My May Reads (2020)

Scotland, UK

Happy June! I can hardly believe we're halfway through 2020, lockdown sure has made time fly. May was another quiet month spent mostly indoors or pottering in the garden (turns out I enjoy weeding, who knew!), but it turned out to be one of my favourite months book-wise as I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed each book I've read this month - the lowest score being a 4/5! I started the month with two brilliant murder mysteries, moved onto a classic, then a non-fiction (which is very unusual for me), and finished the month with a book which I'd heard so many glowing reviews about. Keep scrolling for a nosey at what I read and do let me know what you've read this month in the comments!

 My May Reads (2020)


1. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case by Agatha Christie

I decided to once again start my month off with an Agatha Christie book! While looking on our bookshelf I found 'Poirot's Last Case' the last book in series and was intrigued to discover how Christie would finish the series. Turns out, although not surprisingly, she did a marvellous job. The book starts with a wave of nostalgia as Poirot and Hastings are reunited again (after many years apart) at the Styles House, the setting of Poirot's first mystery. If I had to nitpick, there were one or two things about the story that I didn't love, for instance, I would have loved to have seen more camaraderie between Hastings and Poirot, plus at times I found the story dragged a bit but overall, the ending is worth the wait in my opinion!

Verdict: 4/5 stars

2. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

The Franchise Affair was one of the mystery books I bought from Tills Bookshop when we first went into lockdown (I shared what genres I enjoy and Tills sent me what they thought I'd like) and I've finally got around to reading it! I admit I was a bit sceptical when starting the Franchise Affair as old mystery novels can be a bit of a hit or miss and having never read a Josephine Tey book, I didn't know what to expect. However, I shouldn't have doubted Tills, I absolutely loved it. Firstly, it was refreshing to read a mystery novel that didn't involve solving a murder. The mystery element of this novel focused on discovering the truth behind a young woman's accusations that two older ladies had kidnapped her. Naturally, the book had some elements which have not aged too well but it kept me guessing right up to the last minute and that's exactly what I wanted!

Verdict: 4.5/5 stars

3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."
There are several books in our house that I've noticed since I was young but which I've never got around to reading. Well, since I'm starting to run a bit low on reading material, I picked Rebecca up on a whim and I'm so glad I did! For two days, I was completely immersed in the blossoming romance of the de Winters, the eerie yet beautiful Manderley Estate, and the "evil" housekeeper. I went into the story blind and I would highly recommend you doing the same as it was so exciting to turn each page and watch the mystery unfold. Again, like any older book, some elements have not aged well but overall I enjoyed it so much that I've added it to my GoodReads' favourite shelf!

Verdict: 5/5 stars

4. Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City by Constance Rosenblum

After the drama and thrill of Rebecca, I fancied a more relaxing read so I picked up Habitats which I'd bought in a charity shop early last year. For some reason, after reading the first few chapters (which I remember enjoying) it was put on a shelf and forgotten about, but the second time around I found it to be quite the page-turner. The book is a collection of non-fiction short stories, lasting no more than three pages, compiled from a New York Times real estate column. As the title suggests the book tells the stories of NYC residents and their homes. From a grand mansion on Staten Island and a 3,200 sq feet loft in SoHo to charming yet tiny labours of love and a 22nd-floor apartment in the Bronx with fantastic views, this book is filled to the brim with wonderful characters, titbits of NYC history, and charming homes!

Verdict: 5/5 stars

5. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I finished the month with The Gentleman in Moscow which I order after reading so many glowing reviews about it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets slightly intimidated by books with small print and over 400 pages long but I'm so glad that I didn't let this put me off this gem. The story begins in 1922 with Count Alexander Rostov (one of the most charming characters I've come across) being deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and placed under house arrest in the grand and luxurious hotel he stays in. However, the Count is forced to give up his decadent apartment and move to a tiny room in the hotel's attic. From there the story follows the Count's life story. After I finished the book, I read a few negative reviews saying they found the story dragged at certain points and had no plot, and in some ways, I agree with them, at times the story was a bit slow but I think the fact the Towles included the mundane, daily occurrences made the Count's life realistic. Overall, I can see why many love this book and I would recommend it!

Verdict: 4.5/5 stars

See you next month x

1 comment

  1. Agatha Christie & Josephine Tey are some of my favorites! Beautifully written. I highly recommend Wilkie Collins and The Incredible Crime by Lois Austen-Leigh which is brilliant!


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