Friday, June 01, 2007

May in Review

I read 19 books in May, which was very impressive considering I went on a trip and graduated from university this month. At the beginning of the month, May was looking like my worst reading month ever, but I am glad that it turned out to be a good reading month after all.

First up, I don't like my reviewing method for books, so you will likely see a change in my review style when I write my next review. I have a very hard time putting a rating to a book, so I think I might just skip them all together. I am one of those people that hated being graded in school and thought that your future should not be decided by a bunch of numbers. It is the same with authors. I will talk about their books, give a indication of my feelings on them and what did and did not work for me, but no more numbers.

My first read for May, which I did not decide to review was Over the Falls. This was a touristy book that I picked up in Ontario in the hopes that it would answer some of my questions about the Falls. Instead I seem to now know a fair amount about the Daredevils of the Falls, and still have questions. I have since picked up Niagara by Pierre Berton in the hopes that it will off aid.

The book I counted for the Back to History Challenge was The Invasion of Canada by Pierre Berton. It also counted as my O'Canada Read because it is a book about the history of the War of 1812 which occurred on Canadian soil.

Fantasy books that I read this month:
The Briar King by Greg Keyes. Book one in a recent trilogy.
Clockwork by Philip Pullman. I had to buy this for school one year, but then we never read it, so I did just to get it moved off the TBR pile. Review to come sometime.
Magician:Apprentice by Raymond Feist. Book one in the Riftwar Saga, Feist may be one of my new fantasy favourites. Have to see what happens when I read another book by him.
The Dream-Maker's Magic by Sharon Shinn. I FINALLY finished this young adult trilogy by Sharon Shinn. I think this book was probably my favourite, but I enjoyed the whole trilogy.
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddon. Another new trilogy, no wonder my list of series/trilogies is so long, I started a bunch this month alone! Book two will be out in October.
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny. Yes, another series, but it seems to be my curse. I won this back during Buy a Friend a Book week, so I could not resist picking it up. I also read book two in this series at the very last minute.

Non-fiction Reads for the month:
I did not join the Non-fiction Five challenge, but I seem to be reading a lot more non-fiction than I have in previous years. This month, the non-fiction books that I read are:
The Invasion of Canada by Pierre Berton, which I have reviewed.
28 Stories of AIDs in Africa by Stephaine Nolen, which I have reviewed.
Scribbling the Cat by Alexandra Fuller. I read this book because the author received an honourary doctrate at my graduation.
Always Fresh. The story of the man behind Tim Hortons, which is seriously a Canadian icon. It was a very interesting look at the coffee shop that people visit daily.
Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home. I think EVERYONE should have this book. I learned a lot of things that I did not know, and about something that people use daily.

I read two Newbery Award winning books in the spirit of the challenge circulating around the blogosphere:
Caddie Woodlawn and Sounder. Both have been on the reading pile for a very long time.

I also read Witch Child by Celia Rees, All in Together Girls by Kate Sutherland, Loyalty in Death by J.D. Robb, and A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.

The best read, for me, of this month was 28:Stories of AIDs in Africa. My least favourite read was actually Sounder. I know it won a big award, but I just did not like it. Other than that, I really liked everything I read this month.


  1. I don't give ratings either. I think for me it's because I know that my ratings wouldn't be consistent and comparable. So much of how I feel about a book is from outside the book itself and wrapped up in the time and space in which I read it.

  2. Congrats on graduating!

    My reviews are always slightly different. I don't have one specific format.

    btw, I came across your blog from the blogroll challenge. Hi. :) And, cute cat.

  3. I keep thinking I need to work on my review skills. For me, part of the purpose of my blog was just to keep track of the book I'd read, what they were about and what I thought of them. But, it's also nice when others read them and I've started trying not to give away too many plot "surprises".

    I do give books numbers, but mostly for purposes of being able to compare them to each other as far as how much I enjoyed them.

    I'm sure there's a book out there on how to write a good book review. Maybe I should pick one up!

  4. Wow - you did great! Hope June is another stellar reading month for you.

    I don't give ratings and it's not that I don't like to see them but like Suziqoregon, I also don't think my ratings would be consistent and/or comparable. That's why I usually just write about what worked (or didn't) for me.

  5. Often in reviewing you can't just sum up everything with a number system. Each reader should have particular reasons for why they like or dislike a book. That is the fun of reading different reviews.

    BTW, 19 books is extremely impressive to me. I wish I had that kind of speed.

  6. Congratulations on your graduation! I am amazed at your 19 books and it's very fun for me to read about your accomplishments in reading, since I'm down to about a book a month. (Maybe when the kids are school-age...?)

  7. Congratulations kailana on your Graduation! Also 19 books, that's impressive, I wish I was a fast reader too.


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