Favourite Reads of May

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My Favourite Reads image

I seem to be reading a lot of good books lately, which is lovely. It’s such a pleasure to settle back and immerse yourself in a great story, especially if it’s one that moves you. My read of the month did that and more. So much so I’m tempted to call it the read of the year, but that might be going a bit early (and if I think about it, Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost might still be a nose in front).

Anyway, enough speculation. Without further ado, my favourite read of May was…

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

A Man Called OveOh. My. God. This book! I laughed out loud and I bawled like a baby. It was funny, endearing, quirky, uplifting, topical, poignant and everything in between. I couldn’t stop laughing over the opening scene with Ove in the computer store. I could picture my dad behaving with similar ineptness (except not as grumpily – he’s more of a cheeky grinner than a scowler, my dad) and alarming a poor shop assistant with his technical ignorance. But this novel isn’t all giggles. There are some truly heart-wrenching moments that will have you sobbing and reaching for the tissues, and some wonderful ones that will have you smiling and thinking, ‘You’re a deadest legend, Ove.’

Ove starts out the crankiest, most taciturn old man you could imagine but beneath that prickly exterior lies a heart of gold. I guarantee Ove will capture yours as his marvellous life is slowly and cleverly revealed.

The Fireman by Joe HillThe Fireman by Joe Hill

My second favourite read and a monster-sized one. It’s a real skill to keep a reader turning 768 pages until The End and Hill nails it with The Fireman. This is action-horror-thriller territory but I loved the touches of humour, of which there were many. I had quite a few Lord of the Flies thoughts too during some parts. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, then you’ll love Joe Hill’s work. Which is kind of no wonder given they’re father and son. This was very, very cool but Horns is still my favourite Joe Hill so far. Oh, and I should add my huge thanks to The Reading Room and Hachette Australia for my copy of The Fireman.

The Peppercorn Project by Nicki EdwardsThe Peppercorn Project by Nicki Edwards

A sweet rural romance set in South Australia’s Flinders Rangers. Edwards really knows how to make you feel warm and fuzzy – the townsfolk of Stony Creek are adorable – but she also doesn’t shy away from some of the problems rural communities face. This will tug your heartstrings and make you hunger for an outback journey. Maybe even your own treechange!

Pretend You're Mine by Lucy ScorePretend You’re Mine by Lucy Score

I sobbed pretty badly during the ‘black moment’. I also had a good time throughout and read this fast, which surprised me because this had an uber alpha male hero and they normally leave me cold. Or wanting to thump them one. Great town, great characters and fantastically sassy heroine. Plus dogs. I can see why this has so many 5 star ratings on Goodreads.

Nacho Figueros Presents High Season by Jessica WhitmanNacho Figueras Presents: High Season by Jessica Whitman

As any good Jilly Cooper fan would be, I’ve been hanging out for this book ever since I first heard about it and was thrilled to bits to score an advance review copy from The Reading Room and Allen & Unwin (thank you, thank you!). Polo, ridiculously rich people, horses, glamour, and a wonderful romance combine for a rollicking tale that I romped through. Great fun. Can’t wait for the next two in the series, Wild One and Ride Free, coming veeeery soon. I’ll be buying. You should too.


What were your favourite reads?


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8 thoughts on “Favourite Reads of May

  1. AvatarDiane McKewin

    Some lovely treats to read for me in May:
    The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith, Castle of Dreams by Elise McCune, The Wife’s Tale by Christine Wells, The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts, Second Chance Town by Karly Lane and Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand. What a thoroughly delightful month of reading! And I think there is only one author amongst these who is not Australian Author…I’m pretty excited by that!!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      You read some fabulous sounding books, Diane! Did you end up loving The Last Painting of Sara de Vos? I enjoyed it and there were some wonderful parts (especially the Dutch historical period) but didn’t love-love it. Maybe because Marty was so sleazy!!
      Wasn’t The Wife’s Tale brilliant? I loved that one too and I have Karly’s new on my to-be-read pile. I adore her books. They’re great fun. And I’ve been eyeing that French book off too.
      Wonderful to have so many Aussie authors represented. Thank you!

  2. AvatarAnna Campbell

    Cathryn, always love your reading roundup – there’s a couple there I’m definitely going to track down.

    I had a great reading month (took a couple of days off which is always good for attacking the TBR pile). Absolutely outstanding was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It had a Chariots of Fire feel as it tells the story of the US rowing team that won gold at the Berlin Olympics. As moving as a great novel! And one I think you’d like.

    Also really liked the Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, The House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan and Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner (that one is just so sad).

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, I’ve been looking at The Snow Child for AGES, Anna, but never hit the buy button. Will have to take another look because it sounds right up my alley.
      Joe Cinque’s Consolation is one of my all-time favourite books and favourite Garner so far but, as you say, it’s incredibly sad. And so INFURIATING too. His poor family. I’m hoping to pick up Garner’s new book of essays this weekend. Love her work. She’s such an amazing observer.
      Have just downloaded a sample of The Boys in the Boat too. Not sure it’ll be my thing but it never hurts to look. By the way, I’m slowly making my way through Creativity Inc. So very interesting! Ta for the recommendation.

      1. AvatarAnna Campbell

        My pleasure. I LOVED The Boys in the Boat, probably my stand-out read this year which is saying something. Hope you like it too – it’s quite unexpected in many ways. I’ve got Big Magic coming up next (reading Magda Szubanski at the moment) – saw you really liked it. We’ll have to compare notes.

        I got really angry when I read JC too – I love how she went so deep into that story. She’s an amazing writer. And I felt so terrifically sorry for his family. Just shouldn’t have happened.

        1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

          Ooh, we’ll definitely have to compare notes over Big Magic. There were parts that had the science-brained person in me going eh??? but for every bit of out there stuff there was some really cool advice.

  3. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Ooh, I am so going to check out A Man Called Ove – I love books where I can have a good bawl. Lol.
    I love all of Nicki’s books and can’t wait to get my hands on the Peppercorn Project.

    My reading month was a bit slack, my excuse – TRAVELLING! Hee hee. But the books I did read were pretty wonderful. Falling for Mr Wrong by Joanne Dannon- excellent book, loooved it! Air Kisses by Zoe Foster – a fun read. Until Death by Sandy Curtis – what can I say but a brilliant romance thriller. Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung- moving and thought provoking. Hot Stuff: Surfing Love – 4 gorgeous sweet reads by four great writers.
    After reading Diane’s comment I realised that all mine are by Aussie authors too. How cool is that!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Very cool indeed, Sue! It’s so great to have people reading and loving our home-grown authors, especially romance authors.
      I can’t recommend A Man Called Over highly enough. It was GORGEOUS! Really wonderful and heartwarming and just lovely.
      Watch out for Teaser Tuesday this week. Nicki is on and featuring The Peppercorn Project so you can have a taste.
      Safe travels to you both.

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