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For the Love of Reading: May 2022

It’s the first of June and I’m taking full of advantage of that by posting today about what I read in May. Here they are:

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
there’s another kind of hole, and that is the wound that divides family. Sometimes this wound occurs at the moment of birth, sometimes it happens later. We are all fixing what is broken. It is the task of a lifetime. We’ll leave much unfinished for the next generation.
This book came highly recommended by a friend and, I have to admit that if it weren’t for that I might have stopped reading it as it felt slow to me. Verghese wanders off on some tangents I sometimes felt were unnecessary, but I’m truly glad I stuck with it. The writing is exceptional and those tangents enriched the story and rounded out the characters. I think this will stick with me for a long time.

Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon by Malcolm Gladwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this insightful and fascinating look into Paul Simon’s life and music. The conversations were nuanced and thoughtful and enhanced beautifully by clips of Simon’s music, both past and present. Highly recommended for fans hoping to further understand this master songwriter, musician, and humanitarian.

Good Intentions by Kasim Ali
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Can two people from different cultural backgrounds fall in love and stay in love? That is the premise of this book, but it is decidedly not a romance and more of a contemporary character study. I’m probably not the intended audience and, while I enjoyed the story, I would have liked more background and less dialogue. I generally don’t mind a timeline that isn’t straightforward but, in this case, it hopped around too much and it felt contrived. Recommended as a fast read.

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The sequel to Good In Bed is ejoyable, the writing is even, the characters have evolved, and I enjoyed seeing how Cannie adjusted to being a wife and mother and her relationship with her surly and confused teenage daughter was very realistic. It’s an easy read, with moments of joy and sadness, mistakes and triumphs, and a big twist that I never saw coming. In other words . . . it’s a lot like . . . life.

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a bitingly honest and beautifully written book on living with mental illness. The characters are real, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and the whole thing comes together perfectly. It’s particularly poignant if you or someone you care about has dealt with mental illness. It’s a story of love, family, forgiveness, frustration, pain, and ultimately hope. Highly recommended.

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An alluring and powerful debut, this book gave me all the feels. I loved the atmospheric setting, the rich characters, the charming magical realism, and the beautiful lessons of love, hope, and forgiveness.

I read some pretty good books last month and I hope, like always, that there’s something on this list that sparks your interest. The best news is that anything I finish now is part of my free-wheeling no-rules summer reading!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Thanks, Carole! I love your book reviews. Cutting for Stone is one of my favorite books of all time, so I am glad you enjoyed it. I have not heard of the other books, so I will check them out.

  2. I think I need to put Cutting for Stone on my summer reading list. I know Kym loves it, and my brother has been raving about it for years. I really loved Sorrow and Bliss (just finished it over the weekend). I’m so excited about summer reading!

  3. Thanks for your great reviews, Carole! I think I read Cutting for Stone but I don’t have a Goodreads record of it. Maybe it’s time to read it (again). I love the cover of When We Were Birds, and am off to place a hold.

  4. I also recently read Sorrow and Bliss. I really enjoyed it, but honestly felt we never got to the “bliss” part – she was only happy for about 2 pages. Lol. Despite that, it was a really good read that I couldn’t put down. I would also recommend!

  5. I’m still figuring out how to track my reading for the summer and may just end up writing down books, or making a Goodreads tag. It’s been many years since I’ve read Cutting for Stone and I wouldn’t mind rereading it as it was worthy of diving deeper. Sorrow and Bliss was a stand out on the Woman’s Prize list. I wonder if it has a chance to win?

  6. I always enjoy your book reviews Carole – thank you! “Cutting for Stone” keeps coming across my screen – recommended by numerous folks, so I need to check that out. Likewise, I’ve been hearing a bit of buzz about “When We Were Birds” and will be checking that out as well.

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