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:

Fiction:

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

Nonfiction:

  • 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

At the Broken Places

Collins, Mary and Donald Collins. At the Broken Places: a Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017.

Reason read: for the Early Review Program through LibraryThing

The concept for At the Broken Places is unique. Mother and son tell a collaborative story of Donald Collins’s transition from daughter to son & all of the emotional upheaval they endured together (and apart) along the way. Because of their opposing viewpoints it must have been a very difficult time for both of them. This definitely make At the Broken Places a more dynamic story.
As an aside, it was interesting to read between the lines and hear what wasn’t being said. Mary indicated names are powerful and matter a great deal when she explained that at sixteen her daughter was “J” and referred to as She. When “J” insisted on being called Donald her daughter was then referred to as He. Her son. The death of a name ushered in the death of a daughter. It is further revealed Mary held some resentment over the name “Donald Oliver” because it single-handedly wiped out memorializing her father (“J’s” shared his initials).

At the Broken Places could serve a wide audience: people facing similar situations; people who want to educate themselves; even people in positions of authority charged with changing the status quo.

If I could quote At the Broken Places I would definitely include what Donald said on page 15 and again later in the book. As an aside, I found his side of the story smart, articulate, sensitive and honest. That is not to say I didn’t find Mary’s voice appealing. She was just more slickly professional and less raw in her writing.


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!

Fiction:

  •  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.

Nonfiction:

  • 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