal writing practice. Read the bottom of this post about another memoir book I read in May. 

Started But Haven't Finished // Sometimes I start a book and get part way through and set it down for one reason or another - lately it's been that I've been more excited to read something else:


READ IN 2017

NOTE: (BOTM) means the book came from the Book Of the Month Club

JANUARY

  • You Will Know Me (BOTM) // First book from BOTM. Read it in a day and a half (suspense). Enjoyed. 
  • Lucky You (BOTM) // I remember liking this one as I was reading it but to be honest I can barely remember it now. This is why I'm trying to remember to post some short thoughts on Instagram when I finish each one. 

FEBRUARY

  • Behind Her Eyes (BOTM) // Suspense. Crazy twist. Enjoyed. 
  • Perfect Little World (BOTM) // Vacation read. Liked the change of pace on this one (had been reading more suspense). This one was a sweet little story with topics of motherhood and family and tribes of people and how things change. 
  • What Alice Forgot (Kindle) // Vacation read. Totally enjoyed this story and imagining what it would be like to experience memory loss in this way. Not suspense.   

MARCH

  • The Twilight Wife // Aaron picked this one out at Target to read while we were on vacation and I read it when he was done. I thought this one was okay - probably had something to do with the fact that I read What Alice Forgot right before this one and they both deal with memory loss (this one is more suspense).
  • The Stranger In The Woods (BOTM) // Non-fiction. This true story about a man living in the woods of Maine for almost 30 years read like a long-form magazine article. I enjoyed the break from the fiction I've been reading. 
  • Exit West (BOTM) // This one was a lot different from what I've been reading and I appreciated it for that. Different kind of narrator (omniscient) and subject matter (refugees). Glad I read it. 
  • Marlena (BOTM) // Gave this one three stars on Goodreads. I'm going to go with "like" but not "love" on this one. I kinda think, after finishing it, that it might be one that will pop up in my mind as I go about my days (so maybe it should get a better review). I enjoyed the story and she used a few writing techniques that I really liked. Sometimes it felt slow and I just wanted her to get on with the story :).
  • Pachinko (BOTM) // Seriously loved this one and am super glad I picked it up again after putting it down before our Mexico trip. Epic generational tale of Koreans living in Japan (really loved learning more about that). 

APRIL

  • Good As Gone (Kindle) // Definitely stayed interested and engaged with the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. As others have mentioned, the beginning felt stronger than the end. Felt like the author had a unique voice. Glad I read it. Three stars. 
  • American War (BOTM) // This book took me longer to read than others recently and sometimes I would forget that it was a future US civil war vs. the past civil war and I wondered more than once where in the world the story was actually heading (and was it actually heading anywhere)? There were days where I felt like I was making myself read it - which I don't always don - but for some reason I wanted to keep reading. There was a certain point in this book, probably more than halfway through the story, where I realized that this was an exceptional book. I finished it today and I think it's one of the best books I've read in awhile. I found the author to be an extremely sophisticated writer/storyteller who was very purposeful and deliberate with his prose - I can't remember the last time I really felt that way about the words I was reading on the page.
  • Into The Water (BOTM) // A super fast, page-turning read for me. At first I felt like it was hard to keep up with all the different narrators but as I got more into it I was able to keep all the characters straight (it was one of those where I needed to keep flipping back and forth to remember who was who). Definitely enjoyed for a quick read! 

MAY

  • Since We Fell (BOTM) // Totally enjoyed this one. Kept my interest with it's twists and definitely wanted to know what was going to happen in the end. As you might tell from most of my reviews, I'm not a super critical reader. If I like it, I like it and I liked this one.
  • Woman No. 17 (BOTM) // This one was a just-okay for me where I definitely felt like I was making myself finish it. 
  • Small Great Things (Kindle) // So, so good. Hard and thought-provoking and worth it. Definitely my favorite of the month. 
  • The Butterfly Hours: Transforming Memories Into Memoir //Picked this one up randomly at a bookstore. I'm always attracted to books about memoir writing (totally in alignment with my memory keeping endeavors) and this one really filled me up these last few weeks as I was working on some new classroom content. Patty Dann also loves to use one word jumping off points to pull stories from our memories/prompt us to tell more (similar to my 31 Things and 31 More Things workshops) so I loved checking out her writing style and reading her stories. I loved how her writing is fact based but conveys so much meaning and feeling just via the ways she chooses to construct her sentences. Quick and easy read.

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13 thoughts

  1. picki56 says…
    06/01/2017

    I added The Ministry of Utmost Happiness to my box and I'm very excited to read it. If you've never read The God of Small Things by the same author I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful story.
    I'm also looking forward to reading The Sisters Chase.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      06/01/2017

      I am really enjoying The Sisters Chase - beautiful writing.

  2. Cookingmylife says…
    06/01/2017

    I won The Secret Garden in grade school for a writing project. I loved it then and think I may read it again! Thanks for the reminder.

    Right now I'm into Louise Penny's The Brutal Telling, one of her Inspector Gamache mysteries set in Quebec. That lovely is balanced with Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Bookworm says…
    06/01/2017

    I just finalized my June box over at BOMC. I'm enjoying the fun anticipation of knowing I'll likely be ordering at least one new book, but having no idea what the choices will be. I chose Chemistry and also added a book from a previous month called Start-Up that sounded good. I've been reading like a fiend lately and loving it. :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. nashonne says…
    06/01/2017

    I've been looking at your recommendations over the past few months and decided to finally try-out the BOTM club. I chose The Sisters Chase, and will receive In the Water for free. I'm excited, I LOVE to read!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      06/01/2017

      Awesome! Enjoy - it's seriously one of my favorite things.

  5. RHoskins says…
    06/01/2017

    Ali - I'm a mom who scrapbooks and a public school Teacher Librarian so I love your blog posts about both scrapbooking and reading. (I have followed you since you were with Creating Keepsakes). I'm wondering what you do with the books after you read them. Have you ever thought about putting a Little Free Library outside of your house for others to enjoy the books?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      06/02/2017

      Right now I've just been sharing them with friends :).

  6. Madeline says…
    06/01/2017

    A couple of your BOTM are on my list next time I go to the library ;) 'You Will Know Me' and 'What Alice Forgot' Now I can't wait to get them, you are the second one that recomended them ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. jeley2 says…
    06/01/2017

    Love these posts Ali, thanks for sharing your reading!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. HilaryAnn says…
    06/05/2017

    I am so glad you introduced me to BOTM! I have seriously read more in the past 3 months than in the past 3 years. Something about a sub keeps me on track (insert Story Kit parallel here). Just selected White Fur... can't wait to get it!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      06/07/2017

      Me too! So happy with it :).

  9. mostafashaban says…
    07/03/2017

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    Reply 0 Replies

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