Happy Easter, everyone! Man, I can’t believe that it’s already Easter—I think I’ve steadily lost the ability to tell time since the quarantine started. The days are just blurring together now. It’s hard to believe that had it not been for the pandemic, my family and I would’ve been in Croatia this week, taking a lot of tourist-y pics of the Game of Thrones locations. We’ve been excited about it since last year, especially since it’ll be our first tripe to Europe, but apparently 2020 had other plans. So we’re all a little glum this week, but at least we’re all together and we’re all safe.
In other news, the enhanced community quarantine has been extended for another two weeks here, which I’m bummed out about it for obvious reasons. Plus, this also means that shipping is still limited to essential goods and libraries won’t open yet, which means that I won’t be able to read all the books on the Women’s Prize longlist before the shortlist is announced (I have yet to obtain copies of Hamnet, A Thousand Ships, Actress, and Nightingale Point). I’ll just get to those after the quarantine is lifted and hopefully before the winner is announced, though that won’t stop me from making (likely inaccurate) shortlist predictions. Stay tuned!
Alright, on to the wrap-up!
Posts This Week
- Book Review: Writers & Lovers by Lily King (Monday)
- Can’t-Wait Wednesday #2 | Literary Fiction: Thin Girls by Diana Clarke (Wednesday)
- Book Review: Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Thursday)
- Book Review: Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Saturday)
(I realize I’ve been posting a lot lately, but this is a bit of an anomaly for me—I just have more time on my hands now and a goal to finish as many longlisted books as I can before April 22—but otherwise, I’ll just be posting twice or thrice a week. I’ll update you all once I decide on a post-quarantine blogging schedule.)
Books I Finished This Week
I’ve had a weirdly productive reading week this week, primarily because I’ve begun to alternate my heavier reads with lighter rom-coms, and I find that this helps me avoid getting into a slump.
- Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke got 5 stars from me, hands-down. It’s not the fluffy and fun romp that the cover makes it out to be—it’s pretty angsty, to be honest—but the characters were just so well-written and I got so twisted up over their relationship and the grovel at the end was just SO. IMMENSELY. SATISFYING. I’m still swooning over this book. If you’re into historical romances and you love Milan’s heroines and Kleypas’s heroes, I highly recommend this.
- Seanan McGuire’s Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third in her Wayward Children trilogy, was just a ‘meh’ read for me. The characters, the world, and the quest just weren’t as compelling as those from the first two books. I still love the series to bits, though, so I’ll read on.
- Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners was also another ‘meh’ read. It’s supposed to be an enemies-to-lovers romance, but I didn’t get why they hate each other in the first place, and the way they’re forced to spend time together was just way too implausible. It did have genuinely funny moments, but if you liked the duo’s previous work, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, this is definitely a letdown.
- The books I’ve finished from the longlist this week are Dominicana and Fleishman Is in Trouble, which I gave 2 stars and 4 stars, respectively. If you’re interested, I’ve linked my reviews to the titles.
Books I’m Currently Reading
- I usually love family sagas but I think I’ll swear off it for awhile after The Most Fun We Ever Had, which is… not much fun at all. It’s just way too long, and it has a way of telling rather than showing that makes it feel like nothing is really happening, despite all its dramatic events. The overuse of dashes, semi-colons, and italics in the prose has also been grating on me since page 50, and I feel faint knowing that I still have 200+ pages of this to go…
- I’m still reading Hunger, since I can only seem to digest it in smaller doses, but it’s brilliant. Its themes of art, poverty, hunger, and madness are catnip for me, and I’ve always had a soft spot for misanthropic protagonists (in fiction, at least). I’ll see if I’m up to writing a review afterwards.
Posts I Loved This Week
- Here’s a round-up of all the Women’s Prize reviews this week: Girl by Marija; Red at the Bone, Nightingale Point, and The Dutch House by Callum; The Dutch House, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Nightingale Point, and A Thousand Ships by Emily (who’s been amazingly productive this week! How do you read and write so fast?!).
- I LOVED Naty’s post on Conspiracy Theories about the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020! Head over there if you want to hear a hilarious roasting of the picks this year.
Some Non-Bookish Things
The authorities have been a little more lax about making everyone wear masks outside, which makes me so happy because I can go on longer runs again. Plus, the roads are empty, so I can freely zone out with my music on full volume and not worry about other cars or joggers. Pure bliss!
Side question—for those who run, jog, or go on walks, what do you usually listen to? I can’t run without listening to music, even if I’m out for only 20 minutes, but I have a friend who doesn’t listen to anything at all unless she’s out for more than an hour.
Well, that’s it for my week. How was yours? Do you usually celebrate Easter, and how did you celebrate it this year? Let me know in the comments!
32 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-up | April 12, 2020”
Loved this post! ‘Hunger’ sounds like something I’d definitely be interested in reading, although not on the lighter side! I agree though, I tend to read more if I swap between lighter and more heavier books. I’m getting into running too lately and have to listen to something, I usually switch it up between music/podcasts 🙂
Yay, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too! There’s a lot to unpack with it. Yeah, it helps prevent me from getting “burnt out” on heavier works. Oooh, that’s great! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do 🙂
Happy Easter and congrats on a super productive week of reading! I’m sorry to hear you’re not liking The Most Fun We’ve Ever Had. I agree that it is entirely too long – so much could have been edited out and nothing meaningful would have been lost.
Thank you! I actually just saw your review and I also agree with a lot of your points. (I’ll head over there in a bit!) It’s just too bloated. I FINALLY finished it though and I feel I need to calm down before I write my review, because right now I just want to hurl it at a wall for putting me through that slog 😅
Hahaha, I had to calm down before writing my review as well! The novel just had so much potential that it didn’t live up to. I look forward to reading your review soon!
Glad I’m not the only one who felt that! 😅 Thank you!
Glad you are able to enjoy your runs again! We are celebrating Easter with a simple meal. Hopefully when this all is more lax we will be able to get together with family once again.
Thank you! 🙂 We also celebrated Easter with a meal, but I do miss my other family members. Hope you’re all keeping safe during the quarantine!
The Most Fun We Ever Had was a struggle for me to finish too, but hopefully those last 200 pages go by quicky!! ☺
Ive also been wanting to read Bringing Down the Duke for so long so its great to see that you enjoyed it so much; ill definitely be checking it out sooner rather than later 👀
Lol 25% in, I headed over to GR to commiserate with those who gave it low ratings, and your review had me laughing! I’m linking it to my review of it, if that’s okay, because it’s just the complete list of everything I found annoying with the book.
Yes, I definitely did! Though I should probably say that it’s good for a historical romance—I have read a lot of HRs where the heroes are too sexist and the heroines too naive (because of the conventions), so this was a breath of fresh air from that genre.
hahaha ya my review of it got unexpectedly popular because i was so frustrated with so many thing that i decided to just include them all to purge the book out of my system lol
and of course i dont mind!! thank you so much, i really appreciate it ☺☺☺
I’m impressed by the number of books, you’ve read this week. I too like to run, but since the weather is so nice at the moment, the parks are really crowded (perhaps we should start wearing masks). Hope you enjoy the Easter break, although I understand it must be disappointing not being able to go to Croatia.
Thank you! How are the parks still crowded during a lockdown…?? It seems counterproductive lol. I hope you enjoy your break too. 🙂
Haha, yes very counterproductive! I will stick to running in the streets, which are fairly empty. It is a lot nicer to exercise in the parks, though.
Shockingly enough, I don’t have any decent parks in my area, so sadly the streets are my best option. Hope the parks clear up soon so you can get a better workout 🙂
Sorry to hear you’re missing out on a trip. I hope you manage to reschedule once everything has settled down.
Yay for getting lots of reading done though, and thank you for the shout out! 😊
Yes, we hope so too! Hopefully the travel agency doesn’t fold, because we won’t be able to get a refund then. Thanks Callum! 🙂
Thanks for linking my reviews! 🙂 I’ve sort of been using the arbitrary deadline of the WP shortlist announcement as a distraction from the current state of the world, so I am reading and reviewing a bit more than normal lately. It looks like you’ve had SUCH a good reading and blogging week as well! I am sorry to hear you missed out on Croatia for now, but I hope you’re having a good Easter weekend otherwise and will get to go on that trip later on.
And sorry to see you’re struggling with The Most Fun! I liked the writing enough that I didn’t mind the read (even though I can 100% agree that the book is too long), but I did struggle with it for other reasons. I’ll be interested to see how it turns out for you!
And to answer your side question- I always listen to music when I walk (for exercise) or run. I NEED it to run! I often just end up lost in my thoughts anyway, but without music I focus too much on how tired I feel and the run falls apart, lol.
Ah, I get that! I’ve been reading like mad to cope, and it’s really nice to have a goal and a community to do the WP with. I have always followed updates silently but it’s so much more fun doing it here! Yes, hopefully we can reschedule it to next year. 😊
I remember you mentioned in your review that it was just too specific that its primary purpose is entertainment, and I agree with that sentiment! I’m going to link to your review again if that’s okay because your comment really stuck with me.
Haha I get that! If there’s no music I’d give up more easily. 🤣
Yes! I am so glad the Women’s Prize is happening right now, it’s been an absolute godsend to have a list to follow and a whole bookish community talking about the same books. I’m so glad you joined in this year, I’ve loved chatting with you and seeing your reviews!
Of course! It’s always a compliment to hear something from my review resonated. 🙂 It is baffling though that a book without a deeper purpose than entertainment is being highlighted by the WP. What a year.
I know, having a list and a goal are so helpful because it makes me feel like I have a purpose 🤣 Thank you so much! I really admire how you tackle a book in your reviews so that means a lot.
I know, it looks like a number of bloggers here are also underwhelmed by the picks this year! Hopefully we’ll see better picks next year…
If I go out for a walk, I typically listen to an audiobook. Nothing too complicated, because I don’t want to space out for a moment and miss some key literary moment. I tried listening to The Deep by Rivers Solomon and had to stop, for example. However, I do well with nonfiction. So many podcasters are now writing books that I’ve discovered that getting the audio version of their work is a positive.
If you can’t do an audiobook, I would think you’d have to do music. Otherwise, wouldn’t everyone just hear themselves huffing and puffing?
Ah, I find I can’t listen to anything too complicated as well, and I fare better with nonfiction too! I run best with music, but apparently my friend is a fit enough person that she doesn’t feel tired enough to want to be distracted from it 😅
When I used to ride a bicycle every morning, I always listened to Jack Johnson’s album In Between Dreams. It’s pretty chill, though, and I’m not sure what kind of runner you are. Some people only want dubstep and songs like “Sandstorm” to pump them up.
I LOVE that album! I have fond memories of listening to it while completing my university assignments in the library. Though admittedly I’m more of a dubstep-music sort of runner; I usually listen to very upbeat pop. What makes Johnson’s album your go-to for bicycling? I find it’s an interesting choice since most people I run with also go for more dubstep-y music.
Now that I think about it, I was never bicycling at a cardio/exercise-type of pace, so maybe the lolling music fit with me dillydallying on wooded trails with a bicycle!
I love the words lolling and dillydallying—they sounds like exactly what they mean. And yes, Johnson’s album is the perfect soundtrack to dillydally with!
That’s disappointing that you were supposed to have been travelling right now. Croatia is on my dream travel list too. Our Easter was quiet but fun, lots of time spent outdoors and at the beach. I’m not much of a runner but I never listen to anything when I do run. When I used to walk to work I always listened to music though; it made me feel like I had my own soundtrack!
Thank you for the understanding; Croatia just looks so beautiful so I was looking forward to it. I hope you can all eventually plan a vacation there. 🙂 Ah, I get what you mean – sometimes when I do that I feel like I’m walking in a movie!
Hunger sounds so good??? Looking forward to seeing your final thoughts on it!
Ugh The Most Fun We Ever Had sounds like a book I’d love but everyone is mehhh about it and now I dread it a bit.
Thanks so much for linking to my post! It was so fun to write 🙂
Thanks, it really is! And yeah, I was looking forward to The Most Fun but it felt very telenovela to me. Sure, it was so entertaining to read too 🤣