Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2023

May was an awesome month for me. I went on vacation for the first time in forever. My wife and I traveled to Massachusetts and visited Boston, Salem, and Plymouth. I’d never been to New England before, and it was a great experience. I’d definitely love to go back because there was so much to do, and we didn’t have enough time to get to it all. I loved the Museum of Fine Arts so much, and we spent almost an entire day there. Other highlights included visiting Harvard, the Boston Public Library (I could seriously live in there), the U.S.S. Constitution, the Mayflower replica, and the house of the seven gables. Of course, I had to visit some bookstores too. I shopped at Brattle Book Shop and The Harvard Book Store, which was so much fun. I bought so many books there and at all the gift shops that I almost had to buy more luggage to get them home. So, this month’s book haul, which I’ll get posted eventually, was my largest ever. Now that we’re on the topic of books, let’s get on with wrapping up my reading month. It was a bit less than usual because of everything else going on, but I still read plenty of great books.

Books I’ve Read

This month was rough on the reading front. I didn’t read much while on vacation in early May, and it took a while upon my return for me to be in the mood to read. So, I only ended up finishing half of my TBR this month. Here are the ones I ended up reading (rating links to my review when available):

  • Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (4⭐)
  • A Circle of Stars by Craig Montgomery (4⭐)
  • Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky (4⭐)
  • The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson (4.5⭐)

I did finish some other books, as well. I listened to most of these on audiobook because I’ve found it a bit easier to get through those this month. I also finished up a couple other ARCs and participated in a buddy read to finish out The Poppy War trilogy. All in all, it was a good month even though my reading was a bit lighter than usual. Here’s a list of everything else I read (the ratings link to my review, if available):

  • Infinity Gate by M.R. Carey (3.5⭐)
  • Straight Expectations by Calum McSwiggan (4.25⭐)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (4.5⭐)
  • Yellowface by R. F. Kuang (4.5⭐)
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh (3.25⭐)
  • Red Heir by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey (5⭐)
  • Barbarities Vol. 1 by Tsuta Suzuki (4⭐)
  • The Ferryman by Justin Cronin (4⭐)
  • The Burning God by R. F. Kuang (4.25⭐)
  • The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros (5⭐)
  • House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (4.5⭐)

Progress On My 2023 Reading Goals

Goodreads Challenge

I’ve set my annual reading goal at 100 books for the year. I read 15 books in May, which is my slowest month in a while. I enjoyed the slower pace, though, and liked getting to do some traveling with the extra time. This brings me to 108 books for the year so far! This means I’ve met my goal for the year. 🙂 I plan to keep reading, obviously, and am aiming to just read as much as I can now.

NetGalley Progress

I want to end the year with at least 150 reviews completed for NetGalley and a feedback ratio of at least 81%. In May, I completed 4 reviews for NetGalley, which brings my total up to 123 reviews. My ratio increased slightly to 86%!

Make Some Progress On My Backlog

This year I’ve set the goal of having at least 25% of my reading be from my owned TBR purchased prior to 2023. This could include books on my physical or digital shelves, excluding ARCs. In May, I read a measly 2 books from my shelves, which was only 13%. This brought books from my shelves down to 21% of my total reads for the year. I’m still not too far from my goal, but I really need to do better with this one next month.

Re-Read More Books

Last year, I didn’t get to re-read much of anything. This year I’d really like to return to some of my favorites. So, I’ve set the goal of re-reading at least six books. Unfortunately, I didn’t make any progress on this goal in May, which means I’m still at zero for the year.

Participate in Challenges

I’ve got a few different challenges going this year. Here’s a quick update on each one of them!

POPSUGAR Challenge

I’ve completed 32 out of the 40 main prompts and finished 50% of the bonus prompts, as well. This means I completed two prompts this month. So, I’m still slowly chugging along with this one.

12 Months, 12 Books, 12 Friends Challenge

For this challenge, I read Red Heir by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey. I started the month hoping to read The Picture of Dorian Gray but decided to change it up because I wanted something light and funny. Red Heir was definitely both of those things.

The Year-Long Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is being hosted by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook. So far, I’ve found all the prompts at least once! I’ve also found 27 of the 31 prompts a second time. I should have high fantasy and magic house covered next month with what I plan to read, but I need to find some books with pirates and/or time travel. Here’s where each of the prompts stands so far:

Magical Readathon: Adventure in Aeldia

The next phase of the adventure started this month, and my character, Padwin, chose to stay at Orilium (book finishes on even page number). I read House of Hollow to complete my choice, which ended on page 292. Here’s a look at my journey so far, with each successful step highlighted in green:

Finish Five Series

I plan to finish or catch up on the following 5 series by the end of this year:

  • A Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I made some progress on this goal in May. I finished The Burning God, which was the last book of The Poppy War series. I also started reading A Court of Silver Flames and plan to finish it up next month.

Final Thoughts

I was on hiatus for most of the month, but I did a few blog posts along with some reviews. You can find those in my blog archives if you are interested in checking them out.

Overall, this has been another good month of reading. My average rating was 4.22. My favorite was The City Beautiful, but there were so many this month that I enjoyed. What was your favorite book from May? Let me know down in the comments!

Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and engaged with comments and/or likes! I was surprised by how many views/comments/likes there were this month since I posted much less than usual. I appreciate all of you and always enjoy reading your input in the comments. I hope everyone has a great June!

4 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2023

  1. You had a fantastic month, my friend! And I’m jealous you got to go to Boston. I love Boston. I’ve been twice, and I kinda can’t wait to go back. It’s such a great city, just CHOCK full of stuff to do. I recommend the Boston Tea Party museum if you ever go back — it was super interesting!

  2. What a great month. Your vacation sounds amazing. We are travelling to Boston this October and I’m very excited about it. You’ve certainly had a great reading month. I’m very envious that you have completed the scavenger more than once. I think I’m only just over half way through.

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