Backlist Books Challenge May Reads

My backlist books challenge continues, and I am sharing my May reads.

Backlist Books Challenge May Reads Downstairs Girl and a Flower

I had high hopes of getting a lot of reading done in May. I ended up reading eight books, which is good, but not as many as I thought I would read.

I was on vacation for two and a half weeks in May. I usually read a ton on vacation, but my reading was off on this trip.

My son and I drove cross country to see my family in Oregon. We spent twenty-nine hours over the course of three days in the car together. Except for an audiobook that we listened to I didn’t do any reading in the car. We talked, we listened to music, and we had fun, but I didn’t read.

Once we got to my parent’s house, I read some the first few days, but after that, I did very little reading. We did visit several bookstores though, and I will share more about those soon.

My husband and daughter flew out to Oregon to spend the last few days with us, and we all drove back to Oklahoma together. By the end of the trip, my reading picked back up, and on the drive home I finished two books in three days.

Eight books is still a good reading month, so I can’t complain. I read some great books this month. Two of which will probably make my favorite books of the year list.

A Long Way Home book cover

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly was a book that I received from Page 1 books as part of my Page 1 book subscription. I will share more about this subscription service soon, but I will say that this book was a great pick for me.

A Long Way Home was published in 2014, so it was also perfect for my backlist book challenge. Click here to read my full review.

Unoffendable book cover

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen

Unoffendable was published in 2015, but it seemed like a book that could have easily been published in 2020. It is a topic that I think we need to hear now even more than we did in 2015. We live in a time where everyone seems to be offended by almost everything. Click here for my full review.

An Irish Country Doctor Book

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor

I picked up An Irish Country Doctor after reading More Things In Heaven and Earth. The two series have a lot in common in that both are about doctors in small rural towns.

An Irish Country Doctor was published in 2007. It follows Dr. Laverty, who is fresh out of medical school, as he begins his life as a doctor in a small village in Ireland. You can read my full review here.


Midnight In Chernobyl book

Midnight In Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

Midnight in Chernobyl includes over 100 pages of author notes. This book and story were well researched and documented. The book made a nuclear disaster fascinating. I could not put this book down. I told my husband that I did not know that I would be so interested in nuclear power and the accident that happened at Chernobyl. Click here to read my full review.

Gone to the Woods book

Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen

Gone to the Woods is the book that made me break my backlist book challenge. It is the first book I have read in 2021 that was published in 2021. So far I have done a great job of avoiding new shiny books published in 2021, but I made an exception for this one.

My son and I spent 29 hours together in the car on a road trip to visit my family. It was just him and I as we drove from eastern Oklahoma to the far northwest corner of Oregon. An audiobook or two was necessary. We really enjoyed this one, but I have a word or two of caution before you let your kids read it. Click here to read my full review and thoughts about this being a book marketed for kids. 

The Downstairs Girl Book cover

The Downstairs Girl by Stacy Lee

The Downstairs Girl is a historical YA fiction book about Jo, a Chinese American, living in Atlanta in the late 1800s. Jo lives in the basement, where she listens to the happens upstairs. During the day Jo works as a lady’s maid who speaks her mind. Click here to read my full review.

The Last Year of the War Book

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meisner

This is the fifth or sixth book about Japanese internment camps during WWII that I have read this year. I have not read very much on this subject, and I am so interested in learning more about it.

I bought this ebook a while ago when it was on sale but didn’t read it until recently when several readers suggested it to me. If you are one of the readers, thank you! I loved this book. You can read my full review here. 

The Fatal Flying Affair book

The Fatal Flying Affair by T.E. Kinsey

This is the seventh book in the Lady Hardcastle mystery series. It made for a great vacation read while I was visiting family. You can read my full review here.

If you are a new reader my 2021 reading challenge is to read only books published before 2021 and I am calling it my year of backlist books. I am trying to read my shelves and find older books that have been forgotten about. It has been a fun reading challenge. 

3 thoughts on “Backlist Books Challenge May Reads”

  1. I feel drawn to backlist but keep getting pulled in by the new and shiny. This won’t help your focus on backlist but I do think you would enjoy my current read, The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts. It’s the true story of “Jackass Annie” Wilkins who completely broke and alone, suffering the after effects of pneumonia, leaves her family farm in Maine and rides her horse, with her dog, to California in the 1950s. Very interesting and a fun read so far!

    • I am so glad to know that you are enjoying the book The Ride of Her Life. I saw that book recently and added it to my to-be-read list once my 2021 backlist book challenge is over. It looks like an interesting read. My backlist books challenge has been great, but there have been so many good books released in 2021 that my to-be-read list for when my challenge is over is huge… It is so hard not to get distracted by the new and shiny books….

  2. I enjoyed The Last Year of the War. I am looking forward to reading another Messner novel soon! I have had The Downstairs Girl on my TBR for awhile, so I need to get to it soon! I read An Irish County Doctor and gave it four stars back in 2016, but I can’t remember much about it because I keep confusing it with All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. One is a doctor for people and one for animals, but the rustic countryside just meshes them for me, especially since it has been so long.

    I will link my recent reads, if interested!


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