Linking up with Anne Bogel at Quick Lit
May is my birthday month, so I decided to read whatever the heck I felt like reading this month with no concern about expanding my horizons or increasing my knowledge on important subjects. The result was a diverse collection of books including true crime, an old-favorite author, a “true wuv” memoir, a thriller, and a lovable grumpy old man. Without further ado, here are the five books I finished in May:
1. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
My Thoughts: This is the crazy, horrific, intensely interesting true story of serial killer Ted Bundy. The book was written by Bundy’s friend Ann Rule, who was contracted to write the book before she knew Bundy was a suspect. At many points I could not put the book down. It is difficult to read because Bundy’s crimes were so terrible and prolific, but any fans of the true crime genre should read this book because it is so well done.
Length: 560 pages
When I Read It: April 30-May 17, 2016
Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold at the library; read it the old-fashioned way.
My Thoughts: I started this book more than a year ago and put it down for some unknown reason. I picked it back up again as an antidote to the creepiness of The Stranger Beside Me and devoured the rest of the book quickly. Elwes’s stories about life on the movie set with the amazing cast of characters (Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, Andre the Giant, etc.) are delightful, and fans of the movie would love this book. Several people have told me that the audio version is fantastic because the cast contributes.
Length: 259 pages
When I Read It: March 11, 2015-May 20, 2016
Where I Found It/How I Read It: Bought it at Target; read it the old-fashioned way.
3. A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
My Thoughts: I’ve read almost all of Maeve Binchy’s cozy Irish novels and decided to give this one a try during the long drive to and from New Jersey for my friend’s baby shower. While it’s not as good as many of Binchy’s earlier books, it was an enjoyable, light read for the car ride. Binchy is masterful at creating interesting characters and weaving their lives together, and her descriptions of the Irish countryside always make me want to jump on a plane and head across the Atlantic.
Length: 10 hours and 57 minutes
When I Read It: May 20-22, 2016
Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold through the Overdrive app/listened to the audiobook.
4. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
My Thoughts: I loved Kubica’s first novel, The Good Girl, so I knew I wanted to try another one of her books. When I first started Pretty Baby, I was lukewarm to it, but it picked up in the second half and toward the end I couldn’t put it down. It’s not a true thriller, but Kubica keeps you guessing about the characters: a mysterious homeless girl and baby, and the not-so-perfect family that takes them in. This would be a great beach read. I’m definitely going to put Kubica’s most recent release, Don’t You Cry, on my to-read list.
Length: 380 pages
When I Read It: May 20-30, 2016
Where I Found It/How I Read It: Bought it at Gibson’s Bookstore; read it the old-fashioned way.
5. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My Thoughts: I kept hearing amazing things about this book and was skeptical that it would live up to the hype. I started reading it several months ago and put it down because I wasn’t in the right mood, I guess. I heard that the audio version was fantastic, so I put myself on the hold list and finally got my copy last week. One of my Goodreads friends deemed the book “practically perfect,” and now I see why. Ove, a grumpy, hilarious, sad, lovable old man, is one of those characters you’ll never forget. I kept alternating between snorting with laughter and sniffing with tears. I loved this book and will probably read it again. That’s high praise from me because I rarely reread books.
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
When I Read It: May 25 -31, 2016
Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold through the Overdrive app/listened to the audiobook
Favorite Quote: “He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced.”
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