May 2015

Reading Wrap-Up: May 2015

May 2015

So, May. I wish I had better things to say, but this month threw me for a bit of a loop, which actually pushed me toward more reading—something I’ll talk about more later this week. I ended up picking up some really good books this month, especially when it came to nonfiction. Several of these titles are coming up for discussion in The Socratic Salon and others have reviews or mini reviews on the way. I’ve also just been on a roll at the library, so it comes down to picking through which books I want to talk about most (as much as I love you darlings, I just don’t have it in me to write a post every day).

Boo by Neil Smith
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Missoula by Jon Krakauer
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Dietland by Sarai Walker
That Thing You Do With Your Mouth by David Shields
The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard
Haints Stay by Colin Winnette
Spectacle by Pamela Newkirk
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Best Book of the Month

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

This one isn’t out until August, but it totally grabbed me with its creepy brain twisting. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you love a book with fabulous word play and a double dose of weird add it to your list. I’ll have a full review closer to publication.

How was your reading in May? What are you looking forward to in June?


  • So many good books in there! Did you like The Opposite of Loneliness? A friend recommended it to me, and it just came in for me at the library.

  • I really need to get to So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. We’re hosting Jon Ronson at my library in a couple of weeks. Have you read his other books? I really enjoyed the sociopath one.

    • The only other one I’ve read was The Psychopath Test, which I really liked. Publicly Shamed was a really quick, enjoyable read, but I did have some issues with it. Hoping to post about it tomorrow!

  • So glad to hear Beautiful Bureaucrat went well! It’s sitting by my bed and I’m thinking of trying (gasp!) the hard copy since it’s short! And – you got a ton of reading done last month – that’s awesome! My May wasn’t super productive on the reading front, but mostly because I was working on a fun blog project with my design website friend….took up lots of reading time! Back to reading in June…

  • Girl, you killed it this month! I’m listening to Missoula on audio right now, and it’s incredibly upsetting. What gets me… is do these guys REALLY think what they’re doing isn’t rape… or is that just what they’re SAYING…. maybe he gets into more of that as the book goes on… I’m only like half way through.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    Yes to not writing a post about everything! It’s taking me some time but I’m learning that I just don’t need to review every book I read. It makes life just a bit easier.

    I hope June has just as many good books!

  • I have The Book of Aaron, but haven’t read it yet. How’d it go? Very curious about The Beautiful Bureaucrat!

    • The Book of Aron was good, but didn’t quite knock it out of the park for me. A short read, though, so worth giving it a shot!

  • Word play and weirdness. I’m in! You had a really interesting reading month, and I know what you thought about many of these, but I’m not sure we’ve talked about Boo. Did I miss it? What’s your gut about it? I should reread All the Birds before the discussion, but man, where does the time go. June? Eek. Thanks for sharing your reads!

    • I didn’t love Boo, but it’s one that many people seemed to have a better experience with. I really hope you’ll read All the Birds – it’s a quick one, but super good!

      • I’m a bit on the fence about it, which means it will probably fall through the cracks with all the other good things out there. I read All The Birds when it came out, was contemplating a reread, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. But you never know, the power of the Salon is strong!

  • We’d much prefer to have the Shannon we get every two days or so to an over-tired, uninspired one every day. You do you, lady. :)

    Sorry to hear that May was so rough—I assume it has much to do with the work situation? I’m glad your reading was able to help you cope with it!

    And I JUST got approved for The Beautiful Bureaucrat this morning. I’ve been on an NF binge and hope to continue it, but I just might make an exception for this teeny bit of weirdness.

    • Funk was mostly due to my project ending, both because I loved it and now I’m back to looking. But filling my time with fun things like R (and Tableau!).

  • Gina

    I am not sure what it says about me but any description that includes “creepy brain twisting” and “fabulous word play and a double dose of weird” equals I am all in! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. I hope you will be reviewing The Opposite of Loneliness. I happened to really like, almost love, it.

    Here’s hoping June is smooth sailing for you!

  • I love that the book covers from your May selections make such a colorful collage, Shannon! Too bad they weren’t all that great – ha! There are so many books I’m looking forward to in June; I think I just need to feign extended illness at work. One of the big ones for me is definitely In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume; it could be horrible, but her books were so integral to my love of reading as a kid that I can’t NOT read it. Hope you have a great day!

    • I’m still ashamed that I haven’t read a Judy Blume book! I’ll definitely jump on that one if I hear good things, but I feel like I need to go back and get all the classics, too.

  • You know I’m all about the weird. Adding another one to the list.

    What a great month! I have several of these on my TBR.

  • I’m so happy to be reading again, at least a little bit. (And I added Dietland to my TBR!)

  • Wow, you read a lot! That’s great. What did you think of The Opposite of Loneliness? I started but stalled out with the short stories.

    • I felt pretty much the same. The short stories made me feel a little old, but I ended up really liking the nonfiction.

  • Okay, added The Beautiful Bureaucrat to my TBR list! I was totally “off” for the month of May regarding reading, due to work! Way to much of it! Only 150 pages or so read in 3 weeks! Yikes!! I typically read that in one weekday! But am catching up now… A Gone With the Wind read-along! One of my favorite books ever! Just finished My Father’s Wives by Mike Greenberg (Literary Wives read #15) and Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (#5 in the Green Gables series for that read-along), and am currently reading All You Could Ask For, also by Mike Greenberg (Mainly because I paid $1 for it at Half Price Books!). But I’m really looking forward to The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown for one book club, Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery, some children’s books (so I can deliver them to my grandchildren) and some mysteries I’ve been unable to read yet!

  • About to request The Beautiful Bureaucrat. SO EXCITED. Also, googling/tweeting about The Beautiful Bureaucrat has finally made me confident about spelling that word. HAPPY JUNE BYE.

  • I’m excited to hear you loved The Beautiful Bureaucrat! I picked up a copy at BEA, and I CAN’T WAIT to read it.