April 2020 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

Not surprisingly, I went no further than Brussels in April 2020, and that was only once to deliver essential supplies to two colleagues who had joined just as lockdown hit. We met in the open air by the monument to the brave carrier pigeons of the first world war.

I kept up my ten-day plague posts…

…and also my occasional videos about our village.

The last Sunday of the month was my birthday, and I had a virtual party on Zoom to which dozens of friends and relatives came. It was very affirming.

I read 28 books that month.

Non-fiction: 4 (YTD 21)
The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara
The European Parliament, by Francis Jacobs, Richard Corbett and Michael Shackleton
Becoming Superman: My Journey From Poverty to Hollywood, by J. Michael Straczynski
The French Connection, by Robin Moore

Fiction (non-sf): 3 (YTD 10)
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
Muddy Lane, by Andrew Cheffings
The Long Song, by Andrea Levy

sf (non-Who): 14 (YTD 56)
The Wind on the Moon, by Eric Linklater
Minor Mage, by T. Kingfisher
Prophet of Bones, by Ted Kosmatka
The Wicked King, by Holly Black
The Moomins and the Great Flood, by Tove Jansson
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsin Muir
A Woman in Space, by Sara Cavanagh
Catfishing on Catnet, by Naomi Kritzer
The Deep, by Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes
Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson – did not finish
Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee
The First Men in the Moon, by H. G. Wells
The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Comics: 7 (YTD 13)
Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Wiske, by Willy Vandersteen
Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Barabas, by Willy Vandersteen
LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin
Torchwood: World Without End, by John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, Antonio Fuso and Pasquale Qualano
The Heralds of Destruction, by Paul Cornell and Christopher Jones

7,800 pages (YTD 28,500)
14/28 (YTD 37/106) by non-male writers (O’Meara, Levy, “Kingfisher” [Vernon], Black, Jansson, Muir, Cavanaugh, Kritzer, Solomon, Lowry, Xu/Walker, Liu/Takeda, Okorafor/Ford, Barrowman)
5/28 (YTD 13/106) by PoC (Levy, Solomon/Diggs, Xu, Liu/Takeda, Okorafor)

I particularly loved Catfishing on CatNet, which you can get here, and The Lady from the Black Lagoon, which you can get here.

A Woman in Space, by “Sara Cavanaugh” (surely a pseudonym) is so bad that it must be deliberate. You can get it here.