By May

I thought May was going to be a disaster. The first two and a half weeks were nothing but rain and way cooler temps. I worried about my garden. I didn’t feel like running. It felt like a downward spiral. I ended up running only 28 miles and running away to Monhegan for a week so it ended better than it began. But…it’s still raining.

“…when May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour” ~ Natalie Merchant, These are Days.

“I wanted to be there by May, at the latest. April is over. Can you tell me how long before I can be there?” ~ Natalie Merchant, Painted Desert.

Here are the books:


  • H by Elizabeth Shepard (read in one day)
  • Nerve by Dick Francis (read in two days)
  • A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller


  • Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves
  • Age of Gold by HW Brands
  • Lusitania: an epic tragedy by Diana Preston

Series continuation:

  • “Q” is for Quarry by Sue Grafton (finished the series)
  • As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee (okay, so I didn’t know this was part of a trilogy).

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • At the Broken Places by Mary and Donald Collins


Francis, Dick. Nerve. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.

Reason read: the Kentucky Derby takes place in May. Read in honor of the horses.

Robert “Rob” Finn is an up and coming steeplechase rider with a passion for the competition. His passion turns to self doubt after a series of events threaten his confidence. First Arthur Mathews, a fellow jockey and friend, takes his own life in front of everyone. Then Rob starts to lose race after race after race. A fall from a horse has the whole steeplechase community convinced Rob has finally lost his nerve. And everyone knows a rider without nerve is a useless rider. It isn’t until Rob discovers a carefully orchestrated trap and uncovers proof of sabotage that he starts to formulate his revenge.

As an aside, I would like to know people who are “as cheering as rum punch in a snow storm” (p 8). I think that would be a good thing.

Favorite lines, “Stifling hope is a hopeless business” (p 46) and “Who wouldn’t love a girl who thought of hot soup at a time like that” (p 127).

Author fact: Francis was a jockey himself and you know what they say, people should write what they know.

Book trivia: Nerve is short, not even 200 pages long. This is Francis’s second mystery.

Nancy said: Nerve is simply a “treasure” and “ought not to go unread” (p 165).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter “My Own Private Dui” in Nancy’s category “ought not go unread” (p 165). I know, I said that already.

May I Read Another Book?

Confessional: I don’t have any runs planned for May. I don’t have any travel planned for May (except going home-home). All I want to do is read, plant my gardens & master the grill. While the garden and the grill ambitions cannot be quantified, here are the books!


  •  Nerve by Dick Francis ~ in honor of the Kentucky Derby being in May
  • A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller ~ in honor of Miller’s birth month. BTW – This is a behemoth (nearly 600 pages) so I am not confident I’ll finish it in time.
  • H by Elizabeth Shepard ! in honor of mental health month. This is barely 160 pages & will probably finish on a lunch break or two.


  • Age of Gold by H.W. Brands ~ in honor of History month being in May (confessional – this looks boring)
  • Lusitania: an epic tragedy by Diana Preston ~ in honor of the month the Lusitania sank
  • Goodbye to all That by Robert Graves ~ in honor of Memorial Day

Series continuations:

  • “Q” is for Quarry by Sue Grafton ~ to continue, and for me, finish the series started in April in honor of Grafton’s birth month (AB). Should be able to finish this in a weekend (AB + print)
  • Henry James: the Conquest of London (1870 – 1881) by Leon Edel ~ to continue the series started in April in honor of James’s birth month.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • At the Broken Places: —- by Mary and Donald Collins