April Reads | The Nerd Nest

In April I read A LOT, partially because reading calms me when I’m stressed and partially because I had extra reading time during our foster baby’s weekly visitation. This month’s books were heavily sci fi and fantasy. I also read a ton of comics, a YA novel, and a bit of crime.

(Also, Jonas gave me “tattoos” right before these photos were taken.)

April Reads | The Nerd Nest

Here are the books I read in April:

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

The apocalypse is coming! Like, now. It’s up to an angel and a demon to work together to stop it…because they aren’t quite ready to give up their earthly lifestyles.

In April, I was the guest host of NovelTea Book Club and this was the pick for the group. After the sad news of the death of author Terry Pratchett, we wanted to read one of his books in commemoration. It’s not surprising that this was the pick for the month given the club’s collective Gaimon love.

I really enjoyed this book and coming up with discussion questions for the group was fun, but I would have liked it a lot more if I hadn’t stretched reading it over the month. It was a little repetitive as it built to the climax, but I don’t think it would have bothered me if I’d read it in my usual three day spurt. But stretching it out, it dragged. Still, I loved the humorous look at Christian mythology, especially its look at the sometimes ludicrous line between what is considered good or evil.

The Godfather (1969) and The Sicilian (1984) by Mario Puzo

The Godfather is a crime family saga, showing the inner-workings of the powerful mafia Corleone family, their influences, and their mob wars with other families in New York.

The sequel The Sicilian takes place in Sicily, Italy, and shows the life of Michael Corleone during his exile. However, the novel mostly focuses on the life of bandit Giuliano and his dealings with Sicily’s corruption.

I thought that these books were captivating. The characters were detailed, the twists in the plot fascinating, and the detail of the inner workings of a crime family completely believable. Though I understand that this is a crime novel and most of the characters complete horrifying and despicable acts of violence, the violence against women in these books still deeply bothered me: wives and girlfriends were beaten to be “kept in line” and it was hard for me to stomach.

Now I’m ready to see the classic film for the first time.

Dune Messiah (1969) by Frank Herbert

This sequel to the classic science fiction novel Dune shows the aftermath of Muad’Dib’s jihad, the wars that allowed him to conquer the known universe.

Though I wasn’t completely enamored with Dune, I was curious about what happened and decided to continue reading the series. The series is actually complicated, with novels that take place chronologically in-between the original series and additional novels written by the author’s son. I decided to just stick with the original trilogy.

Like the original, I thought the world building and concept was really interesting, but didn’t find much connection to the characters. I don’t like the writing style. The series has far too much telling rather than showing and little in the way of action scenes. Not my favorite, but once I start something I tend to follow through, so you’ll be seeing a similar description of the next book in the May Reads post.

The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower, Volume 1 (1982) by Stephen King

In the first book of The Dark Tower series, Roland, the last Gunslinger, begins his journey through the wastelands of his world to pursue the mysterious man in black.

I decided to start up with this series because I remember really liking it when I started reading it at age 11 or so. At this age, Stephen King was my favorite author and I read everything of his that I could get my hands on. I never finished the series because all of the books weren’t available at my local library when I was younger, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

I didn’t like this book all that much. I had trouble focusing on it, though I’m not sure if it was really the book or if I was distracted because of what was going on in my life at the time. The things that I remember liking about the series didn’t occur in this book, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it more with the following books.

The Stepford Wives (1972) by Ira Levin

Joanna and her family move to the idyllic suburban community Stepford, but Joanna doesn’t fit in with her passion for her photography career and her feminist views. The women in the community are obsessed with waxing their floors in perfect dress and make-up, and the men spend all of their spare time together in a men’s club…where something sinister is going on.

This was a quick read. I’ve seen the movie adaptation, so I knew the ending, but I enjoyed it even though that removed the suspense. It’s great satire about the push-back to the Women’s Movement, showing how ridiculous (and terrifying) expectations for women were.

My edition has a forward from Chuck Palahniuk that made me want to write some hate mail.

An Abundance of Katherines (2006) by John Green

Colin Singleton has been dumped 19 times by girls named Katherine. This anagram loving child prodigy needs to get over Katherine #19 and is hoping a road trip with his best friend and a dump-predicting Theorem will do the trick.

I thought that the premise of the book was really annoying, as was the protagonist’s Katherines obsession, but the characters were quirky and interesting and the message in the end was pretty fantastic.

The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 2 (2012) by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn

The world is overrun by zombies, but the people are just as dangerous in this post-apocalyptic horror graphic novel.

After re-reading the first Compendium in March, I was excited to start on this compendium, which was mostly new to me. I love how unpredictable the story is and though the zombies are interesting, I’m really into it because of the look into human psychology–all of the terrible and wonderful things people do when society falls apart and there are limited resources and no hope of safety.

For those of you who are fans of the television show, the show and the comics differ just enough to keep you surprised, but many of the characters and major settings are the same.

I’m so ready for Compendium 3 this fall!

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal (2014) by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

When teenage superhero fangirl Kamala Khan gets powers of her own, she struggles to become a hero herself under the rules of her loving, but strict Pakistani-American Muslim parents.

I decided to start up Ms. Marvel because I’ve loved Captain Marvel so much and I’ve heard nothing but raving reviews of this series. And I absolutely loved it. This is by far my favorite origin story of any I’ve read. Kamala is adorable and the way she deals with learning about her newfound powers is realistic. Her search for her identity is powerful. I can’t rave enough, really.

It’s also nice to read authentic millennial speak, because I rarely see that anywhere off-Internet. And hooray for diversity in comics!

I read A LOT of comics in April. Here are the rest:

April Reads | The Nerd Nest

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Make sure to put a big SPOILERS warning in your comment to warn others if you have ‘em.

Reading anything good lately?

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