After an exciting April, where I had two weekends off in a row (unheard of in my world!) that saw me travel down to Brighton and up to Lincolnshire where we had such wonderful weather, I was worried that May would seem a little flat in comparison. I was back to working every single weekend and didn’t have anything exciting to look forward to, also the weather has been up and down – one minute like a summer’s day, the next windy and raining. However, I did manage to complete my Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction challenge before the readings at the Southbank Centre next Tuesday and the announcement of the winner on Wednesday 4th! Although I didn’t have anything planned for May I was transported all over the world, from India to America to Ireland to Germany in the 1940s and to Iceland in the nineteenth century, with these shortlisted books. I cannot state enough how much I enjoyed them and how grateful I am to the prize for opening up my reading horizons! I also managed to fit in two trips to bookshops (though one was an outdoor market) and I caught the last day of the Alchemy Festival at the Southbank Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, which saw me eat lots of great Indian food and enjoy free Indian dancing and live music. Despite the weather being atrocious, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Books read in May:
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
- A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
- The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (review coming soon)
Books started but abandoned:
- The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox – Again I have failed with my Classics Spin. I did try and start The Female Quixote but a few pages in I was pretty sure that the spelling errors I encountered weren’t due to authentic eighteenth-century English, but the very poor (and cheap) edition I acquired off Amazon.
- Standfords Bookshop, Covent Garden
- Southbank Book Market, South Bank (review to come)
Interesting bookish-related articles I’ve been reading in May:
- The National Literary Trust’s Books About Town project
- Maya Angelou was ‘a real original’ says Toni Morrison @ BBC News
- Angelou and Steinbeck replaced by Ishiguro and Syal in new English GCSE exams @ The Guardian
May in pictures:
I’m not yet sure which books I will be reading in June but I do know that the majority of them will be Angela Carter books, thanks to the Angela Carter Week hosted by Caroline at Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat and Delia at Postcards from Asia from the 8th-15th June. I also have the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist readings at the Southbank Centre to look forward to, as well as a trip to the Globe to see Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy, Titus Andronicus (I’m hoping my dad doesn’t faint!).