What I read in April

The past few months have definitely been a lot more about art than literature–both in the sense of creating and consuming, but there you go. I’m getting better at building a reading schedule into my routine. My personal reading goal is three books a month, and I’m really glad to say that I topped out this month with four (and a half, but you know, that goes into the May pile).

Leviathan Wakes, Author
David and I are starting to get into the obnoxiously couple-y habit of buying books we’re both interested in reading, and this was one of them. It’s a bit mammoth in concept, but the authors handled it a lot better than I expected. The concept blends the themes and style of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with a fifties black noir dime novel. My one critique, which is more of an observation than anything, is that co-authored books (like this one) is that they tend to read with almost a starchy level of structure. Honestly I loved this book and I’m already halfway through the follow up one, which I am shocked to admit holds up all on its own. My biggest complaint was realizing that the authors are the assistants to George R R Martin, and my main thought was ‘What the heck are you guys doing writing your own books? Let’s get the Game of Thrones series finished already!!’

The Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruis Zafon
David’s coworker passed this book along to me after her initial recommendation, The Shadow of the Wind, was met with my confession that I already read it (it happens embarrassingly often, #humblebrag much, which is why I avoid book recommendations like the plague). This is a follow up to Shadow of the Wind, which was a scary and creepy and good. This book was also scary and creepy and very good. It was a lot more violent, though, which I could have done without. It was the worst kind of oh-this-really-happened violence, too, which makes it so much harder to stomach. This book was a fast read, though. The first half took me through the three hour boat ride to Victoria and the second half kept me occupied during the return boat trip home. It also ends with a very clear set up for another book, which seems like it’ll be a really good one.  

Single Infertile Female, Leah Campbell
Read this one after the blogger self published. I’ve read her blog for a couple years now, and the book provided a lot of “behind the scenes” details to her story. Similar to other blogging authors, her book’s story and writing style is a slightly more polished very of her blog’s story and writing style. I’m hesitant to write anything but a glowing review, because the author is a blogger whom I admire quite a bit on a personal level. In the end, though, I have to be honest. Her book felt incomplete, as though it lacked purpose. If she had written a memoir, she was missing too many details and structure to give a complete picture of her life. If she was writing with the main goal of giving a voice to women who suffer from infertility, then I’d say she let her story get a little overshadowed by the boy drama. In the end, her book was neither a memoir nor about her journey with infertility–it was a summarized, slightly polished version of her blog posts.

The Executioner’s Song, Norman Mailer
Since this is part of my Pulitzer Prize Reading Project, I’m going to save my full review for one of my monthly recaps, but I’ll leave you with this. Oh man. So much yes. It was intense, it was emotional, and like everything that man writes, reading it was like a gentle massage for your eyes. Well, maybe more like a deep tissue massage. A little painful but in a good way.

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