Monthly Roundup – May 2020

We have survived our second full month in lockdown. Sadly, it seems this diminuation in personal freedom is the way life must now be – if pillory is to be avoided. With the slight easing of official constraints recently, those who live in and around my village are at least exercising more freely. We pass each other on local lanes and footpaths, pausing briefly to enquire about well being. Still though, households confined together are rubbing along with barely suppressed cabin fever. Social media reflects a growing frustration over a range of issues as people try to cope with the imposition of previously unimaginable restrictions.

Our paid work dried up earlier than anticipated so husband and I have been filling the acres of free time with: runs, bike rides, walks. It would seem we require targets to aim for, and chase personal bests on activity apps. I joined Strava as a means to engage with others who exercise as I do. Ideas for fresh routes have been shared and enjoyed.

With the start of exam season my student children are dealing with remote testing. I wrote a post about some of the issues we face living in the countryside where internet access is not entirely reliable.

My elder son has his birthday in May and we did our best to celebrate. Confinement together remains better than being apart. I ponder how we will look back on this family time when it is history.

I reviewed ten books this month with an even mix of fiction and non fiction. Click on the cover below to learn more about the book, and on the title to read my review.



The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, published by Tinder Press
The Mating Habits of Stags by Ray Robinson, published by Lightning Books

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, published by Bloomsbury


Short Stories

The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland edited by Sinéad Gleeson, published by New Island Books



Grenade Genie by Thomas McColl, published by Fly on the Wall Press


Non fiction

Mother: A Memoir by Nicholas Royle, published by Myriad Editions
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty, published by Little Toller

The Cabinet of Calm: Soothing Words for Troubled Times by Paul Anthony Jones, published by Elliott and Thompson
A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong, published by Canongate


For Bookmunch

The Idea of the Brian: A History by Matthew Cobb, published by Profile Books


Not book related

I posted this tribute to my parents who both died at the end of last month – something I am still processing.


Sourcing the books I read

The Royal Mail managed to deliver one book purchased.

Four other books arrived for me to consider reading.


As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their titles to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.

My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. Your continuing support is always appreciated.

And to everyone reading this, I wish you and yours good health, speedy recovery from any illness, and as much mental stability as can be mustered in these challenging times. May we strive, at all times, to be kind  xx


2 comments on “Monthly Roundup – May 2020

  1. Kindness is what we all need now Jackie.

  2. Stay well Jackie – it’s such a tough time x

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