20 comments on “April Wrap Up

  1. If you liked the O’Connor story, try some of her others! Her Collected Stories hit me over the head when I was sixteen and I have never been the same since. (Or you could read her first novel, Wise Blood, which is what a number of her stories morphed into.)

    My favourite new book this month is a toss-up between Jess Kidd’s Things In Jars—soon to be reviewed; pitch-perfect witty Victorian gothic that fans of The Essex Serpent will love—and Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift, which is massive in scope and absolutely fearless in execution. My favourite old book was either Irmgard Keun’s The Artificial Silk Girl—a fantastically sharp, sad, funny novella about a young woman on the make in 1920s Berlin—or Anthony Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset, an appropriately thoughtful and complex ending to his Barsetshire series.

    • Ooh, thanks for the recommendations. I’d definitely like to read more by O’Connor at some point!

      Glad to hear you enjoyed the Jess Kidd. I’m yet to try her but I’ve had one of her novels sitting on my shelves for a while. I should try and get to it soon.

  2. It looks like you had a good month! I completely forgot to mention it in my review, but I felt the same about the literary references in Lost Children Archive. The works cited section for that book extended over FIVE PAGES in my copy, which seemed beyond excessive. But congrats on getting through the longlist this month! I don’t think I ever would have made it if I hadn’t read so many unknowingly beforehand.

    • Thank goodness it wasn’t just me! It’s a shame that Luiselli’s style didn’t work for me, because I could always admire what she was saying with the book.

      It was really fun and interesting to read pretty much the whole longlist back to back (I’d only read 2 when it was announced, and one of those I’d finished the day before!). Here’s hoping next year I’ll have read more when the initial list comes out 😋

  3. Which migration is Lost Children Archive about? There hasn’t been a large migration movement in the U.S. since around the time of the Harlem Renaissance.

    • It comments primarily on the present-day experiences of people attempting to cross the border from Mexico, particularly children who have been separated from their parents on opposite sides. But it also draws parallels with events from the past, particularly the treatment of Native Americans.

        • Not necessarily. The two terms are very similar. As far as I understand it, a migrant is anyone who moves from one place to another, including across borders, usually in search of better economic or social opportunities. An immigrant is someone undertaking the same process, but with the intention of settling permanently at their destination.

          The book specifically refers to the children as migrants, and draws on news reports regarding the ‘migrant crisis’ in the US, particularly concerning those attempting to cross the southern border to find their loved ones.

          • Wow, I learned something new. In history classes, I was taught a migration is people moving from one place to another within a country, but immigration was moving to a new country. I need to go Google some stuff now.

            • There’s definite crossover in the terms, and what you were taught isn’t technically wrong! You can migrate between any two places (as in, within your own country or internationally), but you can only immigrate into a new country. So, I suppose migrant is sort of the umbrella term for anyone voluntarily travelling from point A to point B, whilst an immigrant is a specific subset of the migrant community. At least, as far as I understand it!

  4. I really need to read something by Flannery O’Connor. Would you recommend me starting with A Good Man is Hard to Find? Also I’m Afraid of Men sounds fantastic! Great wrap up as always, best of luck for May! 🙂

    • A Good Man is Hard to Find was my first O’Connor, and I really liked it, so I’d say it seems as good a place as any to start! 😊 I’d love to see more people reading I’m Afraid of Men; it’s one of the most intersectional and eloquent modern feminist texts I’ve read, and yet it’s so compact and accessible.

      Thank you! Same to you 📚😊

  5. I just stumbled across your blog via a comment you left on Literary Elephant’s post about the Women’s Prize shortlist. Very glad I found your blog, as I think your thoughtful ideas about the books you read will give me plenty of food for thought! I haven’t read many of the books on your list, but am interested in several. I was particularly thrilled to see Vivek Shraya’s book coming out on the top of your reading for the month. I’m Canadian, and it’s been getting a fair amount of attention over here, but I didn’t think many people over the pond would have heard of it. Pleased to see it getting such glowing praise. Will definitely be browsing around your blog and stopping back in future! Thank you for your thoughtful words on these books!

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