52-book challenge: I rocked May

I read some thick material last month, and for the most part, they were all excellent choices. (In comparison, I’m failing miserably for June…it’s nearly halfway through the month, and I’m still on book #1.)

Anyway. That’s what happens when you go on road trips and you pretend you can’t drive so you can catch up on your reading time. Shhhh, Internet.

Here’s what I gobbled down.

Clara Callan – Richard B. Wright

Quick summary

In a small town in Canada, Clara Callan reluctantly takes leave of her sister, Nora, who is bound for New York. It’s a time when the growing threat of fascism in Europe is a constant worry, and people escape from reality through radio and the movies. Meanwhile, the two sisters — vastly different in personality, yet inextricably linked by a shared past — try to find their places within the complex web of social expectations for young women in the 1930s.

Three-line review

Easily one of my favourite books, and Clara Callan is easily one of my favourite characters. I read this on vacation in Jamaica and snuck away to finish reading at every chance. If your heart shatters like mine did, call me up. Let’s hug it out.


The Colour of Tea – Hannah Tunnicliffe

Quick summary

After moving with her husband to the tiny, bustling island of Macau, Grace Miller finds herself a stranger in a foreign land—a lone redhead towering above the crowd on the busy Chinese streets. As she is forced to confront the devastating news of her infertility, Grace’s marriage is fraying and her dreams of family have been shattered. She resolves to do something bold, something her impetuous mother would do, and she turns to what she loves: baking and the pleasure of afternoon tea.

Three-line review

An easy poolside read, but it was disappointing after Clara Callan. I wanted to punch Grace in the face for being so self-absorbed. My god woman, get your shit together. Some of her actions were questionable and unbelievable. Tunnicliffe rocks the food descriptions though.

*Angry side-note: If the main character has red hair, SHOULDN’T THE BOOK COVER?


Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Quick summary

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Three-line review

I don’t really understand or have much sympathy for a lot of the things Strayed did (i.e. divorcing her loving husband), but I gotta give her credit for being insanely honest. She’s been criticized for her lack of experience and foresight, but Strayed is totally open with those details, too.


Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Quick summary

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community.

Three-line review

Hardy was a long-winded ‘ol fart, wasn’t he? I moved through the beginning of this book like I were wading through molasses, but soon found myself absorbed. Bathsheba is an infuriating character, but so are all the man who throw themselves at her over and over again.

Also, I thought it was “Maddening” right up until like 10 minutes ago.


Ever read any of these? What’d you think?

  • July 02 2013

    I’ll have to check out Clara Callan. Look forward to your June reviews.

  • July 19 2013
    Simone Anne

    I just finished WILD and absolutely loved it! Such good storytelling! I’ll have to check out your other recs. :)

    • July 20 2013

      It was pretty amazing! I wish I had her balls. Let me know if you do read the others.

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