Welp, I guess it’s almost May
Oh wait no… IT IS MAY….
That would seem to imply I should do an April Wrap Up, so … no time like the present?
Books that I read in chronological order (and a mini synopsis on my feelings there of):
I started the month with several cookbooks, and I did mini reviews for these so there would be no point in me repeating myself today. Just head over to that post and hear all about my endeavors to find good vegan recipes since my lactose intolerance diagnosis. My future in food doesn’t necessarily have to be bleak, nor vegan honestly, its just the dairy free assurance in here that really set the bar above normal cookbooks. I still love food, I just need to love food without cheese. Hopefully, I will learn.
Then for national poetry month at my job, I was reading a bunch of poetry to put it up on the libraries social media and I actually wound up reading this whole collection. It was on the smaller side, and the poems weren’t particularly difficult. I didn’t dislike this collection, it was funny at times, but it wasn’t something I could really post on the libraries pages (nsfw). If you like sassy, dirty poems then this is probably the collections for you. It was enjoyable but I don’t think particularly memorable. This is kind of the polar opposite of the other collection I will talk about shortly.
First graphic novel/comic I read this month. I actually have a full review of this one up if you would like to know my thoughts on it in detail you should read the post. TLDR; This comic is really coming together for me. At first I was wondering why it had so much hype. It seemed like there were too many characters and I couldn’t understand how it all came together. Now I understand, and everything is taking shape, its less cluttered and more nuanced. Really its starting to look like a masterpiece. The next week I went out and bought the third volume in a mad attempt to get caught up even though I think it took me over a year to read the second. If you were on the fence about this series I can definitely say it is worthwhile to push through any initial confusion and see what this comic can do.
We now move into the realm of books I read on vacation and therefor they do not yet have reviews posted! Some I plan on having reviews for, others not so much, but I will get into that more in each one. This one was the first that I finished and I will be doing a review of this one, in fact I plan to watch the film and then do a Flicks review where I talk about them both. I was surprised how much I actually liked the structure of this one. It was a weird love story for sure and I think the question throughout of fate vs. free will was one that I found quite compelling. I remember while listening to the audio book that I had to remind myself the characters were characters and not real people which is a testament to this book for sure. More to come soon!
The next book I read, well technically finished because I had read the majority of this book earlier in the month was The Blue Girl by Laurie Foos. I have written a full review of this one and had it scheduled to go up the Friday before our hiatus but it didn’t go live and then I was rereading it and I think my feelings on it had changed from when I had written it to when I had actually finished the book (I had only 20 pages left, I didn’t realize how much my thoughts would change). I don’t know whether I will rewrite that post and post it later or just not review this one at all. It wasn’t my favorite book, for sure. It was definitely weird. I felt that it didn’t quite do everything it could have. It left me confused and kind of empty by the end, I’m not sure if that was intentional because a theme of despair and emptiness was prevalent with this one, but I did finish it so it is here.
The next book is also a book that I had read a majority of before my vacation but was finally able to finish on our drive down. I participated in a buddy read with a couple other YouTubers which was freaking awesome in general. This one is not counted in my Goodreads challenge because it is technically a reread (I listened to the audio book of this one at the very end of last year) but I wanted to read the physical text and reading it while talking with other people really changed the way I read this book. It was fantastic again, if nothing else I just fell in love with it even more because there was so much intricacy and detail in the writing that I hadn’t noticed the first time when I listened to it as an audio book. Still great, highly recommended. Gretchen and I plan to do a review of this one but she is still reading it so you will have to wait a little longer for that one.
The last book I finished on vacation I read throughout the week when we were actually doing things as a family. I loved this book. In fact it will be featured here on friday as part of my books in translation series. As I did my thesis on Korean literature I feel like I have a certain perspective that I can lend to this book that others might not. It has been making the rounds because of its feature in the Man Booker International prize. I want to discuss the elements of it that might be confusing to an English speaking audience when it pertains to Korean Culture, or from what I understand Korean Culture to be. In any case. This was fantastic, and really short, so if you have the opportunity I would suggest picking it up. For sure. It is quite eery and very moving. I would note that this might be triggering for someone with an eating disorder or severe depression as there are incident of suicide and food obsession in here, so ye be warned.
I continued my search for good poetry to post on the library social media when I returned to work. This one I had ordered at the beginning of the month and arrived while I was away, so I hadn’t had a chance to pick it up. I started flipping through it and ended up reading the majority of the book in its entirety. This one knocked me over. I honestly felt like I didn’t fully grasp everything it it because it was so well done, well constructed, and intimate. It definitely focuses on and pertains to the objectification and experience of African American Women and I believe it won the National Book Award for poetry. I think this is one I might buy for myself because I need to go back and highlight and write in the margins which I couldn’t do in the library copy. In any case, fantastic collection and something that you should definitely read even though it is no longer National Poetry Month.
The final book I read this month was something I was super excited for. I pre-ordered it from my comic store months ago I was so ready for this to come out. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectation. Rat Queens has been one of my favorite comics since I first read it. This one didn’t come together for me. I’m not sure if the issues I have will be resolved in future installments because there was a lot left hanging at the end of this volume and I do intend to continue but the first two volumes were above and beyond better than this one. I did a full review of this one and my thoughts on it last week so definitely go watch that to hear why I am sticking with it and a little about the sordid past of this poor comic.
Alright, we have reached the point where I can tell you about how I am doing in my yearly reading challenges. I feel better about some rather than others, but that is alright we can’t always overachieve.
Pop Sugar Reading Challenges: 18/40 completed
Goodreads Challenge: 38/50 read
#readyourowndamnbooks: 8/50 read
I think this is making me realize that I take far too many books out of the library and need to be reading the books that I own instead. This is a challenge seeing as I work in a library… I am constantly seeing books that I want to read and I take them out and read them. I have to, I only get a few weeks with them right? Ugh. Will prioritize my own books in May I think. I think this is best. Perhaps I should read only my own books in May… that would be interesting I think… Let’s see.
That was April for me… 12 books read in total and a bunch of genres I don’t normally stray into. I’m ready for May and wherever it takes me, how about you?