April has been a hard month for me, and I felt like I needed a big hug which is what I feel when I watch Gilmore Girls or read Meik Wiking. I recently watched the whole show, so I opted for Meik Wiking instead. I love the way this man writes and how cosy his books feel. I know the cover and illustrations are designed to make his books make you feel this way, but what can I say? It works.
I also felt like having a chaotic reading this month, so I chose A Room Called Earth, which I found very stressful because of the way it’s written, but it’s also one of my favourite books this year so far.
Best reads of April
The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking
Meik Wiking is the writer of The Little Book of Hygge, which I read last year, and I became obsessed with his writing. I love that reading his books is a whole experience for me. I wake up early before work, make tea and read about Danish culture and what makes people happy. I tried to make this book last, as it was a great companion this month, but eventually I finished it and wrote down some of his tips to improve my mental well-being which has been a mess lately.
I know he has a new book coming out later in the year about making your home more Hygge, and I just can’t wait!
Some of the best decisions we make come from that inner voice that says, “Why not?” That says, “Andiamo.” So much disappointment arises from what is desired but not chosen.
A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan
I bought this book while browsing a bookshop in a busy train station in London. There was so much noise around me I was getting frustrated, but then I saw this cover, and I knew I had found the perfect book for my journey back home.
Written by a neurodiverse author, this book is chaotic, funny, and it also felt very political to me. This was my first book by an Australian writer, and I learned a lot about the country. It felt like I was reading a very long essay about all the issues that Australia has, combined with the point of view of a woman who creates her own rules and lives a life of freedom and loneliness.
We’ve given our power over to the material world because it seems more quantifiable and manageable. Our conversations start there, and our conclusions about the world end there. The infinite, miraculous, mysterious nature of who and what we are has become a bit tedious.
People are obsessed with what they don’t allow themselves to have, and then they become controlled by it. Forbidden fruit is everyone’s main meal.
Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
Lisa Jewell always knows how to write a good thriller. I really enjoyed this book, it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl that goes missing, but the story is told from multiple perspectives, even from the guy who’s arrested for her disappearance. The book focuses on incel culture, which I found interesting and there were a lot of plot twists I didn’t expect, which is rare for me as I read so many thrillers.
It’s amazing how boring you can get away with being when you’re pretty. No one seems to notice. When you’re pretty everyone just assumes you must have a great life. People are so short-sighted, sometimes. People are so stupid.
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
This is a story about a true crime blogger that finds herself in the middle of investigating a cold case. I thought I would love this story, the book had me at true crime blogger, but after a while, the story became repetitive, and the added supernatural element felt unnecessary.
I think there’s too much hype around this book, it’s a recent release this year, and I was expecting way more.
But a novel always ends, the lies come to the surface, and the deaths are explained. Maybe one of the bad characters gets away with something—that’s fashionable right now—but you are still left with a sense that things are balanced, that dark things come to light, and that the bad person will, at least, most likely be miserable.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
This book was everywhere last year, and I wished someone had told me Erin Sterling was a pseudonym for Rachel Hawkins, because I would’ve read this book immediately. I love her writing and I enjoyed this book even if the ending felt a bit rushed.
This witchy read would’ve been perfect for October, but I needed something funny and fast-paced, and The Ex Hex was exactly what I was looking for. I can’t wait for the second part to come out later this year!
The night had gotten darker now, the sky more indigo than lavender, and the moon rose over the hills, bright and cold and white. The perfect night for witching.
A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox
Another perfect autumn book that I chose to read in spring because I felt like rebelling against this season.
This book has the usual gothic atmosphere you can expect from Hester Fox, but I found it a bit boring. It combined past and present stories, and while I enjoyed the witchy and ghost vibes, I mostly prefered the present storyline.
How could I care about tea parties and town functions when the moon beckoned me to learn the secrets of the sea?
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
I wanted a consuming YA to end the month. One of those you need to read in one or two days because you need to know how it ends. Well, that was this book. The protagonist acts like a sociopath, making this story even more enjoyable. She makes up a plan to marry her country’s king and then kill him so she can keep the kingdom to herself.
They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart. And they never will.
I started this month feeling down and tired, but I’m ending it in a better mood. I look forward to May and the odd hot day we usually get in the spring.