April 2022 Check In

So Much to Do and So Little Time – My April 2022 Wrap Up

Posted May 2, 2022 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Good morning everyone!

April went by so fast. Just me? I feel like I entered this month with so many plots and plans and suddenly it was April 29th and I was building my monthly touch base agendas for the month and now I’m writing this wrap up. When I really think about it, I believe April was more just busy than it was short (because, you know, all months are the same length give or take a couple days). If I didn’t have something going on over the weekend, it was a work event or dramatics during the week. It’s nice to look back, reflect, and feel a lot of stuff was accomplished over the month. And it was, it really was!

So I’m sitting in a new coffee shop I found to write this – it’s a coffee shop and “cupcakery” which isn’t an actual word but definitely should be. I’ve mostly finished a “Chunky Monkey” smoothie bowl (I a newly in love with smoothie bowls) and am drinking iced green tea and casually catching nearby Pokémon in Pokémon Go… and writing this post. I’m trying to fill this last morning of April with positivity because before this, I was lying in bed procrastinating getting up because I know I have to work at some point this weekend and loves, I am so tired of working weekends. Even though it’s often just for an hour or two, it puts a shroud over the entire weekend. No bueno.

So for two hours, I’m choosing to munch on tasty things and forget all that.

Reading | Readathons & Reading Challenges | Writing | Blog | Life | What’s Next

Earlier in April, I was in a good place with my diversity reading balance, so I let myself jump into sequels that have been in my TBR for a while. Unfortunately, almost all of these are by white authors so I got myself unbalanced quickly. So. In that manner, I’m a bit disappointed in myself, but I’m going to fix it in May.

10 books found
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu

★★

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

★★★★★

City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

★★★★½

★★★★★

ExtraOrdinary by V. E. Schwab

★★★★

Our Way Back to Always

★★★★

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

★★★★½

This is My America by Kim Johnson

★★★★½

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

★★★★★

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

★★


This month, I leaned toward emotional books! That’s right – I broke the flow of constantly reading adventurous books above all else. I think it was a good change, because it means I was mostly reading different things and that keeps my reading fresh, you know?  In fact, “adventurous” doesn’t even pop up in my top three! After emotional, I read mostly reflective and sad books! So that’s… different for me. I don’t think “sad” has ever made the list. I favored medium-paced books as usual and read mostly medium-length books. Although I finished my Classical Mythology lecture set, I otherwise read mostly fiction books in April.  For the most part, I read young adult books in April, but I also read several books that were in the historical, fantasy, and contemporary genres. I generally indulged in audiobooks and ended up with an average 4.03 star rating, so you know it was a decent month.

For audiobooks, I really enjoyed Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It was a bit of an unexpected victor in that way – I didn’t know much about it before I started reading it, but it’s so unique and refreshing and character-focused… it absolutely stole my heart. My hardcopy reads were less exciting this month. I liked Our Way Back to Always best by far! In the audiobook zone, Rebel Angels is worth mentioning as well – I really, really enjoyed it, but part of that may just have been joy at returning to Libba Bray.

Whelp. I would have made my goal this month if I hadn’t dragged my feet so hard on The Midnight Girls. I even made it easy on myself – ExtraOrdinary is a comic book collection, making it a quick, easy read. I just can’t get myself into The Midnight Girls and I still haven’t finished it! I’m about halfway through and if I have extra time today, I may drag myself through the rest. It’s not so bad I want to DNF it, it’s just… *sigh* it’s another one of those books with a really interesting premise that is a romance instead of a story about magic, growth, etc. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it – I just keep reading it and thinking about all the different paths that could be taken.

3 books found
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu

★★

ExtraOrdinary by V. E. Schwab

★★★★

Our Way Back to Always

★★★★

A good variety of reads this month at least. A science fiction comic book, a contemporary dealing with grief, and a historical fiction murder cover-up. The only one that really stood out was Our Way Back to Always – I kept both that one and ExtraOrdinary. I ended up donating Bad Girls Never Say Die because it wasn’t… I don’t know. I had issues with the character development and story balance. It wasn’t for me!

I also only ended up with one book in the haul this month – An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while – preorder!

Progess! My free time still only allows me to write when I’m with my crit partner, but such progress in April! Almost 2000 words! I’m still in the darned court scene, but it’s moving along and it’s moving well. I changed the name of my true villains mask and I think that was a good idea – the other one was really bothering me.

I’m looking at continuing and hopefully finishing (hahaha) that scene in May. We have another date at the same coffee shop! It’s more of a cafe/coffee shop hybrid, but I really liked it and so did she. I think, after months, she and I may have finally found “our place”. We both had a very productive session. I’m working with the witnesses at the moment and it’s developing nicely. Okay, so I know Mackenzie Lee is an historically problematic author, but for those who have read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I have my Richard Peele! Her name is Ammitté and she came about entirely unintentionally and I am delighted. De. Lighted.

I haven’t had a terribly lot of time or mental energy to devote to blog expansions this month but I did take a day one week to go through a few older posts and update them to modern design. This included research on three new authors for problematicness, and they all came out clean! The more good ones I find the more I’m reminded I need to create a complete index.

What’s New on the Problematic Authors page?

Only one new add this month, and it’s a Code Orange that’s leaning toward red. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie may write powerful things for women and the Black community, but I can’t ignore how deliberately she avoids conversation about trans women and her failure to apologize for her behavior.

What’s New on the Diverse Reading List page?

One new list this month, but it’s a good one because there aren’t as many reading lists out there for good disability reads. Meeghan over at Meeghan Reads has shared a new list of own voices books about autism! Definitely check it out and add the books to your reading list.

All the Posts You May Have Missed…

April was generally a low-key social month, and May will be as well. Once we get to Memorial Day weekend, though? Things are going to be kicking up! I spent most the month trying to keep my head… some days more successfully than others. Work constantly lives rent-free in my head and my director says I “borrow trouble” which is honestly the most accurate definition of how I live my life that I’ve ever heard.

So April may not be big things, but it was small good things, so let’s look at those!

  1. I discovered two new coffee shops. One is close to me, the other less so, but they both have tasty food and good working conditions.
  2. We onboarded a new hire at work at the end of the month and she’s positively wonderful. You never really know until they start, and I can tell already she’s going to make my life easy.
  3. I’ve been getting back into Pokémon Go? Mattie would contest that this is a “good” thing, but it’s getting me out of the house to participate in events and I think that is good, especially with how nice the weather has been lately.
  4. I got a new laptop bag for my MacBook Air and I love it. It’s a style and design I’ve been eyeing for a while and it unexpectedly went on liquidation clearance and now it is mine.

There have been some bad things too, so I’m going to be a bit realistic. Major car issues that cost more than I wanted to spend right now. We found out our older kitty has hyperthyroidism and it’s kinda a big deal and I’m constantly worried about him. It’s also really expensive to deal with so that’s another stress, along with trying to get him into a veterinary hospital that can treat it. They’re all back-booked by months and right now it looks like maybe August. I worry.

Trying not to think about those things, though. Thinking about the good things and doing the best we can.

Haha, so. Remember that Pachinko book vs. movie I touted in March’s wrap up? I forgot I’d moved it to May for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Oops! That’s coming for real though! In a couple weeks. We’re also getting close to winding down the Disney posts on Fridays. I ended up cutting a few of them because … honestly, time is a struggle and I wanted to limited the posts. There’s a handful more dining posts coming because that’s a series on the blog, and then I wanted to talk about the Keys to the Kingdom… most specifically, the newer “Inclusion Key”.

Definitely an interesting mix of books and genres in that set. I bet none of y’all have even heard of Eddie and the Cruisers. I loved the movie growing up and read the book a LONG time ago. It’s out of print and not easy to find… I remember it being very different from the movie? I also feel like it may not last on the shelf!

send me your thoughts

How was your last month?

Did you read anything good, travel anywhere fun, or practice self-care? Whatever you did, I want to hear all about it!

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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