For some reason I thought I didn’t get to read much this month, but it turns out I actually read 10 books and started two others! Last month I had hoped to read Chernow’s Hamilton, as well as finish Neil Gaiman’s View from the Cheap Seats, but unfortunately I did neither (though I did manage to read a lot of other Gaiman). That said, I did manage to complete my other goals, mostly because I kept my TBR limited last month. I usually go way overboard (and I’ll be doing that again this month haha), but I kept it restrained to mostly books I thought I would actually get to, so I’m glad I did—plus others.
The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley. This was a really fun and enjoyable read. Probably my favorite part of it was the main character(s) herself, as she seemed very real. The plot was good and I love a lot of the ideas brought up. Definitely going to be giving the sequel a read at some point. 4/5 stars.
Lords of the Sith, by Paul S. Kemp. This disappointed me slightly, but probably only because I had high expectations for it, as the premise is incredibly intriguing. Unfortunately, a lot of the book is more of the lead up to what the blurb promises, and the novel goes back and forth between the Lords of the Sith and a group of rebels. I think if I went in with different expectations I would have liked it more, but as it was it was still very well written and I enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Vader and the Emperor; I just wanted a little more. 4/5 stars.
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This was such an incredibly powerful book. I listened to it on audible, and the way Coates reads it definitely added to the experience, as it just felt so personal. I think it’s a really important book, especially in the political climate we live in, and for everyone—it’s a letter to his son, but I’m just a white guy who was also really moved by it, and I think that speaks toward its power–it’s really for everyone. And I really loved how he also acknowledged women in this, especially black women. Even though it’s a father writing a letter to his son, Coates didn’t ignore half the population like some other books have, but had some really amazing things to say on both race and gender issues and how they’re often related. I went out and bought the actual book afterwards, and I can’t wait to reread it that way. 5/5 stars.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. I actually didn’t really love this nearly as much as I thought I would. The main reason might be because of the audiobook, actually, as I also listened to this on Audible and I just could never really get in to it, so I may have zoned out some really great writing. I’m still definitely interested in rereading this in paper form. 3/5 stars.
We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. So, so amazing. I think this is a book that everyone should own. We shouldn’t have to live in a world where a book with this title is necessary, or where even the word feminist is necessary, but we do, and this book eloquently shows why, and why feminist isn’t a bad term–it just means you believe in equal rights and opportunities for men and women. I also really loved this because it’s incredibly personal, so for someone who already is a feminist it’s just a powerful memoir by Adichie (plus since it’s only $8 it’s something you can easily give away); for someone who isn’t a feminist, this book is one that shows why it’s necessary. 5/5 stars, or more if I could give it.
And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, by Tomas Rivera. The first page of this is incredible. I was hooked instantly, and I just thought this would be one of my favorite novels. Unfortunately, the book never really got back to the idea presented in the first page, or rather it only did a little. So I was disappointed from that, but as the novel went on and I realized what it was about, I really enjoyed it as it’s still very well-written. 4/5 stars.
American Gods #1, by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, and Scott Hampton. I wrote up a full review, but in short I really enjoyed it overall. I’m definitely just super obsessed with
Gaiman, but hey I liked it. :D 4.5/5 stars.
Star Wars: Tarkin, by James Luceno. Another Star Wars book I was expecting differently from, and unfortunately that sort of hurt my enjoyment. That said, I still really enjoyed it, I just feel like it could have been one of my favorites if I had different expectations. Also I read everything Tarkin said in Peter Cushing’s voice and that was amazing. ^^ This was the slowest Star Wars novel so far, but I mean that as a positive, as it really delved more into the characters which I enjoyed. 4/5 stars.
A Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami. Incredibly bizarre but never in a negative way. I loved this book’s weirdness. I was a huge fan of Murakami’s writing from reading Wind/Pinball and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, and it’s just even better here. Read this as a group read on Bookstagram, which was super fun, and I’m definitely excited to read more of Murakami’s stuff! For this one in particular I loved the magical realism to it and the detective story qualities, all the while how it was centered fascinating characters. Which is another thing about Murakami so far—I don’t necessarily like his characters, but I love reading about them. 5/5 stars.
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. So I’m going to be writing a review of this soon. I actually meant to post this before my wrap-up post, but I ran out of time so I’ll just post it when I can (maybe I’ll even wait until the TV show comes out?). But, I had the most amazing experience re-reading this for the 3rd time, as I managed to read it all in a single day. It’s still utterly amazing (if not more so, as I get more out of it each time), and I cannot wait for the TV show to come out. More than 5/5 stars.
Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire, by Neil Gaiman. I really, really enjoyed this. The humor didn’t come out as well in the graphic novel, as the art was very classically gothic-like (and amazing), but I loved it so much I didn’t mind. 4.5/5 stars.
Started: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien (audiobook) and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. Listening to Fellowship a little bit at a time and it’s really great—I can’t wait to re-read the book in book form, but I’m loving just listening to it. And I’m on a Gaiman streak right now so I’m re-reading Ocean before I re-read Neverwhere. As with the first time I read it, it’s amazing.
Had a few great book hauls again this month. ^^ First up was a small one from B&N and a used bookstore:
My amazing girlfriend works at a used goods store (it used to be just books, now is a lot more), and when someone sold the Moana soundtrack she put it on hold for me so I could get it. ^^ I’ve been so obsessed with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music lately, and luckily Amazon Prime Music has the entire Hamilton soundtrack. That said, I hadn’t listened to the Moana songs much because they weren’t on Amazon and I just hadn’t been able to afford the soundtrack yet. But now finally I can listen to the CD on repeat in my car haha. I also found Illuminae there for only $5! I keep hearing so many great things about it, I knew I had to grab it when I had the chance.
The same day I went to Barnes & Noble, my happy place (also where I work haha), and bought these two Star Wars books. Empire’s End I couldn’t pass up because, even though I haven’t read any of the trilogy yet, I’ve been reading a bunch of Star Wars novels lately (post on that coming soon!) and since this was 40% off, plus a 20% coupon, plus my 10% Membership, the price was too good. And Lords of the Sith was the next SW book on my chronological reading.
When the American Gods #1 comic came out, of course I had to pick it up! I haven’t been getting to the comic store as much lately, because school’s been busy and money, but I finally grabbed some other things I hadn’t gotten yet. Comics are always just so much fun to read, and just a great break. Hope to keep going more often! But definitely at least once a month for American Gods (when I can also pick up the others in my pull list).
Then of course my BookOutlet hauls! I’ve been buying less lately, but I had two good hauls last month—one of which was the image to the right (We Should All Be Feminists I got from B&N, and Neverwhere from BookDepository). I’m so, so happy they had these two Penguin Galaxy books, the illustrated Game of Thrones, and The Strange Library! I’ve been dying to get all of those, and at the amazing prices on BookOutlet I couldn’t resist. ^^ The rest are all ones I’ve been recommended, looked interesting, or just ones I’ve been meaning to pick up.
And then I had one last haul, below. Star Wars: Lost Stars, Prose Edda, and Beauty and the Beast (along with the magazine) were from Barnes & Noble, all of which besides the magazine I bought with the online prices (all of these were ~40% off), plus coupons! And after listening to Between the World and Me on audiobook, I couldn’t pass up getting the hardcover from BookOutlet because it was such an amazing read, along with Tales from the Perilous Realm (more Tolkien!! :D) and this beautiful edition of Howl’s Moving Castle!
As I said earlier, I actually did really well this month in terms of the TBR list I made at the beginning of the month. Well, now I’m back to my old ways of overstuffing, so we’ll see if I actually get to many of these! XD
Saga I won’t be reading this month, as I’ve already read it (it was in the picture for a different Bookstagram prompt), but the rest I really hope to! As I also said earlier, Neverwhere is next on my Gaiman binge, and I’m super excited to read this Chris Riddell-illustrated version. And looking to read some fairy tale and mythology-related stuff this month, as I’ve been on a Beauty and the Beast high lately (not to mention a mythology high mostly thanks to Gaiman). Catalyst isn’t quite the next Star Wars book on my list, but I’m hoping to read both A New Dawn and Catalyst.
The shelf in the background is also my TBR shelf (which is only a small portion of my TBR list haha), so maybe I’ll read one of those too.
Hope everyone had a great month! Here’s looking forward to April. ^^