TL;DR April Review

Hello Bookworms!

HEATWAVE!!! HAPPY EASTER!!! BANK HOLIDAY!!!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I can’t believe how warm it was over the Easter bank holiday weekend! We went out on bank holiday Monday in SHORTS and I had to put suncream on! We even sat out at night in the garden with our wood burner going after having a barbecue and it was lovely.

April saw the launch of the library as a full volunteer led community resource, which means we’ll have much more flexibility about the kind of things that we can use it for – we already have a poetry evening, farmers market and various kids clubs but we’ll be expanding even further, which is both super exciting and a lot of work. The launch day itself was really great – the whole community pulled together to create a fantastic atmosphere. I got up at the crack of dawn to marshal a fun run but it was all for a good cause so I didn’t really mind.

I’ve been out quite a lot in April – we visited Snowshill Manor for the non-hubs birthday (getting more usage from our National Trust membership) which is absolutely fascinating as it houses the most eclectic collection of hand crafted items from all over the world. The interior of the house reminded me of Grimmauld Place so it was perfect for a mooch around; this is just one of the many rooms:

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We also had a meal at The Fleece Inn near Evesham which was amazing – a proper traditional English pub with a great beer garden and fabulous, locally sourced food. We even went back there a few days later after we’d been out antiquing at Malvern, where I got a lovely German studio pottery bowl and French vase.

We had my parents over for Easter Sunday lunch which involved loads of hot food, wine and chocolate which was really nice. My Mum had her birthday too so we went to Edingale, the village where she used to go during the holidays (some scheme run by the Church maybe?) to stay with a woman called Miss Abel. She hadn’t been back since the 1950’s and amazingly it hadn’t changed much. It’s a lovely place, still very rural and the house that she used to stay in was still there, looking pretty much the same.

Our other house is slow going – we’re still sanding down the cement like filler round all the door frames but we’re close to finishing the woodwork, so that’s something. Disasters this month have included ants in the kitchen (why? there’s literally nothing for them to eat) water ingress into my lovely new kitchen (I think the upstairs window is leaking) and some more problems with the plasterwork but we’re on top of them now.

In terms of my book blogging life I’m now halfway through the Read Harder Challenge which is obviously ahead of schedule and I’m doing ok in the Goodreads Challenge, although I have slipped back a bit.

This month, I took part in the April Calendar Girls meme where I chose Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough as my favourite book with a surprise ending. I took part in a blog tour run by The Write Reads for After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward and expanded my mini review feature to two postings a month – Mid-Month Mini-Reviews and Monthly Wrap-Up Mini-Reviews.

I also did a discussion post about blogging pressure called Are We Having Fun Yet? and continued with Sorting Out the Shelves #5.

I posted eight reviews despite having a pretty bad reading month quality wise:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie: A fantastic essay that really cut to the bones of why it’s important to be an intersectional feminist in the 21st Centuy. Loved everything that she had to say. Five out of five stars

Bloodchild by Octavia E Butler: I loved this novella, especially as it felt like proper old school sci-fi. I’m super interested in the rest of the series now! Four out of five. 

After the Green Withered by Kristen Ward: An interesting debut with a great message but a few problems with pacing and structure. Three and a half out of five.

A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor: I found that again, a restrained, something-might-happen-but-then-it-doesn’t plot dull as ditchwater. Some characters were brilliant but unfortunately they didn’t feature heavily enough for me.  Three out of five. 

First Love by Gwendoline Riley: One word: depressing. I hate books that don’t have redemptive arcs and this was just one horrible character after another, even though the writing was excellent. Two and a half out of five.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry: I didn’t hate this book but it dragged on and on with very little in the way of plot. It was beautifully written but I needed more action. Average. Two and a half out of five. 

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley: I hated this book – the confusing structure of some sentences, the character names, the incongruous details that didn’t sit well within the Victorian setting…urgh. I made it through to the end but my God it was a slog. One out of five. 

The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville: I hated every single thing about this book and DNF’d it half way through. One out of five.

So that’s April wrapped up! Did you read better books than me? Are you making plans for the summer? Let me know in the comments!

TL;DR April Review

Hello Bookworms!

I don’t know what it is about April that sends me into a reading and blogging slump but it seems that every year I unintentionally give myself a month off. Perhaps it’s because everything kicks off in the garden/on the allotment, perhaps it’s the weather warning up that makes me go out more or possibly it’s because April is The Month Of Family Birthdays but anyway, enough excuses. I had shit to do, ok? 😆

April has been pretty cold and wet here, except for a mini heatwave that fooled everyone into thinking that summer was on it’s way. I spent two days frantically digging out summer clothing and dealing with my jungle of a greehouse, only to revert back to wooly jumpers and rain battered plants two days later. 

The house renovation project is turning into a black hole for my finances – last weekend I paid the balance on the kitchen and bathroom, bought a new front door and had it fitted, got the paint to paint it with, bought the skirting board and door architrave and all the bathroom tiles. The bathroom is finally being fitted next week and once that’s done the kitchen will be going in too. There’s still some prep work to be done, plus various other bits that need our attention (boiler, skirting boards, floors, interior doors etc.) so loads to do still. I can’t wait to get that skip ordered!

I’ve been to various places for the aforementioned birthdays, but the best day out was Chatsworth House. 

Me and the non-hubs had a lovely walk round the grounds and house, which was huge and really interesting. If the house looks familiar, it’s where the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was filmed. Sadly, Mr Darcy did not make an appearance. If you’re in the Derbyshire area, I’d highly recommend a visit. 

In terms of my blog, I only made two posts which is quite frankly rubbish and has put me behind with everything, including my Les Mis read along. I got through 11 chapters last night though (which is more impressive than its sounds – they’re really short). My ARC’s now have three books outstanding so I need to get on it. 

I wrote a fun discussion post called Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would which I hasten to point out meant #not all men but was intended to highlight lazy stereotyping and needless descriptions of women’s bodies/attractiveness by authors of both genders. Have a go and let me know in the comments!

I also wrote one solitary book review (it was a good one though) – here’s the TL;DR three sentence summary:

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An absolutely enthralling novella with later upon layer of symbolism. An absolute must read forgotten classic. 🌟Five out of five🌟

So that’s April wrapped up! It seems like every month I say this, but hopefully by the end of May I’ll have a bathroom fitted (and maybe a kitchen too!)

How was your April? What will you be up to next month? ? Let me know in the comments!

Much love,

Lucinda xxx