April is here and so is the rain. I’m happy for it since I don’t have to be in it every day. **Focusing on the positive.**
Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.
April. It wasn’t much better than March. Corona is still on a rampage around the world. I’m constantly worried about my family but try not to think about it too much. Another elderly family member died (unrelated to corona). I spent most of my time inside. I tried to steer older family members away from the MANY conspiracy theories surrounding corona (which was exhausting to do and ineffective). It raaainnneeddd…. a lot. I kept thinking I have corona every time I sneezed, coughed, encountered people at the supermarket, or thought I had a shortness of breath. Ugh!!!….
I ordered some comic books, which cheered me up. My sister got me a bookish poster, which helped ease a migraine I had because getting bookish gifts make me happy. I read A LOT, which helped ease my stress. And despite all the worries and stress, I don’t mind spending my time at home. It’s very relaxing when I forget (or try not to focus too much on) the shit storm we’re all battling through. 🙂 There’s positives and negatives to all this.
Y’all, I read SO much stuff in April! 😮 It’s partly because I participated in the OWLs Magical Readathon and partly because I rediscovered my Comixology account and binged on a couple free comics there, mostly single issues. In total, I read about 22 things (books and comics) in April, not counting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which I listened to. I stopped including the Harry Potter books in my reading wrap ups (unless I read them specifically for an event) because I reread them too much.
The books and comics I read for the OWLs Magical Readathon are discussed in this wrap-up post. Below are the other stuff I read in April.
I completed rereading Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy books on audio, so I immediately jumped to the Liveship Traders ones, starting with Ship of Magic, which is narrated by Anne Flosnik. My experience with it was almost as when I first read it. It was hard to get into the story at first. The beginning turned me off, but I pushed through it because I knew the story would get better later. And it did! It’s about a merchant family who own a live ship, a ship that comes alive after a certain number of family members die on its deck. The ship quickens after the captain dies, but the family’s livelihood is jeopardized when one of the captain’s daughters’ asshole husband takes over. As for how the audiobook is narrated — I didn’t like it. The style — certain pauses and such — annoyed me and was almost distracting.
The first comic book I tried on Comixology was Assassin Nation #1 by Kyle Starks, illus. by Erica Henderson about a former hitman who hires the 20 best assassins to be his bodyguards. It sounds fun and it is a little funny, but wasn’t as appealing as I thought it would be. The illustrations were okay; I liked the variety of characters. But I’m not sure if I’ll continue with it.
Another free comic I got off Comixology was Django/Zorro, #1 by Quentin Tarantino & Matt Wagner, illus. by Esteve Polls. It’s a western about the two legendary figures pairing up: Zorro hires Django as his bodyguard. This was just a taste of the story. It was okay but not appealing to me. I actually kinda liked the illustrations. I liked the colors used and I absolutely LOVE the cover.
I then tried Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Grace Ellis & Noelle Stevenson, illus. by Brooke A. Allen. It’s a middle-grade fantasy graphic novel about five friends at a camp for girls and the crazy adventures they go on. I’ve heard so much hype about this that I think it soured my reading experience because I didn’t like it much. I thought it was just okay. I like the cover but am not a fan of the inside illustrations.
After Lumberjanes, I decided to try more comics I often hear about but never got around to reading. So I read Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction, illus. by Chip Zdarsky, and I LOVED IT!! It’s about a guy and a girl who can stop time when they have sex, so they use the ability to rob a bank to save a library. I’m not a fan of the illustration style, but I still consider this a favorite.
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike is often recommended to me when I visit comic book shops because I like fantasy comics. It’s a fantasy, western graphic novel about Death’s daughter that also has a fairy tale vibe about it. It didn’t work for me, and the illustration style didn’t appeal to me either.
After that, I decided to try a comic book I’ve never heard of before — Sylvania, #1 by Kristin Kemper (illus.). It’s a middle-grade fantasy comic book about three sisters who are tree witches and are learning about their powers. The story greatly appealed to me and made me think of Katie O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society and Moonstruck by Grace Ellis. I also liked the illustrations.
I tried Prodigy, #1 by Mark Millar, illus. by Rafael Albuquerque, about a super genius Black guy who also seems to be a dare devil. The story is interesting, but I haven’t made up my mind yet if I like it. I’m not exactly a fan of characters who are easily great at everything. I do like the illustrations, though, and that the main character is Black. I might continue with it.
Okay, the last comic book I read in April was The Boys, Vol. 1: The Name of the Game by Garth Ennis, illus. by Tony Avina & Darick Robertson. I freaking loved it! Oh my gosh! I consider it a favorite. It’s about superheroes behaving badly, and for some reason, that really appeals to me. I’m not crazy about the illustration style, but I do like how certain scenes are set up.
Somehow I managed to squeeze in another novel before month was done — First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. It’s the second book of hers I’ve read, and it proved to me that I was right that she would be one of my favorite authors because I just love how she tells these stories. This book is also about the eccentric Waverley family. It picks up 10 years after Garden Spells and is just as sweet a read. I loved it.
I haven’t read any articles. Frankly, I’m not feeling them right now. I think as this corona thing prolongs, I’ll lean more and more toward reading fantasy or feel-good stories but not articles.
Around the blog-o-verse
Dawn of Darkness | by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o | Poetry (brittlepaper.com)
“No night is so Dark that, / It will not end in Dawn”
— Had to share this link to a poem by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o about the coronavirus pandemic. Check it out.
Rum Haiku 2 (therumration.wordpress.com)
— In April, I started following the Rum Ration, a blog all about rum, and I really like it. I’m not much of a drinker and I don’t drink much rum (but I love me some Malibu coconut rum!), but there’s always a bottle in the house (and it’s always Appleton rum) and my family mixes it into a lot of food and drink (maybe a bit too much). Anyway, I love the variety of posts about rum on this blog. Some are reviews (that make me want to try whatever rum is discussed) and others tap into Caribbean culture, like this one on the connection between duppy (ghost) and rum. Linked above is a haiku about rum that I really liked and also check out this poem called “Johnny Smith”.
Rocky Mountain Moonlight by Ichabod Temperance #OriginalFiction (scifiandscary.com)
— A short story by the Ichabod Temperance. I really enjoyed reading it. I liked the tension and the humor.
A quick video break because mentioning Rum Ration made me think of Malibu rum, which made me remember this old Skinny Fabulous soca song about Malibu rum mixed with pineapple juice and now I feel like dancing. So dance break!!
Stuff I pubbed
— In case you missed it when I published it, I’m sharing my TBR for Wyrd & Wonder here to let you know about the event. If you enjoy all things fantasy, join us and share your love for the genre.
— A review of the prequel to the Realm of the Elderlings series. I highly recommend this book if you’ve read Robin Hobb’s Farseer books or the Tawney Man books.
— A review of Waggoner’s debut novel. It’s a fantasy novel about a girl who wants to become a magician and a troll and a former soldier who’re investigating a series of murders. It’s slow paced but very interesting. I highly recommend it too.