April was a great reading month for me. I decided to join the MagicalReadathon, and sit my OWLs. You can find more details about that over here. I did a lot better than I had hoped, and passed All 12 exams. This means I got an Outstanding for the Readathon. I actually read 13 books this month, with a total page count of 5439 pages… my highest ever.
As a group read I picked up The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. Although I liked the idea of this, it really hasn’t aged well. The concept of hiding a murder when people can read your mind is very intriguing, but the portrayel of women was So Bad and there was a very weird ‘father-daughter’ romance in it which made me unable to give it higher than a 2* rating. You can pick it up if you really like your classics, but otherwise I would skip it.
Another classic I can’t say I enjoyed very much: Grimm Fairytales. I’m not sure which edition I read, but not the one in the picture (I liked that cover though so used it). Some of these were great, and were usually also the better known ones. I am glad to have read these original versions of them. But… there were 63 in the collection I read, and things got quite repetitive. There were quite some problematic issues in it (for example over half of them involved daughters being given away as rewards), but these are fairytales and I guess we can’t judge them too hard for that. What I am judging them for are the few very very weird ones… there is for example one where a mouse, a bird and a SAUSAGE decide to move in together. ??? Overall, a 2* rating. Sorry.
I guess I really didn’t have much luck with classics this month. Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoinne de Saint-Exupéry definitely had its moments of beauty. I adored the chapter in which he got stranded in the desert. But overall I felt a bit meh about it. To be fair, this is probably due to the translations. I read the first half of the book as an ebook, and really struggled with it. The second half is listened to, and I quite enjoyed it. This was a Very different translation (it was impossible to read them side by side) and a lot easier to follow. But for the overall experience, a 2.5* rating.
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch has one of the most beautiful covers ever. I love it. The book was a disappointment though. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But it couldn’t compare to the fist two books in the series. Therefore, a 3* rating from me. You can find my full review over here.
I finished up the Jackaby series by William Ritter. I had a lot of fun with Ghostly Echoes, giving it a 4* rating. Sadly The Dire King was a bit of a let down and got a 3* rating from me. It had some great parts, but it definitely had flaws. I will be posting my full reviews on these next week.
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde is a book I started at the end of March, put on hold for the OWLs Readathon and then finished at the end of April in a single sitting. This book follows three story lines, past – present – and future, in three different locations, England – America – China. I really liked it, but I can see it not being for everyone. I liked it because I studied bees and wrote a paper on how we could help pollinator populations around blueberry fields… which is a big theme in this book. I personally think it is an important book to raise awareness to a current and massive problem, but if you don’t care about any of that you might find this one a bit boring. I gave it a 4* rating.
I rarely read YA, but I made an exception for Sherwood by Meagan Spooner, a Robin Hood retelling in which Maid Marian is Robin Hood. I excepted it not being perfect when going into it, let all of my usual expectations go and just decided to have fun. And fun is what I had. I have a full review for this coming up, for now suffice it to say I gave it a 4* rating.
Although this doesn’t count towards my reading resolution of rereading the Discworld books, I still had a great time with Truckers by Terry Pratchett. This is written for quite a young audience, but it doesn’t lack any of the humour we expect from this author. Highly recommend, 4*.
It has been a while since I read a book in Dutch, so it took me a while to get into Web van Inkt (Inkspell) by Cornelia Funke, but I did end up adoring this book. This was a reread for me, but I honestly didn’t remember anything from the first time I read it 10+ years ago. The ending hit me right in the feels, and I have heard she Really doesn’t hold back in the third book… so I will have to stock up on tissues. The world this book is set in is so magical and wonderful, I loved it. 4*
Dark Matter was another group read, but this one I did enjoy. It is a scifi-thriller, and I think it would make for a great movie. It is an easy, fast paced read that really got me thinking and appreciate what I’ve got. I think this is one of those books most people will enjoy. 4*
And then a book I did not expect to enjoy. To fullfill reading prompts for two different challenges I ‘had’ to read a Contemporary book with a green cover. Enter The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Yes, everyone loves this. But I rarely read contemporary, and usually hate anything to do with romance so why would I want to read about some woman who has had 7 husbands? And yet I adored this book. 4* read for me, and a lesson to read out of my comfort zone more often.
And lastly a book fresh from the press: Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying by George Mann, Robin Hoelzemann and Dan Boultwood. This is a graphic novel accompanying the series of books, but also continues the story line. This was almost pure perfection. I loved it. 5*. And a full review to come soon.
And that brings us to the end of my wrap-up. I do have some reading plans for May… I want to continue more series with Mortal Word, Countdown city and European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewomen. I am also finally starting my Discworld reread with The Colour of Magic, and making a dent into my owned TBR with Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures. I also hope to get to some books that have been on my TBR forever, namely The Dreamsnatcher (currently reading), The House of Silence, Neverhome and Black Widow: Forever Red. I think that should keep me nice and busy for the month.
Hoping you are having a lovely day,