Brighton Festival 2015

Literary life: May in Review

May was exceptional. Four weeks of literary bliss at The Brighton Festival to fill my days. I saw so much, learnt new things, and decided that maybe I would take Andy Miller’s advice and (try to) finish every book I read. This has meant that for over a month I haven’t written a single review for my blog, and even now I don’t feel as though I have read something I want to write about here.

Speaking of which, I was underwhelmed by the Bailey’s shortlist. I didn’t finish reading all six in time for the winner being announced last night, deciding that I should save How to Be Both and The Bees for a time when I was more in the mood to enjoy them.

Reading highlights this month have been reading In The Beginning Was Sea and discovering Elizabeth Bowen. I definitely want to read more Bowen and more translated fiction. I feel as though I have been reading more modern fiction than I usually do, and that could be why my energy is faltering. I want to spend the summer, revisiting my plan to read older books I feel as though I should have got round to already.

Currently Reading:

The Odyssey by Homer
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson



I’ve Read:

  1. Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh
  2. Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis
  3. Sister Noon by Karen Joy Fowler
  4. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
  5. In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González
  6. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  7. A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
  8. The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
  9. Outline by Rachel Cusk

In other news:

I have no other news this month. There is plenty happening, but I’ve not had the time to look into it.

How was your literary May?

6 thoughts on “Literary life: May in Review

  1. It’s too bad the Bailey’s shortlist has left you underwhelmed. That should be a source of some pretty solid reading. Maybe the last two will be better!


  2. Aw! You didn’t care for The Paying Guests? It’s been kinda divisive, I know, but I thought it was terrific. I couldn’t stop reading it once I had started — I couldn’t put it down! And I liked how the ending was sort of dark in the manner of the ending of The Graduate.


  3. Wow, you’ve read some very interesting stuff. Great to see someone reading Homer 🙂 And I’ve wanted to read Elizabeth Bowen for a while. What was In the Beginning There was the Sea like?


    1. Sadly Homer is one I picked up ages ago and am still reading as I’ve not had time since to concentrate on it. I need to dedicate time to it again.

      In the Beginning was the Sea was wonderfully sparse. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it at first, but they get to their new and remote home and it kicks in. Definitely, definitely recommend reading it.


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