Hi all. I hope you all had a great Easter break and enjoyed the month of April. It is so exciting that the days are getting longer and the evening’s lighter- I can finally see summer on the horizon!
In April I spent a lot of time with family and friends. My fiancé went skiing for a week in France with his dad and brother and that was when my mum came to stay for a few days and we went and looked at wedding dresses for the first time. Happily, I have now found my dress! It was only the second dress I tried on in the first shop, and I knew it was ‘the one’ straight away when my mum started crying, which of course set me off in tears too. I didn’t want to take it off after that and the few other dresses I tried on afterwards didn’t feel right in comparison. It is on order and should be ready for me by October, which is incredibly exciting! I also went to see a concert with my mum and dad whilst hubby-to-be was away; the amazing Boyce Avenue in Birmingham. They really rocked the venue. All in all, April was a lovely, exciting month and a whirl of non-edible Easter treats, silk flowers, wedding decorations and of course, reading.
So, on to books! My reading total was a bit shorter than I would have liked in April, which given I’ve been so busy with other things, is understandable. I only finished 19 books in the month. I would like to complete about 250 novels in 2014, so I’m on target for that, at least. One of my aims for this year was also to read more chunksters, so this allows me to squeeze some more of those in comfortably. And yes, I still haven’t picked up The Count of Monte Cristo yet, so maybe that will get read as part of that group!
I got around to reading a few more classics and modern classics, including a few from The Guardian’s Definitive List, including The Plague by Albert Camus, which is a novel I have wanted to read for years. Bleak and sparsely told, I actually enjoyed it. It was my first experience of an Albert Camus novel, but definitely won’t be my last. I also read A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, which I liked but found to be quite dry in parts, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (loved) and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (also loved).
I’ve been on something of a world tour this month too- aside from Algeria I have read (or in one case listened to) novels set in Nigeria, China, France, Africa, Costa Rica, USA and India amongst other places. I think one of my very favourite things about being a bookworm is all of the armchair travelling it enables you to do.
I said in March that I hadn’t read too much non-fiction. In April I remedied this by reading a Gerald Durrell book, a book about a Brit finding love and moving to France and also Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens. My current non-fiction read is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, which is fascinating so far.
I suppose my favourite book in the month was probably the aforementioned Cry of the Kalahari. It’s quite unusual for my favourite book to be a non-fiction read, but as someone desperate to visit Botswana, it really captivated me and I loved reading about an Africa in the not-so-distant past where animals weren’t as tainted by negative associations with humans and didn’t yet fear them- though of course it saddened me, too. Poaching and hunting was still rife, even back in the 1970’s when this book was written. This Africa where animals didn’t fear humans is unfortunately long gone and I sense it will never come back, though given the great propensity for hunting and decimating wildlife on the continent, I suppose maybe that is a good thing. The more wary the animals are of man, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
So, onto what I have planned for May. I’m going to look at bridesmaid’s dresses at the end of the month. I have two bridesmaids- my best friend and one of my future sister-in-laws. My fiancés other sister is actually going to be our ‘Mistress of Ceremonies’ which I’m excited about as she is perfect for the role- very confident and organised, much more so than I am. I know she will able to keep things running to order on the day.
We’re also keeping our fingers crossed for a bit of good weather in the month as we would like to spend some of May’s Bank Holidays in our back garden. We have a seriously overgrown bit of land behind our greenhouse which we’ve had earmarked for a shed for ages and it would be fantastic to get that all cleared out and ready for a shed to be put in. My mother-in-law-to-be also turns sixty in the month so we will definitely be spending some time with her, aswell. My future sister-in-law has some lovely surprises planned for her (again, down to her brilliant organisation skills!).
For these reasons, I’m actually not too sure about how much reading I’m going to get done and I suspect that what I do get around to may be some easy, ‘switch your brain off’ kind of books, but we’ll see! I always say that and then end up getting involved in some chunksters….
I hope everyone has a fantastic May 🙂