When the sun is shining, the daffodils are out, and the weather starts to warm up, April is one of my favorite months. We had a few really nice weekends this year and I’ve been grateful for so much sunshine.
The reading was good, too. I’ve started to fall down on a lot of my personal reading goals, and I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve felt drained and busy a lot this month and reading is always my refuge. I’ll get back on top later in the year. I read:
- The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater – I loved this. Maggie Stiefvater has so much talent and gets right into her characters’ hearts and minds without skimping on any of the scene-setting or story of her books.
- The Complete Keeper Chronicles, Tanya Huff – It hasn’t been all that long since I discovered Tanya Huff but I’ve gone on a number of binges trying to catch up on her back catalogue (love it when this happens). This is an anthology of three books in one. Although I didn’t love it as much as the Confederation series, it was so enjoyable that I tore through all three books without a break.
- Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas – I didn’t feel that I loved this one as much as others did, or that it had lived up to its reputation. But there was enough there for me to request the next from the library, which I appreciated a lot more. And I did love Chaol.
- Canada, Richard Ford – If I was someone who gave up on books, I’d have given up on this one. This was really a half-hearted effort to read something outside the comfort zone of my previous reads, but I just ended up not liking it very much. I liked the idea of it – a book about a child of bank robbers and his flight to Canada – more than the book itself, which is all told in past tense and felt too introspective for my tastes at the time.
- Murder of Crows, Anne Bishop – So I went right back into my comfort zone with this follow-up to Written in Red, a book that I loved. There’s something refreshingly normal about Anne Bishop’s world even as she introduces completely different concepts and complications into the lives of her characters. It’s like she doesn’t forget that, in the real world, stores have to stay open, mail has to get delivered, and people have to eat, but at the same time her worlds are populated with shape-shifters, elemental ponies, and women who can see the future when they cut themselves. Murder of Crows is just as good as Written in Red.
- The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton – I didn’t want to ruin any other fantasy by reading it after Murder of Crows so I switched to historical fiction. This book was a lot less about the miniaturist and a lot more about a small family of Dutch people than I’d expected, but it didn’t suffer for it. I loved the period feel of this book in particular. I seldom read books set in the Netherlands, let alone at the height of its power, so I liked the insight into what life may have been like alongside the different and complex story.
- Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart – This was unfortunately another slightly “eh” book for me – it’s meant to be hilarious, but I just found the sad part to be too strong.
- Pocket Apocalypse, Seanan McGuire – Another great urban fantasy read. I’ll continue reading everything Seanan McGuire writes.
- Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson – This graphic novel went by quickly, about Kamala Khan’s transformation into Ms. Marvel, and I really loved it. I loved that Kamala is part normal teenager, struggling with her identity already as a minority, and part superhero who develops extraordinary superpowers. It’s a good mix, I’m looking forward to the next.
- Crown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas – This came in for me at the library so I decided to read it straight away. I enjoyed it a lot more than the first one. The love triangle went away (woo!) and the world expanded satisfyingly. The conclusion made me very glad I’d reserved both books from the library rather than waiting!
- A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson – I finished the month with some non-fiction. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years even though I love Bryson’s writing, and predictably I loved this too. I never wanted to walk the Appalachian trail before, and I’m still not entirely sure I want to, but I loved Bryson’s mix of actual experience and trail history. Definitely worth a read.
How was your reading month in April?