May Miscellany

At the moment I am a little overwhelmed with the sign-ups for 20 Books of Summer – so far we have 125 joining and I’m trying my best to keep up with everyones posts.

MarchMiscellany __1_1_1

For that reason, my May Miscellany will be short and sweet!


I have actually been reading quite a bit from the 746 this month, but haven’t got organised enough to review them before 20 Books of Summer kicked off! I am also still working my way through Lonesome Dove which I keep putting to the side even though I’m enjoying it!

Here then, are a few other non-746 books I read during May.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell


I was impressed with this assured debut about the relationship between a school girl and her teacher, which delved into the conflicting emotions that arise from being groomed. Personally, I thought the book ran out of steam towards the end, particularly with the introduction of a second teacher. The book is similar in topic to Putney by Sofka Zinovieff, which I thought was a superior novel, but Russell is definitely one to watch.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

hidden valley

Hidden Valley Road is a fascinating exploration into the world of schizophrenia, through the story of the Galvin family where six of twelve siblings were all diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health and through their story, Kolker explores the history of the science of schizophrenia. While the book got a big bogged down in the science at times, the story of this family was both heartbreaking and astonishing.


This month we took advantage of some of the great streaming events that have become available during lockdown.

sea wall

I should have known what I was getting into when I watched Andrew Scott on blistering form in Stephen Simons Sea Wall. I’ve read the play so knew what to expect, but seeing it performed was such a visceral, emotional experience that I came away feeling like I had intruded on someone’s private grief. It’s a wonderful written play and features and incredible performance, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

I also have Andrew Scott to thank for the fact that my blog got an additional 5,000 views last month! In March I shared Derek Mahon’s wonderful poem ‘Everything is Going to Be Alright’ – Andrew recirded himself reading it last month and obviously people searching for Andrew found their way to me instead! So, thanks to the Hot Priest for that!


Much more enjoyable was Prince and the Revolution LIVE! from 1985, which was shown on YouTube over one weekend this month. Three plus hours of a master at the height of his fame – this was a funky and breathtaking as you would imagine.

Midsommar was a complete brain-melter of a movie, which was great on creepy atmosphere but was probably a bit too long. The Decline is an interesting little cat and mouse thriller about survivalists in the wilds of Canada and was very diverting, while Extinction was a really great premise inside a really bad movie.

TV-wise, we are still watching Narcos, Killing Eve and Schitt’s Creek, but are counting down the days until the return of the third and final series of the masterful Dark on 27 June.


Aside from putting together a 20 Songs of Summer playlist, I’ve been enjoying new albums from Laura Marling (Songs for our Daughter) and the wonderful Erland Cooper (Hether Blether).

I am also in mourning for the fact that this Saturday I was supposed to be going to see the legend that is Lionel Richie *sobs*

So that’s been my month, have you been reading/ watching/ listening to anything interesting lately?

Monthly Miscellany The 746

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

24 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wow, the 20 Books of Summer has really taken off. Amazing. Too bad about Lionel Richie, maybe next year. Hidden Valley Road looks very interesting. I am getting ready to start binge watching Schitt’s Creek, but am finishing up Sweet Magnolia’s first. Have a great week Cathy.


  2. Schitt’s Creek is so much fun 🙂 Glad you liked Hidden Valley Road too…such an affecting read. I really like Kolker’s writing. Good luck with the 20 books of summer! I thought about joining in this year but I’ve fallen so far behind in reviewing I’m not sure I could manage it. But I love following along!


  3. 125! That’s awesome! But also overwhelming. Don’t forget to read your own books, too! 😉
    The only good thing I’ve seen lately is the new Little Women movie. So good!


  4. Thank you for so many ideas. I love Andrew Scott and love Everything will be alright,(it became very important to me when my husband was in hospital) but missed his reading of it so must put that right first of all, and not even heard of Dark. . . I’m hooked on Shtisel, thoroughly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

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