This will be an exciting month for me as I’ll be getting my new van and I’m sure that could distract me from my reading. However, the hope is that I’ll read inside the van.
Welcome to my May 2019 “living document” page where I write about my reading intentions and progress throughout the month. When the month is over my writing on this page will be finished.
As of this month I’ve decided to use my own art to create images for this blog, rather than using photographs. The yurt painting above came from my mixed media junk journal, and below, under the books, there’s a colorful ink drawing I created using Pilot Varsity fountain pens.
At Goodreads: Books I’ve read so far in 2019… in case anyone cares besides me – which I find doubtful. But, you never know.
My Word of the Month
My Haiku of the Month
Wherever you go
Take a book with you always.
You may need to read.
Bible Verse of the Month
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalms 34:18)
Books I plan to read during May, 2019…
☆ – I own a copy of the book
★★ – I own a copy and am currently reading the book
✓ – Finished
↪ – Postponed
PSRC = 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge
This book was chosen by the readers at the Ultimate PopSugar Reading Challenge group at Goodreads. I hope I’ll like it, because I bought the entire trilogy as a boxed set. It is said to be humorous, so I hope that will make me want to read all three books, but for now, I’m reading only the first book to complete this prompt, for the PopSugar Reading Challenge.
This is an online reading experience about passengers on a boat. I admit, I’ve never read a graphic novel before, and this is a new kind of experience for me. I’m grateful this book is available online to read at no cost. What a great service from SBS, which is the Special Broadcasting Service of Australia, offering “high quality, independent, culturally relevant” media on TV and radio, and online. I’ve read chapter one of this book already. Very exciting!
I’m excited about reading this book. It won the Man Booker International Prize in 2016. I saw it on the list back then and have been wanting to read it ever since because I too am a vegetarian. I started the lifestyle when I was 16 or 17 (?) (memory fades) and though I’ve fallen off the wagon several times (due to relationships with men who were not vegetarian) I’m still a vegetarian today. I can say, most of my adult life, I’ve been vegetarian, so it makes sense that I want to read about it. The author Han Kang, is a woman who wrote in Korean. This is a translation.
Update: Finished on May 2. Here’s my Goodreads review. Two stars.
I don’t know much about this novel. Of course I’ve seen all the Haruki Murakami books and wanted to read them, but thus far, I haven’t However – good news – I finally have one sitting out on my reading table, and I plan to get to it sometime this month. I bought a paperback copy. I know this is about students, and there may be some unrequited love going on, but I don’t know which characters are involved. I hope this reading will open up the world of his books to me, and that I’ll read more of them in the years to come.
★★ Asian Readathon: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman – [Asian Readathon prompt 5, the group read – PSRC #12. A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore]
I started reading this book just after midnight on May 1. It is a collection of 15 short stories, all retellings of myths and legends from a variety of Asian countries, all written by different authors. I’m excited about this group reading experience. The first story is from the Philippines, and is about a legendary woman who is the spirit of a mountain that is shaped like a woman. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Now I must rush off to read more.
✓ Recent Fiction: No Exit, by Taylor Adams – [PSRC #24. A book that takes place in a single day]
This is a thriller with ingenious twists, or so I hear. My main reason for wanting to read it is because it fits the prompt – it takes place in a day. Something tells me there are elements of the book I won’t like. Some people say it is a fantastic page turner. Others say it is the worst book they’ve ever read. Still, it takes place in a day, so I’ll read it so I can finish the PopSugar Reading Challenge this year. I started listening to the audiobook sample and already I detect the presence of bad language. If it weren’t for the challenge, that would be enough to make me not want to read the book.
↪ Classic: One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – [PSRC #32. A book written by an author from Asia, Africa, or South America]
I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time. It is on my list of classics, a list I’m making efforts to use when planning my reading each year. I considered buying the audiobook, but reviewers at Audible warned that this is a book that is better in a hard copy. One issue is that there’s an extensive family tree page in the hard copy book, and it helps readers keep track of the names of the characters they’re reading about. Sounds like a family saga… but I won’t know for sure unless I read it.
✓ Nonfiction: Miles From Nowhere, by Barbara Savage – [PSRC #8. A book about a hobby]
I wasn’t sure if bicycle touring is a hobby but according to Google, it is. I was thinking bicycle riding is a sport, and touring on a bicycle, a lifestyle. I guess your lifestyle can be your hobby. I’ve had daydreams about bicycle touring, but I think I’m a bit too old for that now. I will be taking a bicycle with me when I start traveling in my van, and I hope this book will inspire me to use it a lot.
I couldn’t find any videos about this book or Barbara Savage. That means I should make one. Here’s a video of Ryan and Ally showing us what they packed for their bicycle touring trip.
★★ YA: Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer – [PSRC #20. A book set in space]
I’m reading the first book in the series as I’m writing this, and find it imaginative and somewhat compelling. This seems to be a YA series I can appreciate. The main character is Cinder, a cyborg. The first book is based on the Cinderella story in a very futuristic kind of way. At Amazon, the books are classified as adult fairy tale and folklore adaptions, and as science fiction. I’ve been told this book extends out into space, but also, from the video below, it seems to be set in France.
★★ Art: Vibrant Watercolors, by Hazel Lale
I bought this art book at Hobby Lobby last year. It is bright and beautiful, and here I am, a woman wanting to know more about watercolor painting. We’re a match! My youngest child turned 18 and moved out way back in 2008, and it was my intention to spend the empty nest years of my life developing my skills as an artist. Little by little, I’ve made some progress. I’ll never be a Rembrandt or any other great classical artist, but I can be me and do my own thing, and that makes me happy enough. I’m excited to spend a month learning Hazel Lale’s watercolor philosophy and techniques. So much fun!
↪ Christian: Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance, by Frank Hammond
My video about deliverance books explains why I’m planning to read this book. I’ve had an interest in learning about deliverance ministry ever since becoming a Christian in 2013. I’d like to know more about how to identify demon possessed people and how to intercede with prayer on their behalf. I’m not sure how much I can do for them, and that’s why I’m reading this book. I also have a stack of similar books, and I’m reading them one at a time. I already own this book and the workbook that goes with it.
My May Reading Diary
May 1 – What’s happening now? May Day! Remember dancing around the Maypole? It has been a long time since I’ve seen anyone do that. I’ll start the month by reading The Vegetarian on my Kindle and A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, a book of 15 short story retellings of myths and legends of many Asian countries – my copy is hardcover. I’m reading both of those for the Asian Readathon. One more… I’ve read chapter one of The Boat. [Later…] I sat here and read half of The Vegetarian today. It is a short novel. What distressed characters! There’s lots of sexual content so don’t read it if that offends you. She writes like a short story author. The female vegetarian seems to be deranged and I have no idea where all this is leading. Fortunately I have less than 100 pages to get to “the end.”
May 2 – I went to a meeting last night, for the book, Rooted, so I didn’t finish The Vegetarian, which has way too much sexual content for this old lady. It has gone way out of my comfort zone and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. [Later…] I’m almost done with the book. Twenty more pages. There are only three (long) chapters, and chapter three is so much more pleasant than chapter two was! Each chapter has a different point of view (POV) character. The first chapter was the vegetarian’s husband in first person POV. The second was the vegetarian’s brother-in-law in third person POV. The third chapter is the vegetarian’s sister in third person POV. I like her a lot more than I liked her husband. [Later…] Finished! Yay! The book has an unexpected ending. I could never have written it or anything like it. Here’s my Goodreads review of The Vegetarian. Next, I’ll read a few more stories from A Thousand Beginnings and Endings.
May 3 – My April wrap-up video was published today. I started reading Miles From Nowhere. I read one more story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings… it was about a Chinese chef in a small town in Arizona!
May 4 – Today I read one more section of Rooted, and a chapter in Jesus the King. I’m dealing with a lot of resistance in getting my reading done in Jesus the King. It reminded me of the book, Do the Work, which is about the natural resistance we encounter when we’re trying to do something good or creative. It doesn’t come right out and say that the resistance is Satan, but it sure feels that way when you encounter resistance to your best efforts. Also today I read the first 13 pages of Vibrant Watercolors, and a few more chapters in Miles From Nowhere. I started the third short story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings but fell asleep before finishing. I filmed my May TBR yesterday, and published it on YouTube today.
May 9 – I’m surprised I skipped writing here for a few days. Have I been that busy lately? I’m working on a video vlog for the week. Also, on Tuesday I bought the van I plan to travel in. On Wednesday I had my small group book study meeting (for the book, Rooted) . . . and here it is, Thursday, and I wonder why I missed writing here so many days. Not much has changed with my reading. I’m still working my way through Miles From Nowhere. I’m reading the fourth story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, but plan to set that book aside for a while when I finish it. I want to read a novel. I’m about to start in on Crazy Rich Asians. [Later…] I did start reading Crazy Rich Asians. I read the introduction and first 2 chapters. I find it strange and intriguing.
May 10 – I haven’t read anything today except some articles at Medium – a site I signed up at this week so I can write there. I’d better get my book… [Later…] I’ve been editing a vlog video and reading Miles From Nowhere each time it has to render. Making progress! The cyclers are heading south toward Luxor, Egypt. They see dead oxen floating in the Nile River yet people are swimming next to the dead animals, doing their laundry, and washing their dishes.
May 11 – I’m going to try to finish Miles From Nowhere today. [Didn’t…]
May 12 – Finish or bust! I’m only about 50 pages from “The End” … [Later…] Bust. I am in the penultimate chapter and can’t keep my eyes open. I’m going to have to go to bed. Only a chapter and a half left for tomorrow!
May 13 – Today’s goal: finish Miles From Nowhere and read more of Crazy Rich Asians and Vibrant Watercolors. Later… here’s my Goodreads review of Miles From Nowhere.
Here’s today’s watercolor (from my sketchbook) …
May 14 – Not much reading happened today because it was the day to go pick up my new van from the salesman in Coeur d’Alene. It now has new running boards – something that I thought would help me get into it, especially since I’m entering my official “old lady” years. I did have some time to sit in the van and read for the first time. I started reading Scarlet because I can read a Kindle book on my phone.
May 15 – Way too busy for reading most of the day. I read another chapter of Scarlet (Kindle version, on my phone) while waiting at DMV to get my new van registered. Idaho has such friendly, happy people working at DMV. They’re such a contrast to some of the unfriendly people I met at another state’s DMV. Idaho must be doing something right, to have such happy employees. After that I applied for a passport so I can visit Canada and Mexico. This evening, we had our small group book study for the book, Rooted, a Christian book. Busy all day! Now I’ll go to bed with a book and hope to read a few pages before I am unable to keep my eyes open any longer.
May 21 – I bought the van and now my reading life is way off-track but I have discovered that the van is a great place for reading books. I’m still reading Crazy Rich Asians in paperback, and Scarlet on Kindle, and I started No Exit via audiobook which is nice as I can get my phone to connect with the van’s speaker system and listen to books as I drive. Normally I would like to have only one novel in progress at one time, but this week has been crazy as far as trying to catch time to read and then FOCUS on it.
May 23 – Hello… I’m so far behind on my reading this month – but I love reading Crazy Rich Asians. I’m feeling the tension of having to meet rich people. That’s where I’m putting my time today. I’m glad the Goodreads group chose this book or I would probably never have chosen to read it. Life’s good… and I’m reading.
May 26 – Just want to take this moment to congratulate Kevin Kwan on his masterful use of the word trepidatiously on page 292 of Crazy Rich Asians.
May 28 – I’m so close to the end of that book… but still enjoying it.
May 30 – Reading. Reading. Reading. Done. Finished Crazy Rich Asians. Yay. Here’s my review at Goodreads.
May 31 – Today I finished reading No Exit and reviewed it at Goodreads. Then I read the online graphic novel, The Boat. Only six chapters.
Image credits: The yurt painting came from my mixed media art journal. The flight of fancy image came out of one of my other art journals… it is done with Pilot Varsity fountain pens. The blue background of my reading goals list came from Pixabay.com. I added lettering using Paint Shop Pro. The book covers come from Amazon.com. All the videos are from YouTube.