April was a month filled with enticing library used book sales, so there weren’t any sales in my area in May. Instead, I splurged a bit on some new books and, in an unusual move for me, actually read two and a half of the books I bought this month within the month.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – I finally caved into the immense literary pressure and bought My Brilliant Friend, a book that for a long time I resisted reading. I genuinely had thought I wouldn’t enjoy it; I was very, very wrong. I loved it so much that I quickly had to run back to Barnes & Noble for the second book.
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante – the sequel to My Brilliant Friend, I just finished reading this book this morning. And now desperately need the third book.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I pre-ordered this book awhile ago and am currently about halfway through; so far I’m finding it significantly more enjoyable than its predecessor, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m looking forward to reading the rest but want to savor it.
Love Poems by Pablo Neruda – I have never read a single poem by Pablo Neruda, although I’ve been meaning to for years. I don’t tend to read a ton of poetry but I think I should be attempting to read more of it; I’ll start with this very slim volume of extremely famously beautiful love poems.
Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey – I don’t know a lot about this book, but I found it in the Staff Recommendations section at the Strand. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and depicts a woman being submerged in water; from the description, it looks to be about a woman leaving her life behind and immersing herself in a new environment in New Zealand. I’m intrigued.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – I’ve read two of Ishiguro’s previous books (Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day) and love his thoughtful style and his focus on the theme of the unreliability of memory. This book is his first foray into touches of fantasy and depicts an elderly couple’s search for their son. I’ve been wanting to read it ever since it came out but was waiting for the paperback edition to be released.
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – Winterson’s The Passion was my first 5-star read of 2016, and I found this book completely accidentally on a bargain table at the Strand. From the back of the book, “The Daylight Gate is Jeanette Winterson’s singular vision of a dark period of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined.” It looks to be about witchcraft and witchhunting in 1600s England, and I have really high hopes for it.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – I really hate watching a movie before reading a book, but it’s been a long time since I saw the film version in an indie movie theater in my college town. My goal to read more classics has been going really terribly, and I’ve heard amazing things about this book, so I’m going to hope that this can help get me into a classics zone. The Goodreads blurb refers to this book as “the most nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh’s novels, Brideshead Revisited looks back to the golden age before the Second World War. It tells the story of Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the Marchmains and the rapidly-disappearing world of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first by Sebastian at Oxford, then by his doomed Catholic family, in particular his remote sister, Julia, Charles comes finally to recognize only his spiritual and social distance from them.”