Skip to main content

What I read in April

Bossypants - Tina Fey ★★
Pretty much exactly what you'd expect: insightful, fun, funny.

Strange Weather in Tokyo - Hiromi Kawakami ★★
This was a gentle and captivating story about friendship and love. Not a huge amount happens and yet it managed to be completely absorbing and addictive, and just really believable. I loved it.

Our Endless Numbered Days - Claire Fuller ½
I hoped I'd love this as everyone seems to but I really didn't. It might just be that I don't read a lot of YA and it's not for me, if it is indeed classed as YA. As strong as the world-building was, I found myself frequently irritated with the narration style - perhaps that the protagonist is so young and this is reflected in the descriptive prose, but I just kept wishing sentences to end sooner that they'd be more powerful for it.

I've also consumed several stories in this trope recently of someone coming back to society years after an abduction of sorts (not a spoiler, we know from the beginning) so my lack of enjoyment may have been fatigue with that too.

Then for Genrethon I read:
The Complaint - Nick Whitby (play) 
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby (memoir) ★★
The Collossus - Sylvia Plath (poetry) 
The Martian - Andy Weir (sci-fi) ★★
Bird Box - Josh Malermann (horror) 
Not The Worst Place - Sam Burns (play) 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll (classic) ½
Lungs - Duncan Macmillan (play) 

You can read my thoughts on all of these books and the readalong itself here.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler 
This is a novel that I've heard about a lot, the name thrown around as a strong read, but without really knowing what it entailed and now I've read it I see why - it's hard to discuss as something so central is held back for so long. But I'll try!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is an interesting look at family and identity, and belonging and alienation. The author plays with storytelling not just as writer but how we do this as people, what we want people to perceive a situation as and how we want to control their judgement. So that was interesting, but I struggled to really connect to and enjoy the story, perhaps because of the intentional slight bitterness of tone, and the feeling created by the very thing the novel explores - the positioning of the protagonist as an outsider. Though it builds to something more positive, there is a subtle sadness to this book that I found hard to shake off when reading, even when the action was exciting and intriguing.

So my not completely loving it I think was because the writing was strong and left an effect. I did enjoy the book overall - I wanted to know what would happen, or indeed what had happened previously, and I appreciated the playfulness of the plotting.

Let me know if you've read any of these and what you thought, or any other recommendations! I'm on GoodReads & Twitter.