Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Wrap Up

Books read in May: 63

Monthly pages read: 22,872

Books read YTD: 308

Pages YTD: 107,807

May reads:

(each book cover is clickable to Goodreads)

Here is a breakdown of each week:

Week One

Audio - 10
Print - 1
Ebook - 6
Graphic novel - 4

The most outstanding book this week was Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. It is an intriguing and devastating story about two women, sisters, and the roles they played during World War II. Where the Crawdads Sing was a read that was long overdue. While it definitely lived up to the hype, much of it was far too descriptive. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones had been in my TBR for quite some time and it was well worth the wait. This debut novel had an incredible plot twist.

Also, this week I read three more fantastic J. D. Robb In Death books, which is bringing me far too close to catching up to the latest book in the series. I also read Hideaway by Nora Roberts, a contemporary suspense story. I was interested to see the difference in her writing style compared to her J. D. Robb books. I enjoyed it, but my mind kept going back to the tough Eve Dallas character and the intensity of the In Death series.

I finished the Saga graphic novel series! Although not really a fan of graphic novels, I read the first one in a reading challenge last month and I was compelled to finish the series. I read the heartwarming Amish romance series by Patricia Davids. These books are like palate cleansers for me after reading deeper books. I found The Apartment by K. L. Slater to be great suspense. Lastly, The Diary of Anne Frank was a buddy read, and it was touching, if not tearful, to discuss it in four portions with another reader - one who has actually visited The Holocaust museum and Auschwitz - Birkenau! I read this book while in school but having read many books based on World War II and Auschwitz these past couple of years has really opened my eyes to the incredible plight millions of people suffered.

Week Two

Print - 2
Ebook - 13

This weeks reads,was done probably 95% in bed, as I was dealing with unusual pain. I did finish a jigsaw puzzle I started a couple of weeks and managed to catch up on SurvivorI have several favorites to mention. Two were absolutely lovely Amish Fiction books by Loree Lough, although the second one, Home to Stay, was utterly heartbreaking. Accidentally Family threw me off guard. I thought it might be a simple romance and expected a typical formula to lead to the inevitable HEA. Instead, it was full of family drama and angst that had me bawling three times. The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton was a great book about a cadaver dog and her handler, with a bit of romance thrown in.

Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer was also a winner. It is the 7th book in the DI Natalie Ward series, which keeps on getting better and better. Puppy Kisses by Lucy Gilmore was the third book in a really sweet series. Lastly, The Heir Affair was absolutely excellent. It was the perfect sequel to The Royal We, and, while the drama seemed like it would never come to an end, it was impossible to put down and had a very rewarding conclusion.

My least favorite books this week were Forever and a Duke and A Duke by Every Other Name by Grace Burrowes. I loved the first two books in this series but these two fell flat.

Week Three

Audio - 1
Print - 3
Ebook - 12

I am excited to say that I had been looking forward to receiving The Persuasion by Iris Johansen. It is the 26th book in the Eve Duncan series. I could not put this book down. I found it to be my absolute favorite of the entire series. Two characters will remain with me for a long time, and they are Michael and Jane.

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten will not be released until October but there is no way that I could wait to read this even a single day after receiving this ARC for review. Previously, I read the first two books in the series, Dead Inside and Dead Wrong. I literally could not put this book down either. I read it in one sitting in just a few hours and was floored with Ms. Holten’s creativity with this book. Stop at Nothing by Michael Ledwidge is the thrilling first book in the Michael Gannon series. Some readers might remember this name because he is a co-author in the exciting Michael Bennett series along with James Patterson. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Just a thought. He uses his first name for his male protagonists, lol. 

The Hollows by Jess Montgomery is the second book in her Kinship series. She creates really interesting mystery stories by incorporating historical events as backdrops of each story. A Forgotten Murder by Jude Devereaux is the third book in her Medlar Mystery series. This was a fun mystery with three delightful protagonists and a motley group of supporting characters.

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber was a creepy book about an Instagram influencer with a stalker who is who was her absolute number one fan. My only problem with the book was that I figured out who the stalker was pretty early on. Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark was an exciting ARC for me to get. I wasn’t prepared to be totally freaked out however! What happened in Maggie’s home when she was a child and what about now that she is an adult and back at that very house?

The least favorite book of last week was Envious by Lisa Jackson. This omnibus contains three previously published stories. The romances were rather slow and in each case I couldn’t wait for them to be over.

Week Four

Audio - 1
Print -  2
Ebook - 8 

The Second Wife was a book filled with lies, motives, obsession and secrets; add in duplicity and it all plays together in this compelling book by Rebecca Fleet. This incredible book has so many twists and turns and a major shocker that this book proved to be impossible for me to put down. Debbie Mason’s Summer at Honeysuckle Ridge was a touching read with the enemies to lovers trope. There was more than a bit of angst with the book. This lovely story was compelling from page one and carried straight through to a wonderful conclusion.

Water’s Edge the second book in the Detective Megan Carter series. Readers ride along on a bumpy trail filled with twists and turns, all leading to a thrilling conclusion. The Stranger in the Lake raises questions like, Are they trustworthy? Who is lying and who is telling the truth? If this story doesn't grab you like it grabbed me, then the shocking conclusion certainly will.

No Escape is a character-driven story where most of the characters easily touched my heart. Conversely, there are some unlikable people in this story, thus striking a fine balance. It was a very well-written gangland thriller that kept me hoping for the best. The scenes were gritty and are often tinged with sadness. From the twists and turns to the riveting conclusion, this was a book I could not put down.

First Shot was rather a tough read. It was gritty, shocking and devastating at times. There was peril and action that had me racing through the pages. I love Fletcher and look forward to him and Quadrado working together again. Ambush Before Sunrise was a fast-paced story due to the intensity when it comes to one character’s dark side and another’s manipulative plans. It was a nice mix of romance and suspense and proved to be a fantastic read.

The Accusation by Victoria Jenkins was a fast-paced read, full of twists and turns, and full of drama and angst. To throw a wrench in the plan for this book, Jenna has her own secrets, thus we have an unreliable narrator.

Lastly, my least favorite, with 3 stars, is The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Snow’s story. Well, this book was highly anticipated by so many people, but I didn’t pre-order it. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even going to read it. When I discovered it was on Hoopla, I decided to get it. I absolutely loved The Hunger Games trilogy, even rereading it a second time this year. I already knew that this was Snow’s story and that it it took place several decades before Katniss and crew fought for their lives. Dystopian and violent, and kind of makes me think that I don't want to read any more books in this genre.

Stats to date: 

I have participated in interesting and varying discussions about Goodreads reading challenge goals, numbers, and in my case, spreadsheets. I like to use spreadsheets because organization is part of my fiber. I consider the use of spreadsheets and statistics as an extension of the goal that I set with Goodreads. When I was making YouTube videos with monthly wraps I started using statistics. I did this in part because most YouTubers that do wrap ups use statistics so I began to follow suit.

I emphasize statistics in this month’s wrap up because some people feel that if you use numbers and charts and graphs and spreadsheets then it takes away the fun of reading. In my case nothing could be further from the truth. When I created my blog I did not even have to think long about what I wanted to call it, and that is, Robin Loves Reading. That literally is me. I love to read. I love connecting to stories and characters. I especially love series and continuity.

My favorite genres are psychological thrillers, historical romance and fiction, cozy mysteries, romance, inspirational (Amish) romance, and mysteries/thrillers. I find that my genres are slowly expanding, and I have tried a few that I’m not too crazy about but am really glad that I gave them a go, and they are dystopian, Sci Fi fantasy and YA fantasy.

For the last six months or so I have participated in various monthly challenges. With this I have tried genres and books that I know that I would’ve never picked up and that’s helped me to be more well-rounded reader. A huge bonus to these monthly challenges are the individual group chats on Messenger that have gave me so many new friends. One thing that I’m loving are the buddy reads and discussing books in greater detail.

I have to say that I’m very proud of myself for the amount of books that I read in May. This was one of the worst months that I’ve had in years. My family has been through a lot and it has affected me in a very deep fashion. I’ve been able to just throw myself into reading, with my second best month so far this year.

I do have other hobbies. One is jigsaw puzzles. However, I’ve only completed two puzzles in May due to chronic pain and an issue that I’m having with my stomach. The pain has been very intense and it has kept me in bed for several weeks. 

500 piece  he Hardware Store, White Mountain

1000 piece Charles Wysocki, Love, Buffalo

A hobby that I have decided to get back into is adult coloring. I have close to 200 coloring books and a couple of dozen color pencil sets, but I refreshed my supplies and added a few more treats. I even decided to add something else to my daily activities, and that is by following the crowd in purchasing a Nintendo Switch Lite and jumping on the Animal Crossing bandwagon.

What is up for June? I have already curated my TBR for June, but it is definitely subject to change. As matter of fact, I sat down and put it together and 24 hours later added six more books to it. So it’s never set in stone, but it’s a nice framework to work from. 

June TBR

Meanwhile, I am beginning to feel better and plan on completing this puzzle, which I am doing alongside someone I met in one of my reading groups. Once a month we choose a puzzle to do together, and we share our progress along the way. I already have my next puzzle picked out.

1000 pieces, Aimee Stewart Candilicious, Buffalo

So, that's it. I look forward to seeing what I accomplish for June.


  1. I wish I could read as fast as you do so I could catch up on my backlog, you are amazing!

  2. Girl, I don't know how you do it. You are awesome!

  3. You look like you had a fab month reading and playing.

  4. That is INCREDIBLE! I think I read maybe 4 books?? Way to go, lady!