May always seems a long month, however, the advantage of a long month is more time for reading, especially when you have two long weekends! Somehow I got through 21 books in the end and here they are. First up is the debut book from Alex Woodcock, King of Dust it is about his journey around the South West looking for churches that have Romanesque architecture. A really enjoyable book about a subject that I knew very little about. Stunning cover too.
Any home in the UK could be subject to a natural disaster, but when you can see your approaching meter by metre, it must be unnerving. In The Easternmost House, Juliet Blaxland talks about living on the east coast that is being eroded at a dramatic rate. Well worth reading. The other side of the country, Eat Surf Live is a book about the culinary and other delights of the Cornwall by Vera Bachernegg & Katharina Maria Zimmermann. A beautifully produced book. Alo on the subject of food, The Picnic Book by Ali Ray is a celebration of outdoor food and is packed with recipies and places to visit.
Money is the lubricant of modern business and Dharshini David takes us on a journey that The Almighty Dollar takes as it wends its way around the world.
Only squeezed in one fiction this month, and it was the second book that I have read by Fredrik Backman. Wasn’t that struck on A Man Called Ove, but My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises was much better.
I read three natural history books this month, Hare by Jim Crumley which was very good, but espresso sized. The Good Bee is a celebration of the black and yellow creatures that we are far more reliant on that we realise and Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum have written a book that celebrates them. The Way Home by Mark Boyle is a memoir about his life off-grid in Ireland. An interesting read.
My Poetry book this month was Take Me To The Edge by Katya Boirand. As you can probably see from the cover, this is not a conventional poetry book. Boirand has taken five words that were given to her and made a poem from them. Each poem is accompanied by a portrait of the provider.
Modern life is a cacophony of noise, alerts from phones and an ever-crowded planet we barely have any time for ourselves. Michael Harris’ book, Solitude is about removing external distractions and concentrating on the matter that is important to you at that moment. Interesting read.
Following on from that I read four science books. Aurora by Melanie Windridge is about those magical lights that hang over the northern and southern hemispheres and the science behind them. Linda Geddes’ book, Chasing The Sun is about the source of our energy at the centre of the solar system and how we have evolved hand in hand with it over the millennia. Also, I read two of the new ladybird Science expert series Consciousness by Hannah Critchlow and Genetics by Adam Rutherford. Both concise books on their subjects.
Three more travel books this month. First was Bodie On The Road about Belinda Jones adoption of a rescue dog and her travels up and down the west coast of America. An enjoyable and unchallenging read. More reportage than travel, Gatecrashing Paradise by Tom Chesshyre is about the paradise island of the Maldives as he peers behind the luxury apartments. Finally, I read a book that the author, Gabriel Stewart sent me. Called I Went for a Walk. It is about his attempt to walk 1000 miles and some of the personal challenges that he faced doing it.
I hadn’t had many five star reads this year so far and then get three this month, Seashaken Houses by Tom Nancollas, Earth from Space Michael Bright and Chloe Sarosh and finally Life at Walnut Tree Farm Rufus Deakin and Titus Rowlandson. All very different and all brilliant.