April 2020 Reading Wrap-up

This month was a little choppy for me concerning reading. I started strong, reading the majority of the ten books I read this month in the first two weeks of April. In fact, in the last two weeks I’ve read only three books. I’m not necessarily in a reading slump as much as now that I’m home for the quarantine, I have so much I can do that I’ve been putting off because I was busy. Like I sewed a summer shirt and I’m in the middle of sewing a quilt. I’m catching up on Youtubers and finding new ones I enjoy. I’m talking to family and friends more, either in person or over text.

Saying that, I think this month still went well for reading. I had only one two-star read and all the other books were higher. In fact, six out of the ten were four stars, which is great.

Also, as April ended, so too did my spring college classes. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with the summer. I’m thinking of getting a summer job, though with this quarantine I’m not sure I want to take away jobs from people who need it far more than me. Either way, I’m not going to push reading a lot of books in the next few months, but I am going to focus on reading the books I bought that I haven’t had a chance to get to because of school.

But at this point I’m just blabbering on and you probably want to see the books I read. So let’s do it!

2 Stars

The Things They Carried
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (released 1990)
    • On one hand, I did enjoy the extremely anti-war, kind of anti-humanity stance in this book and O’Brien’s unique perspective of war and the world. However, if I hadn’t been required to read this for school, I think I would have DNFed it pretty quickly. O’Brien’s writing is a jumbled mess and while some of the stories in this book are interesting, his weird, dreamlike style really threw me off. I can understand why some people love this book and its author, but I think this is a case that it just wasn’t for me.

3 Stars

  • Revolver Road (Harper McClain #3) by Christi Daugherty (released March, 2020)
    • This book kind of tackles both a specific case as well as concluding the bigger one which all three of the first books covered. For the specific case, I didn’t find it too interesting. It wasn’t bad by any means, but so much of the focus was taken off it and onto the bigger case that I didn’t feel invested in it at all. As for the larger case, I enjoyed it in the beginning, though it did conclude things kind of anti-climatically. Like, there it is, and I was left hoping for more. I also still didn’t like the romance, which I’m liking less and less each book. However, I still really like the writing style and many of the unique features you don’t often see in basic murder mysteries.
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (released 2000)

4 Stars

  • My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (released 2018)
  • Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (released 2019)
  • The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern #1) by Shannon Hale (released 2003)
    • On one hand, I wish I had read this book years ago as a child, because I think it would have been one of my favorites. On the other hand, as an adult I think I could dismiss the more childish elements and query into the deeper themes of finding ones place in the world, humility, and the dangers of deception. Ani is an extremely likable character, kind and humble, but also brave and strong. She doesn’t shy away from her fears in life, only hoping to find happiness. There are a few sad scenes, like having to do with her horse, but for the most part the book is a fun and light adventure. I liked this book so much, in fact, that I read it all in one day when I should have been going to sleep. But totally worth it.
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (released 1915)
  • My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (released 2016)
    • Like I said when I reviewed My Plain Jane, you cannot take these books to be historical fact (which at least the authors kindly inform us on the first page of the book). I absolutely adored this book, especially as a fun read to not think too deeply about. It’s fun that, even if it’s not historically accurate, it throws in interesting historical tidbits, which as a history major, I loved. The world is also surprisingly interesting, like the conflict between those people who can transform into animals (EΓ°ians) and those who can’t. It adds quite a bit of interest to the story, as does the at times ridiculous romances and characters. I certainly wouldn’t say this is Shakespeare (pun intended if you read the book), but I found it to be delightfully irresistible.
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (released 1898)

5 Stars

The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Volume 3
  • The Gulag Archipelago: Volume 3 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (published 1978)
    • Finally done with this series! If you are interested at all in Russian history or philosophy, this series of books is a must read. It is a beautiful read, hearkening far closer to modern times than most would like to admit. Even if the gulags mostly closed in the 1950’s, even when Solzhenitsyn published this book years later, similar camps still existed. It’s a fascinating and moralizing read, and one I think more people should read, even if it is only the abridged version.

There are the books I read in the month of April. I’m happy that I read most of them, and found some new favorites.

Have you read any of these books? What did you read this past month? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

8 thoughts on “April 2020 Reading Wrap-up

  1. I love that, like me, you read classic novels. πŸ™‚ I’ve read The Metamorphosis a couple times, and I read the Chinese seamstress book in high school. I’ll have to check out your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I adore the writing style of The Things They Carried! But I can see it’s not for everyone.
    The Goose Girl is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings. (The sequels are pretty good, too) There’s a new retelling of it called Thorn that’s just come out that I’m also excited to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand why others might like The Things They Carried, but I guess I could still appreciate the content without enjoying the style. And I should give The Goose Girl’s sequels a try then!


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