What I Read in April 2021
This month I thought I wasn’t going to read much but I ended up reading eight books. Not bad! Although, next month I’m aiming to read thirty books… so let’s see if I can manage that!
I’m midway through my annual re-read of Harry Potter and this month I managed to read three of the series. The Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorites in the series. I love the Marauders background and the fact that it is the only book that doesn’t involve Voldemort.
I was so excited to get my hands on Lovely War by Julie Berry. It is a Greek Myths Retelling and a World War One historical novel to boot. It’s cleverly done and hard to explain, but I’ll give it a go. When Ares and Aphrodite are caught having an affair, by her husband, Hephestaus sometime during World War Two, Aphrodite is put on trial. She shares the story of four lovers, which perfectly explains why love and war will always be drawn to one another. It’s very clever and brings in characters like Hades and Apollo, as well as real-life jazz musicians of the early 20th century.
The fourth book in the Harry Potter series is when there is a change in tone. It gets much darker, and the stories get much longer. I don’t mind it so much as there is a lot of ground to cover in Goblet of Fire, but there were storylines that I feel like an editor could have cut – if the author wasn’t J.K. Rowling.
I’ve been getting into translated fiction a lot lately, and this famous french novel was pretty interesting. Set in the bowels of the Opera district of Paris, there is a masked man living beneath the stage. The story is part horror and part romance, and very atmospheric. I’ve never seen the movie or the musical, and I don’t think I’m likely to just because the story isn’t my usual cup of tea. That being said, the characters and general premise were really interesting and I would recommend it to readers looking to read more translated fiction.
Order of the Phoenix is massive! It took me a whole week to read this audiobook – it’s over 30 hours long after all! – but it’s gripping. Dolores Umbridge is definitely up there in the Top 3 worst villains in fiction in my book. Plus, the devastation at the end of the book is a real blow to the heart, no matter how many times I read it.
At work, we have a diversity book club and this was this month’s pick. Set between Trinidad and New York City, this is not an easy read. It’s heartbreaking as well as heart-wrenching. The story follows the unique Ramdin-Chetan family. Betty Ramdim is a widow and single mother of Solo, and their tenant Mr Chetan is like his second father. The story should come with trigger warnings as there are in-depth details about self-harm and suicide, as well as domestic abuse and homophobia. As much as this is a hard-read, at the heart of this tragic story is a theme of family.
This was a recent download from NetGalley. A non-fiction biography of several forgotten, or at least underappreciated writers including Shelagh Delany and Edna O’Brien. These women were writers in the 1950s and 1960s and led the way to the Women’s Liberation movement, somewhat unwittingly. From the teenage writers that connected with the young women growing up in the Swinging Sixties, to the wives that were breaking out of misogynist relationships and marriages through work. It was a fascinating read if a little dry in places.
And finally, I read the sixth book in the Harry Potter series, the Half-Blood Prince. This is up there as my least favourite of the series, purely because of the repetition of the ‘Draco Malfoy is up to something’ storyline and the ‘I’m sure Snape is a good guy really’ plot point. But, the pay-off of this book is immense and still enjoyable to read – even now 9 times later!
And there we have it. Those are all of the books I managed to finish in April 2021. It was a busy month so I’m pretty happy with getting around to reading eight books!
What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below.