The first half of March was deepest, darkest winter, and while the second half was warmer, it was filled with nearby natural disasters that prompted water restrictions and prevented travel. I wanted to go to a nearby state park, but it was closed due to flooding. I wanted to go to a local park, but it was closed due to flooding. You see how it went. I hope April will be dryer, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
But anyway. The awful weather kept me inside more than even I prefer, and so I read. A lot.
What I Read This Month:
- Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger
- All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells
- Time and Materials by Robert Haas
- The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (ARC)
- Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan (ARC)
- Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
- The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) by K.J. Charles
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- The Ramayana by R.K. Narayan
- Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells
- Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells
- Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells
- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal #1) by Jonathan L. Howard
- Waistcoats and Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger
- Manners and Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Audiobook read by Juliet Stevenson
- Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger
- The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated from the Japanese by Phillip Gabriel
- Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote by Tina Cassidy
- Reading Through the Night by Jane Tompkins
Twenty books! It’s not quite a record for ‘books read in a single month’ for me, but it’s not nothing. Granted, several of them were quite short (the Murderbot Diaries are all novellas), but still. Twenty books.
Statistically speaking, 85% of the books were written by women, while 15% were written by men. This was not intentional, it’s just how it happened. I usually have more parity in author gender. Eighteen of the authors were American or British, one was from Japan, and one was from India. Eleven were physical copies, eight were eBooks, and one was an audiobook. I read five adult fantasy novels, four each of YA fantasy and science fiction, three of literary fiction, and one each of poetry, epic tales, nonfiction, and memoir. Nine of the books came from the library, eight came from my own shelves, and three came from NetGalley.
I enjoyed almost everything I read, though I would have DNFd Wicked Saints had I not received a review copy from NetGalley. There was a rare 5-star book in The Travelling Cat Chronicles, and everything else was either a 3- or 4- star book. I finished two series: The Muderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and Finishing School by Gail Carriger.
I want to read more of the unread books on my shelves. I recounted them over the weekend, and it turns out that I have 93 unread books. On January 1st I had 85. I didn’t think I had purchased enough books to surpass the number of books I’ve read since then. Oops? It’s not that it’s a bad thing to own books I haven’t read, but the point is that I have neglected some of them for years and I want to at least give them a try. So while I am a dedicated library patron, April is going to be the month where I get to as many of these neglected books as possible.
My April TBR:
- Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
- The Riddlemaster of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip
- The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
- Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith
- Sixpence House by Paul Collins
- The Riddle and the Rune by Grace Chetwin
- The Blade of the Courtesans by Keiichiro Ryu translated from the Japanese by James. M. Vardaman
- Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M.R. O’Connor, expected publication April 30, 2019, by St. Martin’s Press
Lifetime Reading Plan:
- The Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Bashō
I’ve placed an inter-library loan request for Bashō’s collection of travel haiku. I’m hoping a nearby library system has a copy that I can borrow, as it’s not an easy book to find. Because I know very little about it other than the fact that it is a collection of haiku, I don’t want to go out and buy it. But if a library copy isn’t available, I will cast my net wider and perhaps read a different book for the Lifetime Reading Plan for April.
- Winds of Fate (Winds of Change #1) by Mercedes Lackey
One book I’m planning to get to right away is A Prisoner in Malta by Phillip DePoy, which is the first of his two Christopher Marlowe mysteries. It’s set during Elizabethan England and features, of course, Christopher Marlowe, a poet, playwright, and potential agent provocateur.
I’m still reading The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. At page 350, it’s interesting if a little meandering. I know what’s going on with the plot of the story taking place in the queendom of Inys, but the chapters set in the eastern realm of Seiiki are adding very little to the overall story.
Wolf Hall continues to be fantastic, though listening to the audiobook version in the car presents problems when I need to do things like pay attention to the road instead of the story. I’m about a third of the way through, and Cromwell’s life is starting to intersect with the upper echelons of Henry VIII’s court, up to and including the king himself. I will definitely read a physical copy of Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bringing up the Bodies when I’m finished with the audiobooks. And then will come the wait for the third book in this phenomenal trilogy by Hilary Mantel.
April marks some endings:
- The end of my Lord of the Rings Reread project
- The end of Star Trek: Discovery, season 2
- The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins.
Alas and alack!
But all good things come to an end, right? At the very least, I’ll have a few more free hours each week for things like reading, writing, and finding other shows to fall in love with. I will probably spend those hours reading, though. I’ve barely been watching television or movies lately (aside from Star Trek) and I haven’t missed it. There have been too many wonderful books showing up for me to care all that much about television in general. I think there is only one movie I’m interested in seeing this spring and that one is (shocker) Tolkien. It doesn’t premiere until May, so I have a bit of a wait ahead of me.
So those are my plans for April. I always start the month with the best of intentions, and then I fall prey to books that weren’t on my list, but sound amazing, and the library’s endless temptations. But I have at least held to my 2019 Reading Plan in the first quarter of the year and am not finding it to be a problem to stick to, so that, at least, should be attainable in April, too.