Books I read in May & Monthly Blog Updates

Good morning and happy JUNE book besties! I hope you’re having a great start to the month already. I love to start the month out by reflecting on my previous month, so that I can look forward to how to make this month better. Last month I read a lot of reflective and emotional books, and I loved it. I think I learned a lot about myself and life with their help. Please enjoy a list of what I read in May, plus some blog updates!

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Thoughts

I knew this book was going to be really emotional for me, and I really wasn’t ready. Although I am not sure there would ever be a time where this book wouldn’t be emotional for me. Ocean Vuong is an author I’ve been looking to for so many years, just unsure if I’m ready to read him. I can’t really begin to tell you very well how important this book was to me, but it was absolutely stunning.

  • 🎢 Lyrical Prose
  • 🧭 Immigrant Experience
  • 😭 Emotional
  • β€οΈβ€πŸ©Ή Trauma and Healing

Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Thoughts

This book was a ton of fun! It’s pretty incredible, because before this book, it literally never occurred to me that I could be able to see characters that looked like me in historical fiction. Let alone strong and spunky characters like the ones in this one. This really turned the tides for me! I read this one with Saima at Stories with Saima!

  • πŸ“œ Historical Fiction
  • 🌏 East Asian Rep
  • 😭 Emotional
  • 🌳 Family Focused

Review | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

Thoughts

This was another book that I luckily got to read with Saima! It was so impressively atmospheric, I really felt like I was with the characters on Jeju. I absolutely love June Hur now and can’t wait to see what she writes next!

  • πŸ’« Atmospheric
  • πŸ’€ Dark Content
  • 🌳 Family Focused
  • 🎒 Thriller

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

Thoughts

This was another book that was deeply personal to me. I absolutely loved the prose in this. It was beautiful. The epic way that the book was written, with a lot of passage of time over the span of the book, really prevented us from clinging too tightly to a single character, because their story is just one representation of the hundreds of thousands of displaced souls during the Indochina refugee crisis.

  • 🌏 South East Asian Rep
  • 🧭 Immigrant Experience
  • πŸ₯€ Flawed Characters
  • πŸ“œ Historical Fiction

Review | Goodreads Amazon | Bookshop.org

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

Thoughts

Wow this one was really fun. I saw this on the read now section of netgalley and it did not disappoint. It was super cute, and really fun. I loved the statement they made on the difficulties of being yourself while being in the spotlight. I thought the romance was really sweet, and the varied levels of support really pulled at my heart strings. It was a delightful read!

  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ Bisexual MC
  • πŸ’ž Young Love
  • 🌼 Self Discovery
  • πŸ‘οΈ Multiple POV

Review | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Thoughts

I was really excited to read my first cosy mystery with this one! It actually inspired me so much that I went ahead and wrote a whole post about diverse cosy mysteries! It was a ton of fun, make sure to check it out (I’m still adding to it, so if you have recommendations, let me know!). The food descriptions were the absolute star of the show for this book. I was hungry the whole time!

  • 🍜 Culinary Mystery
  • πŸƒ Easy Reading
  • 🌳 Family Focused
  • 🎲 Plot Twists

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

Thoughts

Another book recommended to me by Sarah. This one was so good! It leads you to believe you just want to learn about the weird creatures that are the family, and then it flips you on the head and it’s very clear what the problem is. It really didn’t go in any direction that I thought it would, and I absolutely adored the ending. I’m actually really impressed with this one, I liked it a lot!

  • πŸ’₯ Dramatic Ending
  • πŸ’« Atmospheric
  • πŸ’€ Dark Content
  • πŸ•―οΈ Slow Burn

Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org
I don’t have a review yet, but head over and read Sarah’s review!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He book cover

Thoughts

Well this book destroyed me. In a great way. And the best part was that reading this book felt like I had an instant support group. Even if Joan He was laughing at me about it on twitter (she playfully laughs at all of us reading this, because she loves us). I read this with Ahaana at Windows to Worlds! Our reviews are forthcoming.

  • 🌊 Climate Fiction
  • πŸ‘­ Sibling Bond
  • 😭 Emotional
  • 🎢 Lyrical Prose

Review & Aesthetic | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Thoughts

I read this book in anticipation for voting for the IGNYTE awards for this upcoming Fiyahcon (have I mentioned I’m attending and I’m so excited?!). The beautiful world that Elatsoe lives in came right to life before my eyes. The power and the pride written into this book were a sight to see. It was stunning. I got chills multiple times while reading this story, because of how much power Darcie put into this. PLUS Darcie is up for a bunch of awards with this, fingers crossed for her!

  • 🌳 Family Focused
  • πŸ’œ Nomance
  • πŸ‘» Supernatural
  • πŸƒ Easy Reading

Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org

Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins

Thoughts

This book was so cute. I was in desperate need for a light and fun book, and this one absolutely delivered. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun fake romance read! I just posted a review for this, so I feel repetitive talking about it here. So I’ll leave it at that!

  • πŸ“– Couldn’t Put It Down
  • πŸ’ž Young Love
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ Bisexual MC
  • πŸƒ Easy Reading

Review | Goodreads Amazon Bookshop.org


Book stats?

I’ve apparently been on an emotional young adult mood lately. I love coming back through the month and seeing what type of books I was reading, because it changes so much based on my ongoing mood and mental state. I feel like being introspective about your reading like this really helps you learn about yourself. This month I was in much more of a mood to grow, learn, and be emotional, and it shows in my reading. We can learn a lot about ourselves if only we just listen to what we’re trying to say.

Reading stats provided by The Storygraph


Bookish Brews Posts & Updates

This month I wanted to do more fun blog posts as opposed to a million reviews. It didn’t quite pan out how I’d hoped, but I did have some posts that I really had a lot of fun making. In case you missed them:

  • I wrote a list of diverse books with magical competitions. Something about magical competitions is just SO GOOD, so I thought I’d compile a list for you!
  • My monthly post for new releases for the upcoming month was more fun to put together this month than any other month, because I hunted down some pre-order freebies for you! Check out my Diverse June Releases post, you might still have time for some of them!
  • I’ve been focusing a lot on social media, which is to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time making book friends! Mostly just talking to you, and connecting with you. It’s been so much fun, and honestly I’m so happy that last month I launched my social medias. Please follow me so we can chat and become friends!!
  • I’ve started to get some steady traffic from Google, which means that we’re doing something right here! Thank you everyone who visits my page, reads my reviews, adds books to their TBR because of me. I appreciate all of you and I’m so glad so many more people are coming with me on this journey of decolonizing my bookshelf. It’s been the best reading adventure I’ve ever had.

Craving a little more?

Check out my bookshop list that I made to accompany this post! All the books I read this month in one shelf in my bookshop, so it’s easier for you to browse and get your next read all in one place!


Let’s chat

✨ What was your favorite read of May?
✨ Did we read any of the same books!?
✨ Did you find something for your TBR?


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Bookish Brews read some great books this month, I want to read all of these!