April Reading Wrap Up

Welcome to my first monthly roundup post! I decided to start doing this because at the minute I’m reading more books than I can post a full review for, as I’m only posting one review per week, and I don’t plan to committing to posting more than one a week! I read quite a lot in April, as my university term was over, and because of the lockdown I had a lot of time to spend indoors. I read a total of 9 books, so here’s my ratings, and some links to where you can find my opinions.

1. Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong. 4.5 stars.
A beautifully touching poetry collection. I’ve flicked through this a couple of time, but I recently read this incredible poetry collection front to back, and reviewed it on GoodReads.
I won a copy of this in a bundle in a twitter giveaway run by Faber & Faber, with no expectation to review. I also purchased a copy before I won the bundle.

2. (AD, gifted) Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency by Olivia Laing. 4 stars.
This was my first ever eARC! I don’t often read nonfiction, but I’m making an effort to read more. This essay collection about artists, and the contexts of art production was a great place to start, because it also addresses a lot of relevant political contexts.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing this eARC in return for my honest review.

3. War: What if it Were Here? by Janne Teller. 3.5 stars.
This book was really short, but I found it interesting. It’s adapted for each time it’s published, so it always centres around a family from the reader’s country. It’s also designed to look like a passport, which makes it stand out to me. Find my review on GoodReads.

4. Ulysses by James Joyce. 5 stars.
This was my only reread of the month, and it was a book I started to reread a long time ago, but I just finished it this month. The first time I read it, I chronicled my journey through it with a series of posts — not reviews — which you can find here.

5. (AD, gifted) Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry by Nikky Finney. 3/3.5 stars.
Occasional is definitely the word for the poetry in this book! It wasn’t quite what I expected, being more prose memoir than poetry. However, it’s well-written, and an interesting examination of both the author’s life and other, wide contexts. Find my review (ad, gifted) on GoodReads.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing this eARC in return for my honest review.

April Wrap-Up 1

6. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner. 4 stars.
The final in a loose trilogy of autofiction (you don’t need to have read his other books), here Lerner dives into his childhood in a way he hasn’t previously. He questions his upbringing, and the culture of toxic masculinity surrounding it, and the dangers such a culture can pose. Full review on my blog.

7. (AD, gifted) A Borrowed Life by Kelly Anne King. 3 stars. Review to come!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing this eARC in return for my honest review — which I promise will get posted!

8. (AD, gifted) The Strange Adventures of H by Sarah Burton. 3.5 stars.
This is a historical fiction, following the childhood of a young girl named H, and the mysteries surrounding her. This was another one I knew very little about before I read it. I liked the cover, and I enjoy reading historical fiction, so I decided to give it a go!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing this eARC in return for my honest review.

9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang. 4.5 stars.
I’d heard this one was weird before I read it, and it definitely was. It’s definitely an adult book, and deals with a lot of sensitive topics, including rape, self-harm/suicide attempts, eating disorders and mental illness. Despite these topics, I really recommend this book, if you’re okay with those topics. You can read my full review here, if it’s something you think you might be interested in.

On a lighter note now, wow, I got through a lot of books this month! Really making a dent in the TBR, and I’m starting to get a bit closer to being on track for my GoodReads goal. I did, however, only knock 2 off the TBR that I made for spring, so I really need to get on that a bit more next month!

How much reading did you do in April? What was your top read of the month? Let me know!

25 thoughts on “April Reading Wrap Up

  1. Congrats on reading so many books! I had a great reading month as well. Which surprised me because I thought that I’ve read less xD I hope that this month will be filled with a lot of reading as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had a great April! And three (nearly) 5-star reads, which is awesome. I’m very impressed you got through Ulysses; I wouldn’t touch that within a ten-foot pole—I feel the Irish references will just fly right over my head. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    • Start with Dubliners and Portrait and build up 😂 those are much more accessible and much shorter! There’s websites out there that explain a lot of the references in Ulysses if you did ever want to read it ☺️ I knew very little going in aside from the basic colonial background

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funnily enough, I have—I liked both okay, but I’ve heard that going from Portrait to Ulysses is like going from Level 3 to 10, then Finnegans Wake is 100 😂 Your comment is very encouraging though—maybe for a time when I have more focus!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I will admit I’ve not braved Finnegan’s Wake! I think that’s less about knowledge of Ireland and knowledge of the 20 or something languages he makes puns in 😂 Ulysses is definitely up and down in terms of difficulty, some episodes are notoriously tricky, and others are more straightforward (though even that is relative)

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      • Sounds accurate 😂 I feel like I’ll need to be Irish to really GET it. Hmm getting warmer towards Ulysses now. I had not expected there to be straightforward at all, because God forbid Joyce give his readers a break. We shall see!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I chronicled my reading journey of my first read through which might give you an idea of which episodes are the ones to watch out for! For me 9 and 14 were the trickiest and I think that’s the common experience! 1-3 I would say probably a similar kinda level to Portrait ☺️

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    • Thank you! It’s a really tiny little book as you can see in the photo, but it was a very different reading experience to what I’m used to


    • Gotta build up to it with Dubliners and Portrait and then just take it nice and slowly 😂 there’s some great websites that go through the text explaining references etc so those are helpful when you’re lost! But you have to be constantly paying attention to the language aha

      Liked by 1 person

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