Book Reviews: April 2022 Reads

Happy May! We are halfway through the list, with 3 more books for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022:

#9: Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Matthew Quick, 2013)

Forgive Me Leonard Peacock Novel

Did you ever think about all of the nights you lived through and can’t remember the ones that were so mundane your brain just didn’t bother to record them. Hundreds, maybe thousands of nights come and go without being preserved by our memory. Does that ever freak you out? Like maybe your mind recorded all of the wrong nights?

18-year-old Leonard Peacock is planning a murder-suicide on his birthday, but not before his final goodbyes. Depicting the preamble to his big mission, Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock leads us deep into the tortured psyche of a lonely teenage killer.

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Book Reviews: March 2022 Reads

Three months into the Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022, and I’m almost at the big 10. If only I hadn’t gotten distracted right near the end of March. A good distraction, regardless. Here’s hoping your reading month went well too!

#7: Read a romance where at least one of the protagonists is over 40.

The Mountain Between Us (Charles Martin, 2010)

The Mountain Between Us Novel

If the worst is a possibility, then you keep it on the table. Don’t hide from it. Don’t run. It can happen. And if and when it does, you need to have thought about it ahead of time. That way you’re not crushed when your worst thought becomes your reality.

Confession: I cheated at this challenge; Payne is in fact, 39.

After a serendipitous meeting, Surgeon Ben Payne and writer Ashley Knox get on a private charter plane in hopes of flying home quickly on a stormy winter night. When their pilot suffers a fatal stroke mid-flight, they crash and end up stranded in the cold wilderness.

The Mountain Between Us is a survival story that is, at its core, about love. There are heavy bits to get through as the characters suffer an endless streak of violent trauma, hunger, and despair. Yet the story is more about the irreplicable emotional bond between the two strangers, whose lives will never return to the way they were.

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Book Reviews: February 2022 Reads

February has been trying on the personal front. But I celebrate every small win, including the fact that I have yet to neglect my attempt at Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022. Onward we go!

#4: Read a book in any genre by a POC that’s about joy and not trauma.

We Should All Be Feminists (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2014)

We Should All Be Feminists Novel

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

Those who wish to understand what feminism need look no further than this book. Adapted from a widely viewed TED talk, We Should All Be Feminists owes its popularity to the truth in Adichie’s impactful words. She delivers a thoughtful and articulate argument for feminism, reclaiming the label that has gained unseemly connotations over years of misuse.

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Book Reviews: January 2022 Reads #ReadHarder

In a bid to expand my horizons, I am now working through Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022 and reading books I normally wouldn’t choose. Strictly speaking, my first pick isn’t truly a biography as the challenge demands. But it has been sitting on my to-read shelf for a while, I thought it might be fun to kick things off with John Green spilling his thoughts about the world and in turn, his life. Enjoy the list!

#1: Read a biography of an author you admire.

The Anthropocene Reviewed (John Green, 2021)

Anthropocene Reviewed Novel

For days now, my brain has refused to allow me to finish a thought, constantly interrupting with worries. Even my worries get interrupted, by new worries, or facets of old worries I had not adequately considered. My thoughts are a river overflowing its banks, churning and muddy and ceaseless. I wish I wasn’t so scared all the time–scared of the virus, yes, but there is also some deeper fear: the terror of time passing, and me with it.

John Green is a podcaster and YouTuber among other things. He is also an author whom I admire for reasons beyond his way with words. Together with his brother Hank, he has co-created many amazing projects for good, including educational series Crash Course and charity movement Project for Awesome. His latest book adds to his long list of credits that seek to inspire us to do better.

Part biography and part critique, The Anthropocene Reviewed dissects the mundane in our lives for clever insight into our being. From the evolution of supermarts to the QWERTY keyboard, John Green dives deep beyond the surface of ordinary inventions and notes observations on how humanity has left our mark – for better or worse.

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Book Reviews: December 2021 Reads (and happy 2022!)

Time passes quicker as we get older, or so they say. My annual tradition of year-end lists have completely slipped my mind until I saw the midnight skies light up with fireworks. Seems like the lists will have to wait! I do have a few movies and albums to catch up with anyway, and I’d be happy to read any of yours meanwhile.

For now, I’m grateful to connect with my dear friends on this nifty web space and wish all of you a wonderful, pandemic-free year ahead. Here are my final good reads of this very strange year, while I ready my choices for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge 2022.

Piranesi (Susanna Clarke, 2020)

Piranesi Novel

It is my belief that the World (or, if you will, the House, since the two are for all practical purposes identical) wishes an Inhabitant for Itself to be a witness to its Beauty and the recipient of its Mercies. If I leave, then the House will have no Inhabitant and how will I bear the thought of it Empty?

In a beautiful labyrinth of infinite halls and intricate statues lives a man who goes by the name of Piranesi. He believes that there are but 15 people in the world, 13 of them long dead. Twice a week, he meets The Other, the only living soul he knows, and deeply admires.

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Book Reviews: November 2021 Reads

A late post, but November was a month for favourite book series as I revisit part of a fantasy franchise and pick up a new sci-fi dystology. Now that we are down to a month before 2021 ends, let me know what else I should read ahead of the new year! x

Six of Crows Duology (Leigh Bardugo, 2015 – 2016)

Six of Crows

The knowledge that they might never see each other again, that some of them — maybe all of them — might not survive this night hung heavy in the air. A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.

It’s been a few years since I last read and loved the Six of Crows duology. Earlier this year, the screen adaptation Shadow and Bone finally pushed me to pick up the Collector’s Edition as gorgeous hardbacks – just for an excuse for a re-read.

And so we reunite with our favourite thieving crew in this excellent pageturner. None more charming than Kaz Brekker, the bastard of the Barrel and master of schemes. He cleverly enacts an exciting heist in the world of Grisha, relentless in pace and twisty in places.

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