April 2016 reading round-up

Hamlet-stfWhat a literary month April was! This year’s World Book Night fell on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, but the whole month has been Bard-tastic. Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory is a longstanding fixture at one of our local theatres every spring, but this is the first year we have been to see both the plays they’re producing. This season’s repertoire was All’s Well That Ends Well and Hamlet, neither of which I had seen on stage before or studied in any detail. I definitely preferred Hamlet, but I think that’s the writing more than the acting, which was great in both cases.

My reading this month has been mixed and not nearly as plentiful as March. But I did introduce a new blog feature called Hello! What are you reading? in which I ask my friends about their current reads. I’ve loved gathering their answers so far and look forward to sharing them week by week.

How was your April?

Books read

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
This is an unusual tale about identity, race, shame, parenthood and secrets. Review coming soon…

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
This comic is about a teenage girl who meets a ghost and the strange friendship that they form. It’s sweet and also a little spooky.

The Siege by Helen Dunmore
My second Dunmore novel, this looks at the 1941 siege of Leningrad from the perspective of a small family desperately trying to stay alive. My favourite read of the month.

Panty by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
An unsettling story about a woman who, when staying alone at a friend’s apartment in Calcutta, finds a used pair of panties and begins to obsess about their former owner. Review to follow…

The Man I Became by Peter Verhelst
Another strange one. This is the tale of a gorilla who is kidnapped and reprogrammed to become a human working in a theme park. I’m still processing it.

The High Window by Raymond Chandler
A comfort read. I love Chandler’s rich language and Philip Marlowe’s complex moral code.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I borrowed this from my brother and as I expected, the story is better than the writing. It starts with a lot of exposition and Collins fails the “show don’t tell” maxim constantly, but Katniss Everdeen is a great heroine and I read this super fast as I genuinely wanted to know what would happen.