May 2022 Reading Update

May was another month full of nonfiction reads and more audiobooks than normal for me. During stressful or just busy times, audiobooks are so helpful to me. I also had random books become available from library holds all at once, so the fiction I read was added to my TBR months ago and just popped up this month, for the most part. This is what I read this month.

  • The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward – This is a creepy horror story with some wild twists. The story begins with narrations by Ted, his cat Olivia, and Lauren, a young girl Ted seems to be hiding in his home. As the story continues we learn more about each of them, along with Ted’s past, and some other big events. I don’t want to give anything big away, but if you like mysteries with some highly graphic horrific details, this is a fun read!
  • Do You Mind if I Cancel? by Gary Janetti [audiobook] – Gary just came out with a new book and as I was waiting to get it I realized he had an earlier book I never read. I know him more from Instagram and his husband Brad than from his TV writing. But I love his sarcasm and this was a fun, quick listen to his collection of essays. These essays were mostly about his childhood in Queens, his brief acting class one summer in Oxford, his years as a Bellhop in NYC hotels, with brief hints to his future husband and life as a writer in LA.
  • Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski – I loved the book Burnout by this author (and her sister), which was all about the stress cycle. I heard about this book when the author was interviewed on Glennon Doyle’s podcast. This is a book every young woman should read! It’s very informative, full of science, research, and personal anecdotes of people’s stories we follow throughout the book.
  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller [audiobook] – I’ve had this book on my TBR for awhile, since the Brock Turner trial when her victim impact statement went viral and we learned her name. However, it wasn’t until I heard her interviewed on Glennon Doyle’s podcast that I realized I wanted to hear her story in her words, which was when I checked the audiobook out of the library. This is not an easy read. Chanel was unconscious when she was sexually assaulted on the Stanford campus. She remembers being at a party with her younger sister (Chanel was a college graduate already at the time), and then she woke up in a security office being told only parts of what probably happened, unaware of what the next years would bring when she agreed to press charges, before even fully knowing what had happened to her. Hearing the physical and emotional toll this one event had on years of her life was devastating, yet hopeful because she showed such strength and determination in her writing, especially her victim impact statement and her desire to help change the system for other victims.
  • Start Without Me by Gary Janetti [audiobook] – I love Gary’s sarcasm, his fun memories of life in the 80’s, his obsession with TV in his childhood, and more. Each essay is short, fun, and full of his hunor. I loved listening him reading this.
  • Bury Your Dead (Gamache #6) by Louise Penny – I love this series so much! Penny creates these warm, cozy mysteries that make you want to move to Canada and sit by a fire during a snow storm! This story picked up where the last book ended, when Olivier was accused of murder and sent to prison. Gamache is doubting the facts of that case, while recovering from a horrible accident. He sends Beauvoir, also recovering, to Three Pines to dig into that case, while he ends up sucked into a murder case in Quebec. All of these story lines end well for some, and poorly for others. I love the main characters of this series!
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – I’ve had this book on my TBR for awhile, because of Currently Reading. But last week I heard the author speak at an Equity Conference and had to get the book and start it immediately. I loved hearing her tell the story of how she’s had the idea for this story since she was in high school, and how, in her 40’s or 50’s she finally wrote the novel and worked to get it published. This is a great mystery about Daunis, a biracial girl who ends up working as a Confidential Informant for the FBI, who are investigated a serious drug problem on the reservation. This mystery kept me intrigued, while teaching me so much about Indigenous culture. What powerful representation for Indigenous youth.
  • Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon [audiobook] – I love a celebrity-read audiobook/ memoir! I like Molly Shannon as an actress, but I knew nothing about her life. She lost her mother, sister, and cousin in a tragic accident when she was 4 years old. Her father raised her and her sister in a fun and wacky household, battling his own demons. Molly’s love of comedy and life shine through her stories. She seems like a genuinely nice person who worked hard to get what she wanted (career, family).
  • The Book of M by Peng Shepherd – When I first started this, I wasn’t in the right mood for a dark, pandemic book. I paused, listened to a few audiobooks, and then picked it up again and got into the thick of it. In this pandemic, when people lose their shadows, they lose their memories. We follow the story of Ory and Max, a married couple who have survived for years. When Max loses her shadow she leaves, so they don’t have to survive together in the end. This is a fascinating look at what happens when the world as we know it collapses, who come together and who tries to tear people apart.
  • The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah – I loved Where the Forest Meets the Stars by this author, and loved this one even more! She writes beautiful literary fiction, that lives heavily in the world of nature. People who live best outside, with minimal distractions. In this story, we meet Ellis, a mom of 3 young kids, who, when distracted, forgets to put her infant daughter in the car before leaving one day. That mistake haunts her, as Viola goes missing, and Ellis’s marriage unravels. We also meet Raven, a teenage being raised in the woods by her eccentric mother, who swears Raven was a gift from the Ravens for her mother. We as the reader assume Raven is Viola, but don’t have confirmation as we get to know both stories at the same time. This story makes you want to hug a tree and your family! I LOVED it!

Favorite book(s) this month

Fiction: Firekeeper’s Daughter and The Light Through the Leaves were amazing reads for me this month!
Nonfiction: No favorite, but I enjoyed it all.

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
This entry was posted in Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to May 2022 Reading Update

  1. Andree Grey says:

    I am red flagging this email! I have all the books I ordered from the last reading list still waiting to be read!

    Andrée Grey, Ed.D.
    Superintendent
    [signature_3737807905]

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