May marked the end of the semester, and as you can imagine my brain was quite tired from all the academic reading and writing it went through, so I needed a break. Why does school disorient us so much? I spent much of the early part of the month catching up on shows, and with my own writing. A thing I always feel I never have enough time for. Mid-month, however, I got back into the swing of things and managed to read and enjoy a few books. Most of them were hit or misses to be honest, but two really stuck out, and they proved to be just the boost I needed to see out the month with a few winners.
Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke
This is a historical fiction/fantasy novel that takes place in ancient Britain. While reading this, I realized how little I know about this part of the world, during this time period. Much of what I read has been through a male perspective and its all been war, honor, and bloodshed. Daughter of Albion tackles these issues as well, but we also get a glimpse of the women perspective. Which in my opinion is so much richer. We are introduced to Allia, an orphaned girl who works in the kitchen of the Tribesqueen in the village of Caer Cod. In this society, Skin is everything. It is the mark of family and tradition. Without Skin, one cannot marry or hold higher positions. Allia doesn’t know hers, and while she lives a good life in the village, her lack of skin is a huge void in her life. However, Allia’s life changes as she encounters a mysterious salmon in the water who leads her to the land of the Mothers: the ancient goddess of the land who have chosen Allia to lead a special role in the upcoming Roman invasion. I loved reading a book about women being in charge, and the connection this society had to each other, animals, and the Earth. The writing was descriptive and vivid, Allia was an endearing character, and I loved learning about this time period. Highly recommend for history and fantasy lovers.
The Body where I was Born by Guadalupe Nettel
“Perhaps, by the time I finally finish, this book won’t be more than a collection of lies to my parents and my brother. I console myself by thinking that all objectivity is subjective.”
Most definitely one of my favorite books of the year. I adored Guadalupe Nettel’s writing. This is a small book detailing the life of young Mexican girl from the moment she was born with a deficiency in her eye, up until her late teens. Told in retrospect from the now adult woman’s psychoanalyst sessions, the novel gives us an intimate look at this young women’s strange and surreal childhood. We never learn her name, but we learn what life was like growing up with sexually free parents in the 70s, later moving to France discovering the world of immigrant life, and coming back to Mexico to live with a distant and strict grandmother. What truly struck me about this books is the writing. I was lost in it, and I didn’t want to come out. Nettlel’s writing reminded me of Yoko Ogawa, who I’ve mentioned quite a few times as being one of my all time favorite authors, so that is a high praise coming from me.
Other notable Reads this month:
March: Book 2 by John Andrews and Andew Aydin (The second book in the amazing graphic novel series about the civil rights movement.)
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter (France and a doomed love affair. Need I say more?)
Room by Emma Donaghue (Don’t know exactly how I feel about this one, but one thing is for sure, I could not put it down. It was so gripping and frustrating, and just ugh! So many feels)
There you go, that was my best of May in books. I am looking at a pretty busy June, so I hope the reading front doesn’t suffer because of it. What were some of the best books you read in May?
Happy Reading 🙂