Spell the Month in Books {May 2020}

Since I posted a review on Wednesday, this Friday is going to be another “fun” post! Not that all of my posts aren’t fun…more like these are specifically *just* for fun. Today I’m having another go at a challenge that regularly makes the rounds on Instagram: spelling the month in books. There are a myriad of variations for this, but I’m going with the basic version this time – simply highlighting one book per letter. Unfortunately, even though May is such a short month (when it comes to letters), I don’t own physical copies of all of the books I am highlighting this time. So, no fancy picture with the letters stacked up perfectly this time. You’ll just have to use your imagination!

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The Means that Make Us Strangers by Christine Kindberg

Home is where your people are. But who are your people?

Adelaide has lived her whole life in rural Ethiopia as the white American daughter of an anthropologist. Then her family moves to South Carolina, in 1964. Adelaide vows to find her way back to Ethiopia, marry Maicaah, and become part of the village for real. But until she turns eighteen, Adelaide must adjust to this strange, white place that everyone tells her is home. Then Adelaide becomes friends with the five African-American students who sued for admission into the white high school. Even as she navigates her family’s expectations and her mother’s depression, Adelaide starts to enjoy her new friendships, the chance to learn new things, and the time she spends with a blond football player. Life in Greenville becomes interesting, and home becomes a much more complex equation.

Adelaide must finally choose where she belongs: the Ethiopian village where she grew up, to which she promised to return? Or this place where she’s become part of something bigger than herself?

My Review – ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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(The) Afterlives of Doctor Gachet by Sam Meekings

The Afterlives of Doctor Gachet tells the story of Paul Ferdinand Gachet, the subject of one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous portraits: one that shows what the artist called “the heartbroken expression of our times.” But what caused such heartbreak? This thrilling historical novel follows Doctor Gachet from asylums to art galleries, from the bloody siege of Paris to life with van Gogh in Auvers, and from the bunkers of Nazi Germany to a reclusive billionaire in Tokyo, to uncover the secrets behind that grief-stricken smile.

My Review – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman (thank you, Dr. Watson, for making me read this crazy story)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrenched this small literary masterpiece from her own experience. Narrated with superb psychological skill and dramatic precision, it tells the story of a nameless woman driven mad by enforced confinement after the birth of her child. Isolated in a colonial mansion in the middle of nowhere, forced to sleep in an attic nursery with barred windows and sickly yellow wallpaper, secretly she does what she has to do – she writes. She craves intellectual stimulation, activity, loving understanding, instead she is ordered to her bedroom to rest and ‘pull herself together’. Here, slowly but surely, the tortuous pattern of the wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind… 

I haven’t formally reviewed this classic, but it’s definitely ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!


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It’s hard to believe another month is nearly over, and summer will start before we know it! I will work on my May wrap-up post next, and it will be a little longer than usual because it’s time for my six month check-in on my year-long reading goals. It’s vaguely intimidating for the year to almost be half over already, but I think I’m on track for most of my reading goals/challenges.

If you’ve made any fun bookstacks lately I would love to see them! Leave me a comment with your blog or Instagram name, and I’ll check it out.


Until the next chapter,


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