The Month in Books: May 2020

Can you believe that May is already over? Staying indoors in quarantine seems to make time drag and fly at the same time.

Today, I’ll be doing my first monthly wrap-up here at Beyond the Read! I wasn’t being as prolific as possible in May, but I picked up some stunners and finished a couple of books that I’ve been meaning to read since forever.

Books Read

  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. My favorite book in A Song of Ice and Fire so far, in which I got lobbed in the head with approximately two dozen character deaths. (5 stars)
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone. A timelier novel there could not be. Grim and horrific, but hopeful as well. (4 stars)
  • The False Prince, The Runaway King, & The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen. A wholesome but intense political fantasy series. I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming fourth installment. (5 stars)
  • They Went Left by Monica Hesse. An unexpected stunner set in the aftermath of World War II, filled with characters of depth and related by an unreliable narrator. (5 stars)
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. A thought-provoking premise combined with a brilliant execution combined with a whole crew of lovable characters made for a fun and enlightening read. (4.5 stars)
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. A beautiful story that makes you think about all the women who came before you and their stories. (4 stars)
  • Most Likely by Sarah Watson. Heartwarming and empowering, this novel was all about the power of friendship, with a charming mystery thrown in to boot. (4 stars)

Books to Read

  • The Tempest (No Fear Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare & SparkNotes. Because I’m not even going to try to understand the original text. Thank you, SparkNotes, more than I can say.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I’m trying to rekindle my classics phase while I’m stuck at home. This seemed like a good place to start.
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin. You would think the crows have had enough to feed on after three books.
  • Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. This series is a staple in YA fantasy, and I’M FINALLY GOING TO FINISH IT (for the first time) IN JUNE.
  • Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez. I have heard amazing things about this book. I currently have it on hold from my library’s digital catalog, so hopefully I’ll get to read it this month.

Non-Bookish Obsessions

In May, the Youtube channel The Shows Must Go On! finished screening a series of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musicals and started showing other famous musicals from theater history. I am vastly grateful to everyone involved in uploading these musicals every week. They are the highlight of my weekend.

  • Cats. Being the character lover that I am, I enjoyed this legendary musical, although I must say I expected to love it more? Still, I had a good time. I was mostly okay with the plot (or lack thereof) with the Wikipedia summary under my belt. Mostly.
  • Hairspray Live!. This was an absolute treasure of a musical. It had such a feel-good and catchy theme. That’s not to say it wasn’t emotional at times. (Do you know anyone who cries during Hairspray? Well, congrats, here I am.) Its message was especially relevant these past few days in the United States, and its admittedly idealistic and yet optimistic finale gives me hope.

May has been a terrifying month here in the United States. The rampant discrimination and violence against people of color and the grim milestone of 100,000 people lost to COVID-19 make the world seem hopeless. Books have been a welcome reprieve from the ever-increasing grimness of the news headlines. I pray that this darkness will be pierced by God’s light and love.

I hope you’re all staying safe.

Keep reading,


How are you all doing? What books are you planning to read in June?

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