April Update

Only four books read last month, which I blame mostly on getting a new laptop (after eight years with the last one!) and discovering the joys of watching Netflix on the couch.

Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon this month, since I was busy performing with my Morris dancing group, but I loved checking my Twitter feed to see how everyone else was doing. One woman booked a hotel room for the weekend, and dang if that isn’t the dream. But watch out, October, I’m ready for you!

The biggest book-related thing I did last month was to rearrange my books. It was a long time coming, since when I moved here several months ago, I just threw my books wherever they’d fit. This was especially necessary since one of my bookshelves is literally a tower of cardboard boxes sitting on their sides, and I had to put all the heavy things on the bottom and all the mass-markets on top. The lack of order of my books, however, was getting a little obnoxious, so I decided to sort by genre.

The biggest bookshelf (that’s actually a bookshelf) holds gothic & horror, classics & historical fiction, and memoirs, essays, & autobiographies. The shorter cardboard tower holds non-fiction, the taller cardboard tower holds fantasy, and the short actual bookshelf holds all remaining fiction. All my folklore, mythology, and paganism books are in an attractive stack next to fiction.

I actually love this arrangement because I can think about what I’m in the mood for before picking my next book. It also assures that if I’ve been wanting to read a certain book for a while, I don’t accidentally stumble across another book I want to read before finding the first one.

As for the books I read:

The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso. This is a Highlander romance that a friend bought me for my birthday at our local Renaissance Faire. I liked the basic plot, which is that two people in love are separated for several years after a tragedy, and can they fix their relationship. I really liked this book, even if I would have gone for another one of the characters. Toward the end of the book, it got downright gothic, which I loved. Oh, and the first eleven pages of the book were missing??? So…I have no idea what happened at the beginning.

Lord Wraxall’s Fancy by Anna Lieff Saxby. This was a historical erotic novel recommended to me by a friend after I mentioned reading the first of Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy a few years ago. It was almost funny, but totally expected, just how much sex was happening. Like, if two characters interacted, they had sex. And hey, you get what it says on the tin. Anyway, I kind of had to suspend my values while reading this because the way the book handles race is pretty questionable. Taking place in the 18th century Caribbean, and all. But aside from that, I liked it. Solid erotica.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Heard about this book from Simon Savidge’s YouTube channel, and since I’m really into that Victorian Naturalist stuff at this point in my life, I wanted to give it a go. This book took me the longest to get through–probably even longer than I was expecting a book of this size to take. I loved Cora Seaborne and her son Frances, and I wish Cora was a lesbian, but she’s not. Actually, I’ll bet part of the reason this book took me so long to finish was because every time Will (the vicar) spoke, I had to stop and think about what my religious beliefs are. This book verges on folk horror, but is really more about two souls drawing together.

The Librarian Stereotype: Deconstructing Perceptions and Presentations of Information Work by Nicole Pagowsky. Ah, reading related to work. I didn’t need to read this or anything, but since I’m not faculty, nor am I working in any real capacity on campus, I like to stay connected with research and discourse in my profession. This book was incredibly eye-opening, discussing issues about how we relate to librarian stereotypes, how these stereotypes affect how we can help the community, what it means to defy these stereotypes by choice or by birth. Really really fascinating. Plus there was a chapter (underwhelming if I’m honest) about librarians and cats. I didn’t get many conclusions from this book, but there was absolutely so much to think about.


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