May Wrap Up + NYALF Haul


It is that time again when I grace you with my monthly presence and ramble about things and books. May has actually been a very bookish month because alongside reading four books, I went to a book event for the first time since 2019!

Yes, The Northern YA Literary Festival (NYALF) was back! This toddler event of the UK book world, based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) was the perfect thing to coax me out of the bubble I’ve been in since COVID hit. I finally saw friends again, notably @PlanetBeth and @SifaElizabethReads, met authors and other wonderful people, and bought lots of books + other bookish things. I definitely splurged and I don’t regret it for a second!


I also got quite a few pins + a pin banner from Felfira Moon Designs and LitPins&Co, and bookmarks from Tsundoku Chronicles (no photo unfortunately as they didn’t show up well – you’ll have to take my word for it!).

The only problem I had with NYALF was that I couldn’t get into the reading mindset. It didn’t really matter though because, despite that, I still managed to read quite a bit for me, especially as they were quite slow paced.

Books I Read:

Flesh and Blood: A History of my Family in Seven Maladies by Stephen McGann – a re-read and one I enjoyed again. I’m not usually a big fan of autobiographies but I’ve always liked the rawness and honesty of Stephen McGann’s writing, whether personal or in relation to Call the Midwife, and the subjects he focuses on always pique my interest. If he decides to write more, I will snap it up within an instant.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan (Lady Trent Memoirs #2) – I didn’t enjoy this one as much as A Natural History of Dragons but it still ended up being a solid read. It just took a while to get going and it felt as if there was more politics than dragons and archaeology, which disappointed me a little. I’m still interested in carrying on the series though so maybe this instalment was simply a case of ‘second book’ syndrome and the others will hopefully be more to my taste.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – I can’t quite decide how I feel about this book because I liked it but I wasn’t as swept away by the fantasy elements as I’d expected to be. I was taken in more by the mystery and the manipulation between the characters rather than the labyrinth itself., which threw me off a little. On a more positive note, I really liked the writing style and it shows me that I can enjoy some literary fiction even though it is still not my favourite genre.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty – Another book I didn’t love as much as I thought I would and I think that comes down to where it falls on the fantasy spectrum. To me, it is very much a political fantasy with mythical and magical elements, and whilst I do like political elements in fantasies, the slowness it creates when moving the story along does drag me down a bit. I definitely found that happened and it wasn’t until the last 150 or so pages when the pace really picked up and I wanted to keep reading. I suppose that does mean I’m interested in reading the rest of the series but I’m in no rush. I might tackle a bit of the TBR first before buying and reading them.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

And that is that. Thank you for sticking with me and getting through this long post. I didn’t start off wanting to write something rather long but there we are.

What did you read in May?

Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!

Published by Emma @ Turn Another Page

Hello, I’m Emma aka pageturner92, and welcome to my little corner of the online book world. When I don’t have my head in a book, I’m either working on an endless pile of crochet or knitting projects, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, listening to Disney music, or watching my favourite shows on repeat.

4 thoughts on “May Wrap Up + NYALF Haul

  1. Great wrap up! I also read The City of Brass in May and I relate a lot to what you said about not loving it as much as you thought and the slow pace of the story, but the last 15% really brought up my rating a lot because I loved it! I’m hoping that the second book will be better paced and more engaging since a lot of the world has already been established. I hope you have an amazing June 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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