May 2022 Books

Clearly I meant to write this post in early June, not mid-September. Oops!! It’s been a happy whirlwind over the last few months, so I’m not complaining! May was another fairly slow month in terms of books since I only got through two of them, but I adored them both. I hope you’ll check these out because these two were among my favorite books this year!

Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, a book I absolutely loved. In fact, that book was my favorite from 2016 when I first started my audible subscription! If you were also a fan of All the Light We Cannot See and haven’t yet read Cloud Cuckoo Land, expect a totally different story arc. I borrowed the hard copy of this book from the library, and I am so glad I did rather than listen to the audio. I was able to tear through several hundred pages while out of state for a wedding. During the short weekend away, I spent a great deal of time lying in bed reading this book. I could not put it down!!! The story’s fulcrum is an ancient fable (one that exists in reality!) that weaves its way into various characters’ lives in multiple points throughout time, including ancient Constantinople, a futuristic space ship set on a permanent mission away from Earth, the Korean War, and February 2020. This book is a lengthy one, clocking in at 640 pages, and at times I found myself wondering how everything would or could weave together. I loved the progression of the fable throughout the story and along the various timelines, and I truly grew to love all of the characters in this story. Doerr masterfully uses metaphor on top of metaphor throughout the book, and his writing style is, to me, awe-inspiring. Moreover, I was blown away by the glaring lessons provided from consumption and environmentalism to forgiveness and human connection. When I finally turned the back cover closed, I literally hugged this book to my chest. I loved it that much, and I was sad to part with it when I returned it to the library! I am debating listening to the audiobook version or just purchasing the hard copy and re-reading it. I would say that if you are interested in reading this book, be patient and give it the attention it deserves. I cannot say enough good things about it!

Olga Dies Dreaming is written by New Yorker Xochitl (“So-cheel”) Gonzalez. It follows the fictional tale of Olga, also a New Yorker of Puerto-Rican heritage, and her family. Olga is a wedding planner for the rich and famous, but hell if she buys into what she’s selling! Her brother Prieto is a local congressman in Brooklyn. The story is set in 2017 before, during, and after Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Puerto Rico. Olga and Prieto’s American dreams are muddied by their mother, a political revolutionary who abandoned them as teenagers but continued to write them letters throughout the years which shaped the adults they turned into. I found this book to be eye-opening with regards to the politics between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and I found it delved deeply into several important topics relevant to our society today. It wasn’t all dark and depressing, though. There were plenty of light-hearted and funny, laugh-out-loud moments. I especially loved the smart banter between the characters. I recommend the Audible version because the narration was superb. I recently learned that Hulu is supposed to turn this book into a TV series starring Aubrey Plaza (of Parks and Rec)! I haven’t found an air date yet, but I am so looking forward to it!

Images from:

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Review: Olga Dies Dreaming

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