April reading summary

April-clip-Art I read six books in April which is fewer than I usually read, but as two of them were very long books and April was another busy and stressful month for me at work, I’m happy with that! I’m glad May is here because I have lots to look forward to this month: two Bank Holidays (the first one this Monday), my birthday and a trip to Dubrovnik!

Looking back at my April reads, I started the month with The Edge of Dark by Pamela Hartshorne, a time slip novel set in York and telling the stories of two women in two different centuries whose lives are linked by a recently restored Elizabethan building. I loved the combination of history, suspense and the supernatural. While I was reading this I was also dipping into a non-fiction book, The Gothic by Nick Groom, part of the Very Short Introduction series. I particularly enjoyed Groom’s discussion of Gothic literature, but the book also covers many other aspects of Gothic culture.

The Eustace Diamonds The two very long books I read in April were both for reading events. The first was The Eustace Diamonds, which I read for Karen’s Anthony Trollope Bicentennial Celebration. I’m slowly working through Trollope’s Palliser novels and this is the third in the series. I did like it but found it quite repetitive and at 800 pages I thought it would never end! The second very long book was my choice for Lory’s Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week: The Child from the Sea, a historical novel based on the life of Charles II’s mistress, Lucy Walter. My first experience of Goudge’s work was a good one and I’m looking forward to trying more of her books.

After spending some time in the 17th century with Lucy Walter, I then went back to a much earlier period – to the 7th century, in fact – and met Edwin: High King of Britain. This is the first in a trilogy by Edoardo Albert called Northumbrian Thrones and I found it both a fascinating and an educational read.

The Fatal Flame The final book I read in April – and the only one I haven’t had time to write about yet – was The Fatal Flame, Lyndsay Faye’s third Timothy Wilde mystery novel set in 19th century New York City. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed her previous two, The Gods of Gotham and Seven for a Secret, so I was sad to discover that it’s the last in a trilogy (I had been hoping she would go on to write more books in the series).

As we move into May I have three books on the go (I wish I could go back to the days when I only read one book at a time, but that just doesn’t seem possible any more). I’m reading Piu Marie Eatwell’s intriguingly titled The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife And The Missing Corpse, Kate Atkinson’s third Jackson Brodie book, When Will There Be Good News?, and The Invention of Fire, Bruce Holsinger’s second historical mystery novel. As soon as I finish one or two of those I will be starting my book for the Classics Club Spin and I also want to read at least one book for the Once Upon a Time Challenge.

Did you have a good April? What are you hoping to read in May?

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13 thoughts on “April reading summary

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    I’m sorry to hear work as been stressful again for you this month. Hopefully with the bank holidays, birthday and trip away you will have a more relaxing May. I can sympathise with your long book reading in April. I have been slowly working my way through The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, and I still have a long way to go. It is not that I’m not enjoying it just it is not a thrilling, page turning, read a chunk at a time sort of book. I wish you happy reading in May 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I’ve been doing the work of two people (or trying to) since my colleague retired last month, but her replacement is starting next week so things should improve soon! I’ll be interested to hear what you thought of The Pickwick Papers when you’ve finished it.

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    I had a wonderful April with Elizabeth Goudge Reading Week and lots of books for the Once Upon a Time Challenge (reviews coming soon). In May I’m looking forward to a readalong of Little, Big by John Crowley, among other things. Happy spring!

    • Helen says:

      I haven’t read anything for the Once Upon a Time challenge yet, but I only committed to reading one book so I still have time. I’m looking forward to your reviews!

  3. Elle says:

    Oh, man, I loved The Eustace Diamonds! It is slow going at times–Trollope has this habit of writing sentences that contain half a dozen words too many–but Lizzie Eustace is such a memorable character. Have you read Vanity Fair, by Thackeray? She reminds me of his anti-heroine Becky Sharp. Scheming minxes are the best.

    • Helen says:

      I did enjoy The Eustace Diamonds overall but it’s not one of my favourite Trollopes. I agree that Lizzie is a very memorable character, though! I haven’t read Vanity Fair yet but it’s on my list to read soon.

      • Elle says:

        Vanity Fair is absolutely great; Thackeray’s and Trollope’s narrative personae (that wisecracking/world-weary voice) are quite similar too.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve been under extra pressure at work because my colleague retired a month ago and hasn’t been replaced yet, but things should improve in the next few weeks. And yes, reading is a good way to escape!

  4. Jo says:

    Yes I wish I could only read one book at a time now! Though they do have to be vastly different otherwise I get muddled! I did quite well in April, but it tails off when I am back at work. Looking forward to some bank holiday reading for sure!

    Glad to hear there may be light at the end of the work tunnel. And of course many happy returns.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! I find I can read a non-fiction book and one or two novels at the same time, but any more than that and I get too confused.

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