Month in Review: May 2023


I didn’t finish so many books this month, but there were some good ones. I was especially impressed by Welcome to My Country, a memoir by a psychologist who reveals her own background of mental illness, and The Word for World Is Forest, a planet-size cry against the spread of senseless violence and environmental destruction.

I did spent a lot of the month reading The Count of Monte Cristo, but I got only halfway through and had to return the e-book to the library. I have it on hold again so I’ll finish it when it comes around.

I also shared my review of The Neverending Story at Shiny New Books, my 10 Books of Summer list, and some mini-reviews of my Spiritual Memoir Challenge.

Have you read any of these? What were your favorite books this month?


For my German lessons, I read a story by Marie Luise Kaschnitz, “Lupinen.” Knowing nothing about it, I chose it because of the title and the date (1966), thinking I’d get away from the wartime stories we’ve been reading lately. However, it turned out to be another WWII story, a poignant tale about a girl who plans to escape from the death trains together with her sister, but ends up alone with a brother-in-law who resents her survival. To me it was a reminder that loneliness and isolation are killers, as well as the more obvious methods.

Now that June is here, it’s time for my Summer in Other Languages challenge. Don’t forget, if you’d like to join a readalong of Voyage au Centre de la Terre, starting June 15, there’s a Discord group for anyone who wants to discuss the book in French. Reading along in translation is welcome too, of course.

A beautiful bank of lupines – which take on a new significance in the story


This month on an outing along with the developmentally disabled adults I work with, I had a severe reaction after eating a sugary dessert — I wrote about the whole experience for Share Four Somethings. It made me think about the effect of sugar on my own body, and on people in general. I think it’s just one of the addictive, dopamine-stimulating substances or activities we turn to when our real food, which consists of loving, trust-ful relationships, is not available or is blocked or warped in some way. I can see how that transpired in my own history and even more in a pattern over many generations, but I really want to turn it around now.

Thankfully my sugar cravings have greatly abated over the past months of wrestling with my diet, and may have gotten the final blow from this episode of sickness. I really don’t want to go through that again!

In happier news, several of my poems have been published lately, plus two essays, which you can check out here and here.

I also shared some photos from April’s trip to cultural sites in Ronchamp, Colmar, and Basel (where I saw the Picasso painting at left, “Woman Writing.”) Next month, I’m hoping to go to Paris for a weekend, which is an exciting prospect as long as my stomach will cooperate.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. What are you looking forward to?

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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12 thoughts on “Month in Review: May 2023

  1. Congratulations on your poems being published. That’s a nice list of reads for May, the only one of which I’ve read was A Tangled Web, a lovely book though spoiled for me by one incident, I’m sure you’ll know which.

  2. I’ve got a copy of the Verne which I’ll endeavour to start reading later in the month, but it’s in English and I make no promises about joining in the conversation – on va voir! I’ve also scheduled a review of Mots d’heures, Gousses, Rames though the French in this classic is rather dubiously interpreted…

    1. Lovely, that book makes me smile. And I’ll be sure to post something about Verne on the blog for commenting in English. It seems it might be just Emma and me in the Discord group, but that’s OK.

  3. Congratulations on your publication! Mental illness is such a fascinating and difficult thing to read about. I’m finally reading What My Bones Know, and I just finished a book about bipolar disorder you might be interested in.

    1. Thank you – I am very interested, please let me know the title (or I’ll watch for it on your blog).

    1. Yes, I’ll have to finish it when it comes around to me again. Hopefully I won’t have forgotten too much of importance. 😀

    1. I have been wanting to read these novellas forever too, that’s why I am so grateful for the readalong.

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