Tuesday, June 06, 2017

What I Read | May + FREE Summer Reading List Printable

A look back at what I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread



It's one of my favorite times of the month when I get to look back at all the books I read over the last few weeks. I had so many on my list in May and got most of them checked off. There were a lot of really good books and a lot of really bad ones. Really bad. Don't forget to read through to the end of the post to learn how to get a copy of my FREE summer reading list printable!

Must Read

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay | ★★★★★
Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent. - Goodreads description

I shared a full review of this book in the latest #Collaboreads post.

Noteworthy

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | ★★★★★
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. - Goodreads description

This is the third time I read this book and it was even better this time around. I love any fiction or non-fiction book that is based on the WWI or WWII era and this one had such depth to it. The characters were perfectly written and you felt the hopelessness of their circumstances. One of the things that stands out about Doerr's novel is how he writes Marie-Laure. She is blind and cannot see what is happening to her city around her, so you get to experience the arrival of WWII in France through your other senses... the sound of the planes flying, the smell of fire burning, even the sensation of her hair standing up on the back of her neck when a German soldier passes by on the street. Simply stunning.

Other mentions for the month of May:

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides  | ★★★★★
My Last Lament by James William Brown  | ★★★★★
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown  | ★★★★
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist  | ★★★★
When God Says Wait by Elizabeth Laing Thompson  | ★★★★
The Scarlett Letters by Jenny Nordbak  | ★★★★
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult  | ★★★★
Love Lives Here by Maria Goff  | ★★★★
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  | ★★★
The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth  | ★★★
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon  | ★★★
Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold by Margaret Atwood  | ★★★
She Reads Truth by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams  | ★★★☆☆
Foraged Flora by Louesa Roebuck  | ★★★☆☆
Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova  | ★★★
No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece  | ★★★☆☆
White Fur by Jardine Libaire  | ★★☆☆
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust  | ★★☆☆
The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber  | ★★☆☆


Now, as promised, I'm sharing my seasonal reading list printable with you! Click the link below to download your copy. I usually go through a couple of these every season, so print off as many as you need! Happy reading!


What did you enjoy reading last month?

The post What I Read | May + FREE Summer Reading List Printable first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

48 comments:

  1. Love your printable! I found some of these (not yours but a super cute kid one) book sheets and I have been logging ever since. I wish I would have kept track my whole life. I still hold the record for most chapter books (thank you Pizza Hut Book-It program!!) in the 2nd grade. 241. I was a geek even then. (Noting that P.Hut quit allowing me free pizzas when I filled 3 buttons :-( because they were losing their bums on my free pizzas)

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  2. I loved Angels And Demons. And I haven't read any other book on your list...but they all sound like great reads. I hope to get some more reading in this summer. We have planned nothing this summer and just rolling with the tides :)

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  3. Always looking for new books to read! I love the summer reading list. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. So am I and you're welcome! Thanks for stopping by, Mandy!

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  5. Oh my gosh, my sisters and I would CRUSH the Pizza Hut Book-It program! Those were the days... :D

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  6. I love summers like that. They allow for so much flexibility. Hope you get some good books read!

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  7. Im going to have to check some of these out! Thanks for the list :) An Untamed State is at the top now!

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  8. You're so welcome! Hope you find a few you love! :)

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  9. What an awesome printable, thank you! I can plan out what I'll be reading this summer, and what my boys will be reading. :)

    It took me a long time to get into All The Light We Cannot See, but I did end up enjoying it. GLad you liked it, too!

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  10. You're welcome Mia! I'm glad you can make use of it. :) I agree about All the Light. I read the book twice and listened to the audiobook this third time and it's much easier to listen to the story than read. It's a long one!

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  11. Alexis Benty PrietoJune 6, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    I have All the Light We Cannot See on my list already...can't wait to read it. Thanks for the print out to keep me organized!

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  12. You're welcome Alexis! Hope you enjoy the book!

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  13. Great list! I might have to check some of these out. I miss reading!

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  14. I'm so impressed with your list! I see a few items on it that i want to check out so I'll have to keep them in mind. I need to get off my computer and back into my books!

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  15. I have a book post for tomorrow, but I absolutely need to read some of these for my June list! You read so many fabulous options!

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  16. Hope you find a few books you enjoy this summer, Beth! :)

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  17. Ooh, I'll have to check your post out when it's up! I love seeing what others are reading. :)

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  18. All the Light We Cannot See - SUCH a fabulous book. So many emotions running through me while reading it. Right now, I'm reading "You are a Badass at Making Money." Hahaha. A little different. BUT, it's a great read!

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  19. Yes, it was a great book and I cried through a big portion of it. I need to read any books that have "badass" in the title, so maybe I'll check this one out!

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  20. shootingstarsmagJune 6, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Thanks for the printable. I hope to get a lot of books read this summer. I think you did great on your May reading, though sorry you had some bad reads!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  21. Thanks, Lauren! Hope you find some great books this summer!

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  22. I read Roxane Gay's book "Bad Feminist" and really enjoyed it. I recently picked up her book "Difficult Women" but have had a much more difficult time getting into it. "An Untamed State" sounds REALLY interesting though, it sounds like it addresses some really important topics. Oh and I've always wanted to read "Middlesex".

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  23. I wish I was this organised! I walk into the library with a list of books and walk out with another set of books Ive never heard of in my life!


    Thank you for the printable! I will have to check these babies out! I am craving for a good read!



    www.nmdiaries.com

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  24. I love everything Roxane Gay writes. I have a literary crush on that woman. Haha!

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  25. I sometimes do the same thing in the library! :)

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  26. I read All the Light We Cannot See a few years ago, and I still think about it!

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  27. Jessica BradshawJune 6, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Wow! So many books!! I wish I had time to read that much/could read in the car during our road trip!! Love your printable too!

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  28. Feather & FlintJune 6, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    I've been meaning to read All the Light We Cannot See and Butter - glad to read your recommendation of the former, I'll hop on that one soon! I love reading books in my hammock all summer long :)

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  29. What did you think of Middlesex? I had a writing teacher who told me my writing style reminded him of Middlesex, so I've been meaning to check it out ever since.

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  30. All the light we cannot see is one of my fav reads!

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  31. Always love good book recommendations. Adding those to my to-read list! Thanks!

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  32. You can read in the car... Audiobooks! :)

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  33. You should read All the Light. It's a really good one! :)

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  34. I really enjoyed it. I've never read anything by Eugenides before, but I will in the near future. The book was pretty long and had many little stories woven together, but they all work together for the theme of the book. It was very interesting.

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  35. All the Light We Cannot See is on my reading list. It sounds amazing.

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  36. Surprisingly, I haven't actually heard of a lot of these! Roxane Gay's books have been on my to read list for a while after hearing such great things about her, and All The Light We Cannot See is waiting patiently on the edge of my shelf for me to pick it up. It's definitely next in line, so many people have raved about it.

    I also loved The Time Traveler's Wife! It was a little difficult to follow sometimes, but such a unique story.

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

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  37. You will love Roxane Gay! She is an amazing writer!

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  38. I am so impressed with how many books you've read recently! I've read one - but I am hoping to get some more reading done this summer! I have been meaning to read All The Light We Cannot See because I've had a lot of friends recommend it to me!

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  39. It's such a good book! Hope you enjoy it!

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  40. Such a great list of books! I need to up my summer reading game for sure.

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  41. Elizabeth JohnsonJune 7, 2017 at 8:44 AM

    This is such a great list! I will definitely be looking into these books. I'm always looking for more book recommendations.

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  42. Thanks for coming by to check out the post, Thena!

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