Books I Read in May

Three books this past month. Last year I was reading three a week.  Oh well.  Weird times.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami. I read this at the beginning of May which feels like years ago now. I still was having difficulty focusing on longer fiction so shorts fit the bill. This collection was surprisingly good considering that all of the stories deal with loneliness and longing. As all short story collections go, some are much better than others here and I may have skimmed one or two but these type of books are always like going up to a buffet, taking what you like and leaving the rest.

Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding by Scott Weidensaul. So, I have been working from my home office since March 10 now. The window overlooks a little wilderness and plenty of birds. I’ve never even thought about birding until the Wirecutter had an article about doing it from your window. Well, I have binoculars. I can download some apps to get started.  Why not? Of course, the next step is to read up on it. This was the only book available from my online library and it certainly lives up to its title.  It had enough historical birding anecdotes to keep my interest for most of the book but there are some skimmable parts. If you’re into bird watching, you’ll enjoy it.

I, Claudius, by Robert Graves. This is a reread. I read it several years ago, almost gave up reading in the beginning of it, but kept going and it’s now one of my top 10 books I have ever read. I thought I would give it another go to see if it still held my attention.  There’s certainly enough detail that a second glance at it is definitely helpful. This is just an astounding piece of historical fiction that places you right in the center of Roman politics and intrigue that all comes to a head when Caligula becomes emperor.  Can you imagine living in a time when the head of the state is an insane narcissist whose every single impulse causes chaos and destruction until the foundation of society is at the brink of collapse?

And what have you been reading?