Rearview Mirror // May 2018

Oh look, it’s June!  I had a few brief moments in May where I posted semi-regularly… and then I suddenly lost all interest in reading anything useful, and instead have read literally nine Pride & Prejudice variations in the last two weeks.  Sometimes you just need a bit of time for your brain to turn into mush, you know?  But I did pick up a “real”  book this morning (Ender’s Game) so we’ll see how that goes.  I’m not sure I’m ready to get back into real reading or not…

Anyway, this all means that things have been a little erratic on the blog, but since this is all for fun, that’s okay!  :-D  And, if you’re interested, I’ve been starting to review the terrible P&P variations over on a blog I created for just that purpose, although I’ll probably eventually post a summary link when I get done reviewing them all.

In regular life, part of the reason I haven’t felt much like reading is because it’s the time of year where I start living in the garden.  Our vegetable garden has about doubled in size this year from last year, so I’ve been working out there a lot.  There are always plenty of projects this time of year, and even a lot of my reading takes places outside!

Favorite May Read

Have to go with Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield for this slot.  I hadn’t read this book since childhood, and I couldn’t believe how much MORE I loved it now!  A gentle, adorable story that I wanted to last forever.

Most Disappointing May Read

Wow, this is unusual, but all of my books this month were at least 4* reads!  While I didn’t really have anything besides Understood Betsy that felt magical to me, the rest of the books were still solid, not-disappointing stories.

Other May Reads

Last May…

I was working at the greenhouse, so May’s Rearview didn’t get written until the end of June!  Better late than never, right??  I read The Nesting Placewhich I still highly recommend and have given as a gift for weddings/housewarmings/random several times since I read it last year.  A fabulously encouraging book about making your home the home that fits you, your family, and your needs.  While in some ways basic, the message is still freeing, and has actually inspired me to make several changes in my own house (including turning a dining nook into a pantry…)  I still pull this book out from time to time and flip through it.

TBR Update

For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:

  • Standalones:  826 (up four)
  • Nonfiction:  79 (holding steady)
  • Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…):  686 (down four!)
  • Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series):  230 (holding steady)
  • Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 106 (down two)

I’ve really been working on reading some of my own books, and that number should drop some more when I finish reviewing the backlog of P&P variations, all of which were my own Kindle books, purchased back when I first had a Kindle.

Awaiting Review

  • I finished Gerald Morris’s “Squire Tales” books – kinda forgot how emotionally devastating the final book in that series is.  It’s kind of what sent me off on the P&P binge… it took me a while to recover from the ending!
  • Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner – I had mixed feelings on these books, a lot both to like and not like for me.  Still, if a third book is added to the series, I can see myself reading it.
  • The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I actually have the review for this one written, but it was going to be part of May’s minireviews… but there weren’t any others, so now it will be a part of June’s minireviews.  :-D
  • Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff – when I get around to writing this review, I’ll explain about the crazy Traveling Book Clue I’ve gotten myself into.  For now, suffice to say that it’s going to get me to read some books I normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.  While this one wasn’t terrible, it definitely had a lot of eye-rolling moments for me (which sounds kind of insensitive because it’s a book about suicide, but what can I do).
  • Green Card by Elizabeth Adams – not actually a P&P variation, but a Kindle book I bought in that same time frame and also very chick lit-y.  I actually enjoyed this one more than I remembered the first time around.
  • Of course multiple P&P variations:  Unequal Affections, An Unpleasant Walk, Rain & Retribution, Bluebells in the Mourning, Remembrance of the Past, Mr. Darcy & Mr. Collins’s Widow, Alone With Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s Letter, and An Unwavering Trust.  It’s been a mixed bag.  Unequal Affections is definitely the best out of the bunch, but I also quite enjoyed Bluebells in the Mourning.  Remembrance of the Past was definitely the worst – if you’re going to add a new main character, at least make her not obnoxious!

Current Reads:

Actually, I’m only reading one book right now.  Who am I?!  I just started Ender’s Game this morning.  Random, but I had had Ready Player One on my TBR for years, and randomly picked it up a few months ago.  Then, when I was telling my brother about it he said, “You realize that’s going to be a movie next month, right?”  What were the odds?!  Apparently good, because I’ve done it again with this one – I added Ender’s Game to the TBR back in 2013 or so, and it just came up on my random book draw – and I guess it’s becoming a movie very soon??  I’m like a backwards hipster.  I like stuff before I realize that it’s cool to other people.  ;-)

Approaching the Top of the Pile

The probably next five reads…

This is a tricky one this month as I have NOT been doing a good job sticking to my plan!  But as long as I decide that reading real books is the way to go, this is probably what will come up next…

  • The next book in the Ender’s series, provided the first one is any good
  • Ella Enchanted as the next book that I own to read – this is an old favorite
  • Planting With Perennials as an attempt to also read through all of my nonfiction
  • Ring of Truth as an attempt to read through all the many, many Kindle books I own (actually, another contributing factor to the P&P binge was that I have started organizing all of my Kindle books and thus came across all of those old P&P variations!)
  • The first Judy Bolton book – I’ve collected these books for years, but haven’t read them since I first started collecting them back circa 2000.  Time to actually give these books another go before I mindlessly purchase another!

There you have it!  Here’s to more books in June!