Total Books Read:: 7
Books for Classics Club:: 1
Books for Hemingway Project:: 0
Historical Fiction:: 1
Fantasy:: 1 (YA)
Contemporary/Literary Fiction:: 2
Total Page Count:: 2,570
Author Gender Ratio:: 6 females – 1 male (woah, I guess it’s a good sign, because I didn’t do this consciously!)
April was a great month of reading in my neck of the woods. I started off strong by participating in the #25infive Readathon hosted on instagram (with a goal of reading 25 hours over the course of 5 days). I loved this readathon. It came at a perfect time for me, and I blasted through those 25 hours and finished four books (some of which I was partly through already). I find readathons very satisfying because they give you a very clear goal, and it also triggers my competitive self. I want to beat the goal early, I want to beat my expectations, I want to beat any previous record I may have, and I want to beat other people too! Bahaha. I also felt like it gave me some great momentum since I really enjoyed all of the books I read for it.
A note on my reviews for all of these books::
I have decided to keep my posting pace to one review a week, posted early on Saturday mornings. So while I read all of these books this month, you may not see my review on them for some time. I am currently behind on writing my reviews, but I have several of them already scheduled, so I’m still technically ahead. The life of the blogger – it’s a strange thing! I have a few non-book review posts coming as well, and like today, it will be posted at some point earlier in the week. So far, this schedule has been working well for me. I think I’ve only skipped one week this whole year so far, and I am counting that as a huge personal win! My reading isn’t always super consistent (I only read 2 books in March, for instance), so holding back on my reviews in times of plenty like these helps me stay more consistent for my readers.
Now on to what I read in April::
I started off the month finishing an audiobook of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It’s a young adult fantasy novel based in medieval Russia with many elements of mythology included. I ended up really enjoying it, but the narrator and I did not get along, which is preventing me from downloading Book 2. Only time will tell if I finish this series.
At the same time I was re-reading my paperback copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I absolutely adore this book, and I highly recommend it. It’s the story of waiting and longing and true love and accepting the things that are out of your control. The writing is beautiful and so is the story. It gives you a lot to think about as well. Warning:: It is a very emotional book. If you’re not sobbing at the end, you better check your pulse!
Back on audio I decided to download Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
. This book blew me away. I was hooked from the first paragraph and loved it all the way through. Eleanor is just an ordinary nearly thirty year old office working woman, okay? She keeps to herself because everyone she knows does things Eleanor would never be caught dead doing herself. Slowly as the novel unfolds it becomes clear that maybe there is more to her life than Eleanor is letting on about, and as she begins to accept these things about herself, they are revealed to the reader as well. It’s written well, there are some great characters, and while there are some very dark themes explored in Eleanor’s past, it is funny at times too, and overall uplifting. It reminded me very much of The Rosie Project and A Man Called Ove, in all the best ways. If I don’t count The Time Traveler’s Wife (which was a re-read), then this is HANDS DOWN the best book I read this month. (But don’t make me choose between them, because they’re both soooo goooood).
Now we start getting into bumpy territory. The next three books I read were I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon, Great Expectations by Dickens, and Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.
Of the three, Great Expectations was the best, but I still didn’t enjoy it half as much as many of the classic novels I’ve read. I wanted to like it, really, I did! But there was a big slump in the middle that left me wondering if I was even going to finish, and then when it got exciting again, it kind of went off the deep end a little bit. I still don’t know what to think of it considered as a whole. This is one of the reviews I am struggling with, but I am determined to figure out why I feel this way about it!
I Was Anastasia
could have been a decent book, if I had enough self-control to not look up the results of the DNA testing they did on Anna Anderson’s remains to definitively discover if she was telling the truth. Because it has been done, and there is an absolute answer to whether or not she was Anastasia Romanov. If you want to read this book, do not
look up those results first!! For that reason, I can’t understand why this was written the way it was. Basically at the beginning is a forward written in the view of Anna Anderson daring the reader to pay close attention to the book because it is the true story of what happened and that you’d have to decide for yourself if she was telling the truth or not. It’s a new book, it was released in 2017, and we already have those answers, 100% certain truth. So…I just don’t get it. There are author’s notes at the end trying to explain why she wrote it this way, but still, I just don’t agree with it. It was like she wanted the readers to be on the jury of her identity confirmation case or something. It would have been more interesting to me if she dug into some of the psychology behind Anna Anderson. However, I did really enjoy the historical fiction narrative of Grand Duchess Anastasia and her family and what they experienced before the end of the Romanov legacy. It was interesting to learn about that part of Russian history, because I had no familiarity with it beforehand.
Educated: A Memoir was not the book for me. I have a review posted already if you’re interested, here
. I was expecting the book to veer more into details about her schooling and what it was like coming from no education to going straight into college…but instead it was family-centric and terribly dark. If it was fiction, that would be one thing. But this community and these people really exist, today
, in this country.
It makes me sick to be honest. I watched an interview of Tara Westover after I finished the book just to see her and hear what she had to say to promote such a book. All I saw was a sadness in her. I just feel terrible for her. She may have a PhD, but she is scarred for life, and it’s unclear if she even sees how much it has affected her thinking.
After that one, I needed a break. I needed to see the sun shining and positivity and comfort. So I read Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. This was a total palette cleanser for me, and a much needed one. It was light and funny and entertaining. Nothing deep or life-changing, but some parts were quite interesting. I’ve always been a fan of Gilmore Girls, I started watching season one with my mom allll those years ago, and it feels very much a part of my personal history. The review is up, you can read it here
So what is next for this Litertarian?
I am currently slogging my way through The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, book five of the Outlander series. And I mean slogging. I’ve got 42 hours left on my audiobook, and I am not confident I will finish it during the month of May. I’ve been told by a friend that the series gets better again after this one, and I hope so hard that it’s true…because Drums of Autumn changed the game for me (in a bad way), and this one isn’t looking great either. A strange thing keeps happening to me as I read The Fiery Cross. It makes me keep wanting to go back and reread Outlander again. It’s just so good, and the rest of the series so far has just been so hit and miss. I miss Outlander! I think I will go back and reread it again soon. For the third time in a rolling year! Who’s going to stop me?!
Anyway, I have also been dipping in and out of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I’ve also been sent a novel for review from Impress Books called Truth Sister that I am looking forward to reading soon. Keep an eye out for my review of that coming June 16th.
Also on deck and loaded on Audible to read in the next few months are::
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (Narrated by Nick Offerman)
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrit Undset
Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Reeeeally looking forward to this one)
Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
And I am always looking for recommendations!
What were your favorite books this month?
What do you think I should read next?
Happy Reading Folks!