May 2014 Reading Analysis

Hi all. Bit of a belated post this month, but I’ve had my parents staying with us this weekend and it feels like I’ve been playing catch up ever since. In fact, May was a really busy month for me all around, but a very enjoyable one. I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted, having spent lots of time with family and friends, but what better reason is there for putting down your books and mingling with the outside world? 🙂 

I finished 20 books in May. I’m pretty pleased with this total actually as we’ve spent lots of time in the garden (weather permitting of course- it has been RUBBISH in the UK for the past week or so, barring this weekend) and doing weddingy bits and pieces. 

In May I have noticed that I seemed to spend a lot of time reading about death, weirdly. Not for any particularly morbid reasons, it just seemed to turn out that way for some reason, which is often the case; I tend to inadvertently focus on some kind of theme. I read a Lionel Shriver book about a woman suffering from a terminal illness, a couple of books about death and murder and also a non fiction book about cancer. Even the audio book I listened to had apocalyptic content. Though all of these books were certainly interesting, I have made my mind up in June to perhaps pick up some slightly more cheerful reading material! 

My favourite book in May was surprisingly Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. I say ‘surprisingly’ as I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was incredibly well-written and I really loved the characters. I also enjoyed the non-fiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This was the true story of a woman whose cancerous cells were taken by doctors without her knowledge back in the 1950’s and were then used across the world in order to further scientific study. Heartbreaking and poignant, it was also a look at ethics within the field of medicine and is probably set to be one of my top non-fiction reads this year. Sometimes science stuff goes way over my head, but I found this book to be easy to understand and genuinely fascinating. 

In terms of bloggy things, I’ve been trying to be a bit more frequent with my blog postings over the past couple of months, too. This seems to be working ok at the moment- I’ve been aiming for a minimum of two posts a week but am sometimes- though not always!- managing more. I’m not sure how long I will be able to stick to this target as real life sometimes (often) gets in the way, but we’ll see! 

In May, I also had a really good clear-out of my Kindle, which took me forever! I spent hours on Amazon one day when I should have been working *cough* deleting titles from my Kindle library- either ones that I’ve read and won’t look at again, or ones that have been sat cluttering up the device and I have realised that I will probably never get around to looking at now after so long. 

Also, when I first got my Kindle about four years ago, I, probably like a lot of people, went through a phase of getting lots of free books on Amazon and it is these that I now have no inclination (or time) to read. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the free ones I’ve tried have been pretty decent in the past, I have just realised that I am now slightly more discerning in my choice of reads and I would rather pay money for something that I really want, rather than just downloading something because it is free. I also have aspirations to get a newer Kindle model at some point in future (maybe before our honeymoon next year!) and would much rather it contained only a few titles that I will definitely read, rather than being packed to the rafters with loads of random odds and sods that I can’t even remember downloading. Deleting so much out of the Kindle’s memory was really quite therapeutic, if I’m honest. 

So, what’s ahead for June? In May I began a more comprehensive keep-fit regime, which it is safe to say has begun eating into my reading time somewhat too as I was something of a couch potato in the evenings before. Since August last year I have lost over two stone through exercise (mainly LOTS of walking) and healthy eating, but much to my disappointment, my weight loss had reached something of a plateau as of March/April. As a consequence of this, I joined a gym in May and also started swimming and jogging, which I’m pretty proud of. I needed to up the exercise ante to maintain the weight loss. I’m one of those people who has always enjoyed their food a bit too much and HATED exercise (other than walking that is) but I think I’ve finally found a routine I enjoy, so here’s hoping the weight loss steadily increases back to at least one or two pounds per week. I would like to have lost another stone by our wedding day next year, just so I feel even better in my dress. Shedding this last stone or so is going to be the most difficult but I do feel like I can get there and most importantly I’m doing it in a healthy, manageable way with no fad diets! Also, I am planning on loading audio books onto my I-POD so I can listen to them in the gym- bonus! 🙂 I foresee June being full of lots of exercise and audio books so if anyone knows of any particularly good ones with engaging narrators, do please let me know. I have just listened to I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, which had a very good narrator- though again am looking for something slightly more cheerful and less end-of-the-worldy next time around. 

Other than that, again I have no particular reading plans ahead of me. I would like to read a few more Penguin orange classics and Guardian list books again; I’m reading an F. Scott Fitzgerald book at the moment, but I have no review novels set aside as yet and anticipate June being a month of reading for pure pleasure- hopefully curled up on a sun-lounger in the back garden whilst I do so. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic month- dare I say that summer is finally here?! 🙂

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