May 2022 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

As the pandemic finally receded, I had two very interesting trips in May 2022: at the beginning of the month, to Northern Ireland for the coverage of the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly (which at time of writing has yet to resume sitting):

And a couple of weeks later to Geneva, Switzerland and Podgorica, Montenegro for work. The end of the month had me under the surgeon’s knife for a (benign) lump in my larynx.

I also posted on the brief cinematic career of my third cousin, Sally Seaver (who died aged 35 two years before I was born)

I blogged on the Northern Ireland Protocol, correctly speculating that Liz Truss was using it as part of her plan to become prime minister.

And went to a lovely display of acoustic sculptures in Leuven.

With all the travel, I managed to read 35 books that month.

Non-fiction 16 (YTD 45)
Carnival of Monsters, by Ian Potter
Thursday’s Child, by Maralyn Rittenour
Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, by Mark Blake
Queens of the Crusades, by Alison Weir
A Norman Legacy, by Sally Harpur O’Dowd
Tower, by Nigel Jones
The Pilgrimage of S. Silvia of Aquitania to the Holy Places (circa 385 A.D.), trans. John H. Bernard, with an appendix by Sir Charles William Wilson.
The Pilgrimage of Etheria, trans. M. L. McClure and C. L. Feltoe
Signs and Symbols Around the World, by Elizabeth S. Helfman
The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit, by Simon Bucher-Jones
The Pilgrimage of Egeria: A New Translation, by Anne McGowan and Paul F. Bradshaw
Terrorism In Asymmetric Conflict: Ideological and Structural Aspects, by Ekaterina A. Stepanova
Marco Polo, by Dene October
The Halls of Narrow Water, by Bill Hall
Never Say You Can’t Survive, by Charlie Jane Anders
CBT Workbook, by Stephanie Fitzgerald

Poetry 1
The Sun is Open, by Gail McConnell

Non-genre 1 (YTD 9)
The Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak

SF 11 (YTD 43)
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers
Light from Uncommon Stars, by Ryka Aoki
A Master of Djinn, by P. Djélì Clark
Flicker, by Theodore Roszak
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Demons and Dreams: Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror v. 1, eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
She Who Became the Sun, by Shelly Parker-Chan
Mort, by Terry Pratchett
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
A Modern Utopia, by H. G. Wells
Mythos, by Stephen Fry

Doctor Who 3 (YTD 18)
Unofficial Doctor Who Annual 1987, ed. Mark Worgan
I am the Master, by Peter Anghelides et al
Doctor Who – Marco Polo, by John Lucarotti

9,700 pages (YTD 31,500)
15/32 (YTD 47/120) by non-male writers (Rittenour, Weir, Harpur O’Dowd, 3x Egeria and commentators, Helfman, Stepanova, Anders, Fitzgerald, Shafak, Aoki, Datlow/Windling, Parker-Chan)
4/32 (YTD 16/120) by non-white writers (Shafak, Aoki, Clark, Parker-Chan)

Several good books this month, and none that were too awful:

  • Mort, by Terry Pratchett, a welcome reread (get it here)
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers, a great Hugo finalist (get it here)
  • Anne McGowan’s translation of The Pilgrimage of Egeria (get it here)
  • Dene October’s analysis of the Doctor Who story Marco Polo (get it here)
  • Gail McConnell’s The Sun is Open, my book of the year (get it here)