Happy April everyone! I am starting to feel a little bit excited about spring. Or at least I was until I saw that it will be very close to one-hundred degrees where I live later this week. So we’re skipping spring and going straight to summer, apparently. So even though I will be miserable for a few days, I am looking forward to getting some good reading in this month. I’ve had a few not-great reading months, but I’m feeling optimistic about April. I do have to start going back into the office three days a week, which I am really not looking forward to, but silver lining is that it gives me a lot more dedicated audiobook listening time, so fingers crossed I can actually fit in everything I want to read this month, starting with…
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
I’ve talked about this a few times already, but this year, I am participating in the Buzzword Reading Challenge created by Kayla from BooksandLala. It’s a fun little challenge where every month you read a book with the “buzzword” in the title. This month’s word is “‘little’ or ‘big'”, so I decided to go with a book I picked up a while ago and have been wanting to read” Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim. While I do have a physical copy, I decided to also pick up the audiobook. I personally like audiobooks because they make me slow down while I’m reading, and I do want to pay more attention to this one. Also because this is historical fiction set in Korea, so I’m guessing there will be a lot of names and places I’m not familiar with, so it might be helpful to be able to listen to the correct pronunciations.
Like I set, this is set in occupied Korea in 1917. It follows a local hunter who saves a Japanese officer from a tiger attack, tying their fates together in a saga that spans half a century. In the aftermath, a young girl is sold by her family to a courtesan school, and we follow her story. I’m guessing this is somehow all interconnected (hopefully), and I’m looking forward to finding out how. I am planning on starting this today, so I’ll definitely know more soon.
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robinson
One thing I’ve been trying to do lately is read books applicable to various awareness or history months (i.e. reading a book about a historical woman during Women’s History Month or reading a book about Disability Awareness Month). And April, in case you didn’t know, is Autism and Neurodiversity Acceptance Month. So I am planning to read a couple books with that in mind. The first one being Divergent Mind by Jenara Nerenberg, which is about neurodiversity in women. I am currently reading this (probably will have finished by the time this post goes up) and am really enjoying it so far.
But I also wanted to get to this memoir, which has been sitting on my TBR for ages. It’s obviously about the author’s experience being on the autism spectrum (the term ‘Asperger’s’ is no longer used, but it was at the time of this book’s publication). As someone who is neurodivergent, but does not have autism, I’m just really curious about the differences between my experience and that of others. I particularly enjoy reading memoirs about experiences that are new to me, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.
Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
We are three months into the year, and I have yet to read just like really fun book. Everything so far has either made me tear up, bored me to death, or was good but definitely not what I would call a fun read (it’s been a fairly heavy educational reading year so far). So it’s absolutely time for a book like this one. I was kind of on the fence about Finlay Donovan is Killing It, mostly because the cover reminds me a lot of Where’d You Go Bernadette, which I couldn’t get into at all. So I kind of dismissed this book. But I have since been hearing great things, and now I’m intrigued.
This book is about a single mom of two and struggling novelist whose life is just in chaos. But when she’s overheard describing the plot of her new suspense novel, she’s mistaken for a hitman and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband. Which just sounds like a movie I’d love to see (I think this actually is being adapted, which gives me even more reason to read it). It’s described as fast-paced and witty, which is exactly the kind of book I’m in the mood for this month.
Matrix by Lauren Groff
There isn’t really a legit reason why this book is lumped together with Hamnet in my head – except they’re both about fairly little-known real historical figures – but it is. And last month, I read and loved Hamnet, which means I’m even more in the mood now to read this one. It’s a novel about Marie de France (who you may remember from my Harvard Summer Reading List experiment last year). She is known for writing a collection of lais, or short stories, that are basically the Medieval equivalent of modern spicy romance novels. There’s even a gay werewolf.
This book is all about Marie, and what happens after she’s exiled from the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine and sent to England to be the prioress of an impoverished abbey. Which really intrigues me, having read her writing. I am feeling a little conflicted about this one, though. I am not typically into very religious books, and this one seems like religion is a huge part of the story. But it’s also queer and feminist, so I’m not quite sure how that will turn out. I am curious enough to read it, but I’m not convinced I will like it. I will definitely update you after I’ve read it, though.
Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi
I’ve talked about this one a few times already, but I think I’m in the mood to finally read it. I have a weird relationship with Helen Oyeyemi where I don’t love her books, but I also can’t stop thinking about them. Which is somehow also true of this one, which I haven’t even read yet. I have not stopped thinking about this book since I first read the synopsis about a year ago when this was released. It is so wonderfully weird-sounding that I just have to read it.
This book is about Otto and Xavier, who are gifted a trip on a sleeper train by an aunt after they declare their love. Both to celebrate their commitment and to get them out of the house. So Otto and Xavier set off on their trip, accompanied by their pet mongoose. And soon find out everything might not be what it seems. This book sounds utterly bizarre, and has been described as fantasy, magical realism, and even romance, so this sounds like something I might actually love. Maybe third time is the charm and this book will help me decide whether or not I should keep reading Helen Oyeyemi’s books.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Finally, I desperately need to get moving on my 2022 reading list, and I am hoping to cross off a few books this month, starting with Parable of the Sower. I first read Octavia Butler two years ago, and could not believe that I hadn’t read her before. I was totally blown away. And then didn’t come back to her books until now. So it is absolutely time for me to read more Octavia Butler, and I am very excited about this one.
It’s set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian world (in 2025, which is only mildly terrifying) and follows one woman as she begins a journey towards a better future. It’s about refugees and revolution and just sounds so good. But what really intrigued me about this book is that our main character suffers from hyperempathy, which makes her extremely sensitive to the pain of others. As an empath myself, I am very curious to see how this plays out in the context of the story. I’m sure Octavia Butler did something amazing, and I can’t wait. Even though I’m semi-preparing myself for this book to mess me up emotionally.
Obviously, I am very excited about this month’s reading list. I have a few other things planned, and I’m really hoping that it’s just going to be a great month where I read all the books and am not miserable. I’ll let you know how it goes in the wrap up.
What are you planning to read in April?
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