April 2020 Wrap-up

Read Yourself Happy

I hope all of you guys are staying healthy and happy during this long quarantine. I know that for a lot of people this is an incredibly stressful time, so please take care of yourself as best you can.

Here are the books I read in April. I didn’t get to as many as I had planned (and I in no way stuck to my TBR – big surprise, right?), but I enjoyed most of the books that I read. Full reviews will be coming soon for all of these except Pisgah National Forest: A History, which I read due to being homesick but with no intention of actually reviewing.

You probably noticed that I haven’t blogged in awhile, which is due to a number of circumstances. Mainly, I’m working on setting up another project which will go live later in the year once everything is ready. I want Read Yourself Happy to focus entirely on books; I may still post some information about mental health and bipolar disorder, but that’s going to be part of my upcoming project, so I’m going to be phasing it out.

This blog might be going through some design changes, so keep an eye out! If you have any recommendations let me know! Also, I decided that I wanted to go back to Read Yourself Happy having its own Instagram account outside of my own, so click here to follow!

One last note: I’m not giving up on sharing the best Kindle deals with you guys, because I take advantage of those deals often. Books are expensive, and I never pass up the chance to save money on them. I didn’t like the aesthetic of posting them as a blog post every day, however, so from now on I’ll have a dedicated Deals page which will be updated daily. If you want to be notified of when the deals are updated, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Books I Read

  • The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson – 4 stars: I enjoyed this fantasy novel far more than I was expecting. The elemental crow magic was unique and kept me incredibly engaged. The physical book is also gorgeous (which doesn’t matter all that much, but it’s a perk!). I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel, The Crow Rider, which is to be released on July 7, 2020.
  • The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel by Jeffrey Lewis – 2 stars: oof, that title. I casually bought this ebook on Kindle when it was on sale for a dollar or two because it involved nuclear war, and morbid lil’ me loves anything apocalyptic. The novel could have been interesting I suppose, and the author definitely did his research in writing this, but the fact that it’s already out of date less than two years after being released says a lot. I didn’t enjoy it, and had to really push myself to finish it.
  • How Not to Be a Hot Mess: A Survival Guide for Modern Life by Craig & Devon Hase – 3 stars: I received a finished copy of this from the publisher, Shambhala, which should have been a hint to me about what this book was about. The authors write about several ideas that can impact your life, which is useful, but I had no idea until reading it that it was going to be based on Buddhist philosophy. I have no problem with that – I was a practicing Buddhist for years and still try to live by Buddhist principles. I was simply surprised that it wasn’t advertised more. The information contained in the book was fine, but I had heard a lot of it before.
  • Pisgah National Forest: A History by Marci Spencer – 3.5 stars: Have I talked enough about how much I love and miss the mountains of western North Carolina yet on this blog? No? I saw this book at my library and snatched it up. I’ve been so homesick the past six months and I jumped on the opportunity to read about one of my favorite parts of the region. While the writing wasn’t great, the information contained within the pages fascinated me and I learned a lot about the history of the areas I’ve spent many hours hiking through.
  • A Pale Light in the Black (NeoG #1) by K.B. Wagers – 4 stars: Harper Voyager sent me a finished copy of this science fiction novel, and I absolutely loved it. It’s hard, military science fiction – as a massive Star Trek fan, I was clearly reading the right thing. The characters in the novel were the best part of the book. This novel is the perfect example of a character-driven story rather than a plot-based story. I can’t wait to share my full review with you guys.
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – 4 stars: I was very skeptical going into this book. I’ve read a lot of reviews of John Green books and they never seemed right for me. When I heard Hannah at A Clockwork Reader review this book so passionately, however, I decided to get a copy and give it a go. It was far from perfect, but the representation of mental illness is incredible. I ended up enjoying it more than I was expecting.
  • The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar – 4 stars: The last book I read in April may have been my favorite. It was nothing like I thought it would be from the title and the cover – it was so much more. The setting, characters, plot, and the magical realism all combined into a perfectly executed and enchanting novel. This is another book that I’m really excited to share my review with you guys on!

Things I Watched

  • I’m currently re-watching Star Trek: Deep Space NineWhile The Next Generation is the best Star Trek series (in my opinion, of course), Deep Space Nine might be my favorite. Or it’s tied with The Next Generation. Either way, I’m loving this rewatch. Things I’ve specifically enjoyed this time around: Jadzia + Worf, Odo finding the Changeling infant, and Sisko’s unsettling laugh.
  • I’ve always resisted watching Star Wars, because I never cared much for the original three films. My boyfriend has talked me into watching all of it (movies and shows) in chronological order of release. I’m keeping an open mind. I want to like it. If nothing else, I will always love this song.

Music I Listened To

hania rani esja.jpg

  • I discovered Hania Rani recently and cannot stop listening to her album Esja. It’s beautiful and atmospheric and perfect.
  • If you guys are interested in the kind of music I listen to, here’s a link to my Spotify Favorites playlist. I’m still not quite done with it, but it’s a pretty decent representation of what I listen to, with the exception of jazz and Afrobeat, which I have completely separate playlists for.

What did you guys read, watch, or listen to in April? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “April 2020 Wrap-up”

  1. (typing this while listening to your playlist 😉 looks niiice!)
    I read quite a bit in April but what stood out were The Goldfinch ( both by size and subject), Vita Nostra ( which completely took me by surprise) a history book and the first volume of a graphic novel , Something is killing the children. I don’t read many graphic novels but this one made me want for more.It’s a horror story as the name suggests and very graphic but I highly recommend it if you’re not squeamish about these things.

    I’ve been listening a lot to a mix of Editors, Max Richter and the Weeknd :)) My taste in music, is, uhmm, eclectic :)). As for movies/tv series.. I am re-watching Brooklyn99

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the playlist! 😍

      I really need to get to The Goldfinch soon, as well as The Secret History. I’ve been putting them off due to their size, but I need to just suck it up and do it, lol!

      I’ll definitely check out that graphic novel! I’m always on the lookout for new horror.


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