Books I Read in May

 I had such a lousy start to my May reading with 5 books I didn't finish!  I have just reached the point where if I can't get into the story within just a few chapters then I put it aside and find something else to read.  With such a lousy start to my month, I didn't have high hopes for my reading... but I managed to squeeze in quite a few wonderful books this month despite my slow start.  I was so happy to reach my goal of 10 books a month! 


1.  The Restaurant by Pamela Kelley-- When sisters Jill, Mandy, and Emma inherit a restaurant they never even knew their grandmother owned they are thrown for a loop.  The will stipulates that to keep their shares of the restaurant all three sisters must have some part in the running of the restaurant for a year. I really enjoyed this story and at one point when two of the characters are touring the Nantucket whaling museum I had such wonderful reminders of our trip there! 



2.  West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge-- I thought his historical fiction novel was OK.  I had gotten it free as a Kindle First read and was interested in learning a bit of history I hadn't heard about before.  While it was a bit slow in parts I did enjoy reading about the first giraffes for the San Diego zoo and all that went into transporting them across the country. 


3. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister-- I enjoyed this story so much.  It was a slow and gradual build and by the time I was mid-way through the story I just did not want to put it down.  Emmaline has grown up on an island isolated from everyone but her father.  Believing in magic and mermaids and learning to really hone her sense of smell, Emmaline feels betrayed when she realizes her father has been telling lies.  Tragedy strikes and she finds herself living on the main land struggling to fit in, she reinvents herself a time or two and keeps searching for ways to reconcile her past, her present, and her future.  A wonderful coming of age story that left me rooting for Emmaline. 


4.  The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship by Beth Harbison-- A super cute book about three ladies who lives intersect all because of a food club they join.  Margo is going through a divorce and is looking forward to making new friends, trying fatty, delicious recipes again, and putting her life back together while reinventing herself.  Trista has left her career in law behind to take over a bar and pub she used to work at when putting herself through law school.  She wants to find new recipes for the menu to combine her love of food with her desire not to go completely under.  Aja has no idea how to cook but wants to impress her current boyfriend and his mother with her skills in the kitchen.  Paired with some tasty recipes and lots of side stories it was a fun book to read. 


5. Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince by J.k. Rowling-- I have been reading the entire Harry Potter series aloud to all my boys over the past year (or maybe 2?) and we just love re-visiting one of our favorite series.  In the 6th book of the series, Harry is getting private lessons from Professor Dumbledore and learning more about Lord Voldemort's life in the hopes of finding a way to defeat him. With his new potion's teacher and Harry's handy version of the textbook with notes from the "half-blood prince" he's having a remarkably good year... until the end of the book when everything seems to go wrong all at once. 




6. The Salt House by Lisa Duffy-- This was such a heartbreaking and yet somehow hopeful book that I did really enjoy.  Set in a coastal town of Maine, the Kelly family have made it through a hellish year after the loss of their baby Maddie.  All 4 family members have dealt with their grief in different ways.  Jack, the dad, is a lobsterman and spends most of his time alone at sea unable to find the words to reach out to his wife and two daughters.  Hope, the mother, is crippled by grief and replays the day over and over wishing for any one of the small acts that could have totally changed the outcome.  Unable to work as a freelance writer or move forward in any way she's just happy to be getting out of bed once more.  Jess has her first crush on a boy but doesn't want her parents to know and Kat is baffled by the changes in her family while fearing that her parents are going to get a "deforest".




7. Red Velvet Revenge (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #4) by Jenn McKinlay-- Mel and Angie are trying to keep their business alive during the hot summer heat that seems to have driven all their customers away. They jump at the chance to sell cupcakes at the rodeo but when one bull rider turns up dead.. Mel and Angie start to investigate. 




8. The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews-- I thought this book was fabulous and fun and light and perfect for summer beach reading.  Letty flees her sister's house with her niece and a go bag of cash after finding her sister murdered.  Her sister had warned her that her ex-boyfriend Evan might do something awful and if that if anything ever happened to her Letty had to take her daughter Maya and flee... so Letty does.  She then becomes the prime suspect in her sister's murder.  On the run, tired, and scared Letty finally settles at an old motel in Florida right on the beach.  The owner takes pity on her and offers her a place to stay and a job without even knowing Letty's full story.  Only problem is that the owner's son is a police officer and Letty keeps toying with the idea of taking off even though both her and Maya fall a bit in love with Ava (the owner) and all the somewhat grouchy octogenarians staying in the hotel. 


9. Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor book 2) by Jessica Townsend- I thought this second book in the series was just as delightful as the first.  In this book Morrigan has been inducted into the Wundrous society.  But when members of Nevermoor begin to go missing, everyone looks to Morrigan the only known Wundersmith since the dreaded & evil Ezra Squall.  




10.  Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer-- While this wasn't my favorite Nancy Thayer book, I did enjoy reading about this family.  Set on Nantucket, Eleanor is approaching her 70th birthday and decides to throw herself a small family party. But her children really want her to sell her big house on the cliff and move into an assisted living facility near them on the mainland.  Luckily Eleanor doesn't have to make any big decisions right away as her granddaughter Ari has plans to summer on Nantucket with her while working to save up money for a master's program after Ari's recent college graduation.  Ari and her grandmother have a wonderful summer going to parties, meeting new people, finding romance and even when they are thrown by some curveballs life has thrown at them, the two remain close. 





Did Not Finish

Layla by Colleen Hoover-- I love a good Colleen Hoover novel so I was feeling dejected when I got 1/2 way through the book and realized that I just didn't care about the outcome.  I wasn't invested in the characters and with ghosts/ paranormal activity I just realized rather suddenly one morning that I had no desire to finish the book. 

The Salt House: A Summer on the Dunes of Cape Cod by Cynthia Huntington--  I wanted to enjoy this book so much.  Having spent so many of our summer vacations on Cape Cod (and in Provincetown in particular) I thought this book was going to remind me of my own summers spent on and near the dunes but it was quite different and honestly I just didn't mesh well with the author's writing style.  I gave up after only 2 chapters. 

The Sound of Glass by Karen White Audiobook-- I think I would have really loved this story if I hadn't been listening to the audiobook.  I'm going to request it from our library and see if I enjoy it more that way.  I just realized party way through disk 1 that I had no idea which character was talking or who she was talking to.  I had lost all thread of the story.  I typically listen to audiobooks in the car with my boys but didn't realize how much I rely on them to fill me in when I have to tune out the book to pay attention to the road and then tune back in.  

Level 13: A Slacker Novel by Gordon Korman-- Evan and I picked up this book to read together on the days it's just him and I doing school work together.  Having really enjoyed Slacker we were excited for the second book in the series but it fell rather flat and by chapter 9 he was asking me if we could please be done.  He didn't really care if Cam and the Beaver became YouTube superstars and he was constantly rolling his eyes so we returned it to the library.

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelley-- I loved Lilac Girls and  but just could not get into Sunflower Sisters.  I think mostly because I am just not a civil war fan.  While I have always been fascinated about stories surrounding WWI & WWII but I am just not interested in the antebellum/ civil war era at all.  

Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, 








Comments

  1. I always appreciate your book recommendations. I haven't read any of these, except for Harry Potter of course, so will to my list. Like the idea of the novel/recipe book! #MMBC

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    1. I love most any book that has recipes inside!

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  2. You do right giving each book a few chapters to get into it. It is a waste of time reading a book you just don't enjoy.
    What a great collection of books. x

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    1. Definitely! Life is too short to suffer through books; I did enough of that in school. Now I get to read what I enjoy.

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  3. I like your collection of books and comments. I think it's time to re-read Harry - it's been years now since I read them. #MMBC

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  4. You were the one who suggested The Scent Keeper to me in my scent post. I have it on my library list! Can't wait to read it.

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    1. I really think you'll like it. I had never given so much thought to the scents around me before I read the book.

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  5. Some great recommendations. And really useful you've reviewed the ones you didn't read fully too! I'm hopeless at choosing new authors so might give a few of these a closer look... #MMBC

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    1. I'm not great at picking new authors either and am totally guilty of judging a book by its cover.

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  6. I have read The Cookbook Club, but not the others. Well, I did read HP!

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    1. My son has me reading the Nevermoor series and it is really super cute; reminds me a bit of HP with all the fantasy/ magic aspects.

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  7. I want to start reading all of the Harry potter books out loud to our kiddos this summer! I love that you're still doing that with your boys. That is the sweetest.

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    1. I am really going to miss reading aloud; I can already tell that after this final Harry Potter book they aren't going to sit and listen anymore. I just hope we can finish up this series!

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  8. It's always fun to revisit Harry Potter!

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  9. I have the 3rd Wanderlust book & need to get around to reading it.
    I've always wanted to re-read the Harry Potter books again.

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    1. I just pulled the 3rd Wanderlust book off my son's shelf today to add to my pile.

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  10. Oh, I definitely need to re-read my Harry Potter books! I actually had a great reading month this May! I feel like maybe I should share that this week haha

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    1. I'd sure love that! I am always looking for good book recommendations.

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed the Cookbook Club as much as I did. I can't wait to read the Newcomer.

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    1. I wanted to find a cookbook club to join! LOL. They made so many delicious sounding recipes for just 3 people in the club.

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  12. The Lilac Girls is one of my all-time favorite books. The book that followed fell far short in my opinion. Sad to read that you weren't blown away by Sunflower Sisters, either. I have been thinking of getting it but rarely read more than one or two books by the same author because I am usually disappointed.

    Life is too short to force yourself to read something you just aren't 'feeling'. Funny about Scent Keeper. I have it on the nightstand and have tried to get into it twice. I love the idea, the title, the cover art but can't get beyond about the 3rd or 4th chapter. You have given me hope and restored my interest. Will try again.

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    1. I found the story picked up once she was brought to the mainland and she starts discovering all her father's lies.

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  13. Always love to see what you have been reading. I have looked at The Sunflower Sisters just because I liked The Lilac Girls so much. I am going to add The Scent Keeper and The Salt House (by Duffy) to my TBR list. Thanks for the honest reviews.

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  14. There are so many books that I only make it half way through. I haven't read Layla I don't think. And I feel like I read Secret Keeper, but I looked and can't be sure.

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    1. I am so thankful for my blog and that I can now search by title to see if I've read that book because I am just awful at remembering what I have and have not read (especially when they change the cover photo!).

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  15. I've not read any of these but it sounds like you had a good reading month. I put a book aside this month that I couldn't read. I wanted to because I said I'd review it but I really did not like it and persevered for about 75 pages before giving up.

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    1. Oh that is too bad but sometimes you've just got to put it aside and move onto something better.

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  16. Great reads! I loved The Restaurant- I read Christmas At The Restaurant too which was just as great! You will have to pick that up closer to the holidays :)

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    1. I am definitely planning on reading the other books in that series!

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  17. Once again you've read a lot of books for May. I will have to add these to my book list!

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  18. Always good to hear about books that I haven't hear of as I can go check them out x #mmbc

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    1. I'm always on the hunt for new books too.

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  19. You did well. I am just getting back into fiction (I listen via Audible) & have had some good ones. I hope you get to relax and enjoy some more as summer beckons.
    Thank you for joining in Life This Week Link Up.
    I've just added another 10 optional prompts taking us to October!
    It's always good to see a blog post from you and I value your presence here. Denyse.

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  20. Thanks so much for reviewing all of these titles for us, Joanne. I have really lost my reading mojo and it is irritating me that I cannot get into reading much lately. I suppose I should just stop beating myself up about it and wait for the inspiration to strike! Thanks for linking with me!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. Definitely stop beating yourself up over it. Wait for inspiration and give yourself grace... when it's time to start reading again you will.

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  21. Great mix of books! I'm putting a couple of these on my TBR list.

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  22. Sorry about the DNFs, but it happens! I do hope to read Wundersmith soon. I loved Nevermoor.

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  23. I just got The Cookbook Club out of the library. I'm hoping to read it this weekend.

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    1. It is super cute. Just don't read while hungry! LOL

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  24. The Salt House sounds good.

    I have zero interest in Layla so I don't blame you for quitting LOL

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    1. It was such a disappointment. I normally enjoy her books so much.

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  25. Sounds like you had some enjoyable reads, despite the ones that disappointed ;) The Scent Keeper and The Cookbook Club sounded the most intriguing to me. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!

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    1. The Scent Keeper was very interesting and the Cookbook Club was so cute.

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  26. The Cookbook Club has been lingering on my TBR for so long now. I finally put a hold on the ebook and it'll be ready in 3 weeks.

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  27. I have to read the next book in the Nevermoor series! The Restaurant and The Cookbook Club both sound like books I'd enjoy.

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    1. Yes, you do! Nevermoor is such a cute series.

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  28. I've not read any of these but there are definitely some that I'll be looking for, in particular The Cookbook Club, The Restaurant and The Scent Keeper. I don't think I can manage more than four books a month.

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    1. Those are all great choices! I tend to love any book about food, recipes, and family.

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  29. The Salt House (the one you did finish) seems like something I might enjoy at the right time.

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