May was all about the home DIY projects (in progress, none finished, such is my life). DIY projects are actually really good for me in terms of reading because when I'm DIYing I'm all about the audiobooks. They are my secret DIY weapon, especially for painting. They actually make you want to go back to painting if you've told yourself you can only listen to the books while painting. Here's what I read/listened to in May.
I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer. Audiobook. She cracks herself up a few times while reading, which with some people would be eye roll inducing but I found just plain amusing.
Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming. Audiobook. Honestly, one of the best memoirs I've encountered in a long time. It's not an easy read, particularly if you have a complicated relationship with your own father figures. It's powerful and compelling and I'm very thankful he wrote it. Audiobook highly recommended. I want Cumming to narrate my life.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. Audiobook. I'm finally getting around to all of Gladwell's books and they are generally recommended. I listened to this while painting and running. His books are always interesting and he's a good reader if you grab the audio.
How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing by Alison Freer. Interesting tips. She, of course, advocates for having your clothes adjusted by a tailor so they fit you perfectly, which isn't always practical for many of us. (I wouldn't even know where to find a tailor.) But also stain-blasting tips, etc. She's anti-Spanx (though she does like an old-fashioned girdle) but pro-granny panties. She believes you should hang absolutely everything, making her the total opposite of Marie Kondo (see below).
Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for Global Revolution by Giles Milton. While I took a course on post-revolutionary Russia with an excellent professor, I've long forgotten much of what I studied and it never looked at this particular topic. I've read far more about Russian spies in England than vice-versa. And how the heck did I not know that Trotsky was detained in Halifax for three weeks during WWI??? Did I know and forget? It does not seem like the type of thing I would forget.
The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport. Audiobook (excellent narrator to boot). I accidentally had a revolutionary Russia theme this month. Interesting and sad. It's hard not to play "what if" and think about how different their lives could have been... What if Nicholas and Alexandra had been stronger leaders? What if their daughters had been able to go out in society? What if Alexei had not been born with hemophilia? What if Grigori Rasputin had never entered their lives? What if the household had not been hit with measles right as the revolution was happening, allowing them to escape? Their lives were undoubtedly privileged, but also very isolated and rather sad.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Audiobook. This is one of those books that worms its way into your brain and you will keep thinking about it. I don't want to KonMari my entire house but it did make me want to go through my clothes and books. It has me rethinking possessions and thinking more about what I want to bring into my house. I might also be utterly fascinated with how she folds clothes. I possibly also have spent way too much time (and continue to) watching YouTube videos and reading articles by people who have started purging possessions after reading this book.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Audiobook. I listened to most of this one on the train. I had planned to read an actual physical book but I was dealing with travel-induced vertigo that made reading a big no-no. Bleck. David and Goliath was interesting (as always) but I often found myself struggling to connect the stories and having to remind myself of the overall thesis. It just didn't feel as strong to me as his previous books.
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell. Audiobook. Reviews are mixed on this memoir but I rather liked it. That said, I'm not sure I'd have liked it as much I had read it rather than listened to it. The audiobook, at least, is recommended.