Friday, June 10, 2011

May Reads in Review - 2011 and Fiona Friday (starring Izzy)

Technically speaking, at a mere 10 books, May was my worst reading month of 2011, so far. And, I actually strayed from my purpose a bit, continuing on with several books that weren't doing it for me. But, it also just happens to have been a month during which I discovered two new favorites. So . . . on balance, not a bad month, after all.

May Reads (with links to reviews):

My absolute favorites, this month, were Fire Season and Chime, two books I loved so much that I already know they'll make my annual favorites list. Charleston Mysteries was a great combination of guide book (with a walking tour past spooky places in Charleston, SC) and history. When a Dragon Moves In is creative fun for preschoolers with great illustrations and a cute story that can easily lead into a nice little conversation about imagination and honesty.

The mental_floss Genius Instruction Manual was fun but it certainly didn't turn me into a genius. Darn. I enjoyed it, though. Everything I've read by the mental_floss crew has been entertaining, often very humorous. And, you can't lose if John Green is one of the people on the author team.

The Making of a Rogue was the third in an adventurous and romantic series that I love. Although it's a series book, it should stand alone fine. Charleston is Burning! is a fascinating look at 200 years of fire and firefighting history in a town where common sense apparently did not rule, early on, and major conflagrations were needlessly common.

That leaves the three books that didn't thrill my heart. The Lightkeeper's Ball was entertaining but way too far-fetched for my taste. Skinny taught me that I simply don't like reading about eating disorders (particularly binge-eating). There were things I liked about French Milk but it didn't charm me the way I'd hoped.

Those three disappointments gave me a good knock on the head. I've been working hard at trying to continue only with books that really suck me in so that I don't waste valuable reading time. I don't know why I opted to slack up on my goal to read only books I like or love in May, but I'm back to ditching books that don't grab me within the first 30-50 pages and, so far, June has been a fabulous reading month.

I have not been able to find my camera to upload the kitty pics I've taken this week, so you get an older shot (but not that much older -- maybe two weeks old) of Miss Isabel resting on a washcloth.

I was sorting laundry, you see. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. How I love that cat! She just makes me want to come through the monitor and nuzzle her...which makes me laugh, my kitty boys were never really ones for snuggling and loving unless THEY wanted it!

    I am jealous of your "low" month of May. That would be a good month for me! See why I don't set my sights so dad-gum high??

    I truly love the idea of setting aside books that don't grab you in the first 30-50 pages. That's Nancy Pearl's rule of thumb...unless you're over 50. Then she says to take off one page for every year you are over 50. Just think of it, if you're 100 the author only gets 1 page to pull you in. Life is just too short to waste our time on books that aren't the right fit!

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Gaye,

    Isabel is probably much like your kitty boys. She follows me everywhere and likes to lie down by my feet but she is absolutely not a lap cat. She's a sweetheart, though. When she's in the mood for a little loving, she is very affectionate.

    There was a time in my life when I felt lucky to finish 40 books in a year, so I can relate. I've gradually read more books as my children have gotten older. Now, if I ever get a job, I'm sure that will really take a bite out of my reading!

    I didn't realize Nancy Pearl had said that, but I've heard that rule of thumb using age. The way I heard it, at 100 you can feel free to judge a book by its cover. LOL Anyway, yeah, I totally agree with that principle. The older you get, the more you realize how little time you have left to waste!

    Thanks! Hope you have a great weekend, too!

  3. I should probably abandon the one I'm reading now but I'm determined to finish the darn thing. Too bad it's so depressing.

    At least you had some good reads! And Isabel is darling.

  4. Carrie,

    Abandon ship! There's no need to continue with a book that's depressing you, even if you've only got a few pages left.

    I did have some great reads. Thanks. Isabel has been waking me by jumping on me and knocking things off the nightstand, this week. I keep locking the little hellion out of the room. Then, crazy husband opens the door and leaves it open. Need rest! But, she's awfully cute, so I haven't chewed her out.

  5. We have three cats, and two of them will only play and respond to my daughter. The other one is an equal opportunity lover, and will sleep by my head every night. His name is Bill and he is just the most handsome and sweet cat that you will ever meet. He loves people, especially strangers that come into the house, and is always angling for a little scratch behind the ears and a cuddle. I just love your cats and am glad that you share so many photos of them with us!

  6. Zibilee,

    Every time I tell my husband I'm yearning for a third cat, he reminds me there will be more poop to deal with! LOL I still want another, but I love my two. They get really freaked when I do housework because they like to follow me from room to room but when I'm running back and forth between rooms they eventually give up. Your Bill sounds awesome. There is nothing quite like a cat that loves to snuggle. Our little Miss Sunshine was the most outgoing cat I've ever had. She converted a few cat haters with her overt affection. But it was Spooky that was our snuggler. Sunshine was more of a puppy cat. She greeted people, jumped on strangers' laps for head rubs and then when she settled down beside someone, it was always with one paw touching them.

  7. Now, where did you take the photo of the TEN? heehee

  8. Carrie dear,

    No fair asking a question if you already know the answer!

  9. Your kitty is gorgeous as always! I've got Skinny on my coffee table but haven't started it yet. I generally like reading books about eating disorders (although usually memoirs not fiction). Hopefully I'll be able to get a chance to read a bit of it before it's due back at the library.

  10. Alyce,

    I hope you enjoy Skinny. I've always known overeating scenes made me nauseous, but I think Skinny was the first book that made me realize just how much I hate reading about people stuffing their faces. I'm going to avoid that kind of story, from now on. I don't know about anorexia, though -- that's quite different and probably not something I'll ditch wholesale. Anyway, I do hope you like it!

  11. Oops, Alyce, I forgot to say thank you for the comment about the kitty pic! Isabel is quite the talker. We've just been having a conversation. LOL


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