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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Swindler

May Reading Roundup

May marks the start of my favorite reading season! YAY, SUMMER BOOKS!

Happy reading, everyone!

In the Woods – Thriller | 3/5

I had a really hard time getting into this book. Though I love thrillers, I’ve realized that I don’t love police procedural plotlines. I found it to contain too many details that didn’t serve the story, and the character development was minimal. The writing was great — I think I just wasn’t the right reader for this book.

Open – Memoir | 3/5

I didn’t know much about Agassi’s life before reading this memoir, and I think that helped my overall enjoyment of it. I love how honest he is regarding his struggles with tennis and his family; there is a lot of wisdom in this book. The last third felt a little repetitive.

How to Think Like a Woman – Non-Fiction | 3.5/5

I really enjoyed this part memoir/part history. It took me a little while to get into the book, but I really enjoyed learning about philosophy from Penaluna as well as how her own life has been shaped by what she has studied. After living in France for 5 years, I have a piqued interest in philosophy and loved this book's unique angle. (Also, a book about women philosophers should not be a unique angle...) There is a lot in this book that I will continue to contemplate. Thank you to for my ALC. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone – Memoir | 4.5/5

I love therapy, and I love this book. Gottlieb’s story was as humorous as it was honest. I loved how she mirrored her own story with her patients. I laughed, I cried, I loved this book.

Paper Names – Fiction | 5/5

This book is beautiful. Not only are the characters multidimensional, but I loved the way their stories were woven together. Even though the characters were deeply flawed, they felt really human, and I fell in love with them. If you like character-driven sagas, I highly recommend this book!

Beyond the Wand – Memoir 4/5

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. I didn’t know much about Felton’s life, and I appreciated his vulnerability. Also, as a huge fan of the HP movies/books, I loved getting a look behind the curtain.

I Have Some Questions For You – Fiction | 4/5

I really adored this book. The structure is really unique, and that made it almost impossible to put down. There were a lot of details, some of which I felt took away from the overall storyline. I also wonder how this book will age as it covers a lot of hot topic issues of 2023.

Thank you to for my ALC!

Love Buzz – Fiction | 4/5

This book not only manages to fill my heart with early 2000s rom-com nostalgia but is also a beautiful look at grief and family dynamics. This book is a heartfelt look at grief, love, and the power of a good meet cute.

The Half Moon – Fiction | 3.5/5

Firstly, this book is profoundly sad. Keane said that she wrote this during the lockdown, and the loneliness of that time is evident in the pages of this book. Though the writing, much like Ask Again, Yes, is stunning, it took me about 50 pages to understand the structure of the book. I did find myself getting lost in trying to keep track of all the side characters. Overall a heartbreaking (and hopeful?) story of a marriage. It Was an Ugly Couch Anyway – Essays | 4/5

I picked this book up, knowing nothing about it other than I loved the title. This is a beautiful collection of essays about moving forward after a loss and faithful endurance. This book is funny and hopeful. I particularly loved how Passarella wove her faith through the collection.

Thank you to for my copy!

Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting – Fiction | 5/5

I adored this book. Iona and her train friends are impossible not to love. I appreciated how each character brought a different perspective on what it is like to be human. If you are looking for a lighter read that still has depth of characters, pick this one up. I laughed, I cried, I loved it!

Meet Me At the Lake – Fiction | 3/5

I wanted to love this lighthearted summer romance, but I found it to be really cheesy and the characters to be pretty immature. Overall, not the beach read for me.

Thank you to for my copy!


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