This week the weather went completely crazy where I live – we had snow, dark clouds, blue and sunny skies. I put on my winter jacked and the next day had a barbecue on the balcony. April is a bit crazy in these parts. Reading-wise, audiobooks are the reason why I make progress at all in my reading challenge, lately, as I have a lot less spare time these days since I’m often working on Saturdays, having lunch in my office, staying late etc. So I picked up two quite short audiobooks after Valentine and listened to them in 1.5x, which made them SO quick to go through. I’m quite enjoying listening to books, and by TBR finally is leaving the 150 mark and slowing heading towards 140! Yay! Still, I have a preference for reading books in physical format, and haven’t picked up an e-book for what feels like ages (my Netgalley ratio is suffering). But fine, we’ll get to those at some point!
Weekly Wrap Up
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore / audiobook / 3 stars
This is both a very good book and incredibly long for its 320 pages. It took me two weeks to read this, and I think it’s for two reasons: there were too many storylines, so this felt like reading a few books at the same time; and how bleak the story was plus knowing exactly where it was going. While this was beautifully written and so emotional and human, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by how much it dragged on. I wrote a way more eloquent review here if you’d like to see my full thoughts on this book.
Auto da Compadecida by Ariano Suassuna / audiobook / 5 stars
No surprise that I loved this – it’s one of my favorite books of all time. It’s the first time I listen to it in audio and it was perfect. I love a good full cast! This is still best played by actors in a theater, but audio is surely second best. Not sure if I love this more or the movie adaptation (it’s such an excellent movie), but either way, this was brilliant.
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells / audiobook / 3 stars
I’ve had this as an ebook for ages and never picked it up because there’s something about H. G. Wells’ stories that seem a bit bland to me. I guess all sci-fi classic seem like that, and I hesitate to read them knowing I won’t enjoy them as much as someone reading them in the time they were written would have. Still, I enjoyed The Invisible Man, even if I was a little bored. It was definitely an interesting sci-fi horror classic, but it left me underwhelmed. I might still read The War of the Worlds and the Time Machine though – I like reading the classics that inspired the contemporary books I love, so I will probably read these a bit more in an analytical/chore-like fashion instead of for the enjoyment factor.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett / physical copy / 4 stars
This was such a great read! I wanted to take a break from Lit Fic and read something lighter, but this actually reads a bit more (I couldn’t come up with a better word) commercial, and I flew through it. The Vanishing Half draws a complex portrait of the two white-passing twin sisters, one choosing to live as black and the other as white. This has one of the “tropes” that I enjoy the most: several characters telling a bit of their story that, when put together, paints a bigger picture. The psychological make of each character was so interesting, their complicated relationships with race, family, their past, trauma… I found myself feeling for all the characters and understanding their reasons for acting the way they did. This is such a great book that feels both current and classic and I highly recommend!
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller / physical copy / ongoing
I just started this! Again I wanted to take a break from Lit Fic but I remember that Bitter Orange didn’t read to me like heavy lit fic so I decided to give this a shot. I’m not sure yet if I like it, but I am surely intrigued.