May 2023 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.

We started the month in France, for a lovely 24-hour trip to a neglected corner across the border for my birthday. We found many things there including the grave of Wilfred Owen.

I found myself at the British Ambassador’s residence twice in a week, once for the Coronation reception and once for Eurovision.

Closer to home, our mayor commemorated the RAF men killed in a wartime crash in the next village to ours, eighty years before.

Back home in Northern Ireland, the local government elections took place and for the first time Nationalist parties got more votes than Unionist parties; I managed to get this data out before anyone else did.

Anne and I had another trip at the end of the month, to Amsterdam:

And I blogged about the age of the Meuse valley, and my grandmother’s reading habits.

I read 23 books that month, relaxing a bit after the Clarke frenzy.

Non-fiction 5 (YTD 32)
Johnson at 10: the Inside Story, by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell
The John Nathan-Turner Doctor Who Production Diary, 1979-90, by Richard Molesworth
American Gridlock, eds. James Thurber and Antoine Yoshinaka
Vengeance on Varos, by Jonathan Dennis
The Rings of Akhaten, by William Shaw

Poetry 1 (YTD 3)
Deep Wheel Orcadia, by Harry Josephine Giles

SF 13 (YTD 100)
Creation Machine, by Andrew Bannister
Love And Other Human Errors, by Bethany Clift
The Hunt – For Allies, by David Geoffrey Adams (did not finish)
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
The Violence, by Delilah S. Dawson (did not finish)
Where it Rains in Color, by Denise Crittendon
The Race, by Nina Allan
A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske
The Shape of Sex to Come, ed. Douglas Hill
The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell
The Animals in That Country, by Laura Jean McKay
The Coral Bones, by E.J. Swift
The Second ‘If’ Reader, ed. Fredrik Pohl

Doctor Who 3 (YTD 16)
Home Fires Burn, by Gareth Madgwick
Doctor Who – Vengeance on Varos, by Philip Martin
Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor, by Philip Martin

Comics 1 (YTD 9)
The Fountains of Forever, by Nick Abadzis et al

7,000 pages (YTD 39,700)
9/23 (YTD 66/165) by non-male writers (Giles, Clift, Dawson, Crittenden, Allan, Marske, Serpell, McKay, Swift, Casagrande/Florean)
3/23 (YTD 26/165) by a non-white writer (Yoshinaka, Crittenden, Serpell)

I had not previously read the three most recent Clarke Award winners, but I thought they were all fantastic: The Old Drift, by Namwali Serpell, which you can get here, The Animals in That Country, by Laura Jean McKay, which you can get here, and Deep Wheel Orcadia, by Harry Josephine Giles, which you can get here. As homework for this year’s award I also reread The Coral Bones, by E.J. Swift, which you can get here.

Even completist Doctor Who fans can skip Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor, by Philip Martin, but you can get it here.