March 2019 reading round-up

ukiyo-e by Gigado Ashiyuki
1827 print of actors in a play about a courtesan by Gigado Ashiyuki.

We ended this month visiting Bristol City Museum for the second part of their Japanese prints exhibition. I love ukiyo-e, and this collection on the theme of “life in the city” is definitely worth a trip if you’re anywhere near Bristol before 12 May.

My reading has been up and down – possibly because I have been really trying to get through The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov for six weeks now, but I’m just not enjoying it. I think it might be time to give up. I also read a couple of badly written books, which I wouldn’t usually stick with. Thankfully I also read some gems, including Inferior by Angela Saini, which I genuinely recommend to everybody. I bought my Mum a copy for Mother’s Day. That will not be the only copy I give as a gift.

I also started running again this month after a five-month break. It’s been tough getting back into it but I am starting to feel the benefits. Now I just have to…keep it up.

How was your March?

Books read

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
A mediocre crime thriller that was enjoyable but forgettable until its disappointing ending. I had quite a lot to say about this book.

Giant Days: Early Registration by John Allison
This self-drawn collection jumps back in time to when Giant Days’ lead characters Esther, Susan and Daisy first met, in those first days of university. I love Allison’s sense of humour and how well he depicts the formation of friendship. I read this when I was feeling a little low and it made me feel warm and happy. Thank you @badmachinery.

Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
translated from Japanese by Asa Yoneda
Another disappointment. Yoshie is in her early 20s when her semi-famous musician father dies in bizarre circumstances. Finding the family home overwhelming in her grief, she moves to the small, hip neighbourhood Shimokitazawa. She loves her quirky, arty new locale and her new job at a cafe there. But just as she is settling in, her mother shows up and insists on moving in with her. I like the concept but it’s clunkily written.

Spider-Gwen Annual #1 by Jason Latour (writer), Chris Brunner (illustrator), Chris Visions (illustrator) and Robbi Rodriguez (illustrator)
This is a set of five short stories starring Spider-Gwen that are just fun little sojourns separate from the ongoing storyline. It’s mostly on the sillier side, but very enjoyable.

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
This is an excellent book. Saini interrogates the claims of scientists about the differences between the sexes. Are men’s and women’s brains really wired differently, or was one flawed study given far more promotion than the subsequent experiments that debunked it? Can we learn about our ancestors from anthropologists’ studies of 20th-century hunter-gatherer communities? Saini demonstrates how to question scientific conclusions without losing faith in the scientific method.

Giant Days Volume 9 by John Allison (writer), Max Sarin (pencils) and Whitney Cogar (colours)
It’s the end of the second year of university for Esther, Susan and Daisy. None of them are in as good a place as they’re pretending to each other. Their story continues to be sweet, funny and surprisingly true to life considering this universe also includes a merman, leprechauns and time travel.

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