I have absolutely no idea how we’re already three full months into 2021. But we’re here. Tomorrow is somehow April, and we are fully into spring now. At least, I think we are. It’s basically summer here today, and I don’t like it. I’ll try not to complain about the heat too much, because today we’re here to talk about books. I read a total of nine books this month. Honestly, I was going for more, but I fell into a weird funk this month. Not quite a slump because I still felt like reading, I just had a hard time getting into a lot of the books I was picking up. That said, I still managed to read some great ones, so let’s talk about them!
What I Read
Five Japanese bestsellers… about cats
Yes, I read a lot of Japanese cat books. And yes, it was weird, but also kind of fun. I blogged about them all in my newest reading experiment post, so I won’t talk about them all here. But you can click here to read all about them, if you missed it.
Here’s everything else I read this month…
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire – ★★★★★
I was absolutely not a horse girl growing up. I don’t dislike horses, it just wasn’t my thing. And yes, I was one of those kids who thought the horse girls were kind of weird (but mostly in a “that’s way too many horse stickers, please chill” kind of way). So I didn’t exactly think I would like this one, because it is definitely a book for former horse girls. But I ended up loving it! I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite of the series, but it’s definitely up there. So good!
The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History o f Medicine by Thomas Morris – ★★★★☆
It is finally time for the review you all wanted: the exploding teeth book. And this book was WEIRD. Like, I learned so much about things I didn’t want to know. So many facts were added to my “gross people out and get them to leave you alone” collection. This was a mix of people are dumb and bodies are weird stories. I think the memory of sitting in the car wash and listening to the story of the girl who peed out of her eyes and ears is forever burned in my brain. Yes, the audiobook was good. No, I do not recommend listening in public spaces. Or before you eat. Also, no that was not the grossest story in this book. Approach with caution. But also, if you like really freaking weird science facts, definitely read this one.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall – ★★★★★
This year, I am trying to make it a point to become a better anti-racist. And I was happy to add this one to my reading list. I like to say that I’m a relatively good feminist, but this book Brough up a lot of things I don’t really think about when it comes to feminism and race. I don’t consider myself racist by any means, but I do want to learn more so that I can not contribute to racism in any way. And I definitely learned a lot from this book. If you’re trying to be a better anti-racist or a better feminist, I definitely recommend adding this to your reading list.
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – ★☆☆☆☆
I picked this up because I kept seeing it around on Instagram (mostly because of Reese Witherspoon’s book club), and it looked really good. This was when I was starting to feel a little lumpy and thought a thriller might help bring me out of it. But this was so… slow. It started out really interested and creepy and then I was bored for almost four-hundred pages. I pushed through it, thinking it had to get better and there were just so many plot holes. It was also one of those books where the author doesn’t trust that the readers are smart enough to figure things out, so it was extra frustrating when I figured out what was going on WAY before the character who is supposedly a detective. No thanks.
Near the Bone by Christina Henry – ★★★★★
Now this one is a thriller I LOVED. I guessed one of the twists pretty much immediately (mostly because I have spent the past year binge-watching every single true crime documentary and show), but there were so many others I didn’t see coming. I could not put this down. It is crazy and dark and weird and suspenseful. It’ll be out April 13th, and if you like weird, dark thrillers, you should definitely pick this up.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson – ★★★★★
I’m a huge fan of Walter Isaacson. I have read four of his biographies now (including this one), and so far Leonardo da Vinci is my favorite. But this one comes very close. It’s also very timely since Doudna both won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year AND contributed to the technology that led to the development of the MRNA Covid-19 vaccines. Not gonna lie, I totally nerded out while reading this. I loved reading about both science and badass women, and this book was the best of both. This was the perfect read for Women’s History Month.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo – ★★★★☆
This was on my reading list for 2021, and I figured I’d better get cracking on those. I had fairly high expectations for this one since I’ve heard so many great things about it. And I did like it. I thought it was a great feminist novel. I liked the writing a lot. But mostly, I just really liked how diverse this book is. It has such great representation, and I thought it brought up some great topics that are especially relevant today. It didn’t blow me away, but I thought it was pretty great.
Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn – ★★★☆☆
Now this one was slightly disappointing. I just really wanted to love it. I really enjoyed the Hawaiian mythology and magical realism. Going in, I was kind of hoping it would be somewhat like The Bone People by Keri Hulme, which I loved (the premises of these books are fairly similar). But it went in another direction. I wanted more of the mythology/magic, but got more family drama. And I couldn’t bring myself to care about the other characters. I mean, the boy with healing power who was saved by sharks was just more interesting. Still a pretty great novel. And honestly fairly close to a four-star read.
What I’m Currently Reading
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
So I haven’t picked this up in like two months. Don’t as me why, because I was really enjoying it. I think I’m going to make a point to read this in April. Because I think I’m really going to like it and I need to stop putting it off.
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
This is another book on my 2021 reading list that I wanted to get to this month (I was going to incorporate it into another reading experiment post that just didn’t work out). I started it yesterday and am excited to keep reading.
What I Watched
Since this is probably the only year I will have time to do so, I decided to try and watch ALL of the Oscar nominated films before the Oscars. Needless to say, I have watched a lot of movies this month. So I’m just going to mention a few of my favorites:
Sound of Metal
Metal isn’t really my thing. I’m more of a Taylor Swift, indie music kind of girl. But that didn’t stop me from really enjoying this movie. As someone who has become (slightly) disabled and had to reevaluate a lot of things and learn my new limitations and values, this really hit home. It was done in such a real way that was really inspiring. It’s nominated for a lot of things this year, and I think it may be a real contender for best picture. But it’s definitely got sound in the bag.
This is about a homeless teenager who meets and helps a deaf-blind man. And it was just so heartwarming. It’s based on a true story, and it just made me smile. It’s one of the live-action shorts nominated this year, and (though I haven’t seen the others yet), I totally think it should win. You can actually watch it on YouTube, and I highly recommend watching the short documentary about how they made it. It made me love this even more.
This might have been my most ridiculously weird reading experiment ever. I’m pretty sure I was very tired when I came up with this idea. But I’m glad I carried through because it was so fun! The best part was honestly the comments I got on this post. You guys made me smile so much, and it made me so happy that you liked this super weird post that came out of my brain. It definitely encouraged me to do more things like this.
That’s it for March! I’d love to hear from you! What was your favorite book this month? Are there any new releases you think I’d like?
And I do have a few upcoming reading experiments planned (my goal is to do one every month), but I’d love to hear if you have any ideas you’d like to see, too, so be sure to leave them in the comments!