My May 2020 reads

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Wow May has flown by, and looking at my books I get why. These are all good ones, I enjoyed most of them a lot! No wonder that I have read one book more than I usually do, even though there were some days I didn’t read any at all. The pace with I go through one was faster and I sometimes needed a little break, to also look around in the real world around me.

Only three out of nine are library books, but now that the library is open again without much restrictions, I suspect they will show up more and more in my reading. Having all those books available to me by just one click or a stroll around some cabinets is just amazing! And I get inspired by them so much I forget I have books at home I want to read too… But the year is not over yet, even though I reached 50% of my Goodreads challenge by the end of May.

So let’s get to it! What did I read this May?

28. A murder is announced by Agatha Christie 4/5 (blue star)
Another cozy mystery with Miss Marple as a lead figure! I liked it as much as Murder at the Vicarage and The body in the library. I again never guessed whodunnit but this time there were some clues I spotted right, before they were put together in the final explanation. Maybe next time I will finally get it!

29. The light behind the window 4/5 (yellow star)
Right from the start I knew this book could either go two ways, I would really like it or I would hate it due to the amount of romance. And I am glad to say, that I actually liked it!
First there is the mystery of the house, the present time main character Emily inherits. It’s beautiful, full of art and ancient books, but most of all it’s intriguing history. What happened there? What are it’s secrets? I wanted to know!
And then there is the second main character, not in present time, who is trained to help her country oversees during the war but right from the start everything derails from the plan and this story is beginning.
The psychological issues both characters struggle with are put to paper nicely. Emily’s naivety was rather frustrating though. I couldn’t believe her! But this story comes to a good end. Some bits even better than expected.

30. The great alone by Tim Voors 3/5 (green star)
This book was in my quarantine mystery pack from the library and only took a couple of hours to read. It’s fast paced and is stitched together of many short parts. The downside is that the story isn’t going deep, but even though it’s a bit shallow it gives a nice view of this mans travel of the Pacific Crest trail. The title is not very accurate though, Tim hardly travels alone, just without his family.
As a hiker myself I often wonder how it would be to hike a long-distance trail. I haven’t tried yet myself, but I would like to walk the Dutch Pieterpad and complete all of the trails in Sweden. Truhiking still seems a bit scary to me though…

31. The messenger by Markus Zusak 3/5 (blue star)
This book was confusing. I liked the plot, but not the writing style. So when I kept wondering what would happen next, I was also constantly annoyed.
The story line is good, but I was missing the emotional depth I am used to from rereading the Book Thief so many times. It’s not that it isn’t there, it’s only so much more subtle and written in a totally different style. This book is definitely speaking to a younger audience than me.

32. The human factor by Graham Greene 2/5 (purple star)
There is a lot of side chatter in the story which makes it very cluttered. Once you get used to that and read between the lines there are little clues everywhere to make you feel a bit like a spy on the ongoing investigation. Sadly, the wrong guy gets murdered in suspicion of treason, but the speculative way they come to their conclusion is interesting to follow. After that the story becomes more forthcoming and less cluttered, but still the promised excitement is lacking. The human factor is a good title though, as most of the story is driven by sometimes little and sometimes big human emotions and thoughts. There is also no happy ending, which makes it rather believable. Still, I can’t help to feel a bit disappointed.

33. The map of salt and stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar 5/5 (green star)
This book was recommended by a penpal and oh was she right!! I loved this Middle-Eastern storytelling, it’s a trade our Western society has either failed to learn or forgot, which is both a real shame. The travels of both parties in the story, both current-time as historical, are interesting to follow. And having seen many documentaries about these biblical regions when I was younger it was easy to picture them in my mind. There was a fair amount of mythology throughout the story, I loved how the mystical journey intertwined with the present time journey, which were both so adventurous but for very different reasons. and the braveness of the girls… the book made me cry multiple times. Despite all the horrible things there was a double happy ending and in this case it was well-received. I would happily reread this one again.

I also liked how the main present time character (whoops, forgot her name, the little sister) goes from her naive opinions to learn more about the stuff really happening around her, like between her and her sister with the bracelet. It felt very real, because at that age you really are that naive but as you grow into adulthood you notice that things aren’t what you think they are and that there is a story behind everything (and that a lot of people wear masks).

34. Mort (Discworld #4, Death #1) by Terry Pratchett 2/5 (yellow star)
It was amusing, but I could tell it was written as one of the early Discworld novels. After reading the City Watch series this takes some getting used to. It was nice to get some more background on Discworld itself and Mort also gives a peek into the Rincewind series. It was a nice inbetween-story.

35. Bad intensions by Karin Fossum 3/5 (blue star)
After a few bad translations this next Sejer-story was a nice quick read again. It’s quite human, three boys get into a stupid drunk accident and have to live with what happened, but one of them can’t and everything goes wrong from there when one tries to hold on to control. It gets displayed from their different psychological angles, which gave a realistic view of how something like this would happen. Too bad of the kitten though, that wasn’t needed…

36. Of blood and bone (Chronicles of The One #2) by Nora Roberts 4/5 (green star)
I read the entire book, almost as once, even though I wasn’t sure I actually liked this series when I started the first part. In this second one the story line is more focused, even thought there still are some unexplained gaps. And even when you compare it to other fantasies, yes of course there are better books. I think it’s the emotional part that lures me in. It was good to read about New Hope city again. The way people have made a life there, it’s refreshing! Also, this is a series based on people getting mysterious powers after a virus has spread the world, so with the current time we are living in this somehow seemed plausible enough to be actually happening. 😉

And that was it! These were my May 2020 reads. Have you read any of these too? What did you think about them? Do you have a recommendation for something similar? Or is there anything you would like to know? Ask me in the comments!