I read less books this month than I have in ages. Partly this is because I didn’t really feel like reading, but it’s also because I spent a lot of time writing.
Books mentioned and mini-reviews:
Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt
Probably the best book on planning your year that I’ve read. The author takes you through his complete system, which involves setting up monthly, weekly and daily check-ins to keep you on track. This has been incredibly powerful for me so far. I’ve stopped desperately struggling to get as much done a day as possible and burning myself out, instead I look at my goals holistically. How can I make sure I achieve them by the end of the year? How do they fit in with my other goals? How do I make sure each gets the right amount of time? I’m choosing a limited number of things to focus on each month and I’m getting things done!
Lusus Naturae by Alison Goodman
This is actually not a novel but a short story/novella in the Lady Helen series, retelling the start of the first novel, The Dark Days Club from the perspective of brooding love interest Lord Carlston. It was perfect to read to remind myself of the setting and rules of this supernatural spin on the Regency era.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
The leader of my book club picked this as our May read and I’m really glad she did. It’s a very thought-provoking novel about Emira, the black babysitter of a wealthy white woman’s child who is asked to take the child out in the middle of the night after an incident at home. She’s not dressed for it, having been clubbing, but the pay is good and she adores the kid, Briar, so she goes and takes her to a local shop. There another customer sees them and thinks Emira’s kidnapped the child, leading to a confrontation with a security guard. Emira has to call Briar’s dad in order to be allowed to leave, and Alix, Briar’s mother is horrified. The novel explores the fallout from this and its impact on the lives of the characters. It made for some really great discussions and I would definitely recommend it, especially as a group read.
Malingering by Susan Compo
A short story collection about characters in post-punk subcultures in LA and London, I never quite warmed to it, unsure whether to read it as satire, allegory, or more as snippets of lives. I think it’s a very early-1990s type of book and I probably would have got more out of it had I been around in the author’s circles then.
The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
This is the last book in this trilogy and although I preferred book two because of how it explored Lady Helen’s gender being a barrier to her demon hunting, I thought it brought everything together well.
Secrets by Lesléa Newman
Another short story collection, this one themed around secrets. Most of the stories are about lesbian relationships, generally between women aged 50 plus which was really nice to see as most of the queer literature I’ve read has been YA. Another very 90s book but much more accessible. I have two friends on the list to borrow this from me!
Boy Queen by George Lester
When Robin doesn’t get into the drama school of his dreams – or any of the backup options, he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life. But that all changes when a birthday trip to a drag night inspires him to try and make it as a drag performer himself! I absolutely loved this – it’s funny, fabulous, and very moving. I particularly liked Robin’s relationships with his mum, drag mum, and friends – all their ups and downs are brilliantly depicted.
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
My last short story collection of the month! I thought this was great, some of the stories touch on similar topics but they’re all unique, literary but easy to follow.