Books!, Calendar Girls, Recommendations, Signal Boost

Calendar Girls: April 2021

Hey all, Dani here.

Hey, it’s April already, somehow. Okay, wow. Well April is also Camp NaNoWriMo, so I’m trying to work on my novel this month, with a goal of writing 30,000 words this month. Speaking of writing, I wrote an almost 15,000 word story about some parts of my one D&D character’s backstory, which really ended up helping me understand her as a character a lot better, which in turn has made my roleplay better and given my DM more ways to incorporate her and her past contacts into the story. It’s really cool.

Anyway, it is the first Monday of the Month and that means it is once again time for a Calendar Girls post.

Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, and then it was being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs. Okay, so pretty much everyone is on a hiatus due to COVID-19 and all the stresses that brings, so I’m hosting Calendar Girls on my own for a little bit.

So if you link back to me, I can keep track of all the book picks and posts each month. Thanks, everyone!

First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.

Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and the hostess will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!

Oh, and you don’t have to identify as female to join the Calendar Girls. We welcome readers of all types. So if this sounds like fun for you, join us in all of the fun bookish conversations.

So, without further ado, the April theme is…

National Tell a Story Day

Favorite Quick Read/Favorite Book You Can Read in a Day

Welcome to another month with a theme that makes it difficult for me to choose a winner. This is a theme that can vary depending on what type of reader you are. I participate in various 24 hour readathons or weekend readathons throughout the year, and during those events it is not at all uncommon for me to read roughly 10 books…unless I’m binge-reading volumes of manga, in which case I can read 20+ in a day. So choosing a fave book that can be read in a day means something quite different for me than it would for some other readers.

So while looking at this theme, I thought it best to look at shorter reads when it comes to physical length, because those books are most likely to be quick reads for most readers.

The problem is that I really like all of these novellas, and The Midnight Library which is technically a short novel.

Obviously I love Seanan McGuire and her Wayward Children series is one that I’ve been hooked on from the very beginning. Okay, I will say that I think that I am obsessed with Middlegame just a little bit more, but that book won’t be a quick read for everyone, and her Over the Woodward Wall novella release is better understood if you’ve already read Middlegame so I’m not including that here. Anyway, with the Wayward Children series we get some amazing portal fantasy reads that average right around 200 pages each. We get to see all these adventures with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. The original premise of the books was these people who go to this special home/school after going on some sort of odd adventure…basically like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, or Wendy from Peter Pan, or the Pevensies from the Chronicles of Narnia…but after they’ve come home from their adventure in another place. Because coming home not everyone will believe the stories you tell. Anyway, there are now six books in the series and I have pretty much immediately devoured every one I’ve picked up.

Then there’s the novella This is How You Lose the Time War, which is just a delightful read. The two POVs and their different perspectives were captivating to read, and to see how their tales intertwined as they hopped through time, while being on opposite sides of a war, and the banter and flirting and all that. I actually probably need to read this book again.

Next, I feel like I need to mention the Murderbot series. Now, I’ll be completely honest, I’ve only read the first one, but I’m HOOKED. I just picked up novellas 2-4 and novel 1 (which is the fifth installment of the series) over the weekend, so I’m hoping to go on a Murderbot binge soon. But how can you not enjoy a robot that isn’t supposed to feel or care or act contrary to his programming, and yet somehow he does? Murderbot’s thought processes and commentary are just super amusing.

I really wanted to choose Upright Women Wanted for my pick this month. I read it about a year ago, and it was awesome, plus dealt with lesbian librarians on horseback, which was just such a cool concept for me. I enjoyed the story immensely…and honestly if Sarah Gailey wanted to turn this into a series, then I would totally buy and read them all.

However…I have to choose The Midnight Library as my pick for a quick read/book that can be read in a day. It’s a shorter novel, just under 300 pages, and I absolutely flew through it. This was my first Matt Haig read, but I have since picked up How to Stop Time, though I still need to read it. Anyway just the concept of this story was so fascinating to me. Our protagonist starts with having a pretty rough day and then when she is about to die, she arrives at the Midnight Library, where she is given the opportunity to change her life. She is given the chance to explore what would happen if she had made different choices like staying with a man instead of breaking up with him, or traveling to Australia with a friend instead of staying at home, and on and on. She lives in those alternate life paths until she begins to get dissatisfied again and then she’s back in the library.

Basically I read this while on vacation last October and I didn’t want to stop reading it. I honestly think I did read it all in one day. Yep, just checked on my Goodreads…I read this all in one day.

Other Calendar Girls Posts to Check Out

Ashley at Inside My Minds:

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