Hey, guys! I am so excited to talk about all of the books I read in the month of April because I had a really fantastic reading month. I ended up reading nine books this month which is the best I have done all year, which is pretty exciting. I think I liked all of these books as well and most of them I did read for classes, as usual. But let’s go ahead and jump right in!
The first book I read in the month of April was Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare.
This is yet another play I have read for my Shakespeare course, and this was actually a reread for me. I read this three years ago when I was a freshman in college and my thoughts have changed drastically over those past three years. I absolutely hated this play and actually used to say it was my least favorite Shakespeare play of all time, but I actually really enjoyed it this time around! I think I have a greater understanding of the plot and the thought behind the play, so I actually really appreciate it. This play does have a mild trigger warning for sexual harassment and the possibility of consent issues and sexual assault are discussed in this play, so keep that in mind. But I overall thought it was a really interesting play and parts of it were absolutely hilarious, so I gave it 4/5 stars.
The next book I read was The Bridegroom by Ha Jin.
This is a collection of short stories that I read for my World Literatures course at University. They are set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which was a time in China’s history in which a man named Mao asserted his power and went on a mission essentially to purge China of influences other than Communism. It was a negative and violent time in their history. This collection also criticizes both capitalism and communism. I did enjoy some of these stories, especially one in which a man was trying to hide his gay identity during this time as being gay was illegal. It has some really great commentary on sociopolitical issues of that time, which I appreciated, but some of the stories seemed to miss their mark a little bit for me and fell flat. Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars.
The next book I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick.
This was a book I read for my Fiction Appreciation course, and I really enjoyed it! It is a science-fiction/dystopian novel that was the inspiration for the Bladerunner movie. It takes place in the United States after a World War that left the entire world coated in radioactive dust that is slowly killing off what is left of the population, the ones that did not emigrate to Mars. The main character is a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard who hunts Androids who have escaped Mars, where they were slaves to the humans, in search of a better life on Earth. They are hated because they are different from humans in that they cannot feel empathy. Also, due to the radioactive dust, most living things are extinct, so life is considered precious and real animals cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to own. This book was an analysis of empathy in humans and what really makes one human. It was a really good book, and I think it definitely had a lot of deep and provocative thought put into it, though I still am not satisfied with the ending of it. Overall, I gave it 4/5 stars.
The next book I read was Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Faith Hicks.
This is a middle-grade graphic novel series set in this all girls camp where there are supernatural creatures that they have to fight off with the power of friendship, and I absolutely love this series. It has a lesbian romance in it, and it is just super quirky, heart-warming, and all all-around fun time. This first one was a reread for me because I read it like a year or two ago, and I still adore it. I just love the message of fighting off supernatural creatures and great evils through girl power and friendship. It is just such a good series, and I really love it. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
The next book I read was Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Faith Hicks.
This second installment to the series was just as good as the first one, and I just love it so much. There is actual cutesy romance(ish) stuff in it, and it is just so freaking good! The plot progressed in creative ways, friendships were tested, new love blossomed, and characters really developed in this next installment. It just makes me so excited to read more from the series because I just know it’s only going to get better, so I highly recommend you check out this series! I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
The next book I read was All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare.
This is yet another Shakespeare play I read for my course, and I thought it was pretty okay. I did enjoy the changing of the gender and power dynamics in the book. There was actually a woman who held some modicum of power over a man for a short period of time, which is different, especially for the time. I did enjoy that aspect, but it just wasn’t for me other than that. I may have to reread it to appreciate it more, but as of now, I am giving it 3/5 stars.
The next book I read was Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill.
This is a poetry collection that was sent to me by Thought Catalog Books, and I absolutely loved it. It does have a lot of heavy topics such as self-harm, sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse among others, but if you can handle all of that, I definitely recommend this one. The main themes were healing, self-love, and embracing your own inner strength, which I absolutely loved. The writing was gorgeous, the poetry was breathtaking, and I just really loved this! I did review it, and I gave it 5/5 stars.
The next book I read was Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Dandicat.
This is the last book I read for my World Literatures course, and I actually think it was one of my favorites This is such a beautifully haunting collection of stories, and I really loved this. The writing was captivatingly beautiful and the stories were absolutely heartbreaking. These are set during a few different time periods in Haiti’s history, but they are mostly centered around a time when a regime was in power that was characterized by violence and death as the tyrant was estimated to have killed around 60,000 Haitians. This is an incredible collection because it is born out of that time and does show some of the horrors of the time period while also managing to show a little bit of light in this dark period in history. I just really recommend this because it is just so good, and I ended up giving it 4.5/5 stars.
And the last book I read in April was The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.
This is the final book I read for my Pop Culture class, and I actually really enjoyed it. It is set mostly in the US before we got involved in World War II and follows two cousins, Sammy Clayman and Josef Kavalier, who are writing comic books together whilst Joe is also trying to get his family over to safety and out of reach of Hitler and his regime who are still stuck in Prague. This was a really powerful and moving story about that war, the effects it had worldwide, and the role of comic books during this time. I just really loved this story, so I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
And there you have it! Those were all of the books I read in May. What is your favorite book you’ve read so far this year? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this wrap up today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!