01 June 2014

Last Month in Review: May 2014

I'm guessing that Garrison's favorite song is Lean On Me

Garrison Keillor's trademark red sneakers
If you've visited my blog any time in the last month, you could be forgiven for assuming that I've been trapped under something heavy. You could also be forgiven for assuming that maybe my lack of posting was because I was feverishly reading LOTS of books.  Sadly, despite the fact that I only posted once in May, and that was write the super-easy Last Month In Review post for April, I was neither trapped under something heavy nor feverishly consuming books.

I was, however, very busy with work (Garrison Keillor!).  And don't ask me why, but for some reason I felt myself compelled to watch the movie Pitch Perfect and most of season 2, and then all of seasons 3 and 4, of Glee, a tv show I stopped watching after season 1 when it became less about the musical, geeky experience and more about the flashy guest stars and musical performances never to be believed of a high school.  

I didn't even read that much in May, but here it is.  June will be better by about 200%, I expect, because I'll start my vacation some time that month, and that means READING ALL DAY.  Plus there's the mini-thon, which I'm looking forward to in a way that rivals the feelings Persephone must have looked forward to her time with Demeter after being trapped in the underworld.  Tika, I salute you for hosting it at just the right time!

1. Lucky Us by Amy Bloom.  I love this cover, and I enjoyed a lot about the book, but the author commits the cardinal sin of the epistolary form: she puts in the letters too much information that the recipient would already know, and therefore is just trying to tell the reader.  That might be acceptable in YA books, but not in literary fiction.  

Fan art from Goodreads
2. and 3. The Way We Get By and Drop Dead Gorgeous by Mistful.  Oh, yeah.  I also read some long Harry Potter fan fiction.  This is Harry/Draco, where they are auror partners and where Draco has many cunning plans and is the only one who can resist Harry's part-veela allures. Shacklebolt may or may not be a robot who enjoys his sexy times with house elves.  In other words, these two stories are VERY funny and really well written.  They're also really long--about 400 pages for the pair.

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  This was a re-listen of the audio book, which incidentally I seem to prefer to the written book.  Reading all of that Harry/Draco fanfiction inspired me to listen to this audio again when I had run out of un-listened-to audio books. I also fell in love with Levi again.

5. Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique.  This is one of only two actual books that I read last month.  Go, me.  It's a debut novel set in the US and British Virgin Islands, spanning from the ceding of the USVI from the Danish up through the 1960s.  I liked it a lot.

6. The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson.  Those of you who are on Twitter might recognize the #weneeddiversity buzz that has been surrounding this book.  A deplorably low percentage of children's  books published in the US have main characters of color, much less feature them on the cover of the books.   My coworkers at Odyssey Bookshop and our colleagues at Eight Cousins have challenged other indie booksellers to sell as many copies of this book as we can to help put it on the bestseller lists. It's super fun, a quick read, and an homage to popular heist films like Oceans Eleven. Any readers of As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) who order the book from my bookstore will get a free ARC (or two) thrown in with your order.  Just mention it when calling (413.534.7307) or going to our website.

In a nod to Alley at What Red Read, here are some stats:

Men/Women: 16%/84%
White authors/writers of color: 68%/32%
Real books/fanfiction: 68%/32%
Books for adults/books for middle grade or YA: 32%/68%

Coming up soon: my recent trip to BEA, wherein I met lots of nifty people and had encounters with a rather surprising number of celebrities.

What did y'all enjoy reading last month?


  1. Wha?? Emily, how dare you have a life OUTSIDE of book blogging! Psh, work and all that jazz.

    I can't wait to read your BEA post and I'm sorry I missed you this time around.

    Wooo! I love seeing other people's stats. Especially your breakdown of books vs fan fic.

    1. I missed seeing you, too!

      The stats are all thanks to you, babe.

  2. I kept dipping into your blog hoping to find not only some great suggestions for my holiday reading list but also to discover what is on yours - please disclose ASAP !!

    I think we will be on AXA at the same time, I will send you my dates on a TA private message. Don't worry I wouldn't interrupt your reading time but it would be nice to say hello!

    1. oooh, I'd be just delighted to meet up with you in person if our trip dates overlap. Let's talk more via private message on one of our travel forums.

      If, like me, you enjoy reading about the Caribbean while you're IN the Caribbean, you should look at the Tiphanie Yanique book for your next trip. It's not out until July of this year.

  3. I've seen Lucky Us on a lot of lists lately, but the synopsis just wasn't convincing me. It's good to know I made the right choice!

  4. Hi Emily -
    I did worry that you were stuck under a heavy something! Happy to see you back - and loved the BEA pix....


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