May Reviews

May has most definitely flown by. I was fortunate enough to visit my mom in Central California for Mother's Day (complete with a trip to Yosemite), went to two great readings, have added some extra yoga and now biking into my life, and am furiously working to finish my grading for the end of the semester. June promises a lot more fun and less stressful

May's reads:

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
Pages: 512
I wrote about my disappointing experience here, but in a nutshell I was very disappointed. Her characters were flat and the storyline dull. 

Verdict: Stick to Harry Potter (you and Rowling)

Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison 
Pages: 354
I wrote about this book too, as part of my nonfiction nagging posts. As someone who practices two or so times a week but doesn't necessarily buy into the new age aspect, I really appreciated this book. Morrison goes to Bali to become a yoga teacher but also embarks on a journey of self-discovery too (corny sounding, but not).

Verdict: If you love yoga or stories of transformation you'll enjoy it

Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
Pages: 400
I am a huge fan of House of the Spirits, both because of Allende's writing and the magical realism. While Maya's Notebook was written much simpler and was void of anything magical, it still had a good story. Maya is a teenager who has battled addiction, prostitution, and some serious trouble with the law. Her grandmother sends her down to a tiny island off the coast of Chile to hide out, allowing her to come to terms with her past and plan for her future.

Verdict: I enjoyed the story and I think that this might be an adult book that YA readers could appreciate.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Pages: 596
After years and years (no exaggeration) of waiting for Pessl's new book I was thrilled to not be disappointed by her sophomore release. This literary mystery tracks the investigation into a young piano prodigy (also the daughter of a mysterious, possibly dangerous, film maker). The book incorporates "artifacts," including screen shots of websites, photos, letters, etc... The effort that went into crafting this novel is apparent from the first page.

Verdict: If you liked Special Topis in Calamity Physics or have been searching for a high-quality mystery, than this is your book. 

A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
Pages: 224
I think what affected me most about this novel is that it could happen to any of us- you're in a happy marriage and then your husband hits middle age and realizes that he's bored (or, on the flip side, you could be the one realizing your over your life). This happens to the main character Helen, although her husband's boredom manifests into an extremely messy office almost-romance that lands him in jail. Helen must figure out how to reenter the work force and handle her snotty teenaged daughter. It sounds like a chic lit, but I promise it's not- the structure and content is far more complex.

Verdict: Like Maya's Notebook, this might be something to graduate to, if you are a fan of chic lit. I thought it could have been better, but as a whole it was an interesting, thought-provoking read.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pages: 193
I am so glad I decided to read this before going to see the movie, since it had been so long. I'll spare everyone the synopsis, but I after reading this I was instantly compelled to pull of a collection of shorter works by Fitzgerald I have on my shelf- he's is such a great writer (I quickly put it back up and watched an episode of Arrested Development, in all honesty). 

Verdict: If you haven't, or haven't in awhile, you must.

Total: 2,279 pages

Favorite book of May?


  1. Love these! I'm going to put on my brave face and read Gatsby soon. My favorite of May was definitely Railsea by China Mieville.

  2. I read Gatsby again recently too and was reminded how much I love it and Fitzgerald's writing in general. It amazes me the way he packs so much meaning into just a few words, a skill I wish more authors had :)