It took a while coming, but when spring finally arrived, it turned out to be the hottest May in the UK since records began.  Hence the blog switched to summer scheduling (one post a week) somewhat earlier than usual.

Plus I have a new camera.  So I have been out and about, enjoying the weather, click, click, clicking, and driving everyone demented, because if the shot isn’t the way I want it, I have to try, try and try again.  Particularly as the rule – now that I’ve signed up to a photography course – is that the auto setting is off bounds.  Of course, I am now also spending hours and hours watching photography tutorials and browsing sites full of great photographs …

Considering the above,  I’m quite proud of the following books read pile.


I had designated May “prizelistee month” and, seemingly at odds with that,  I started the month with Frankenstein.  Later in the month I read Sophocles’s Antigone. The impetus for both was to read the original before reading the prizelistee that it has inspired.  Namely Frankenstein in Baghdad from the Man Booker International Prize Shortlist and Home Fire from The Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist.  Both cracking novels in their own right.  Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot was read after Mark O’Connell’s To Be A Machine because I couldn’t think of a better follow-up.  Thereafter, it was the turn of two prizelistee novellas: Wolfgang Hilbig/Isabel Fargo Cole’s Kurt and Helen Wolff’s translation prize winning Old Rendering Plant (not my cup of tea at all), Andres Barbra/Lisa Dillmann’s Oxford-Weidenfeld prize shortlisted Such Small Hands (as creepy as everyone has suggested). I also read my second title for #readingmuriel2018, The Public Image.

The distraction of my new hobby has left me with quite a reviewing backlog, which I may or may not ever catch-up on.

Baba Dunja’s Last Love 3.5 stars
The Annotated Frankenstein 5 stars
Frankenstein in Baghdad 4 stars
To Be A Machine / I, Robot 5-stars / 4 stars respectively
Antigone / The Children of Jocasta / Home Fire 3 stars / 3.5 stars / 4 stars

Book of the Month  Mark O’Connell’s To Be A Machine

The Blog in TBR Titles (meme)
15 Books of Summer (Reading Plan)

2018 Reading Statistics
May: 10 (8 physical TBR, 1 library loan, 1 ebook)
YTD: 50 (40 physical TBR, 5 library loans, 5 ebooks)

The Great TBR Declutter

No surprises that the book-buying ban failed.  Being out and about meant that I visited the odd bookshop or two, and I never came out empty-handed.  Hopefully having a summer reading plan should stem the tide for a while – all the books on it are in hand. And yet, I am now tempted to create a photography section in the home library ….

Declutter target = X-60 where X is the number of TBR titles as of 31.12.2017

TBR 30.04.2018 = X-16
TBR 31.05.2018 = X-16 + 7 purchases + 8 review copies – 8 physical reads – 23 TBR culled = X-32

And finally, in celebration of a Spring that deserves a capital S, a shot that sums up May 2018.

Hello, sun. It’s good to see you.