April was a month of reading lots of books and buying even more of them, but let’s gloss over that second fact for now and focus on what I read throughout these past 30 days. In total, I managed to finish 13 books: 6 novels, a novella, 2 non-fiction books, a poetry collection, a short story collection and 2 graphic novels. This takes my yearly total up to 48, almost half of my 2016 target, which is nice.
The real highlight for me was The Book Collector by Alice Thompson. In this gothic tale we follow a woman who finds herself trapped in a life that resembles a dark fairy tale, slipping into madness as she attempts to understand her husband’s strange obsession with a book of such stories that he forbids her from viewing, whilst dealing with what would now be understood as postnatal depression. It raises questions about what it means to be insane and the warped control men had over women in our favourite fairy tales, turning the latter on its head in the conclusion.
I also adored Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, a collection of beautiful, provocative, approachable and passionate poetry by Warsan Shire. I’ll say no more about it other than to share this excerpt which I think speaks for itself:
In Love and In War
to my daughter I will say,
‘when the men come, set yourself on fire’.
What was your favourite read in April?