It’s that time again. Here are all the books I read in May.
First up we have Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This book has been on my radar for years and I finally read it.
It’s about the author and her family and their year of living on what they grew in their garden or could buy locally. And it starts out promising. It’s interesting. It’s entertaining. There are entire blocks of information that I skipped over, because who the hell needs to know the history of like, asparagus.
About 2/3 of the way through the book….she gets preachy. Being vegetarian is stupid. Being vegan is stupid. Her kids are angels that don’t run out and buy Kit Kats as soon as they leave the house. Then you realize, of course she feels superior, she has enough land to grow food for four families. They’re bringing in hundreds of pounds of produce a month. Their garden is a full-time job.
I dunno. This one is a read-at-your-own-risk. It’s interesting in spots, but…yeah.
Next is The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King. If I could rate this book solely on cover and concept it would get a great rating. Alas, I actually read the stupid thing. I thought I was getting a book about a girl that gives a big ol’ F-you to the patriarchy and instead I get a love story. And not even a good one. And of course the main character, whose name I have forgotten out of sheer force of will, isn’t normal. No, she’s different. ~Special.~ And only she can do The Thing that will bring down the bad guy.
This one I actually liked. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. Instead of focusing on the entire Romanov family, this book is about the girls. (And there is a fair bit about their nutbar mother, Alexandra. I don’t want to call her a nutbar, but…you know. Yikes.)
This book includes a lot of information and quotes from letters and journals, both from the royal family and from other family members and peers. As they were older and got out in the world a bit more, you do get a better sense of Olga and Tatiana than Maria and Anastasia.
Obviously this book has a sad ending, but the middle is sad too. I had no idea the girls were kept so isolated.
The book focuses on the events of WWI and the Revolution through the eyes of the family, so you don’t get a good all-around explanation of historical events. That is a minor complaint, though. This is a good one.
And finally we have Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier. I have to preface this by saying that I love Juliet Marillier. If she wrote an ancient Irish phone book, I would read it.
But I didn’t like this one. (I love Daughter of the Forest and Heart’s Blood.) Long story short: someone helps a woman escape from prison before she’s to be executed, though you don’t find out why he helps her. She takes the name Blackthorn and as part of the agreement with this magical person, must become a healer for 7 years. Grim, fellow inmate, also escapes and goes along to help her.
They end up solving local mysteries. This all sounds good, but when the local prince needs help with a mystery, the whole book goes downhill. The prince is about as exciting as wallpaper paste. Why the book focuses so much on him I will never know.
Unfortunately, anyone with half a brain can guess the ending with 100% accuracy long before ever getting there. I wanted to love this book, but alas. This one just didn’t work for me.
And those were May’s books.
See you later!