Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2021

Hello everyone,

Another month has passed and when I take a moment to look back, a lot of things seemed to happen in April. It was a busy yet fun 30 days which has given me a lot to discuss in this latest wrap-up.

It all began with the Easter weekend, and I made the most of it with a full week off from work. I spent a lot of time outside, taking walks and visiting a local National Trust estate. The break was also an opportunity to buy some more items for my new flat, which has really started to come together and now I am so close to moving in! My scheduled move-in date is 14th May, and I am very excited.

Here in the UK the COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted step by step and the most recent of them saw shops reopen, so it has been nice to peruse some bookshelves again and also take the chance to get a much-needed haircut. There is much less certainty about when I shall be able to return to work in-person – I have no problem working remotely but that is no substitute to being in the office. All in good time I guess!

However, I should also say that my thoughts are with those other countries who are still currently feeling the full force of the pandemic. The situation in India in particular has dominated the news here recently and the pictures have been heartbreaking.

As for reading, it was a very mixed month and unfortunately (excluding a reread) I did not rate a single book at four stars or more. There were a couple that I did enjoy quite a lot, but also contained a few issues in certain areas. On the bright side, May is already off to a very good start with The Silence Of Bones.

The biggest reading breakthrough I had in April however was that I finally began to try out audiobooks!! I have always been a little bit hesitant with audiobooks because of my limited attention span, so I decided to start off with a book that I had already read in physical form, just to see what it was like.

As expected, my attention did drop in and out a little, but it was not as bad as I expected, and I am currently listening to The Handmaid’s Tale. In the long-term I might use audiobooks mainly for non-fiction, as that might suit me better. But overall, my introduction to audiobooks has been a success, and they will be another way to help me get through more books!

Here are the six books I read in April:

What Beauty There Is ⭐⭐⭐
Good Girl, Bad Blood ⭐⭐⭐.5
Bone By Bone (audiobook, reread)
The Betrayals ⭐⭐⭐
The Source ⭐⭐.5
Things To Do Before The End Of The World ⭐⭐⭐

Three of those books were for blog tours and none of them really captured my attention. The Betrayals and Good Girl, Bad Blood were two highly anticipated reads and while I did enjoy both they perhaps did not completely live up to expectations. I have no blog tour obligations for May, so it is a perfect opportunity to make a dent in my TBR!

One of the most exciting moments of April for many of us in the book community was the arrival of Shadow And Bone on Netflix. I am currently halfway through the series and will in time post a full review, but so far I am enjoying it a lot – the action is fast paced and the characters are brought to life on screen by what is mostly a very well chosen cast.

At the same time, the show that everyone has been talking about in the UK is Line Of Duty. The sixth series has just come to an end and my goodness, it was gripping. The twists and the cliffhangers had me completely on edge week by week and for the most part it was my favourite series of all, though the end was a bit of an anti-climax. In spite of that, it was outstanding television.

It was difficult to find time for much writing in April, but once I have moved into to my flat and settled in I should be able to make more progress. Also, I am now a month and-a-half into my new job and so far that has been going well. I feel confident in my role now and am gradually starting to contribute in a variety of different areas, so I am really pleased with how that is going.

May looks set to be a very promising month!

To finish, I am featuring some of my favourite blog posts out of the ones I managed to read in April. I am still playing catch-up with blog hopping, but even though life is getting in the way I will make every effort to do so in the weeks ahead. You are all amazing and deserve every bit of recognition.

  • Yesha celebrated four years of book blogging with a fantastic Q&A
  • NS Ford asked why one would follow or unfollow a blog
  • Sofii provided recommendations for changing seasons, such a clever idea!
  • Ahaana wrote a very detailed and relevant post on diversity and inclusivity in books
  • Amy shared seven things she wanted to see in the Shadow And Bone adaptation in a beautifully written post
  • Ellie has taken huge steps in reducing her TBR by writing 50 ‘Down The TBR Hole’ posts
  • Kat wrote an excellent ‘mini’ review of The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Aviaja had lots of great things to say about The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna in her amazing review
  • Livy made me even more excited to read Ariadne by Jennifer Saint with a her fabulous blog tour review

Have a lovely May, and happy reading! 🙂

35 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2021

  1. It’s great restrictions are lifting in UK. Things are really bad in India. I haven’t gone to beauty parlor for more than 3 months now! Thank God, I don’t run a booktube or make myself a prop in bookstagram, I would look horrible! Your house updates is making really excited for my own. It will take 1 full year before its ready and another 6 months for furniture and all. No chance at moving in my new flat before mid 2023. Thank you so much for including my post. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sorry to hear you didn’t rate any books 4+ stars! Congrats on 6 books though and i’m glad trying out audiobooks was semi-successful! Whoop i enjoyed Shadow & Bone too, especially the Crows – hope you continue to enjoy. Thank you for the mention and including my not so mini book review – you are the best! Great wrap-up! 💜😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kat! I’ve had a good start to my May reading though so fingers crossed it will be a successful month on that front! And you’re very welcome, I loved your review 🥰💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear that you didn’t really enjoy the books you read this month! Hopefully May will be a more pleasant experience. I’m also glad to hear that restrictions are being lifted near you, they are re-opening things very quickly here in NYC and I feel both excited and nervous about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh I’m so pleased you’re slowly getting into audiobooks Stephen! I definitely agree they work best with non-fiction and I hope you get on well when you have a go with a non-fiction read. Sorry to hear that your reading month has been a bit disappointing. I really hope May goes better for you though – I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Silence of Bones!!! ❤️📚 X x x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Florence!! I’m hoping to listen to Becoming soon, so it will interesting to see how I get on with that 😊 The Silence Of Bones has made it a really good start to May so I’m hoping that continues! ❤

      Like

  5. Great post. I too really enjoted Line of Duty but I do agree the end was an anti climax. Glad you are enjoying your new job.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the mention. As always I love your post!
    Sorry to hear you didn’t get a 4+ read in April, crossing my fingers for you May read 🤞
    I love audiobooks, but some books are better read than listened to. I am a big fan of audiobooks – they give me an opportunity to do other stuff while listening x)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great that you have a move in date Stephen, and fantastic that your new job is going so well. Shame about the reading for this month, but I suppose it’s just the way it goes sometimes. I’m yet to try audiobooks but I think they would definitely suit non fiction titles more as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s really nice to get a glimpse of your April, Stephen! I am also glad your April turned out a good one overall! Prepping for a new flat sounds so exciting. Hope you have a great month ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sorry to hear you didn’t get any 4+ star reads, Stephen. Hope May will be a better reading month. I’m happy you have tried out audiobooks! They definitely help me out with my Goodreads goal 😊 Lovely wrap-up! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sorry you didn’t have any super amazing reading this April, but that’s okay, I’m sure that happens because all the best readings will come this month!! 👏🏻👏🏻 I’m also trying audiobooks, I prefer to read physically whenever I can, but it’s a great help! 😍 & YAY! so happy you’re enjoying Shadow & Bone!! I’m l watching it too and I swear I die every time the characters appear, I’m such a fangirl for this series 😅🦌, especially Kaz is just fantastic on screen. 😍
    Thank you SO much for mentioning my post you know that your support means a lot ❤️ & I hope you have a wonderful May. ✨✨
    PS: I also ended up giving Things To Do Before The End Of The World, 3 stars so I feel you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha thank you so much, Sofii!! ❤ I really hope May ends up being an amazing reading month – so far it’s going well! I’m glad you love Shadow and Bone, it is such a fun show to watch and it was exciting to see all those characters on screen.
      Your very welcome! You write some of the best posts so I just have to include them on my favourites list! Hope you are having a wonderful May 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Stephen!!! I’m so sorry for the late reply but THANK YOU so much for your kind words and for including my post! 🥰✨ I’m fully obsessed with Shadow and Bone so I’m really glad you’re enjoying it! I hope everything is going well with the move and that you’re having a wonderful May!

    Like

  12. I hope you have better reading month in May 😊
    Audiobooks have been a great boon for me, as they have really helped me get back into the swing of reading and also have helped me tackle a classic and get into a new genre,

    Liked by 1 person

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