Wednesday 29 April 2015

April Reading Wrap Up

# of books read: 7
Genres: 3 Classics, 1 Fantasy, 1 Adult Contemporary, 1 Non-Fiction, 1 YA Dystopian.

Most of this month was taken up by reading Inda for the #Indaclub readalong, so after I finished that I mostly stuck to quicker reads and am finishing up for a re-read. I think seven is probably going to be my average number of books read for most months and I'm definitely on my way to my Goodreads challenge goal of 65 books for the year. So onto the books I read this month...

Inda by Sherwood Smith | ☆☆
As I mentioned, I started the month with the #Indaclub readalong and this book took a little longer than expectated to read. It was pretty heavy going and I was in a bit of a reading slump so it took me nearly three weeks to get through this. I still really enjoyed it and am looking forward to continuing with The Fox next month. I posted a full review of Inda earlier this week, which you can read here.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld | .5
After finishing Inda I wanted a quick and easy read so I picked this up after hauling it over Easter weekend. I read Uglies last year and although I enjoyed it I wasn't desperate for the sequel, but this was only £1.25 in a charity shop so I couldn't really say no. I think this did suffer a bit from second book syndrome; there was quite a lot of build up for the plot to not really go anywhere. I don't feel like the main character Tally developed very much and although I did enjoy it, it was a bit unsatisfying.

The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë | 
The other week I was making an amazon order and needed to bump it up to £10 for free delivery so I added a couple of the Penguin Little Black Classics to my order. I've been seeing these around a lot and I think that they're a wonderful idea and an excellent marketing campaign for Penguin. Celebrating 80 years, Penguin have released 80 little black classics at 80p each. Apart from Wuthering Heights, I haven't read much by Emily Brontë so was intrigued by this little collection of poetry, It was beautiful, sad, hopeful and quite dark in places and I really enjoyed dipping into this as a little escape. I know it's one that I'll be picking up again and again.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe | 
Another Little Black Classic, this small collection of Poe's short stories is really one to read on a dark and stormy night so I don't think that I got the full effect by reading it out in the sunshine. However, I did really enjoy these and having never read anything by Poe before I am definitely looking to read more from him. These Little Black Classics are excellent for getting a taste of an author that you haven't read before and I'm so tempted to stock up on some more.

Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson | ☆.5
This is a non fiction travel book, almost like a travel memoir, from the wonderful Bill Bryson, who after having lived in Britain for nearly 20 years, spent seven weeks travelling around before moving back to the United States, Written in 1995, it's a little dated in places but most of what he says still stands and I enjoyed reading about some places I know well along with some I've never been to. I did have a couple of issues with it, Bryson can sometimes be a bit of a grumpy old man (I think he would even admit to that himself!) and he makes a few miserable and unnecessary observations. But overall I did really enjoy this and look forward to reading more of him in the future. I think I want to try and read a bit of non fiction every month, it's a nice break from dramatic plotlines and I'm always looking to learn something new. I've had quite a few of Bill Bryson's books for a while now so I'll hopefully be getting through some of them in the next few months.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken | 
I was still in the mood for shorter reads so I decided to pick up this children's classic. When my sister and I were little we used to always watch the film and I am a little ashamed to admit that I didn't know this was a book until quite recently. Although the film used to scare me quite a lot I really enjoyed it and was really excited to pick this up. Wolves is the story of cousins Bonnie and Sylvia set in England in a period of history that never actually happened. Britain is overrun by wolves and when Bonnie's parents have to go abroad on a long trip, the unlikeable governess Miss Slighcarp moves in to look after them. Hijinks ensue. I absolutely LOVED this book, it was just such a sweet and brilliant little masterpiece. The characters were excellent and the plot was fast-paced and exciting. This is one of those books which just makes you glow from within when reading and it became an instant favourite. I'm looking forward to re-reading this in the wintertime, snuggled up by the fire. This may be my favourite book of the month!

The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham | 
Okay, so at the time of writing I haven't actually finished reading this but I'm giving it five stars as it's a re-read for me and I know I'm going to feel exactly the same about it. I first read this book quite a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I've read it a couple of times since but it's a been over a year since I last read it so I thought I'd pick it up again. This is the story of six women who spend time together in England in 1952, and spans the rest of their lives, following their individual journeys as they lose touch and come back together in interesting ways. It's just wonderful, an addictive page-turner with a heart of gold. I just love stories that are set over a long period, in this case over 40 years. You really should read this immediately, if not sooner.

So those are all the books I read in April. As mentioned a few times on this blog, I'm not too well at the moment and there's a long road ahead, so hopefully as I'm recovering I'll get a lot of reading done. 

Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite read of the month? I'd really like to know!

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