April was a pretty good month for me, both in terms of reading and real lifing – the blogging, however, not so much and that’s mostly because I’ve been good with the real lifing stuff (perhaps I’m finally figuring out how to prioritise) (haha, I doubt that very much). Lets start with the books.
I read eight pretty great books this month, and also experienced a first for me:
Just marked a book 'abandoned' on Goodreads for the first time in my life and I feel so freeeeeee!!!!—
Heather (@heather_c3) April 05, 2016
This book was titled Antarctica on a Plate and I had pretty high hopes for it, but I made the decision to “read” the audiobook version of it and it was t e r r i b l e. I’m not sure whether this was because of the book itself and that it was just generally bad, or whether it was because of the narrator who couldn’t even pronounce words properly. I abandoned it and don’t feel guilty about it at all, however I do regret wasting my monthly Audible credit on it.
Some reading highlights from April:
- Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt. I’m not even going to bother rehashing this because I’ll be here forever – I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK. You should just go read my review here.
- Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil. What to say about this book? It spoke to that huge part of me that is completely infatuated with Antarctica and made me want to go there even more. [My review.]
- The Dry by Jane Harper. I was lucky enough to win an uncorrected proof of this book and holy crap was it amazing. It isn’t out until June in Australia (I think maybe November in the U.S., maybe) but there’s already loads of hype around it, including something to do with Reese Witherspoon being involved in a screen adaptation.
Most of my books read were ARCs and it felt soooo good to finally get them done. But I’m now behind on my reviews for them. Hopefully I’ll get them done in the coming weeks.
April 23rd marked 400 years since the death of the Bard, so I spent a lovely day Shakespearing. In the morning I read Hamlet (while listening on to an audio of a full cast play), then I watched live productions from the Globe Theatre of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest. It was a great day and I especially enjoyed reminiscing on my week in London last year, when I saw two Shakespeare plays. It was the best.
And guys. The Night Manager BBC adaptation finished on TV here last week and gosh I’m sad that it’s over. I revisited it and wrote about how it gave me a new perspective on the book here (but there’s some big spoilers for the show and the book – you’ve been warned).
In real life I finally got mostly on track with my studies. I have little doubt that I’ll get off track soonish, but for now I’m doing ok. I’ve received solid marks on all (two) of my assessments so far, and I even submitted a third two days before it was due. Normally two days before an assessment is due I’d be still trying to figure out what I’m going to write about, so it was great to get something done and out of the way early (it’ll never happen again).
My mum and I also had a great little weekend getaway to the city, where we did some shopping (I accidentally purchased a book), went out for dinner, and then had a lovely evening at the opera. Puccini’s Turandot is on in Sydney at the moment, and the venue is outside – no cover anywhere – and from the seating you look out over the stage and on to the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Thankfully we had a beautiful night with no rain – if you live in Sydney or are coming to Sydney soon, I can highly recommend it.
I went to another two author talks this month, and I was much cooler than when I saw Simon Winchester last month. The first was to hear the amazing Charlotte Wood talk about her book The Natural Way of Things, one of my most favourite books of last year, and the recent recipient of the Stella Prize – Charlotte was such a nice lady to meet, and I can’t think of a more deserving person and book to win that prize (and I got my copy of the book signed!). The second was to hear Alexandra Joel talk about her new book, Rosetta (that book I accidentally purchased on my weekend away). I’m yet to read the book, but after hearing Alexandra talk about it, I’m pretty excited to do so.
So what about May? Well I still have loads of ARCs to get through, and hopefully I’ll be done with those by the end of the month and I can start chipping away at all of my physical books. But May for me will mostly be about the Sydney Writers Festival – I’m even taking a day off work to go to a few talks. I’ve got tickets to see Gloria Steinem(!), Jeanette Winterson (author of The Gap of Time), Ann Goldstein (a translator who has worked on the writing of Primo Levi, who I adore), and Damon Young (author of The Art of Reading, which I wrote about here). I’ll probably be spending money on books. Oh well.