April 13, 2023

April Wrap Up Pt. 1

I can't believe we are almost halfway through April! I'm not ready! I have finished 4 books so far this month, so I'll give you those reviews now.


A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe by Mark Dawidziak - I knew a little about Poe. He married his cousin and died in a gutter in Baltimore. Well, yes and no. He did marry his cousin who was like 12 at the time, but he called her sissy and was more concerned about her education and welfare and they lived with her mother/his aunt. He did die in Baltimore, but in an actual hospital. The rumor is he was drunk. The new thinking is that he died of brain fevor caused by Tuberculosis. His mother, brother, and wife all died of TB and he was definitely exposed. This book was set up so it starts with his last days. There are three days unaccounted for before he was found in Baltimore in a stupor and raving and wearing some other man's clothing. Then it goes back to his childhood. So it's working backward from his death and forward through his life until the two timelines meet up. I really enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about the man.


News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Firstly, I was so excited to read nonfiction by GGM and he did not disappoint. His fiction is full of magical realism and flowery imagery, but his nonfiction is straightforward and clear. In 1991, there were a series of Colombian journalists kidnapped by a drug lord who was trying to coerce the government into guaranteeing him non-extradition to the U.S. if he turned himself in. The ruling body that could make that decision was torn between giving in to the drug cartels and getting back these journalists who were frequently relatives of members of the government. The whole thing went on way longer than anyone thought it would and one of the journalists died. It is harrowing to read and sometimes hard to keep the members of the cast apart. But the peek into South American way of life and how the government operated was fascinating.


Midlife Bites: Is Anyone Else Falling Apart or Is It Just Me? by Jen Mann - This was pretty funny for what it was, but I don't share a lot of her feelings about being middle aged. When she got to middle age, she got depressed and angry. I have been depressed and angry my whole life, so that hasn't really changed. Mann got to age 47 without her body turning against her so when that happened, it was a surprise and she felt betrayed. My body started being an asshole at about age 30, and I've got such a laundry list of illnesses that I am thankful for each birthday I make it to and I can still get out of bed. Each chapter has a suggestion for things to do to combat each of the things she was unhappy about, and I have pretty much already found those things out. It was fun to read her perspective, but it wasn't anything new for me.


House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas - Does this book have 800 pages? Yes. Did it take me a month and a half to read it? Also yes. But did I enjoy it? I did! The last 100-150 pages really flew by. I thought we had resolved the problem at page 700, but no! Bryce opens a door and a whole new problem has appeared. Bryce is a young half-fae, half-human who has not recovered from the brutal murder of her best friend 2 years ago. The leader of the city hired her to search for the missing Horn that is said to be magical but broken that went missing around the time her friend was killed. The mayor-person sends his slave-angel Hunt to be her bodyguard while see searches. Hunt is a centuries old angel who was enslaved a couple centuries back and has to do the mayor's bidding which usually means murdering his enemies. He is known as the Umbra Mortis because he always wins. He's scary, but Bryce no longer cares and is as snarky to him as to any other male who thinks he can control her. Nobody ever talks about how this book is a mystery as well as a fantasy and kind of a romance. That was an excellent piece of the whole thing and the twists involved in that were fabulous. I can't wait to read the next one.

So those are the four books I have finished this month. I think I only actually started one of them in April. Mostly they were carryovers from last month. But they definitely count for April reading.

Tomorrow I'll tell you what I have lined up for the next week.