It’s the end of April, which means only one thing…
And with May comes the joy of Wyrd & Wonder! But more on that tomorrow… For now I’m going to be looking back on April and how I somehow managed to read 15 books in one month, including my current Book of the Year.
After listening to Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake (a name I am constantly jealous of) and understanding about 40% of it, I decided to take a break from non-fiction and start the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. This turned out to be a very good decision because I am absolutely flying through them, which is probably the main reason my tally is 15 this month. The narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, is incredible and it’s just a fun, binge-able series. The formulaic nature of the crime elements juxtapose nicely with the developments in the magic and world of the supernatural. PC Grant has been my companion through my commutes and gym sessions for the last month and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Also, Rivers of London counted towards April’s prompt for the Adult SFF Backlist reading challenge, which was ‘hidden places’.
Kids & Teen
Another contributing factor to my many reads is that I read a few more kids books than usual, and they’re a bit quicker to get through.
Blood to Poison by Mary Watson is a coming-of-age story set in a Cape Town full of magic. I actually started this back in March when I was in Cape Town, but I didn’t finish it until the start of this month. I wrote a mini-review of it along with two other teen books.
Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce is a very funny story of a group stranded on a small island off the coast of Ireland and the discoveries they make there, one of them being that they can survive without technology.
Wilder than Midnight by Cerrie Burnell is a beautiful twist on multiple fairy tales, and it surprised me how much I loved it. I’ll be reviewing it soon, and it’s the prefect fit for our Wyrd & Wonder theme for this year!
The Riddle of the Sea by Jonne Kramer was the work of one morning off, and it was a lovely read. It’s translated from the Danish and it’s translated well. It’s a sweet high-sea adventure about a young boy looking for his fisherman father and the friends he makes along the way.
I finally read The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart and thoroughly enjoyed it! It walked the line between answering questions I had from book one and creating new mysteries for me to wonder about until the publication of The Bone Shard War.
Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher was a lovely balm while I was off work sick, and I have been describing it as ‘both creepy and cosy’.
Blood Legacy by Tej Turner was one I read with Mayri the Bookforager and I have to say it was really good to buddy-read it so we could compare and contrast all our thoughts and speculate in between each section we read!
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey is everything I hoped for and more! It is my favourite read of 2022 so far; since I watched the TV show first, I really didn’t expect to find myself so utterly hooked, because I know what the main story beats are going to be. But the characters just pulled me in, and I couldn’t put it down. I am DYING to pick up the next book in the series, but since I’m holding out to see if special editions come out for each book, I didn’t want to just buy the paperback so I’ve requested it from the library. Turns out it’s coming from the prison library and could take months so I will try to be patient… Also, this was my choice for the Runalong the Shelves TBR Reduction book challenge; this month’s prompt was ‘First book of a series’.
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra was… quaint. It’s a murder mystery set in 1920s India. I really liked the setting and the characters, but it became a bit too long in the end. There were too many details and it was obvious which ones were relevant to the mystery, so I skimmed the last bit just to see if I had guessed the culprit correctly (I had).
Eyes of the Void by Adrian Tchaikovsky is the second in the Final Architects series, and while I loved book one this one fell a bit flat for me. As I said in my review, it may have suffered from the fact that I read it right after Leviathan Wakes when all I wanted to do was stay in the world of the Expanse and with the crew of the Rocinante.
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason is quite something. It’s May’s fiction book of the month at work, and all my colleagues who have read it have been raving about it for months, so I figured I should give it a go. It really is an incredible piece of writing, and managed to make me laugh and sucker-punch my heart at the same time. It is the portrait of the ups and downs of marriage, and a raw, real representation of mental health. It also reminded me why I don’t often read literary fiction; I get too caught up in the character’s point of view and their emotions spill into my own, so I had to finish this as soon as I could so I didn’t start getting upset at my husband just because that was how the main character was feeling!
I’ve been relatively good this year with my book buying, but what I didn’t realise was this: if I request a bunch of books for the SFF section of my shop, and I haven’t read quite a few of them, I will be the first to be tempted to buy them…
I blame a twitter thread I saw that finally convinced me to buy Master Artificer, which I had already been considering; I blame Mayri for Saint Death’s Daughter because she made it sound amazing. And I blame the fact that I’ve been watching Umbrella Academy for The Library at Mount Char because that’s what it reminds me of. I have no excuse for Wilder than Midnight, especially since I read it as an ARC for free…
I have no excuse for any of these either, except ooh shiny! And I also have no shame!