Month in Review: May 2015


I had to go on a trip to New York this month, and I decided to treat myself to a drive through the Pioneer Valley on the way home. After searching for literary locations to visit, I stopped by the Montague Book Mill, part of a quirky complex of a few stores and restaurants in an old grist mill. I loved the atmospheric location, but it was too hot to browse comfortably or even wait in line in the cafe, so I left without buying anything. I’d like to visit again on a brisk autumn day.

The inviting environs of Montague Book Mill

Meanwhile, back at the blog. . .


  • Victorian Fairy Tales – A splendid new collection of old tales from Oxford University Press.
  • Alias Hook – Now in paperback, a solidly imagined alternative take on the Peter Pan story.
  • The Bees – Also a new paperback release, a imaginative venture inside the workings of a beehive. Be sure to visit the “book club” discussion over at Shiny New Books as well.
  • Bitter Greens – This was for the “fairy tale” category of the Once Upon a Time Challenge — a wonderful historical novel centered around the tale of Rapunzel, and its real-life author.
  • The Penelopiad – Also for OUAT, in the “myth” category. An ancient story gets a very modern, feminist update.


Other features and events 

  • This month’s discussion topic was on a question very dear to my heart, “Does reading matter?” I deeply appreciated the many thoughtful responses in the comments.
  • I was pleased to interview the enterprising Charlotte Brentwood, author of The Vagabond Vicar.
  • I enjoyed Dolce Belleza’s readalong of Little, Big, making my way through this complex, elaborate fantasy at a leisurely pace throughout the month.
  • I reviewed my progress with The Classics Club so far.
  • And, I participated in Armchair BEA for my second year with an intro post and a giveaway.


Other books read

  • Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
  • An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott – Back to the Classics challenge
  • Good Daughters by Mary Hocking – for Remember Mary Hocking week, hosted by Heavenali 
  • Period Piece by Gwen Raverat – Reread
  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson – for the Socratic Salon discussion on June 4
  • Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault
  • The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder – for the Back to the Classics challenge
  • The Fellowship by Carol Zaleski and Philip Zaleski – Review to come
  • In a Dark Wood by Joseph Luzzi – Book tour, June 22

Favorite posts from other bloggers


What have you done and read this month that stands out for you?

Linked in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

14 thoughts on “Month in Review: May 2015

  1. I love the look of the Montague Book Mill- the hardwood floors, the beams- very rustic looking. I can see where that would be a neat place to visit. And very nice post on why reading matters. I agree, and for those of us who are readers, it helps us to cope with a sometimes crazy world! What would we do without it I wonder? 🙂


  2. Thanks for linking to my post! I'll check out your interview with Charlotte Brentwood, her book was a really fun read. I love your post on whether reading matters. How was God in Ruins???


    1. It took me a while to get into A God in Ruins, but I did like it in the end. It was quite harrowing, but that's to be expected with Kate Atkinson. It made for an interesting discussion because I had very different reactions from the other bloggers. I'm excited for the post to go live on June 3 and see what others have to say.


  3. Oh the book mill looks so interesting! I would spend so much time there – hopefully with a fan and a cool drink though if I'm there in the heat. How did you like Jane, the Fox and Me? Are you planning to review it on the blog?


    1. I'm not sure if I'll review Jane, the Fox and Me — maybe briefly. I thought it was beautiful and unusual but the story was very slight. Nothing wrong with that, only I don't feel like I have much to say about it. Have you read it?


  4. Montague Book Mill looks wonderful – I'd love to visit it! (But apparently not on a hot day.) And I love your reading list for the month. The only one I've read, I'm very fond of (An Old-Fashioned Girl), and I'm currently making my way through Victorian Fairy Tales. Bitter Greens also sounds quite good. So kudos to you on a terrific May, and may your June be filled with equally interesting books!


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