May in books, my thoughts on what I read

My reading time in May has come to an end. It was another fantastic reading month. Honestly, I don’t even know how I read so much, especially given how busy I was over the month. I have been doing a really good job focusing on reducing my TBR. Back in April, I did a ton of reading, yet even that is nothing compared to what I read in May. May in books is the fifth installment in my continuing series highlighting what I read in a month.

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May in books

Ranma 1/2 Volume 1-38 by Rumiko Takahashi

As far as manga goes, this series is one of my favorites. In fact, it was the Ranma 1/2 series that got me into anime. It’s just a shame that it took me so long to get around to reading the manga. If you are looking for a humorous series that takes martial arts to a whole new level then this series is for you. It tosses in all kinds of zany adventures, including gender and species shifting, Throughout reading this, I lost track of the number of times my son told me “You’re laughing again” but I couldn’t help it, this series is just so damn funny.

Now, I will warn you that there is quite a bit of nudity in this book, so if you aren’t a fan of that, then it would be best to avoid this series.

Life In A Medieval Castle by Joseph Gies

I read this book mainly because I wanted to use it for research for a writing project. Also, the fact that it has sat on my shelf unread for about 10 years meant it was time to give it attention. I will say that this book wasn’t as informative as I had hoped it would be. While it did cover various aspects of life in a medieval castle, I found the information overall lacking. I realize that sometimes historical information is lost and thus we won’t know everything about what happened back then. But honestly, I was expecting more from this book. It was still an interesting read and I’ll glad I finally got around to it, but it didn’t satisfy my curiosity.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

What’s not to like about this book? It was great when I read it as a kid and it’s still great. Though I was actually surprised to see a few major differences between the book and the movie, which is to be expected, some were quite big. I’m glad I decided to read this one again since it’s probably been 20 years since I last read it and I had completely forgotten the original story.

The Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Tamora Pierce

I’m not really sure what to say about this one. It was a very quick read. However, I found everything happened a bit too easily and quickly. While I understand that sometimes things need to be rushed in order to keep a book a certain length, but everything just seemed to come too easily for Alanna. Even when she had to work for something it happened with little effort. I also noticed a shift in her personality that really didn’t fit with what was established in the previous two books. Yes, people change, but this change was too sudden. An okay book all around.

Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guinn

Much like the other books in the series, this one feels like it’s quite separate from the others. It’s true that it eventually all ties together, but not as quickly or as obviously as other series. This one had a fairly slow plot and it took me a while to get into it. A lot happens, yet it feels like it takes a bit too long to get to everything. A decent book all around, I simply wish it was more fast-paced.

World of Warcraft: Dragon Hunt by Richard A. Knaak & Jae-Hwan Kim

This is the first book in The Sunwell Trilogy. Though I have a love-hate relationship with Knaak’s writing, I really enjoyed this one. The story is pretty fast-paced and touches on some of the lore that hasn’t been explored in the other books, which made it enjoyable to read. I think the strongest part of this book is actually the art. Jae-Hwan Kim does a wonderful job of bringing all of the characters and the world to life.

Warriors: Rising Storm by Erin Hunter

Wow, what an amazing book! I am convinced that every book is better than the last one. The author really knows how to weave a well-thought-out story that is packed full of action, world-building, and character development. So much happened in this book in just over 300 pages that it really blew me away. These novels are fast-paced and packed full of such well-thought-out stories that I still have a hard time believing that they are middle-grade novels.

The Borrowers Aloft by Mary Norton

This one took me a while to get into and even then I never really fell in love with the story. Honestly, it was probably my least favorite Borrows book so far. It took a bit too long to get to the actual Borrow side of the story – and while I realize it was all about world-building at that point, it still felt a bit off.

World of Warcraft: Shadows of Ice by Richard A. Knaak & Jae-Hwan Kim

The second book in The Sunwell Trilogy. The story takes quite a turn in this one. With several different threats and obstacles in their way, the characters must work hard to live through the ordeal and reach their destination. I just wish there was a bit more to the story, especially given that it’s now two-thirds done and things felt a bit rushed in this volume. I suppose that’s one of the downsides to graphic novels, is there isn’t a ton of character development because of the limited space to work with. Still a quick and fairly enjoyable read.

World of Warcraft: Ghostlands by Richard A. Knaak & Jae-Hwan Kim

I honestly wasn’t sure how good this final book in the trilogy would be. It felt like there was so much story left to tell and yet only one book to do it in. Yet, I was surprised at how well this story was wrapped up. It was good to see some well-known characters from the series make an appearance in this volume. A very solid ending to the trilogy and a nice way to explore some lore – even though some of that lore has since been changed, but it was close enough to the actual lore that it didn’t bother me.

Charlie & The Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

I honestly can’t remember if I ever read this book or not. Likely, I read it as a kid. However, since I remembered absolutely nothing from it, I can’t be certain. This one was quite an interesting read and so different from the first book.

Warriors: A Dangerous Path by Erin Hunter

Another fantastic addition to this series. Once again the reader is plunged into a fast-paced character-driven story that has plenty of twists and turns. The ending had me very excited for the next, and final, book in the series.

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

I’m conflicted in my opinion of this book. It felt so much different than the previous three books in the series. Even Alanna’s character seemed to have a major personality shift in this one compared to the previous book. And yet, she felt as childish as the first book. It was an okay conclusion to the series.

One this that surprised me in this series as a whole, but in this and the previous book especially, was how much of a loose woman Alanna was. A new male character arrives on the scene and the next thing you know she’s in bed with him. For a series that essentially starts off with a middle-grade book, it turns into that quite quickly. Now, none of these scenes are graphic and if anything it’s merely just a mention that it’s happened, but still, I didn’t see it as a necessary element of the story.

Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this book. I find Wendig’s writing style to be bothersome to read. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was a Star Wars book, I wouldn’t have even bothered to finish this one. It does drop some tidbits that play a role later on in the series, especially when it comes to The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but that wasn’t enough to sway me into liking the book. If you want some gaps in the canon storyline filled in, then this might be worth reading, but overall, I didn’t feel like it was necessary to the story as a whole.

A Bride’s Story Volumes 1-10 by Kaoru Mori

These books were ones that I had read before, however, after reading some lackluster books, I wanted to read something that I knew I would enjoy. Thus re-reading A Bride’s Story. This series is one of my favorite manga. While the story itself is rich and vibrant, that pales in comparison to the art that makes up the bulk of the books. So much detail is put into every drawing and every page that even when there is a full page without a single word, you need to take several minutes to appreciate the art and absorb the story it is telling. Re-reading this series had me even more excited for the next volume to come out in August. I highly recommend this series to anyone who has an interest in reading manga.

Warriors: The Darkest Hour by Erin Hunter

After so much build-up over the previous five books, I actually found this one to be my least favorite of the series. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great read. However, after such a climactic end to the fifth book, things seemed so slow for the first half or so of this book. So much had happened and yet the pace of this one had slowed significantly. I honestly wasn’t even sure if it would even end well because of this. In the end, it did live up to my expectations. It’s just a shame things dragged on a bit before the conclusion came. Overall, I’m very happy that I read this series and I look forward to reading more of the Warriors series after this.

Tales From Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guinn

This collection of short stories mostly occurs before the main Earthsea series. The exception is the last one, which occurs between Tehanu and The Other Wind. In my opinion, you don’t need to read this one at all, unless you want to learn more about the history and see a bit outside of the main story. It was okay.

The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guinn

The final book in the Earthsea Cycle brings everything to a decent conclusion. The pace is a bit on the slow side and it can get wordy at times. As far as final books go, it wasn’t the best but I’ve certainly read worse. I do feel like it does a fairly good job of ending the story as a whole, but I still was left with this feeling that something was missing.

The Borrowers Avenged by Mary Norton

I’ve been feeling a bit disappointed in this series lately, but with this being the final book, I decided to read it to get it over with. Surprisingly enough, I found this one to be fairly good. It does take a bit to reach the Borrower’s actual story, as the first few chapters deal with the ‘human beans’ that were in the previous book.

May in books stats

  • Books read: 65
  • Books purchased: 0
  • Books purged: 12

Though these are my opinions, please understand that they should not prevent you from reading any of these books. A book that I don’t like could be a book that you end up loving. Always give books a chance.

Did you get any reading done in May? What was your favorite book?


  1. I still need to read a book in the Warriors series! I’ll put it on my summer reading list. I always enjoy reading about your book choices. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m sure you will enjoy reading Warriors. Thank you, I try to read a bit of everything so I never get bored with books.

  2. I’m always amazed by the number of books you read in a month, Sarah!

    1. Thanks. I think June will be a much lighter reading month since I have a ton of other things to do, but you never know.

  3. I just love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl is one of my favorites, even though at times he can be a little crude or inappropriate. When I first started dating my husband, we read the book, watched the movie, and went on a chocolate factory date. It was super sweet, literally and figuratively.

    1. Dahl certainly had a way with words. Oh man, that sounds like an amazing date.

  4. I adore Charlie and the Glass Elevator even more than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I always felt it was a pity that it didn’t get made into a film. It feels weird and trippy in places but I liked the consequences (like the Grandparents being turned into babies) and the following on of the theme that your greatest wish may not actually be what is best for you.

    1. It is a shame that it didn’t get made into a movie. It would have been quite a fun and zany experience. Ah yes, the grandparents being turned into babies part was hilarious.

  5. A Bride’s Story is a series I picked up a long time ago and never finished because I had a hard time finding the volumes. I think they are available on ComiXology so I might give it a try.

    1. It’s a shame you are having such a hard time finding the volumes of A Bride’s Story. I hope it is on Comixology so that you can continue on with the series.

  6. Wow, you’re motivating me to up my reading game. I just started my first book of the month today. I’m on a mission to read 20 books for 2020 lol.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of my childhood faves. I’d love to read it as well as Charlie & The Glass Elevator now as an adult. I think Roald Dahl is a great writer. I hope to be as great as him one day.

    1. I’m glad I could motivate you to try to read more. But honestly, 20 books in a year is a good number. I do read a ton because it’s my main form of entertainment. Roald Dahl was a great writer and it’s really fun to go back and visit childhood favorites, even if sometimes they aren’t as good as well remember, it’s still fun.

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