Monthly Wrap-Up – May 2021

Hello everyone,

It is the end of another month and my goodness, it was an exceptionally busy one! I am so used to remarking on here about how quickly the time goes, but this time it honestly feels like forever since May began so that really gives an indication of how eventful and productive it was.

The main news in my life during May is that I finally moved into my new flat!!!! 😍 After several months of decorating and buying furniture and getting the place ready for me to move in, I finally did it on Friday 14th. That whole week was exhausting and as hectic as you could imagine, but the outcome was very rewarding.

Just over two weeks on and I am feeling pretty settled! Having my own space and freedom has taken quite some getting used to, as has the fact I have to do all the housework by myself for the first time in my life having always lived with my parents before now, but I feel like I have embraced it and I am very excited for the future.

At around the same time as I moved in, work also stepped up in intensity as for two weeks I was drafted into the role of being on the reception inbox for the service I work in at the University of Bristol. What made it difficult was that I have only been in my current job since March and there were lots of questions coming in that I did not know the answer to at first, but in the end I was happy with how it went and all the feedback from my colleagues was positive.

In the midst of all of that I still had time for some reading, and in May I encountered another interesting array of books. During the month I managed to finish a total of five, and I have two more on the go at the time of writing which are both shaping up to very good indeed. In terms of ratings, it was a slightly better month than April, even if a five-star read continues to elude me!

Here are the books I finished in May:

The Handmaid’s Tale (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐.5
The Silence Of Bones ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Maria In The Moon ⭐⭐⭐
The Secret Of White Stone Gate ⭐⭐⭐
Felix Ever After ⭐⭐⭐.5

I had been wanting to read The Handmaid’s Tale for a long time but had found the idea of picking up a physical copy quite intimidating (lol) so having recently taken up audiobooks I decided to try it on there. It was definitely interesting and thought-provoking and brilliantly written, but for a lot of the time I was wondering if I might have appreciated it more had I read it in physical form. That said however, the ending was absolutely outstanding and made everything which had taken place before in the story suddenly make more sense.

As for the other books, The Silence Of Bones was clearly the highlight as it just contained so many of the things I love in a good story. I even decided to write a poem about it which I shared in my review. There was plenty of uniqueness there too, with Maria In The Moon having a novel premise and Felix Ever After (a book which I have been meaning to read for a long while), the first time I have read something with a trans main character.

My TBR for June is still to be fully determined, but my first priority is to finish A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, the first of several Greek mythology retellings I am aiming to get to in the months to come as there are so many amazing ones being released at the moment! Also on my agenda is The Fear by C.L. Taylor, and Crooked Kingdom, the second part of everybody’s favourite duology 😉

Speaking of which, I finished watching the first series of the Netflix adaptation of Shadow And Bone during May, which I reviewed in a recent blog post. Overall it was a very fun watch, with the casting and the music also among the highlights – indeed I have already listened through the entire soundtrack on YouTube. The character of Mal is much more likeable in the show than in the book, although despite the performance of Ben Barnes they ruined the Darkling somewhat.

One of the many positive aspects of the lockdown restrictions easing in the UK is that in-person book events are now taking place again with the appropriate safety measures, and I was lucky enough to see Richard Osman discuss his incredibly successful novel The Thursday Murder Club, which I read earlier in the year. That was a particularly good day.

June may also be the month where I am offered my first coronavirus vaccination, depending on how quickly the programme reaches those aged 25. That would form part of what looks set to be another busy month which will include further adaptation to solitary living, several days out coinciding with a much anticipated break from work, and the start of the delayed Euro 2020.

So busy was my May that – much to my shame – I did not blog hop at all until the Saturday just gone, so I have spent some time over these last few days frantically catching up. I shall finish the post with some of my favourites out of the ones I have been able to get to:

  • Every time I read her posts, I seem to adore Yesha’s blog even more. In May, her highlights included a review of The Berlin Zookeeper by Anna Stuart, and her discussion on blogging ‘rules’.
  • NS Ford asked a very interesting question – what actually is literary fiction?
  • Liza compared the Shadow And Bone trilogy of books with the Netflix adaptation.
  • May used the titles of some of the books she owns to craft together a poem for the fourth successive year. Very creative!
  • Malka asked if we all need to have a blogging schedule.
  • I really enjoyed the review from I’m All Booked Up YA of Row by Sarah Mello. They both loved the book!
  • The Circus Of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal is a highly anticipated read and I simply adored the glowing review that Sarah wrote.
  • Aisling reviewed one of my favourite books, The Song Of Achilles and described it beautifully.
  • On a related topic, Siena gave some excellent recommendations for books to read if you like Madeline Miller’s two acclaimed novels.

That is everything for now. Hope you all have a fantastic June! 🙂

33 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up – May 2021

  1. Looks like you had busy month and enjoyed most of the books. I also want to get Handmaid’s Tale for long time but I keep putting it down on list.
    Thank you so much for including my posts. I feel so happy you enjoy my reading my blog.
    Happy reading and wish you have amazing June. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it was quite the month! I decided to read The Handmaid’s Tale on audiobook as it would have taken me too long to get to the physical copy. And you’re very welcome, I hope you have a lovely June too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for mentioning my post! I’m so glad you liked it! I I also have a lot of Greek mythology retellings on my TBR at the moment, so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of A Thousand Ships. And congrats on the new flat!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, Aisling! There are just so many great retellings around at the moment, aren’t there?! I am very close to finishing A Thousand Ships and it’s very good. Have a great June!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on moving into your apartment 🎉🎉
    I can totally relate to feeling lost when working, I’m also new the whole work life and in mu company and when people ask me questions, a siren 🚨turns on in my head 😅😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s so great about your new flat! Moving is so exciting. Looks like you had a really busy month. I’m surprised you got any reading done at all. I think a move would just freak me out too much for that.
    I hope you enjoy your new flat and your new responsibilities. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such wonderful books! I really enjoyed Felix Ever After and I hope to read The Silence of Bones soon because I’ve heard the absolute best things about it. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on moving into your new apartment – that’s so exciting!! 🎉 I’m glad to hear you enjoyed The Silence Of Bones, it’s definitely high up on my to-read pile. And thanks for mentioning my post! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on moving into your new flat, Stephen! I know what you mean about the stress building up to the move and the relief once you’re fully moved in. I hope you enjoy your new place and read some great books in June! Fingers crossed you get your vaccine too! Here in Spain they are moving slowly down the age groups but I still have about a month to go until I’m hopefully eligible.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on moving into your new apartment! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on A Thousands Ships, and thank you for mentioning my post, I’m so glad you liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on moving into your flat. How exciting! It sounds like you have had a busy month. The Handmaid’s Tale is a fantastic read in its physical form. Great post😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on moving into your own flat finally! (Even though this happened a few months ago). It’s definitely a big change! When I moved into my first apartment, I still had roommates, but I had to get used to cooking and cleaning and shopping for myself, which was a lot more time consuming and energy draining than I expected.

    I’m really hoping that since May you’ve found a 5 star read, but as someone who hasn’t found a steal my heart favorite yet this year, I know that can be a tough ask!

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post! You mention not blog hopping well, but since I haven’t really visited other blogs in months, I think that even once a month is a lofty goal for me at the moment!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful August!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Three months in and it is all going well – I definitely have discovered how time-consuming all those things are so I am having to manage my time much more effectively than before, but I’m enjoying it!

      I have had two five-star books since May thankfully, and I have some great books coming up. I hope you find your favourite read of the year soon 😊

      And you’re very welcome! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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