May is finished – Looking backwards and forwards at my reading themes and I read my 150th book of the year

May has been a most unusual month. I have finally returned to work after the operation on my foot and a full recovery only to find that because of the virus and lockdown I was going to be working from home anyway. Although I haven’t moved location it means that I have less time to read than I have had over the past two months of my convelescence but more time than if I had been obliged to start commuting again. The lack of long car journeys, however, has meant that I am spending less time listening to audio books.

During May I concentrated on reading books around the theme Words, Books and Writing and I completed thirteen of these. When I first looked at my piles of books which I have purchased, or otherwise acquired, and not read I struggled to sort them into anything other than obvious themes related to genre. When I began to be a bit more imaginative I realised how many books I had related to books and writing. I expect that all avid readers have a soft spot for books about their chosen hobby and I am no exception. The books I did read were a mixed bunch but I encourage you to have a look at the previous posts on this site to see the range of books I read around this theme.

During May I also read a few other books, not related to the theme, and I reached my 150th book of the year. This was The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. It is a non-fiction book about the loss of a fishing vessel in a huge storm off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1991. The book tells the history of the fishing communities of New England and the way in which they fish, and the life of the local people. It introduces us to the crew of the boat and their families and we understand why they set out and how important the catch was to them. The book then describes the storm and all those caught up in it, their personal stories and the consequences of the storm to so many. The author apportions little blame but shows how a series of unconnected facts and events caused such devastation. This is an excellent read filled with compassion and understanding for the victims. I highly recommend it.

As June rolls in and it looks like I am continuing to work from home we move on to my next 12 in 12 Challenge theme. For June I am going to read series novels. That is, 12 books from different series. I truly enjoy reading books in series. I love seeing a big story unfold or engaging with characters over a long period and watching them and their lives change and develop. For each book I will also talk about the series and how I see it developing and what keeps me reading it over many books – you can see above some of the books I have put aside for June’s reading.

By the end of June we will be half way through the year, and a very funny year it has been too. I shall be interested to see what novels arise from the current situation – will any of them be as powerful as Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel I wonder ?

Anyway, whatever the next few weeks have to throw at us – keep reading ! I will …