May 2020 Book Recommendations

May 2020 Book Recommendations: What to Read & What to Skip

Welcome to my regular round up of books for my May 2020 book recommendations! I focused on a lot of 2020 new releases so you’ll have plenty of opportunities for preorders!

This list of May 2020 book recommendations includes a few must-read hits and some middle of the road reads you can take or leave.  I like to share both my five star reads and any misses to help you get a better idea of what you should read or might want to skip.

As always, I love to hear if you agree or disagree with my ratings! Let me know in the comments what you thought of my May 2020 book recommendations.

I’m linking up with Jana Says /Life According to Steph and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!


May 2020 Book Recommendations

Physical Books:

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

In one of the sweetest gestures I’ve experienced so far as a book blogger, my blogging friend Rachael (who runs the fabulous Booklist Queen blog) sent me this book as a surprise!! She raved about it and I said I was looking forward to reading it at some point based on her recommendation. Then one day it appeared at my door!

When Monica finds an ordinary notebook with a secret confession inside that encourages the next reader to live authentically, she scribbles her own confession and passes it own. As the notebook continues its journey, the writers eventually find each other and connect in ways they never imagined!

5 Stars | Amazon


Beach Read by Emily Henry

In a shocking turn of events, I actually read my Book of the Month selection in the same month I received it! I couldn’t resist the premise – two writers who switch genres for the summer. As they give each other a crash course in how to write, they can’t help but start to fall in love. This takes place literally in a beach town, often in beach houses, so it’s an absolutely perfect summer read.

I read this book in 24 hours because I just didn’t want to put it down. I’ll admit I dropped it down to 4.5 stars because the ending didn’t hook me quite as much as the first half, but it’s still overall a terrific novel. I was laughing out loud at parts and just loved the writing style and dialogue.

4.5 Stars | Amazon (Release Date May 19, 2020)



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may 2020 book recommendations


eBooks (reading from Netgalley / Library):

Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey

I read Winfrey’s previous novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks, earlier this year and fell completely in love with the characters. So, you can imagine I was thrilled to discover the sequel would be out in 2020! This time, Chloe takes center stage.

I did get a little frustrated with Chloe’s inability to acknowledge what was right in front of her. Her decisions were sometimes a little too self destructive and it seemed like it was solely to extend the plot a bit longer. So, if that sort of thing annoys you, you may want to skip this. However, if you enjoy a cute rom-com or loved Waiting For Tom Hanks you’ll find this absolutely enjoyable!

3.5 Stars | Amazon (Release Date July 7, 2020)


Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

A Young Adult Fantasy novel with a fairy tale twist. In this dark tale, the princess is not the one who needs to be saved. Soraya was cursed as a baby and now poison runs through her veins. Anyone who touches her skin will be killed. So, she’s locked away to protect her family’s royal status. When a demon is captured and brought to her castle, she sees an opportunity to find out how to break the curse. But dealing with a demon might mean turning against her family.

This has a lot of the standard YA tropes, so those parts of the story didn’t feel terribly original. However, I absolutely adored the Persian folklore influences that serve as the backbone for the tale. The setting, language, and characters all reflect Persian culture and that fact sets it apart from the multitude of other YA fantasy novels.

3.5 Stars | Amazon (Release Date July 7, 2020)


The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund

This is one of those Bookstagram made me do it books, but for the first time wasn’t a hit. Keely decides she needs to take matters into her own hands if she doesn’t want to be the last virgin in her class before she graduates. So, she makes it her mission to find the right guy. When an absurdly perfect guy drops into her path, she thinks she hit the lottery. However, she doesn’t want to seem inexperienced with an older boy so she sets a new plan to “practice” with her best guy friend first.

This YA novel isn’t bad, but I just couldn’t connect with the characters and their decisions.  There are so many other YA books I’d recommend instead (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Fangirl, etc)!

3 Stars | Amazon



Audio Books (listening on Kindle Unlimited / Audible):

My commute is nonexistent so I haven’t been listening to any audiobooks! I’m sure I’m not the only one…



Reading Tracker Analysis (Data: Jan – Present)

Since I created my Reading Tracker (available for $5 in my store), I thought it’d be fun to showcase a few of the graphs each month. I’m an accountant, so books + Excel is my dream combo 🙂

First up this month is a look at which formats I’m reading the most. At this point in the year, almost half of my books are eBooks!! I guess I’m reading more novels from NetGalley, which means more time on the Kindle. It’s no surprise that audio is so low. Normally I can get through at least a book a month listening on my commute, but that’s gone away…


The graph below is one that took quite a while to figure out and I’m rather proud of it 🙂 It helps show my best/worst publishers based on the star rating I gave the books I’ve read so far this year. So far William Morrow Paperbacks is the lowest with an average 3 star rating. Pamela Dorman is knocking it out the park and Broadway Books also has 5 stars!



If you’d like to analyze your reading or you’re tired of tracking books with Goodreads, check out my Reading Tracker!


What was the best book you read in May?


For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in April 2020!


books to read and skip may 2020




  1. I love that you included the graphs! I haven’t been listening to many audiobooks either. I typically have a pretty long daily commute and now that I don’t have that I’m not listening to audiobooks consistently. I agree with your review of Beach Read and am so excited to pick up The Authenticity Project!

    1. I just started an audiobook yesterday while I was on a walk, so I’m hoping those walks will take the place of my commute for audiobook time. Only took me two months to be in the right mood haha.

  2. I haven’t listened to an audiobook since last fall and I think I’m over that…it’s just not for me anymore.

    Making time to sit down and read has become necessary I think.

    1. My desire to do audiobooks definitely comes and goes. I was on an HP kick for a while, but that’s fizzling out. I just started The Dutch House, but it’s kind of boring (eek I know everyone loves it) so I’m hoping it picks up.

  3. I found Beach Read to be SUCH a delight. It was the perfect mix of light banter and heavier topics – kind of the way I loved Evvie Drake Starts Over (and now I’m always looking for the next book to give me the same joy as Evvie Drake). Plus it got at least half a bonus star from me because of the setting – since I live in a small-ish town on the shores of Lake Michigan, and I have strong opinions about it being the greatest of the Great Lakes 🙂 I also really loved Waiting for Tom Hanks – wasn’t able to get the Netgalley of this follow up, so I’m just still waiting over here….

    1. Oh I just adore Evvie Drake too. It’s hard to find anything to top that. I’m actually reading another one right now that you might love called The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams that comes out in a few months!

  4. I keep hearing Beach Read is really good! I’m #57 on Overdrive so hopefully I get it before summer is over ‍♀️

    Linking my April reads in my name, if interested!

  5. I have read a ton more eBooks than usual since the quarantine started. It’s not like I don’t have physical books but for some reason, I can’t put down my Kindle right now.

  6. Already on the wait list for the pre-release of Beach Read and really looking forward to reading it! The Authenticty Project sounds right up my alley too, especially since it’s being described as “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually!”

  7. i don’t think i have ever read my BOTM choice in the same year, let alone the same month lol. The Authenticity Project sounds like my kind of book, adding it to my list!

  8. Beach Read actually sounds pretty good! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. I’ll have to check it out 🙂

    1. It was a lot of fun! Perfect timing for it, not one I would have enjoyed as much in the winter I’m sure…

  9. Adding The Authenticity Project to my list! And I have The Beach Read.. in 3 formats lol… so I’ll definitely be getting to that one soon.

  10. Glad to hear you liked Beach Read! I’ve got a hold on it in my library. And how fun to hear you are a BOTM person—I am a new member and my first book box will be here today!!

  11. The Authenticity Project sounds intriguing! I have been using my ereader much more than usual. I prefer the physical copies, however, between libraries being closed, digital ARC and Kindle sales, the past 2 months have been almost ereads exclusively.

  12. Great collection of books, Rachel! I have so much book envy over Beach Read – my request on NG is still sitting unanswered :-/ Guess I’ll have to wait to get it at the library…
    Thanks for the heads up on the Authenticity Project, as well. Sounds super fun! I love a bookish book 😉

  13. I have both of the Kerry Winfrey books. I’ll probably read them one after the other for the release of her newest one. I never thought to track publishers. Hmmm… I wonder what mine would look like. I may have to look at that.

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