I had April sorted out, and then I put it down to do something, and now it’s gone. I just turned around for a minute.
What happened to April?!
It was windy enough all through the month, so I guess it just blew away. I suppose it serves me right for not finding a rock or something heavy to weigh April down with when I put it aside for that second or so. It blew away, and they’ll probably find it somewhere on the Canadian prairie.
What I Finished Reading in April:
I read twelve books in April, and for the most part they were pretty great. There are two that will probably be on my Best Of list for the year, a few that was so-so on, and one that I outright detested and only finished because it was short.
- And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai
- The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe by David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele
- Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, audiobook narrated by Justine Eyre and Paul Michael
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous, translated from the Middle English by Simon Armitage, audiobook narrated by Bill Wallis
- Cabo de Gata by Eugen Ruge, translated from the German by Anthea Bell
- What the Ermine Saw: The Extraordinary Journey of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Most Mysterious Portrait by Eden Collinsworth, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Learwife by J.R. Thorp, audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson
- The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu
- The City We Became (The Great Cities #1) by N.K. Jemisin, audiobook narrated by Robin Miles
- The Green Knight by Anonymous, translated by Bernard O’Donoghue
- The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
- 50% of what I read was written by women, 33.3% was written by men, and 16.7% was by an unknown author
- 66.7% was written by American authors, 16.7% was by an English author, and 8.3% each were written by German or Australian authors
- 25% of what I read were works in translation, with two versions of the Middle English poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and then Cabo de Gata, which was translated from German
- 50% of what I read were physical books, and 25% each were ebooks or audiobooks
- 41.7% was fantasy, 16.7% each were nonfiction or historical fiction, and 8.3% each were general fiction, romance, or classics
- 58.3% of what I read came from my own shelves, 25% came from the library, and 16.7% came from NetGalley
- Years of publication ranged from 1400 to 2022
My favorites of the month were, by far, Learwife by J.R. Thorp and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin, as well as Simon Armitage’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
I did not enjoy Cabo de Gata. At all.
I purchased a few books this month. I found an early hardback printing of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus for $1 on my library’s sale shelves. Then I purchased a UK edition of J.R. Thorp’s Learwife from Blackwell’s online (they have a warehouse in New York, so I received it within a few days) for $17. For the first time in a long time, I actually purchased an ebook. On one of my Discords this quarter, we’re doing a readalong of Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart. Kindle had it on sale for $1.99, so I went ahead and purchased it. I’m already having to remind myself that I have it now, because I always forget the ebooks I’ve bought. This is why I rarely buy them.
Barnes and Noble had one of their periodic 25% off pre-order sales, so I went ahead and ordered Katherine Addison’s upcoming The Grief of Stones, which is the third of her Goblin Emperor books, as well as Leigh Bardugo’s Hell Bent, which is the sequel to 2019’s Ninth House. The Grief of Stones is due out in June, and Hell Bent doesn’t come out until January, so I will probably forget that I ordered it and be surprised when it shows up in my mailbox. The two pre-orders came out to about $40, so overall I spent a little more than I usually do on books, but three out of the four are books I loved or probably will love, and if I don’t end up liking The Night Circus or The Witch’s Heart, I only spent a dollar or two on each of them.
Physical TBR, April 1: 87
StoryGraph TBR, April 1: 188
Physical TBR, May 1: 80
StoryGraph TBR, May 1: 193
Obviously, my StoryGraph TBR has grown, but that’s mostly because I finally remembered to add a bunch of upcoming releases that I’m interested in. I also found a couple of other books that look intriguing: another medieval history book, as well as a collection of 9th-century Chinese poetry.
What’s on Tap for May:
- Iza’s Ballad by Magda Szabó, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes
- Spear by Nicola Griffith
- Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle by Janet Todd
- The Might (The Raven Rings #3) by Siri Pettersen, translated from the Norwegian by Sian Mackie and Paul Russell Garrett
- Basilisks and Beowulf: Monsters in the Anglo-Saxon World by Tim Flight
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I also might be reading The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas, as it is due out tomorrow, and I have it on hold from the library. But I’m a little farther down on the list, and I don’t know how many copies they’ve ordered, so I might get it this month, or I might get it later in the year.
I’m still working on the audiobook of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but I may have to switch over to a physical copy if I don’t finish the audiobook before it’s due back. I doubt I was last on the waiting list, so I don’t think I’ll be able to renew it through my Libby app. Which is fine. The library has plenty of physical copies, so I can pick one up anytime.
I also want to read another one of my unread Tolkien or Tolkien-related books, but I don’t know which one that might be. I’ll cross that bridge whenever I come to it.
4 thoughts on “April Summary, May Preview”
Curious, what did you think of the Historian? I read that the book way back in the day. And Susanna Clarke’s book has been on my BTR liost way too long.
I quite enjoyed it! It’s the second time I’ve read it (I read it soon after it came out in 2005), but this time I listened to the audiobook. It’s the sort of Dark Academia subgenre I prefer– ‘nerds with their weird little fields getting wrapped up in strange goings-on’– rather than the more common ‘spoiled college students whining about life as they plot against each other’ theme that I find more often. So it was definitely one of my favorites of the month, but didn’t strike me as much as Learwife or The City We Became.
The Night Circus is one I’ve often seen show up on lists of favorites, but I’ve yet to try it. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it. And you can’t beat that price. 🙂
The library sale shelves are great for cheap books! I’ve found quite a few there. I will definitely be reporting back about The Night Circus. I’ve heard such great things about it. I hope I enjoy it, too.