April was a pretty good reading month! And apparently I’m very tired because I forgot to write this intro before this post went up. So here we are. And here is this month’s wrap up:
What I Read
Last year, I did a reading experiment where I let Buzzfeed decide what I read. I took a bunch of quizzes and read five of the resulting reading suggestions. And every single book on that list was a four- or five-star read (two even ended up being all-time favorites). It was amazing and I really enjoyed discovering new books I wouldn’t have read otherwise. But in that post, I said I kind of wanted to repeat the experiment… you know, for science. And this month, I did just that… and discovered that the first experiment was definitely a fluke. Because this one… didn’t go well. Click here to see what I read (and disliked) this month. There is a single five-star read hiding in there, too.
Here’s everything else I read this month…
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum – ★★★★★
I meant to read this last month, but it worked out really well that I read (most of) this in April, because April is Arab American Heritage month! For those of you who don’t know, I am a second-generation Palestinian American on my dad’s side, and it was so interesting to see that portrayed in fiction. My experience is wildly different than the characters in this book (my family is not Muslim, and I was basically raised as an American), but it definitely felt familiar. I loved this, and definitely want to add more Arab American books to my TBR – let me know if you have any recommendations!
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga – ★★☆☆☆
I know basically no one else watched the Oscars this year (and that’s fine because they kind fo sucked). But when the nominations came out, I decided I was going to try and watch every single one of them. AND I DID! But you all know I can’t half-ass anything, so I also read the two books that were adapted into movies nominated for best adapted screenplay. This was one of them. And I was honestly not a huge fan. It was fine. It just didn’t draw me in like I wanted it to. I will say that the movie was well-done, but still not my favorite.
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder – ★★★★☆
Ah, Nomadland. I kind of loved this book. I flew through the audiobook, and couldn’t put it down. It also made me want to one day live in an earthship (google them, because they are super cool). Here’s the problem: I didn’t love the movie. In fact, it was one of my least favorite nominees (and, again, I watched every single nominated film). I think it’s because I read the book first and liked it so much. I honestly kind of regret doing that. So if you want to read this and watch the movie, I say make an exception and go movie first. They’re different enough that it’ll be okay, I promise (the movie is a fictionalized story inspired by this nonfiction book).
Katharine Parr: The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir – ★★★★☆
You all know how much I love Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series. I have been reading it for five years (I started when Anne Boleyn was released) and am kind of obsessed. And even though I’m sad that it’s over, I’m really happy that I got to experience this entire saga. That said, this book wasn’t my favorite. Katharine was just one of the least interesting of Henry’s wives (obviously, since she’s one of the few to survive him). Also, I really hated Thomas Seymour and was glad to find out (not in the book because it happened after Katharine died) that he got what was coming to him. But the one single distracting thing that just nagged at my brain was that somewhere in the middle of the book there is a reference to a very well know Shakespeare quote. Shakespeare was born nearly two decades after the point in this story where it was said. And I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. But really, this was a great book, and a great series, and I highly recommend it.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann – ★★★★☆
I am attempting to participate in the yearlong Buzzwordathon Challenge. And April’s theme/prompt was “space words”. I originally started reading another book for this, but just couldn’t get into it. So, with like three days left in the month, I picked this up instead (luckily my library had an audio copy available). And it was pretty interesting! Not my favorite history book or true crime I’ve ever read, but I liked it!
What I’m Currently Reading
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I started reading this in like January and put it down for absolutely no reason. I finally picked it up again a few days ago, and just really need to read it. I’m enjoying it, I think I’m just intimidated. I might try the audiobook, because there is a version with one of my favorite narrators.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
I am actually currently in the middle of this audiobook, and I’m honestly not loving it as much as I wanted to. Hopefully it gets better. But I am loving Carey Mulligan as the narrator. I actually had to stop listening one day because I was very tired and her voice is just so soothing it was putting me to sleep.
Bunny by Mona Awad
Instead of trying to fit in an unplanned read at the end of the month, I decided to get a head start on my May reading experiment. And I am so glad I did, because I am very into this book. One paragraph in, I knew I was going to love it. I’m very excited to read more.
What I Watched
Like I said, I watched every single Oscar-nominated film this year, so I watched a lot of things. Here are a few highlights:
I knew literally nothing before I went into this movie, which was nominated for best international film (from Hong Kong). And because of my new pandemic attention span (which is basically zero), I’ve been watching a lot of the subtitled films in smaller, more manageable chunks. I started this on a Friday night, figuring I’d just finish it Saturday morning. But I didn’t stop. I was so invested in this story. It was so good! Honestly, if you like contemporary, heavy-hitting YA, I think you’d really enjoy this one.
News of the World
I was not excited about this one. Because as much as I love Tom Hanks, I don’t really like westerns. Or I thought I didn’t. Between this and How Much of These Hills is Gold, I don’t know if I can say that anymore. This was really good. But that was honestly mostly because of Helena Zengel, who plays a young white girl who had been raised by the Kiowa people. She was fantastic.
This was one of those posts I threw together at the last minute when I had nothing planned and it ended up getting the most likes this month. Which just goes to show that after six years, I still have no idea what I’m doing on this blog half the time. But if you missed it, go check it out. It was a nice reminder of how much I enjoy reading outside my comfort zone.
That’s it for April! I’d love to hear from you! What was your favorite book this month? Are there any new releases you think I’d like?