May 2023 Books

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

I listened to the audiobook because it had an ensemble cast. The audiobook made it for me. I found the Evelyn Hugo novel more engaging. I am a less interested in celebrity musicians than I am with old vintage Hollywood. There were also way more characters in this one and I found the ending a tad less satisfying. I think if I had read the book, I would have found it much more boring. I didn’t really care about the star crossed romance or most of the band dynamics.

3.5/5 stars. Audiobook. Listened 1.3-1.4x. May 3-7, 2023.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

I read this one with a friend. I am trying to read more classic books again. We both had the book but had never read it. This was not long thankfully but it was slow because there is no one to really root for. Poor bored Emma Bovary. I know she’s suppose to be insipid and vain, but it doesn’t help the reader to cheer for her. I didn’t like any of the characters. I felt sorry for her husband Charles who was a mediocre man. The tone is strange as this is a black comedy and satire. In terms of classic novels about women being exploited or taken advantage of because they are romantic, I prefer Anna Karenina and Thomas Hardy’s female characters. I also wonder if my translation of it affected the quality.

3/5 stars. May 2-8, 2023.

Kurashi at Home by Marie Kond?

This is a coffee table book that does not really add anything to Kondo’s other books. I found it relaxing to read. It’s well translated and keeps her gentle tone. I am not a minimalist like Kondo but I really find her style so cozy and comforting. While it didn’t teach me anything, I found it a lovely book to sit with.

3.5/5 stars. May 9, 2023.

How to be alone by Lane Moore

This title is misleading. It’s not a self-help book. It’s a collection of essays by someone who has felt lonely in their life. I am someone who has felt a lot of loneliness in their life. Some people are prone to it. Often it happens because of bad or inadequate childhoods. Unlike the author of this book, I did feel loved at times thankfully. I tried to listen to the audiobook but I gave up very quickly. I don’t really like the author’s style. She is not that funny to me and she used a lot of capital letters for emphasis. She spent time discussing her various relationships and her anxious attachment style. While I did not like her writing style or would recommend it, I actually related to a few things. I do not see a lot of people writing about loneliness in this manner. Her discussion about looking for love as a romantic, dreaming about their soul mate, or their attachment to pop culture ships were all things I experienced as well. I appreciated her for being vulnerable in her writing about these things. I wish there was more of it in the world.

3/5 stars. May 9, 2023.

Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis

And we’re back to reading. I had a bad week between the last book and this one. I read this on the plane. I read the first book in this series on a flight in late 2021 and enjoyed the characters and central romance. I found myself a less engaged this time. It’s a really light series. I may continue and finish the trilogy.

3/5 stars. Read on Kindle May 21, 2023.

Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers

As someone who likes Agatha Christie, I’ve been curious about Sayers for years now. She was a Golden Age mystery author as well. I have read about people’s adoration of Lord Peter Whimsey too. This book feels like P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster but with murder and whodunit aspects. I’ve read all those stories but they blur together after awhile with a silly aristocratic single protagonist and a very competent valet. Just like Jeeves and Wooster, I like the Golden Age era and side characters. I liked Peter’s mother in this and the valet Bunter. Peter was a bit silly and I did not get a good read on the character. I was impressed with the brief PTSD flashback scene and the way Sayers deftly addressed it. Other than that, I found the book was bogged down by the criminology and too many details on how the murder happened. The novel felt unpolished in parts and it did not make me want to read more from this series. However, I did like the supporting characters and lots of reviews noted that Peter has great character development in the series. This was something those Jeeves and Wooster stories didn’t have. Apparently, there’s a romance too so I think I’ll keep reading on.

3/5 stars. Read on Kindle May 21-23, 2023.

She and Her Cat by Shinkai, Makoto

This is a one volume manga about a young professional woman and her cat. There are themes of adulting and loneliness. It’s short and rather melancholy in parts. I could relate to this and I think a lot of young women can as well in this new more isolated age. A short but sweet read.

3.5/5 stars. Read May 30-31, 2023.

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