March Reads and April Plans

It’s April which means it’s finally spring! Yaay! Although here in Finland, spring means mud, surprise showers of rain/snow/freezing rain/etc., and general grayness, it’s also the time of the year when you start having decent amount of sunlight and occasionally even sunshine. Unfortunately for a student, spring also means endless hours spent in libraries researching one paper whilst writing two others, too many sleep-deprived days, and WAY too many cups of coffee.

However, to counter the previous statement, my March was also a very social one. I had friends visiting me for a few days, with whom I toured around the town to see some of the sights. I attended some kick-ass parties (St. Patrick’s, for one), ate some delicious cakes, saw The Theory of Everything in cinema, and went to a few gigs. I ate some delicious dinners and enjoyed some crazy coffee breaks with other equally-tired students. So all in all, I think my March was a great one. I read 5 books in March, most of which I read during the first week.

Books read in March:

March was also the month of reading more women and more feminist fiction. I guess it all started with Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, which made me fall in love again with essays and novellas (Those are great especially when you don’t have that much time), but after that I started browsing through Amazon, and look for titles that I had marked in my head as “read this! (later)”. And that’s how I found Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. The Awakening is a novella that is set in the late 19th century and follows a young woman, Edna Pontellier, who is on a vacation with her husband and two sons in a wealthy summer resort. Edna appears to be the model wife and mother, but during this particular summer, things start changing – Edna starts changing. The novella follows the main character as she pushes the boundaries of society with her independence as well as her illicit love affairs. Chopin’s writing is absolutely stunning, and I’d definitely recommend it to everyone who is interested in the social expectations towards women in the late 1800s. 4/5 Now that we’re three months into the year, I thought it would be good to check back upon those resolutions and reading goals that I set in the beginning of the year. I’ve listed the challenges and my progression below:

  1. Male/Female ratio: 10/10
  2. Goodreads challenge: 20/50
  3. Big Books: 1/4
  4. Languages: Finnish (4); English (16); Swedish (0); German (0)
  5. Poetry: 0/4
  6. Reading England 2015: 1/7 (+2 Detours)
  7. 15 in 2015: 3/15
  8. TBR 274: 3/20

So far, I’m actually doing quite well with all of the challenges – except poetry. However, I’ve already started reading one collection, so I’ll get there eventually! Looking at the numbers, I was actually very surprised that the male/female ratio was exactly 50/50. At the end of February, the male dominance was quite strong, so I guess the fact that I didn’t read as much classics this month also meant that I was reading more female authors. Huh. I’m still 8 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge, despite the fact that I haven’t finished a book in over two weeks, so completing that one shouldn’t be a problem. The only thing that I feel I’ve been neglecting is the Reading England 2015 challenge. I’ll try to step up my game with that, but lately I’ve been more drawn towards American classics, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

April TBR:

  • Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell (currently-reading)
  • Edith Södergran – poems and aforisms (currently-reading) (Swedish)
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (currently-reading)
  • William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • Open Secrets by Alice Munro
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren (Swedish)
  • Maa on syntinen laulu by Timo K. Mukka (Finnish)
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Ok yes, I know this is impossible for me at the moment, but this is my immediate TBR. I started reading Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four about two weeks ago, but unfortunately I only managed to read 80 pages before life kicked in. So now I’m going back to the beginning and starting all over again – hopefully this time I’ll be more successful! As for the poetry collection, I’ve been taking my time with it. Because the collection includes all of Edith Södergran’s published works, it will probably take me the whole month to go through it, but it’s also something nice to dip into every now and again. Lastly, I started reading Treasure Island yesterday on a whim, and it’s actually quite exciting. I can definitely see why it’s a classic!

One of the most exciting things in April is the fact that the next installment in the Shakespeare’s Star Wars series will be released! I was lucky enough to get an early copy from the publisher and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to crack it open and explore this strange and exciting world of Shakespeare in space. The rest of the books on my TBR are all books that I checked out from the library early in March but that I had to renew because I was unable to read any of them within the month. So I hope to read as many as I can out of those before they are due back. Most of the titles are from my TBR 274 list and I am equally excited to read all of them! I’ll be traveling a lot during the Easter vacation, so I plan on using that time to plow through some of these.

How was your March? Did you read anything exciting? Let me know in the comments! Good luck to all of my fellow students and happy Easter to you all! x


6 thoughts on “March Reads and April Plans

  1. Delighted to see you discovered The Awakening. Fabulous story. Though it wasn’t rated so highly at the time of publication, poor Chopin was given a hard time wasn’t she?

  2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao…if you say it’s good,I’ll read it.
    I’m curious why it has been praised so much!

    And you’re opinion on Treasure Island will be interesting as well! I got the opportunity to buy it at a cheap price,but I feared it might be too quaint….

  3. I love the way in which you organise your reading and your inclusion of the stats! Sounds like you had a fabulous March, and I hope your April is just as enjoyable! 🙂

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