Goodness, where has the month gone? Has summer started in full swing on your end? It sort of has on my end, though there’s also been a lot of rain.
- So the month started off with me still off on holiday, the May half spent in Denmark. Posts about my trip should be up…soon? Not sure when yet.
- Books reviewed this month include: Rachel Joyce’s The Love Song of Queenie Hennessey (review), Simon van Booy’s Everything Beautiful Began After (review), and Giles Blunt’s Forty Words for Sorrow (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- No ARCs were reviewed this month! You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
- For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I focused once again focused on Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare’s contemporary and definitely a playright to check out once you’ve exhausted Shakespeare’s works (that’s what I did). You can check out that post over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- I also posted two unboxing posts earlier this month, one for Paper Panduh (which you can read over here) and one for WontonInAMillion’s anniversary celebration (which you can read over here). These posts won’t be a regular thing (I’m only planning on one more subscription box with Paper Panduh for now) but it’s a nice mix-up to share with you all in the meantime. You can read all of the previous boxes I’ve unboxed at this tag
And that’s about it from me and the blog for the month of May! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week, wish you all a great June 😀
By: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.
This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.
I kept seeing this book everywhere last year that eventually I caved in when it went on sale on Kobo late last year and picked up a copy to see what the buzz was all about.
By: Soren Kierkegaard
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Harper Perennial Modern Classics presents the rediscovered spiritual writings of Søren Kierkegaard, edited and translated by Oxford theologian George Pattison. Called “the first modernist” by The Guardian and “the father of existentialism” by the New York Times, Kierkegaard left an indelible imprint on existential writers from Sartre and Camus to Kafka and Derrida. In works like Fear and Trembling, Sickness unto Death, and Either/Or, he by famously articulated that all meaning is rooted in subjective experience—but the devotional essays that Patterson reveals in Spiritual Writings will forever change our understanding of the great philosopher, uncovering the spiritual foundations beneath his secularist philosophy.
I think I mentioned it before in a previous review but I don’t normally review non-fiction religious and philosophy books here. It just never seemed to be a thing for me even though I do write in the margins of these books and have plenty of thoughts about it *shrugs* But I decided to write a review for this book, partly because I did review another book from the series, The Present Age (review), not to mention because I had read this over the first half of Lent. Plus, I love Kierkegaard and he should get more attention here on the blog 🙂
Forty Words for Sorrow (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery #1)
By: Giles Blunt
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
When four teenagers go missing in the small northern town of Algonquin Bay, the extensive police investigation comes up empty. Everyone is ready to give upexcept Detective John Cardinal, an all-too-human loner whose persistence onlyserves to get him removed from homicide. Haunted by a criminal secret in his ownpast and hounded by a special investigation into corruption on the force, Cardinal is on the brink of losing his career–and his family.
Then the mutilated body of thirteen-year-old Katie Pine is pulled out of anabandoned mineshaft. And only Cardinal is willing to consider the horrible truth: that this quiet town is home to the most vicious of serial killers. The case as it unfolds proves eerily reminiscent of the Moors murders in Britain, as anunassuming young man and his belligerently loyal girlfriend scout young victimsfor their macabre games.
With the media, the provincial police and his owndepartment questioning his every move, Cardinal follows increasingly tenuousthreads towards the unthinkable. Time isn’t only running out for him, but foranother young victim, tied up in a basement wondering when and how his captors will kill him.
I found out about this book because it was recently adapted into a 6-episode television series, Cardinal, that aired earlier this year. I was intrigued by the trailer–set in Canada, that sort of thing. So I decided to check out the book first before watching it.
Everything Beautiful Began After
By: Simon van Booy
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Rebecca is young, lost and beautiful. A gifted artist, she seeks solace and inspiration in the Mediterranean heat of Athens – trying to understand who she is and how she can love without fear. George has come to Athens to learn ancient languages after growing up in New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. He has no close relationships with anyone and spends his days hunched over books or in a drunken stupor. And then there is Henry, an accomplished young Welsh archaeologist who spends his days devotedly uncovering the city’s past as a way to escape his own – a past that holds a secret that not even his doting parents can talk about.
As these three lost and lonely souls wander the city, a series of chance encounters sets off events that will forever define them, in this powerful portrait of friendship and young love.
I have been eyeing this book for years, I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up sooner. I suppose I figured last year that it was high time I picked the book up so here I am, having read it at long last and reviewing it.