Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2023
Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for April 2023! If you’re UK based, I hope you’ve had a lovely long weekend? If you’ve spent it with a book, then that’s time well spent if you ask me.
This month started off as a parody of last month. I spent a while working through my ‘first’ read of the month (as it was a chunky read). Then, things sped up from there. I vary this month in that things started to slow down again…
The Mad Ship
As of last month’s monthly wrap-up post, I was 120 pages into The Mad Ship. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is an epic 906 pages total.
That left me with a lot of reading to do at the beginning of the month. I actually set this aside for a couple of days in order to read the next book on this list ahead of the blog tour I took part in. However, as soon as I finished, I jumped straight back into this one.
Much like last month, I was reading this book for a good chunk of the month. It’s obviously very long, but not only that, Robin Hobb’s narrative is dense. In my experience, they are not books that you can read very quickly, even if you try.
Thanks For Sharing
As I briefly mentioned above, Thanks for Sharing at the beginning of the month in order to read it in time to provide my review for the recent blog tour.
This was a complete change from The Mad Ship, and it was nice to pick up something different. I wanted to pick up this book as I have recently been appointed to a sustainability committee at work. My intentions were to read the book to get some ideas and general information about sustainability and the environment.
I got that from this book, and so much more! The book recounts the author’s experience of trying more sustainable lifestyle over the course of about a year. That might not sound thrilling to some, but this was relayed in a funny way. We get to experience the ups and downs of trying to incorporate change into family life. There is a lot of humour throughout this book, and that really helped make the reading experience that little bit more enjoyable!
Eagle of Mercia
I read a second book in April for a blog tour obligation, although that tour post isn’t coming until Wednesday this week.
Eagle of Mercia is the fourth book in the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, written by M.J. Porter. So far, I have read and reviewed each of the books for a blog tour post. I have enjoyed every single one! Eagle of Mercia was no exception.
The standout element for me in these books is the perspective from which these books are written. I really like Icel, our protagonist. His is a perspective we don’t necessarily expect from this time period. He is a youth that does not long to be a warrior, although increasingly, he steps up to his obligations to protect his own. Instead, Icel would rather be healing the wounded. That is how he spent his youth, and he longs for peace in times of political turbulence.
The narrative and storyline we get to enjoy in this fourth book is quite unlike the others we have seen to date. We see our characters move far beyond their own pastures for a rescue mission.
If you’re intrigued by the sound of this book and want to find out more, check out my blog tour post on Wednesday!
Next, I picked up Stolen Focus by Johann Hari. This is the second non-fiction book I picked up in the month, and I found this both informative and interesting.
For part of the book, the author recounts a journey he undertook in order to separate himself from external forces stealing his focus, and invests his time into the things he wanted to do. It shouldn’t surprise you that writing was one of his main goals. What is refreshing about this book is that it doesn’t point the finger… at least, not exclusively at individuals.
Based on this author’s experience, a lot of self-help books of this nature apportion blame on individuals for their lack of focus. However, the author has researched extensively why there are a large number of external factors that are increasingly stealing our focus. He briefly touches upon a Netflix docu-film that I watched a little while ago, and I would recommend watching this as an alternative way of learning about some of the concepts in this book. It’s called The Social Dilemma.
This isn’t just a book heavy on research. If you do genuinely want some advice on little things you can do to help improve your focus, this is included in the book. However, it makes it very clear that there’s only so far you can go when you are surrounded by many external factors (technology, environment etc) that all contribute to reduced focus, so that you are forearmed with that information and don’t get disappointed if you still struggle.
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi
The last book I have been reading throughout the month of April is The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi. This was the April book club read for Ezeekat’s book club on Fable.
I’m too late to input my thoughts on the book to the group, as I am still reading this as of the 1st of May. I had hoped this was going to be a little bit of a quicker read. It is quite whimsical and fantastical in nature, yet it is still quite a substantial read. As of this monthly wrap-up, I made it to just over halfway through the book.
Although the going is a little slower than I had hoped, I am still enjoying this one. In short, the story line is set around a group of former pirates, led by an infamous woman, who are reuniting for one last adventure/mission. The setting of the book is Middle Eastern, which is unusual for fantasy. I’m also enjoying how the book touches on what it is to be Muslim and some of the religious customs that I’m not overly familiar with. It’s a perspective that I don’t see very often, but it’s one I’m enjoying!
In all, I read just under 2000 pages in April. That’s about 1000 less than reported in last month’s monthly wrap-up, which goes to show just how much of a roll I was on! I’m still happy with the reading progress I made, and most importantly, the books I picked up over the course of the month.
That’s you all caught up now that we’re through my monthly wrap-up post!
Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? Are they on your reading list?