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The round up // April 2016

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:

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 SplitfootΒ  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.
  • ITheDryInsta2ce 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.

ShakespeareApril 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.

TheNaturalWayofThingsI 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.

Did you read anything good in April? Any big plans for May (I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE I’M ALREADY ASKING YOU ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR MAY)?



  1. What an excellent month! I can’t wait to hear all about the Writers Festival.

    Also, I’m fairly sure you can return Audible books within a certain amount of time and get your credit back!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you again so much for letting me know about returning Audible books – I had no idea I could do that. I now have a new book that I think I’ll be much happier with.


  2. Isn’t marking books “abandoned” in Goodreads just the best?!! It’s a relatively new thing for me too (within the last year or so) and I’m becoming kind of addicted to it!


    • It was just the best feeling. I don’t think it’ll become a regular occurrence for me as I rarely dislike a book *that* much, but it’s nice to know that I’m willing to do it if I need to!


  3. What a great month you had! And May is sounding just as good. Looking forward to hearing more about The Dry and the festival in May!


    • Just a heads up: my review for The Dry will be one of those super enthusiastic ones that maybe oversells the book A LOT, but I truly believe this book matches my enthusiasm levels. It was so good.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I really want to be done with all my ARCs by the end of this month, and then I can just kind of read whatever I want at my leisure. I hope you get lots read this month (and that they’re good reads too)!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Purposeful Fish Hooks says

    This post was awesome! I think I’m going to have to put most of these books (and plays!) on my TBR list and add even more to the 1,000+ (oops) Want to Read books on Goodreads. And I understand the whole studying thing (I was oh-so happily overflowed with testing this week >.<). But I read some pretty awesome books this month, including Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell AKA the best book ever (I finished it today) and this really cool YA book called Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi, which really deserves more love. And ha-ha, I actually do have plans in May: a little local con is going to be happening right down from where I live and I'm going all weekend long! Hopefully I can manage to cosplay as someone, even if does end being crappy cosplay. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Lovely post and happy blogging!


    • Thanks πŸ™‚ If you’re Goodreads TBR is so huge it’s a good thing I didn’t write EVERY book I read this past month!
      Studying is the actual worst when all you want to do is read all the time, but, you know, must prepare for the future etc etc.
      I hope all your tests went ok. I have an assessment due at the end of next week and naturally I haven’t started it and I have no idea what I’m going to do for it – May is off to a great start for studying!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was so wonderful. And they let off fireworks at the end of “Nessun dorma”, which is my absolute favourite aria (of the few that I actually know) and it was just the most spectacular thing ever.

      Liked by 1 person

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