April 2023 book wrap up

April has gone by shockingly fast. I read 6 and a half books, the half being The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg, which I’m still tackling, I’m learning a lot, but it’s also so depressing I have to take a break after every few essays.

I didn’t do much this month, and I didn’t do much reading either, so I don’t know where time has gone! I can’t remember what I did in April; if it weren’t for my journal and my phone camera, I wouldn’t know a single thing that happened this month.

But back to the books, this is what I read in April:

Fiction reads – Historical fiction

The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner

Genre: historical fiction, mystery, paranormal, LGBT characters
How I read it: on my kindle

From the same writer that brought us The Lost Apothecary, a book I really enjoyed, I was super excited to read The London Seance Society.

Set in 1873 London, where people host seances to communicate with the dead, a group of people get rich by communicating with murder victims and finding out who killed them. I loved the premise of this book, and while I liked most of it, it was written from three different points of view, and one of them was just the worst inner dialogue I’ve ever read.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Genre: historical fiction, romance, LGBT characters
How I read it: physical copy

I bought this book on a whim because I liked the cover and then ignored it for almost six months, until now!

Set in 1954 in the United States, a teenage girl from Chinatown and a girl from Italian-descent fall in love. They spend their nights visiting The Telegraph Club, a secret bar for lesbians.

This book is exceptionally well written and researched; there’s a lot of history about Chinese people living in the US in the 50s and the Red Scare paranoia. I enjoyed this book, though it felt like I was reading it for a history class, and it moved at a very slow pace. I wish I could say I remember all the Chinese history, but it was too much information.

She could almost see the curve of the earth on the oceans horizon. Or she imagined that she could. And it gave her a physical sense of how far away from home she had traveled. Yes, she truly had come that far. No, she really wasn’t going home anytime soon. There was a strange sense of freedom in those thoughts. They left her free to be here, in this place, right now.

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels and The League of Gentlewomen Witches by India Holton

Genre: historical fiction, fantasy, romance
How I read it: physical copy and ebook from the library

I’ve been slowly collecting books from autistic writers or with autistic characters, so I knew I had to read India Holton’s trilogy. So far, I’ve read the first two.

The Wisteria Society is fun and exciting, with pirate women that can fly their houses around England and try to murder each other, but the writing was stressing me out. The way it was written was too quirky for me. Many things would happen in a single sentence that would also contradict the previous statement; it felt like notes the author had added between the narration. Some people will love this style and find it funny, but for me, it was a lot.

Luckily, the writing of the second book, The League of Gentlewomen Witches, is more relaxed, still quirky, but it made the story more enjoyable. I know autism wasn’t a thing in Victorian times, but it’s suggested that the main character, a witch named Charlotte, was different and sensitive, and I related to her a lot.

She’d heard those words over and again throughout her childhood, words that felt like a rap on the knuckles or a prod against the heart. You’re so sensitive, Charlotte. You feel too much, you are too much. It’s messy. A witch must be more restrained. She’d built a hundred layers of calm and coolness over the years in response. She’d worked hard to become something other than her altogether wrong self.

The League of Gentlewomen Witches

We have only three laws in our Society, Cecilia. No killing civilians. Pour the tea before the milk. And no stealing each other’s houses.

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

“It is violence that best overcomes hate, vengeance that most certainly heals injury, and a good cup of tea that soothes the most anguished soul”; thus ran the motto of the Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels.

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

Fiction reads – Thrillers

Swipe Right for Murder and To Kill a Catfish by Polly Harris

Genre: YA, thriller, romance
How I read it: on my kindle

I was looking for quick reads to relax my tired brain and found these two cute, low-effort thrillers.

In Swipe Right for Murder, a uni student tries dating apps for the first time, while all of a sudden multiple girls are getting killed around her campus, and she starts to suspect the guy she’s dating could be the killer.  

And in To Kill a Catfish, a uni student is running a scheme to catfish men into emotionally cheating on their girlfriends with her until her roommate goes missing, and the main suspect is one of the catfished guys.

They are really fast reads, the thriller aspect is pretty low, but you’ll have an entertaining evening.

And that is all for this month. My TBR for this year is so long that I don’t know what to read next! I started 2023 with a clear order to follow, but I get distracted, or I’m not in the mood for specific books, and there are constantly new novels coming out that I want to read… I think I’ll just stick with Greta for another month; I hope to finish it in time for May’s wrap-up!

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