March Summary, April Preview

The first three months of the year have flown by, as they are wont to do. I’m always a little ambivalent about the arrival of spring as I prefer fall and winter, but the appearance of green growing things and summer songbirds is always a plus, so I suppose it’s a wash. If we could just skip summer, I’d be okay with that, but we have to put up with things sometimes, so I’ll just have to enjoy spring while we have it.

Overall, though, it was a pretty good month. I started the month feeling tired and generally worn out and discovered that there was a medical reason for that, rather than age or anything related to the darkness of the season. So once I started getting the medical thing sorted out, I started feeling a lot better. Here at the beginning of April, I have a lot more energy, so I want to go and do things and see people and get things done. It’s a pretty good feeling.

What I Read in March:

I read thirteen books in March. They were mostly good, though there was a dud of a reread in Dune Messiah. But I finished one series (The Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters), and DNF’d another (The Chronicles of Dune by Brian Herbert), so even though I’m not really keeping track of the series I’m reading, that’s two down and plenty of others to go.

  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • The Holy Thief (Brother Cadfael mysteries #19) by Ellis Peters
  • Brother Cadfael’s Penance (Brother Cadfael mysteries #20) by Ellis Peters, audiobook narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe by Valerie I.J. Flint
  • The Giant, O’Brien by Hilary Mantel
  • I’m Writing You From Tehran: A Granddaughter’s Search for Her Family’s Past and Their Country’s Future by Delphine Minoui, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan, audiobook narrated by Suehlya El-Attar
  • The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor #2) by Katherine Addison, audiobook narrated by Liam Gerrard
  • How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch, audiobook narrated by Gabra Zackman
  • Dune Messiah (Chronicles of Dune #2) by Frank Herbert, audiobook narrated by Simon Vance, Scott Brick, Euan Morton, Katherine Kellgren
  • The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty
  • The Paston Letters: A Selection with Modern Spelling edited by Norman Davis
  • The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful by Sharon Gosling
  • Learning to Talk by Hilary Mantel

Statistically Speaking:

  • 84.6% of what I read was written by women, 7.7% was written by men, and 7.7% was written by both men and women
  • 53.8% was written by English authors, 38.5% was written by American authors, and 7.7% was written by a French-Iranian author
  • I read one book in translation. It was originally written in French
  • 38.5% of what I read was nonfiction, 23.1% was fantasy, 15.4% was mystery, and 7.7% each were science fiction, general fiction, and historical fiction
  • 61.5% of what I read was from my own shelves, and 3.5% was from the library
  • 46.2% of what I read were physical books, 46.2% were audiobooks, and 7.7% were ebooks
  • Publication dates ranged from the late 1400s to 2023

My favorite new-to-me books of the month were The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, How to Disappear, and I’m Writing You From Tehran. My favorite rereads were The Goblin Emperor and The Witness for the Dead.

I realized in March that while I love Dune, I’m not all that interested in the rest of the series. Dune Messiah featured a bunch of characters spouting philosophy at each other, and from what I’ve heard of the other books, it sounds like more of the same. So I’m letting this series go.

Storygraph TBR, March 1: 139
Physical TBR, March 1: 72

Storygraph TBR, April 1: 134
Physical TBR, April 1: 65

I have made some real progress in reducing my physical TBR! It’s amazing what will happen on that front when you actually read the books you own, and don’t go out and buy more books. Reducing the number of unread books I own is one of my 2023 reading goals, and I made a lot more progress on that in March than I did in January or February. Hopefully, I’ll make the same sort of progress in April.

What’s on Tap for April:

All sorts of things! I mentioned above that I want to go and do things, and two of those things involve going to concerts. My sister and I are going to see Yunchan Lim, a South Korean pianist, who won the Gold Medal at the last Van Clibun competition, and then the following Friday I’ll be heading back to the concert hall to see the local symphony perform Antonin Dvorak’s New World symphony. I will also be going with a friend to see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (extended edition) in the theater. It’s being presented in theaters around the country as part of its twentieth anniversary. And I just realized while writing this that my friend and I will be going to see it at the same theater we first watched it in the day it premiered. I am looking forward to all three of these events.

I’m less excited for my upcoming dentist appointment, but sometimes we have to put up with the unpleasant parts of life. At least I like my dentist. She is unfailingly cheerful.

So what am I planing to read in April? Well, I don’t have a definitive TBR for the month, but there are a few books on my radar:

  • Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee- I somehow got an ARC of this, and as it’s due out soon I need to read this upcoming novella. It’s about people who train rocs to fight the monsters that plague their lands
  • The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2) by Melissa Caruso- I read the first book in this series in February and thoroughly enjoyed it. Did the first book, The Obsidian Tower, have some flaws? Sure. But I enjoyed the characters, and I actually enjoyed the magic system. But mostly, I want to see how Ryxander and the Rooks will defeat the evil beings that have escaped into their lands
  • A Thousand Ways to Pay Attention: A Memoir of Coming Home to My Neurodivergent Mind by Rebecca Schiller. This is a memoir of the author coming to terms and learning to live with her neurodivergence. I found this at my local indie bookshop and it sounded interesting, so I went ahead and bought it.
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been enjoying the Shadow and Bone series on Netflix, and it made me want to reread the books about Kaz, Inej, and the other Crows. So I did. Crooked Kingdom deals with the fallout from the Ice Court heist, and also with Kaz’s ongoing quest for vengeance against Pekka Rollins. I don’t read very much YA fantasy these days, but this has been my favorite YA fantasy for a long time, and it’s something I’m happy to revisit from time to time. I love these characters.

7 thoughts on “March Summary, April Preview

  1. I can’t believe you aren’t looking forward to having someone poke at your gums with sharp metal instruments … I had them numb my gums last time

  2. I hope you feel better throughout April. You’ve got some super cool events to look forward to at least! Six of Crows is probably my favourite modern-day YA and I still hesitate to this day to pick up the sequel and complete the duology hahaha Happy reading, Kim! Enjoy the TLOR for me too! 😀

  3. Thanks, Lashaan! I’m feeling so much better at the start of this month than I did at the beginning of last month. Yay for medical science!

    You should give Crooked Kingdom a chance! It did not go the places I expected it to go the first time I read it. Between the two, I like it more than I like Six of Crows.

  4. Sorry you weren’t feeling well for a time there, but that’s great you’re better.
    I’m the opposite of you when it comes to the seasons, so I start to perk up and get excited as things warm up. Im especially looking forward to spring this year since it’ll be one year since I’ve gotten houseplants and I want to see what new shoots they’ll put out.

  5. I’m definitely doing better! I’ve got a little way to go still, but improvement is improvement.

    If it would just. Be nice around here for a little while before it gets hot, I wouldn’t mind it so much, but they’re predicting temperatures as high as 90 next week (and this morning it was well below freezing…), so we jump straight from cold to hot, and I don’t like it. But huzzah for your plants putting out shoots! That’s exciting! I wish I could do houseplants, but I’ve killed every last one I’ve ever bought, so I don’t bother with them anymore.

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