What I Read in May

Currently in major limbo with our living situation. Hopefully, good news is coming (and if not it’ll at least be an epically ridiculous story to tell anyway) but because so many things have been up in the air, I was extra drawn to reading this month. It was the only thing before bed that would help me switch off the million things I was thinking about.

I’m also having so much fun with my Bookstagram account and I shared there this week a sentiment I had been feeling. The more I read, the more I want to read. It’s like I can’t get enough!!


Here’s what I read this month though:


I did a full post about how much I loved this book. It’s that good. Habits are something we all should be paying attention to, to make sure we have enough good ones and keep bad ones at bay. I learned a lot from The Power of Habit and it’s one of those books that can really inspire someone to change their life. It sounds so simple, but the book breaks down why habits happen and how to stop bad ones and start good ones. It doesn’t matter what you want to start to do or learn to stop, this book will give you the foundational tools to get on the right track.


After watching the Brené Brown special on Netflix (if you haven’t watched it yet, you must!!!!!) and sharing my love for it on my Instagram story, Brené’s publisher sent me a few of her books to read too. I started with Braving the Wilderness and I’m just so, so glad I did.

It should be required reading given the current political and cultural climate we’re living in. Seriously. Despite the fact that it’s a quick read (you could easily bang it out in an afternoon), it’s packed with useful research. It’s inspiring without being fluffy. The overarching theme is “belonging” but it really goes so much deeper than that covering the dangers of both loneliness and the “us versus them” mentality. It made me rethink how I approach certain things in my life and I can honestly say that I walked away from the book wanting to be a better person.


From Scratch was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for the month of May and I absolutely loved it. If you have the chance, I can’t recommend listening to the audiobook enough. The author Tembe Locke narrates it herself and it’s phenomenal. I cried right along with her through points and smiled through her descriptions of beautiful Sicily. It’s technically a memoir, but it read like a very beautiful love letter to both her late husband and Sicily.

There are so many poignant elements of the memoir but I thought the chapter about her daughter’s adoption touched me the deepest.

AMERICANAH: 4.5/5 Stars

This book was highly recommended to me and it lived up to the hype. While I didn’t think the plot was that strong, the actual meat of the book was strong enough to stand up on its own. It’s about two Nigerian young adults, in love, who find themselves in two different worlds as Ifemelu navigates her new life in the United States and Obinze navigates his as an undocumented person living/working in London.

It’s about race, immigration, and education. It opened my eyes to a world completely different from mine and had me reflecting on a number of things as a white woman born and raised in the United States.

What I thought was particularly brilliant about the book was how every character had a unique story. From the cab drivers to the children of immigrants, every person had a different experience and it was reflected in the story.

THE RUMOR: 3.5/5 Stars

After having so many incredible books under my belt for the month, I was bound to have a few “meh” ones, right? I generally love Elin Hilderbrand’s books. Even if they’re not that great, I still enjoy reading them. They typically fall right in that guilty pleasure beach read category. The Rumor, unfortunately, was just not as good as her other ones. I was pretty bored throughout it and felt like the story was insanely predictable. Even though it fell short, I liked the premise: how quickly rumors can spread throughout a small town like the island of Nantucket.

I OWE YOU ONE: 3.5/5 Stars

This was another book that I found super predictable and frustrating. The main character is navigating life professionally while she helps manage the family store and personally as she works through previous and new relationships. I liked the ending, but actually trudging through it was hard. At one point I literally said out loud, “Oh come onnnnn!” I think the biggest problem for me was that the main character was both incredibly emotionally aware AND completely incompetent. It frustrated me.

MARLENA: 3/5 Stars

While I thought this was a fairly well-written book, I found the premise to be entirely cliche. I don’t love “the good girl befriends a bad girl and her teenage life spirals out of control” story. I feel like I’ve read this kind of coming of age before and I’ll probably read it again. I think it was harder to read it from a 30-year-old’s perspective. I just kind of wanted to shake the mom and say, “Snap out of it! Save these kids!!!!”

PS Here’s what I read in April.

PPS Let me know what you’re reading this summer!

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supal // @supaldesai_

Americanah was the first book I read when I (as an American) moved to London (for grad school then a job) and it freaked. me. out. Yet, really opened my eyes to general living standards and immigration here in the country. Quite crazy to have read right before the Brexit mayhem!

chevrons & éclairs


I’m currently re-reading How The García Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvárez

Bailey Carver

Love this list, lots for me to add! I am currently reading Normal People and if you haven’t read Verity yet I highly recommend it.


Adichie is such a great writer! I have read The Thing Around Your Neck, and loved it, so I definitely recommend that one. I have been wanting to read Americanah, and this summer feels like the perfect time! This summer I will also continue to re-read Harry Potter, and maybe re-read Wild! Have you read that one?

xx Libby

Danielle Manning

I read, “I Owe You One” this month as well and it did not wow me. I didn’t expect it to though so overall I thought it was a fun and lighthearted read!

Alix Maza

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager, The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (actually already read it and LOVED IT!) and more!

Meagan R.

I love seeing what you’re reading and your thoughts on each book (obviously, since I read the blog, am friends with you on Goodreads, and follow your bookstagram…). I just picked up An American Marriage and The Power of Habit from the library yesterday and can hardly wait to dive into them. Thanks for sharing, darlin!

June Pope

Carly, I know you like Martha’s Vineyard and the surrounding areas so you might enjoy The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. I enjoyed learning about the area because I’ve never been. 😀

Lauren G

I also read The Power of Habit this month and wrote a post about it! It was absolutely incredible. I constantly found myself calling my mom to tell her all about it. Even my friends all knew I was reading it because I’d bring it up every time we got lunch! It was super insightful and informative. I loved feeling like I learned something new every time I picked it up. I’ve wanted to read a Brené Brown book as well. Right now my local library has 300 holds on 22 copies of one of her books- its crazy! Last weekend though a local used bookstore had a big Memorial Day sale so I picked up Educated by Tara Westover and Daisy and The Six per your recommendation. Excited to read them!


I love your monthly book “reports!” I’m so impressed (and envious) of all the books you finished this month. You always inspire me to read more. Americanah and From Scratch are on my to be read list.

The Abstract Girl

I watched a Ted talk of Chimamanda Adichie and I loved what she said about storytelling and the value of stories. I’m really looking forward to reading one of her books!

Kayleigh Rose Kavanagh

I thought the same thing about I owe you one. I could not finish it. The main character was such a push over and no one actually treats people that way!!