May 2020 Wrap-Up

Well, May turned out to be a challenging month on many fronts, but I did finally manage to bring this year’s International Booker Prize longlist odyssey to a close, reviewing the last of the thirteen books and even ranking the whole list in a series of four posts.  Please check them out if you want to know what I rated and slated this year 🙂

As a result of all the Booker admin, I didn’t actually manage to write as many reviews this month as usual, but I did (re)read a fair few books, so May wasn’t a complete write-off.  Let’s see how it panned out, both quantitatively and qualitatively…

Total Books Read: 11
Year-to-Date: 60

New: 8
Rereads: 3

From the Shelves: 3
Review Copies: 8
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 1 (1 review copy)

Novels: 6
Novellas: 1
Short Stories: 2
Non-Fiction: 1
Poetry: 1

Non-English Language: 11
(4 Japanese, 3 French, 2 Italian, Norwegian, Korean)
In Original Language: 1 (Italian)

Books Reviewed in May were:

1) The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
2) Faces on the Tip of My Tongue by Emmanuelle Pagano
3) The Wisdom of Tea by Noriko Morishita
4) Friend: A Novel from North Korea by Paek Nam-nyong
5) Aphelia by Mikella Nicol
6) Behind the Eyes We Meet by Mélissa Verreault

Tony’s Turkey for May is: Nothing

Nothing dreadful in this half-dozen, even if the first part of Verreault’s hybrid novel was edging in that direction.  Maybe next time…

Tony’s Recommendation for May is:
Noriko Morishita’s The Wisdom of Tea

While each of the books I reviewed this month was interesting in its own way, I can’t say that May will go down as a stellar month.  However, Morishita’s engaging look at her many years spent trying (and failing) to perfect the art of the tea ceremony was a book I enjoyed immensely, and I’m more than happy to recommend it as my latest monthly pick.

Plans for June?  Not really…  As I wait for parcels to trickle in from overseas, fighting their way through the virtual postal blockade that has resulted from the world’s various lockdowns, I’ve been taking books from the shelves as they catch my eye.  It’s lucky, then, that I have a lot to choose from!  Find out next time just what I’ve been digging up to pass the days…

4 thoughts on “May 2020 Wrap-Up

  1. Hi Tony! I enjoy your blog, although I’ve been too lazy & stressed lately to be very active about it, i.e., leave a comment. Your appeal to help the fairies, however, softened my heart & shamed me into doing so! I enjoyed your monthly round-up (which gave me some ideas for doing something similiar, in a much smaller way) and was awed by your energy. My reading to date has been a bit provincial, as I’ve mostly stuck to anglophone writers. Blogging and reading blogs, however, have really opened my eyes to what I’ve been missing and (very) slowly I’ve been reading more & more translated works. Thanks to Dolce Bellezza’s 2020 Japanese literature challenge earlier this year I’m actually in the process of becoming addicted to Japanese lit, so I’ll definitely give The Wisdom of Tea a look/see! Thanks for the recommendation.


    1. Janakay – Well, I hope you find lots of inspiration here (there’s certainly a lot to discover on the blog in terms of J-Lit!).


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