In What I read

What I read: The May Flowers 2021 Edition

Little Bun Reads:

  • January: 41
  • February: 24
  • March: 24
  • April: 17
  • May: 20

What I am reading

I started off strong this month but then the last half with work and other personal things got away from me.

Mafia Prince

[ Non-Fiction, Mafia, Mob, Thriller ]

WOW. This is truly a gripping thriller. I will admit I got dizzy with all the names of who killed what and when (also, they’re all pretty much nicknamed Nicky… LOL!)… but it was a very good look into what the mob was like and how hard it was to be in that life / to want to get out once you started.

The description of being in prison has a lot of similarity to how I felt being in lockdown (voluntary lockdown), as only having your home to hang out in, with no one to really talk to or discuss things with, is mentally draining.

Tiny Beautiful Things

[ Advice Column, Non-Fiction, Human Psychology ]

This is not what I expected at all, and it is FANTASTIC. It’s basically a collection of advice column advice. It’s much better than you think, and each question & response, really hit me deep in my heart in terms of understanding and empathy, from talking about divorce, love, to coming out to your parents’ disapproval. WORTH A READ, 100%!!!!!!

Sandwich

[ Non-Fiction, Food History, Sandwiches ]

If you really like history of food, and learning about how food evolved, or was named, or created, this is the book for you regarding sandwiches. Also, what IS a sandwich? The book attempts to describe it, but if you just say “two pieces of bread and something in the middle”, it means a hot dog and a burger are technically also sandwiches… yet we don’t call them that.

The American Plate

[ Non-Fiction, Food History, American History ]

Another thoroughly interesting book on how American food has evolved, and what was in style back then, and still is, and what has changed (e.g. oyster sandwiches – not as popular as before!) I really enjoyed reading about their food history.

Chronicles of a Fashion Buyer

[ Non-Fiction, Fashion, Retailing, Business, Garment ]

This is not a fashion book. This is a BUSINESS BOOK and how to run a business, a startup, etc. It is… mind blowingly interesting.

I have to admit, by Chapter 2 I was thinking if this was worth reading. Honestly, I was getting a little.. perturbed (?) with her way of chronicling things, but I am glad I stuck it out because her savvy business know-how and negotiation skills are top notch. Serious. I am in awe of this woman, and her tactics, her knowledge.. I’d hire her in a heartbeat if I had any skill at all in fashion and/or retailing.

I want to re-read it at a later date, but everything she has said about small businesses and entrepreneurs is SPOT ON. I myself, am sighing when I think of a small business (or six) I had offered to help in the past. One ended up selling it because she just didn’t have the head for it.

Date-O-nomics

[ Non-Fiction, Dating, Single Men & Women ]

This books explains so much for my single friends. The reason why people in some cities can’t find love is that the male:female ratio is completely off, and it doesn’t just look at male:female ratio, it also looks at dating pools of college-educated male:females and blue-collar male:female ratios. The book doesn’t say that college-educated women ONLY want college-educated men, on the contrary they just want someone who makes decent money at a steady job, college-educated or not, which I have also heard / seen in my friends.

An excellent read. To sum it up – when there are too many of one gender in one city, the other gender realizes the market is ‘hot’ and won’t want to choose, or becomes pickier like “Oh she’s 2” too short, I will find someone else just like her”… because they can

  • Best areas for women: Silicon Valley, Bay Area, Seattle, Aspen
  • Best areas for men: New York, Los Angeles

Essentially, you need to now assess each city you live in for the male:female ratio in the dating pools you are looking at. It even talks about how there’s a female shortage in Mormons which makes male Mormons less likely to want to marry, same with a specific branch of Orthodox Jews. Fascinating stuff.

The Accidental Empress

[ Historical Fiction, Austria, Hungary, Empress Sisi ]

Another historical fiction writer!! I love reading these, and her work is quite good. I will read her others and come to a firmer conclusion of her skills, but this book was very well done, masterful, realistic and heartwarming/human rather than being so dry as historical memoirs tend to be. I learn a lot more about history from these kinds of story-telling books than reading actual history books. Food for thought for teaching children about history..

The Queen’s Fortune

[ Desirée Clary, Napoléon, Empress of Austria-Hungary, Historical Fiction, Women ]

I’d read this book first before reading her second one just below (Sisi). To have otherwise-to-me, truly boring history come to life, historical fiction is an EXCELLENT way to learn about history and to be engrossed in a great book. Very vivid, descriptive, and a wonderful look into the past of one woman – Sisi – the Princess Diana of her time and how she came to be.

Sisi: Empress on her own

[ Empress of Austria-Hungary, Historical Fiction, Women ]

She really was the Princess Diana of her time. I loved the book (it’s the second in the series), talking about how she ruled, what she did, the politics… very well done and engrossing. Also, very sad in some parts.

The Rose Code

[ Historical Fiction, World War II, Women, Codebreaking ]

Quinn is masterful in her historical fiction, she truly is. This one is on codebreaking during WWII. It’s fantastic. She NEVER DISAPPOINTS ME. That is all. I don’t think I am going to give anything away with “codebreaking” as a theme, considering the title is “The Rose Code”….

The Hunting Party

[ Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Psychological Fiction ]

I got goosebumps reading this book. It’s a great thriller, engrossing, well written, set in a remote place in the middle of nowhere with lots of snow (my fear…). I did NOT SEE THE ENDING COMING.

The Queen’s Weapons

[ Dark Fantasy Fiction, Magic, Part of a Series ]

Another author that never disappoints me is Bishop. This is Book 11 in her Black Jewels novels and it is incredible. I couldn’t put it down. Ate it up like a stuffed cookie.

The Book of Lost and Found

[ Retro, Fiction with a Historical Twist, Mystery, Art, Travel ]

A new author I discovered and enjoyed. I cannot say the ending was personally satisfying but it was a great book that had a lot of twists and turns. I enjoyed it a lot. I don’t want to give any of it away but it does have a running theme of art and photography which I always enjoy, with a smidge of mystery.

The Invitation

[ Fiction, Love Story, Human Psychology, Retro, Film, Travel ]

It’s an interesting book, but it’s the kind of reading that washes over you. There’s no action, excitement, drama, it’s more just reading about people and their thoughts inside of their heads, if that makes any sense. There is a slight sense of mystery and drama however.

The Murmur of Bees

[ Spanish-Language but translated, Fiction, Family Ties, Human Psychology ]

Even if you hadn’t told me it was written in another language, you can tell by the way the words are written and how things are phrased – no native English speaker could come up with such a poetic way of writing and the whole plot meandered rather than having set actions and plans. The book itself was an okay read but I wouldn’t recommend it.

The Midnight Library

[ Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Other Lives, Time Travel of sorts, Choices, Human Psychology ]

HIGHLY recommend this book. I read his other book – The Humans – and liked it because it really made you think about what it was to be human, but it had more of an alien-esque sci-fi twist to it, whereas this one is about imagining your Other Lives. A really good, deep dive into considering all the Paths Taken / Not Taken in your life.

Let’s pretend this never happened

[ Memoir, Jarring Upbeat/Angsty writing style, Anecdotes ]

I liked this book at the start, but like cotton candy, it started to wear on me. Her writing is so … chirpy and excitable, it needed (for me) to be taken down about two notches to a level of writing where I could read and be interested in the flow. I really enjoyed the anecdotes, the stories, and photos, but by the end of the book my brain was unable to continue. I REALLY love memoirs like this (typically) but the constantly upbeat and angst-y attitude of the writing was jarring.

The Plus One Pact

[ Chick-Lit, Forgettable ]

She runs out of people to date and ends up with this guy? I read it, because it was and easy read and I was hoping it would get better, but it’s pretty much forgettable. The characters in there of course, match up to other books written by her.

It’s not me it’s you

[ Chick-Lit, Forgettable ]

A chick-lit book but not one I particularly enjoyed to be honest. I’ve forgotten what it was about. As always she has great themes in the book that hit on very strong female issues but this one was entirely forgettable in its plot and characters holding your interest in a vise-like grip.

Drive me Crazy

[ Chick-Lit, Forgettable x 2 ]

A messy character with a messed up love life, finding an equally messy love. There, now you don’t need to read the book. Honestly, I felt nothing at the end. It was just a book.

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