What I Read in April 2023

Happy Saturday, everyone!

April has come and gone, and we’ve made it to May! Which is kind of sad, honestly, because intense paper writing and sleep deprivation and me nearly dying in an avalanche – more on that later πŸ˜… – aside, my April was actually pretty cool!

First off, I went to see my family for Easter, and although I stuffed myself with way too many eggs, chocolate, and food in general, it was so nice to be home. Second off, one of my closest friends and her boyfriend came to visit me from the Netherlands during my second week of Easter break, which gave me an excuse to go on a whole bunch of neat trips in order to show off the Alps a little. To give you a bit of an impression, too, here are a few highlights:

Highlight #1: Hiking

Obviously, the first thing I did was drag my guests off to some of my favorite hiking spots! Or, at least, my favorite flatter spots… My original plan had actually been to go all the way up a mountain, but the weather was pretty terrible, making mountaineering a bit dangerous, and I also realized that what I thought was an easy, flat hike was apparently already “really steep and exhausting” by Dutch standards. Whoops! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Highlight #2: Schloss Neuschwanstein

Although Schloss Neuschwanstein is quite possibly THE most famous landmark in my country, I had actually never been there up until now. I always figured it couldn’t be that different from Germany’s thousands of other castles and that all the tourists there would probably make visiting a nightmare…

But I was wrong! After seeing it in person, I have found my dream home! 😍 (Well, I still need to figure out how I’m going to afford it and get rid of the tourists, but that’s a minor issue, right?) The location is breathtakingly beautiful! The interior design is based on literature and music! There are lots of reading nooks! Even if my friend said this castle is the kitschiest thing she’s ever seen, I don’t care. IT’S EPIC!

Highlight #3: Salzburg

Whenever I go to Salzburg, it’s usually for concerts or shopping rather than sightseeing purposes, so it was actually kind of fun to do all the touristy stuff! Although, we did have a huge scare on the way back when we realized that Germany had decided to do a random border control before letting our train back into the country and that one of my friends had forgotten his ID… However, we apparently radiated enough good-EU-citizen energy to convince the police to accept his driver’s license instead, so it ended up being fine!

Highlight #4: More Hiking

Saved from the fate of having to stay in Austria forever, my friends eventually returned to the Netherlands and I went back to teaching. However, since I was determined to take advantage of my long weekend at the end of April – May 1st is a public holiday here – my Alpine explorations were not over! Through a mixture of not sleeping much, not reading much, and going radio silent on this blog (Sorry! πŸ₯Ί), I managed to have a full Sunday to myself!!!

Which very nearly ended up being my last Sunday to myself because I am a dumb idiot. Like, seriously, seriously dumb. You know those people who end up dying because they think it’s a good idea to film an incoming tsunami? Well, that’s literally me:

That’s where the footage ends, my friends, because the minute I realized that the avalanche was not – like I had naΓ―vely misjudged – staying contained to the top shelf of the mountain, I started fucking running. My old PE teacher would’ve been proud because I must’ve flown across 300 meters of slope in about 20 seconds!

But yeah… I spent the rest of the day in a marvelous mood after having achieved a weirdly giddy state of not being dead and realizing I actually quite liked being alive. Nevertheless, a word of advice from an expert: When you see an avalanche, run immediately.

Highlight #5: Books!

I may not have read a lot in April, but last month was still by far the best reading month I’ve had in ages! I loved almost everything I picked up and didn’t hate anything at all, which is definitely a tremendous improvement on the first quarter of 2023! Honestly, if the rest of this year turns out like April reading-wise, I’d be thrilled!

So let’s get into what I read, shall we?

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee (5/5 Stars)

Clearly, I don’t know what’s good for me… People have been recommending The Green Bone Saga to me for years, but since you guys said it was about a gang war and I didn’t think I was interested in gang wars, I kept putting it off. Until now.

Heavily inspired by Asian history, The Jade War is the start to a fantasy trilogy taking place on the island of Kekon, the sole place in the world where a rare type of jade that grants magical abilities to its bearer can be found. Only those with the right heritage, training, and political power have access to jade – first and foremost amongst them the Kauls, ruling family of one of Jenloon’s biggest Green Bone clans. However, in a rapidly changing, post-war metropolis, nothing is guaranteed. Foreign influence is starting to make its mark, old alliances are crumbling, and simmering tension eventually erupts into brutal violence that threatens to change the path of an entire nation.

You guys!!! This was so, so good!! After the mess that was Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights, Jade City showed me that, if you actually take your politics seriously, flesh out your world building, and develop your characters with nuance, gang stories can be positively epic! While I was initially a bit skeptical about all of the different POVs in the book, I had soon fallen so in love with every single character that I didn’t care whose perspective I was reading from. Hilo’s stubborn hot-headedness and devotion to his people had me alternately loving him and wanting to strangle him. Shae’s no-nonsense attitude and her struggle between choosing the path she wanted and fulfilling her duty to her family instantly made me adore her. Lan and Anden were basically my soulmates. And fine, I guess there’s also Bero, whom I didn’t like, but you’ve gotta have some greedy idiots who make things interesting, right?

Anyway, I have no complaints whatsoever. Jade City is extremely political and beautifully ties together themes like family, loyalty, and power. It kept surprising me with its twists and turns – If you know, you know! 😭 – and, despite having a pretty intricate plot, was mostly slower-paced and character-driven. It basically did everything right!

Im Westen nichts Neues by Erich Maria Remarque (5/5 Stars)

[The title of the English translation of this book is All Quiet on the Western Front, but I read the German original.]

Germany snagging an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film is not exactly a frequent occurrence, so suddenly, EVERYONE here was talking about this book. Which also led to me discovering that it was not, as I had incorrectly assumed all my life, a Western novel. My previous aversion to reading it had been entirely unfounded!

(The German title literally translates to Nothing New in the West, alright? AND I remembered seeing my dad’s old copy on the same shelf some of his terrible Karl May Westerns at one point! My misconception was an honest mistake anyone would’ve made! πŸ˜…)

Anyway, All Quiet on the Western Front is actually about a young soldier, Paul BΓ€umer, who is sent to fight for Germany during World War I. Over the course of several years, Paul fears for his life, watches his friends drop dead around him, and is forced to kill over and over again. Originally an enthusiastic schoolboy eager to enlist, Paul soon realizes that war is nothing like the romantic version he was taught about in history lessons – and that his generation will never be the same again.

This book, you guys, is possibly the best anti-war book I have ever read. It shies away from absolutely nothing, hitting you in the face with the most horrific details imaginable. And yet there is also so much humanity in it. Paul sneaking out with a friend to steal geese. A husband’s reunion with his wife in a hospital room. Paul having a panic attack after being forced to kill a French printer.

I loved how dark, brutally honest, and philosophical this book was. I loved how it made me grin about the relationship Paul had with his friends. I loved how it reduced me to tears when I read about Paul coming home for vacation and being unable to open up to his family about what the situation on the front really looked like. This is definitely a story I would recommend checking out, and I know I’ll be returning to it again in the future, too.

(Although maybe not in movie form because I probably won’t be able to stomach watching it… No amount of Oscars in the world are going to convince me that that’s a good idea! 😬 But if you’ve seen the movie, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!)

Das Versprechen by Friedrich DΓΌrrenmatt (4/5 Stars)

[The title of the English translation of this novella is The Pledge, but I read the German original.]

Having loved every single one of the Swiss author’s plays I’d seen performed on stage, I figured I might as well give DΓΌrrenmatt’s prose a try when I found The Pledge in one of my parents’ bookshelves while on the hunt for All Quiet on the Western Front. And I was so pleasantly surprised! I guess some prejudiced part of me had still expected this to be some stuffy old classic, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Deeply psychological, the novella tells the story of a police officer who becomes consumed by one of his cases. After finding the gruesomely disfigured body of a young girl in the woods, Inspector Matthai pledges to her parents that he will do everything within his power to find out who murdered their daughter. A promise he intends to keep even when the man who confessed to the crime dies in jail – because Matthai believes he was innocent. Once a respected man predestined for a star career, Matthai loses his job, withdraws from his friends and family, and wastes away in the countryside with only one goal in mind: Laying a trap for the killer he knows is still out there.

To say I was invested in this story is an understatement. After I got through the first few pages of frame narrative, I was totally hooked! Seeing an idealistic perfectionist driven to ruin by how much he cared about his job made me reflect quite considerably on my own workaholic tendencies, and I was also very invested in the crime fiction aspect of the story. Like Matthai, I kept having my doubts about whether the killer was still out there or not, but then there’d be these clues that had me re-obsess about this case all over again…

Still, The Pledge didn’t quite manage to sneak its way into my all-time favorites. There is nothing I would explicitly criticize, but it was just lacking that special something that makes me adore a book so much that I can’t think of anything else for days on end. Maybe the ending was slightly too clunkily written. Maybe I would’ve preferred if we had gotten Matthai’s story directly, rather than experiencing it through the eyes of a stranger who is told about Matthai by one of his former colleagues. Maybe it was so short that I didn’t get to spend as much time with the characters as I would’ve liked. I’m not sure what it was, but despite this book being excellent, I felt like it was missing something!

Beartown (Beartown #1) by Fredrik Backman (5/5 Stars)

[The original title of this is BjΓΆrnstad, but I read the English translation by Neil Smith because my Swedish still sucks big time…]

SJHGSAHASHAXPXSOJJKWGZWWAA!!!!!! πŸ₯° Guys, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to form coherent thoughts on this one… If Beartown doesn’t end up becoming my favorite book of 2023, I’m going to be seriously surprised!

Still, let’s give this a try: Beartown is about Beartown, a community deep within the northern Swedish forest that hardly anyone ever moves to and that hardly anyone is able to get away from. But Beartowners have something in common: They live and breathe ice hockey, and they are sure that, this year, their junior team will put them on the map again. But then, the night after the semi-final, something happens. A violent act giving rise to trauma, bitter accusations, and a town in turmoil.

Easily the darkest and most introspective Fredrik Backman book I have read so far, Beartown slowly but surely snared me into its clutches and never let me go again. What with the novel including the point of view of pretty much every single townsperson and absolutely nothing happening for the longest time, it makes no sense for me to have already loved it from the get-go, but I did. I loved slowly getting to understand these people, seeing how complicated and messy and human they were, realizing how much their sport united and divided them, and coming to terms with the fact that the world can be unfair, difficult, and horrible, but beautiful all the same.

Truth be told, the only reason I wasn’t a complete and total mess reading this was because I had to keep up my stoic, unemotional robot faΓ§ade to avoid any interactions with other train passengers who might have seen me sniffling – I read the majority of the book on the ride back from my parents’ place after Easter. Internally, though, I was in deep turmoil, wanting to shake sense into some of these characters, hug others (Benji!!! 😭πŸ₯°πŸ˜­), and fix the state of the world in general. I am not okay!!

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune (3.5/5 Stars)

[I listened to this as an audiobook; the narrator was Kirt Graves.]

After loving T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, I was itching to read another book by the author. Which is why Under the Whispering Door became my chosen cooking companion for the month of April!

Every bit as wholesome as The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whispering Door follows Wallace Price, a self-absorbed corporate lawyer who ends up in a mismatched tea shop on his way to afterlife. Accompanied by the reaper who picked Wallace up from his funeral, the good-looking tea shop owner who promises to help Wallace cross, and the tea shop owner’s deceased grandfather and dog, Wallace must learn to accept his death and come to terms with the life he led before it.

Despite Under the Whispering Door being almost eye-rollingly warm and fuzzy, I didn’t wholeheartedly love it like I did The House in the Cerulean Sea, though. Which I think might be because, apart from the found family element and some rather surface level death- and mental health-discussions, it had very little to offer. Considering how huge of an asshole Wallace Price was during his lifetime, he turned over a new postmortem leaf astoundingly quickly, and I also found it thoroughly unrealistic how Charon’s Crossing’s inhabitants welcomed him so much more enthusiastically than they did other ghosts. You’re just going to accept Wallace whining about being dead, but when a murder victim does the same thing, you’re going to complain about how annoying he is and hope he moves on soon???

Still, even though I thought Under the Whispering Door‘s plot and character development were mediocre at best, I couldn’t help but get invested in Wallace’s story. It was predictable, but comforting and reflective, and I had a really good time with it!

At this point, I’m just going to stop apologizing for my bad blog hopping skills because they seem to get worse every month. Or did I just imagine that I used to have way more time to keep up with everyone??? Probably… However, out of the posts I did somehow manage to read, these were my favorites:

  • Janette @ Wicked Witch’s Blog did the Never Have I Ever Book Tag, which I can never get enough of. I just love reading about all your controversial bookish deeds, okay?! 😎
  • Sophie @ Me & Ink compiled an extensive list of books about writers. Since something about this trope just speaks to the book nerd within me, I know for a fact that I will be returning to these recommendations many, many times! ✍🏽
  • Nefeli @ Biblio Nebula did the Little Women Book Tag and explained why it was most definitely related to Easter! πŸ‘­πŸ‘­
  • Lila @ Hardcover Haven did the Functions Book Tag and added even more mathematical trivia to it!! Who wouldn’t be excited about their tag suddenly getting an entire section on coordinate system usage? πŸ‘©β€πŸ«πŸ˜
  • Vee @ Vee_Bookish asked some extremely valid questions they had while watching Shadow and Bone, Season 2 and had me cackling about how on point they were! πŸ¦‹
  • Robyn @ Voice of Reason wrote a beautifully honest and affirmative post about the privilege of being weird. πŸ’™
  • Abby @ Beyond the Read celebrated her three year blogiversary in a blogosphere appreciation post that nearly reduced me to tears! πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯°πŸ₯Ί
  • Line @ First Line Reader came up with the most brilliant idea ever and had book villains answer WordPress prompts. Go read the post, it’s genius! 😈

And that was it for today! If you’ve read any of the books I featured here, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do we agree on anything? Do we disagree? Did you have a good April without any dumb close shaves with death? I would love to know!

24 thoughts on “What I Read in April 2023

  1. Niv says:

    Okay. Alps as in THE ALPS?! from Heidi? WOW. I have fantasized living on a mountain top there for about 6 years now. The hiking spots are gorgeous.Heaven. Everything is so surreal. I think however you take a photo there, it comes out perfect? 😭✨
    And the avalanche incident- ohmygosh. It sounded sooo fun. I LIVE for such adrenaline rushes.
    I want to read more of Fredrick Backman, I didn’t actually get crazy over A man called Ove, given it’s hype. I’m reading Anxious People now, it’s fun so far. His writing style is really witty.
    And ‘A house in the cerulean sea’, i stopped reading after 10 pages or smth.😬
    By the sound of it, you’ve had an awesome April, though it was busy.
    Hope you have a great May!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The hiking spots are definitely one of the coolest parts about living here! Although I’d say the photos usually only turn out stunning when I’m not in them – my maniacal serial-killer-selfie-smile can ruin even the most gorgeous backdrop 😁

      Also, even though the avalanche incident probably gave me the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever had in my life, I don’t think I’d necessarily use the word “fun” to describe it πŸ˜… I seriously thought I was going to die when I saw just how much snow was cascading in my direction!

      And while I haven’t read A Man Called Ove yet, I do really love Anxious People! So I hope you enjoy it, too! πŸ₯° If you do, there’s also an excellent adaptation on Netflix πŸ˜‰

      Anyway, a great May to you as well, and thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    I loved reading about your adventures this month and I would love to go on all this hikes, except maybe the part with the avalanche (eek! ). Glad you got out of there safely, I bet that got your heart rate up!
    Of course, I am soo happy you had a good quality reading month! I didn’t know how much I wanted you to love Jade City until I clicked on this post and saw the 5* rating!! I am soooo incredibly happy you enjoy it. It is one of my favourite books and you can’t help getting drawn to the characters. And yes, the tears 😭😭 that chapter has been printed into my mind ever since, how it happened felt very human and I loved it for that writing decision.
    Thank you for sharing my post! ❀️ Hope you enjoy the books 😁
    Have a wonderful May (with less avalanches) πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      My heart rate was definitely going crazy! I think it took at least half an hour for it to go back to normal, especially since I was extremely out of breath after all that sprinting and the realization of just how close my brush with death had been 😬 So yeah, I don’t recommend that part, either, but the other hikes were great!

      That chapter destroyed me!! 😭 I’ve never seen an author so casually go through with doing something like that to a POV character, and the fact that I wasn’t expecting it made it hit so much harder! So yeah, I loved that writing decision as well, even if it broke me! πŸ’š

      Finally, thanks again for sharing that list! I definitely intend to make use of it, so of course I had to share it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vee_bookish says:

    Ahhh thank you for the tag (I do use they/them pronouns just an fyi πŸ˜‚)

    You hiked SO MUCH, you gotta start playing Pokemon Go or something, you’d be a master at it within a week

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re welcome! And I’m so sorry – I feel like you might even have mentioned that before and I was just too caught up in school stress to remember, so I’ll change the pronouns immediately! πŸ’™

      And lol, I think I’m actually kind of lucky that I had my old phone that was incapable of supporting any more complex apps without crashing back when PokΓ©mon Go came out πŸ˜‚ That game is exactly the kind of thing I’d become really addicted to! So it’s probably better that I just got a taste by stealing my brother’s phone from time to time, otherwise I would be even more behind on work than I already am πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‡


  4. Line @First Line Reader says:

    Well, I guess I’m glad you’re even here to tell us about all these 5-star books you read in April πŸ˜‚ Filming an avalanche? At least you know how you’re going to die now πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…

    But I’m really glad your reading luck seems to be turning around (no, I’m not the least bit jealous). Three 5-stars in one month?? That will never happen to me.

    I’m probably still giving Jade City a pass because the characters you described sound exactly like what I expected from a story about gangs so I doubt that I’ll like all the POV characters like you did 😬

    I don’t think I’ve read All Quiet on the Western Front but I know we talked about it in school (we watched the old movie and maybe also read parts of it). Because it had that air of forced-to-read-for-school, I’ve always avoided it after that πŸ˜… I did watch the new movie though and I hated it so much. I’m extremely upset about the fact that it won that Oscar because all it did was look good 😀

    Being a little under halfway through Britt-Marie, I’m still undecided whether I will read more Backman but I’m glad you’ve already found your favorite book of the year ☺️ It does sound very you!

    And thank you for calling my post genius. I feel very validated now considering the idea was a little out there πŸ˜…πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, actually, I’d say me dying while filming an avalanche is out of the question now 😜 Trust me, I have learnt my lesson and never want to experience one up close ever again! I think I’ll stick to experiencing those near-death experiences through literature in the future πŸ˜…πŸ™ˆ

      After all those one- and two-star books, I can’t believe my luck with all those five-star reads, either! Like, maybe I’ve just forgotten what true quality is after reading garbage like The Atlas Paradox of Hell Bent, but I don’t think so πŸ€” Those books were genuinely awesome! 🀩 Although I’m also not sure what you’d think of Jade City… The whole family exploration thing was probably more up my alley than yours, but considering I also thought I knew what a gang-story entailed, who knows?

      I feel very validated in my decision not to watch the All Quiet on the Western Front movie, then 😁 To be honest, I really don’t see how it could possibly compare to the book anyway because so much of what makes that good is the fact that it’s so introspective and that you get to experience Paul’s thoughts alongside him. If you cut that out, most of what’s left is fighting, and I really don’t need tons of gore spiced up with special effects πŸ™„

      I’ll be eagerly awaiting your Backman verdict, then πŸ€— And the Britt-Marie one, too, I guess, since I haven’t read that yet, either, and can imagine Britt-Marie being a bit much as a protagonist… She was already a handful as a side-character!

      Also, a-little-out-there ideas are the best ones, so you definitely deserve to feel validated! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jan says:

    The jade city five stars🀩🀩🀩 the green bone saga is one of my all time favourite series along with RotE aksjksk I am so glad you loved it!! Also, it gets better with each book, I can’t wait to see what you think about Jade War!!
    My favourite thing was the sibling relationships and the Kaul family dynamics and oh my God I was SHAKEN when *** died even though I’d been spoiled for it before, I did not expect it to happen so soon. Hilo and shae’s hug right afterwards 😭😭
    I adore hilo lol he’s just a menace sometimes but I love him. And bero’s one of those characters you love to hate he’s such a cockroach lol.
    Ayt Mada is my absolute fave in this series she’s such a villainous villain she’s perfect.
    Sorry I went off on a tangent here πŸ™‚

    That near death experience sounds intense! All the places you’ve travelled and hiked to look GORGEOUS!!

    Beartown is the second fredrick Backman book I’ve seen you fangirl over I really should get to reading his booksπŸ“πŸ‘€

    Hope you have a great month aheadπŸ’™πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Of course I did! It was so good!! 🀩🀩 Thanks for being one of the people who pushed it at me! The sibling relationships and family dynamics were also some of my favorite things about the book, so knowing you loved them as well and have such favorable opinions on the rest of the trilogy has me extremely excited to continue! Spoiler alert: I’ve already ordered physical copies of the next two books because Scribd only has audiobooks and I don’t think I could stand having to spend 20+ hours to find out how the story goes on 😁 So I’m in eager anticipation! Although another scene like that death is probably going to turn me into an emotional ruin of a person 😭😭 That hug!! 😭😭

      And you totally should read Backman! I’ve actually read three of his novels so far and loved all of them, so I’d highly recommend!! πŸ€—

      Anyway, a great May to you, too!


  6. Janette says:

    I’m so glad you survived your avalanche!! What an experience. The rest of your trips sound awesome
    That’s a brilliant Reading month after some disappointing reads earlier on. I love the Jade trilogy and Shae is just such an incredible character. I hope you enjoy the next two
    Thanks for the mention and I’m now off to look at the other blogs you’ve highlighted

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      It is definitely not an experience I ever want to repeat! But yes, avalanche aside, my April hiking was pretty awesome!

      And I can’t believe it took me this long to listen to everyone and finally start the Green Bone Saga – I’ve already ordered the next two books and am eagerly awaiting their arrival, so I’ll keep you posted on what I think! πŸ€—


  7. Nefeli @BiblioNebula says:

    I am so jealous of your hiking trips in the Alps 😍(ok maybe not the one with the avalanche- that looked terrifying, I’m glad our mountains are boring in that aspect). I’ve always wanted to be Heidi of the Mountains and have a few runs on these slopes. That castle does indeed sound like a dream home. If you need roommates, hit me up! 😁

    All Quiet on the Western Front has been sitting unread on my shelf for ages. Maybe this post is a sign to finally sit down and read it. Though to be fair, the only reason I’ve been avoiding it is that I don’t know if I can stomach it. From what you describe, I’ll be a total mess.

    You totally convinced me on Beartown (not that it was difficult- you had me at “realizing how much their sport united and divided them”), I NEED to read it as soon as possible, which gives two options. I either go out of my way and ignore my self-imposed rule to not get new books before I finish all my unread ones and go get it, or I consume 16 books at the speed of light before heading straight to the bookstore. Decisions, decisions, … πŸ€”

    Thank you for sharing my post and letting other people know that Little Women are in fact an Easter story πŸ˜†β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Well, seeing how ginormous that castle is, there should be lots of space for roommates, so consider your application accepted! 😁 Now we just need to figure out how to finance this whole thing…

      All Quiet on the Western Front is definitely dark! But I still felt it was well-worth the read πŸ₯° So should you ever join me in wanting to read your copy ages after getting it – I mean, my parents have had our copy since before I was born, so I don’t think you have anything to be embarrassed about πŸ˜… – please let me know your thoughts!!

      And Beartown!!! You do really nees to read it!! πŸ€— Like, maybe you can find a library copy somewhere and get around your rules? Or just ignore them? πŸ™ƒ As a fellow I-Must-Not-Buy-New-Books-Before-I’ve-Read-the-Old-Ones-Philosophist, I very much relate to your moral conundrum, but also have lots of experiwnce breaking my rules πŸ€” So I’d say just go for it! 🀣

      And of course I had to share my newly found Little Women knowledge with the world! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜


  8. TigerTye says:

    Hello πŸ™‚
    I checked out your blog because you read books and I love books. I was excited to find another reader, then I was disappointed you only read 5 books in an entire month. I read more than that in a week. Sad but true. I did love the pictures you posted and am glad you decided to flee the scene of the avalanche!
    Have a happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yeah, unfortunately, I left my reading-a-book-a-day times behind the moment I started university, and having a full-time job certainly hasn’t improved the situation, either… I’m usually lucky if I have a spare hour or two to read on weekends, so I definitely envy you!

      And yes, I am also glad I got out of there in time πŸ˜… I’ve definitely learned my lesson!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Stephen Writes says:

    Great wrap-up! The hiking sounds fun, it definitely sounds like you had a busy month.
    You know already that we have very different views on These Violent Delights lol, but I’m really glad you enjoyed Jade City. That is one I should maybe read at some point. And I read All Quiet On The Western Front some years ago, and I agree, it a great book.
    I hope you are having a wonderful May! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I can definitely see you liking Jade City! It has very similar vibes to These Violent Delights, but with a stronger focus on politics and family rather than romance. The world-building and characters really drew me in, so hopefully, you’ll love the book just as much if you ever end up reading it! πŸ₯°

      Also, I’m glad to hear you liked All Quiet on the Western Front, too! I can’t believe I put off reading it for so long when it has been sitting on my parents’ shelves literally my entire life!

      Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and have a great May as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Anoushka says:

    well at least now we all know not to EVER FILM AN AVALANCHE AND TO DIRECTLY START RUNNING WHEN WE SEE ONE?? but seriously!!!!!!! IM SO GLAD YOU GOT OUT OF THERE UNHARMED AND STILL ALIVE although the entire experience sounds pretty terrifying 😭

    BUT YAY ON THE REST OF APRIL BEING ENTIRELY FABULOUS!!!!! all of your hiking expeditions ALWAYS sound like the most fun things of ALL TIME and I LIVE for all the pictures?? they’re the best.

    OH AND I THINK WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT THE THREE 5 STAR BOOKS IN A MONTH THING TOO?? I’m currently very jealous but also VERY MUCH IN AWE because look as someone who’s had a single 5 star read from the beginning of this year, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INHUMAN LEVELS OF AMAZINGNESS??

    Jade city’s obviously been on my tbr for THE longest time (I SUCCUMB VERY EASILY TO THE HYPE OK) but?? Maybe I wasn’t as excited to read it UNTIL YOUR REVIEW HAPPENED. But naemi loving it definitely converts it into an ABANDON SLEEP TO READ THIS level of book right?? SO WILL GO READ IT THANK YOU.

    All quiet on the western front sounds amazing too (I AM FOREVER UP FOR ANYTHING DEALING WITH THE BRUTALITIES OF WAR) and also the pledge because ‘the story of a police officer who got so absorbed into a case that he lost everything else in the process’ IT SOUNDS FASCINATING, BASICALLY.

    JSBAJDHHW but oops on under the whispering door not living up to expectations 😩 I’ve had a physical copy lying about for a year now AND LOOK IVE EVEN ATTEMPTED READING IT A COUPLE TIMES BUT?? it just didn’t hold my interest enough?? So reading your thoughts kind of makes me regret buying it in the first place AHAHAHHAAH.

    Have the best ever may, naemi!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I know, the wisdom you gain from this blog is truly spectacular, right? πŸ˜‡ I’m sure no one would’ve thought to run away from an avalanche if I hadn’t bestowed this valuable insight on you!

      But anyway, I’m glad you liked the pictures! And I’m also just as in awe as you about all those five-star books!!! 🀩 Before this month, I didn’t have any yet this year, so this was such a pleasant surprise!! Jade City is definitely an ABANDON SLEEP TO READ THIS level of book – So go read it! Even if it doesn’t have dragons! – All Quiet on the Western Front is a total soul destroyer, and Beartown is just the best thing ever, with hundreds of emotions rolled into one book!! I don’t even mind having been slightly disappointed by Under the Whispering Door in exchange for all of that! πŸ₯°

      But anyway, an awesome May to you, too!


  11. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus says:

    It looks like you had a great month! I agree with you about The Pledge. It is not my favourite either, and I do prefer DΓΌrrenmatt’s other works. I just found it underwhelming, though maybe it is so because we have been exposed to this type of crime mysteries numerous times already, such as through film, and his readers in the late 1950s and 1960s read it with a different effect? Who knows. Incidentally, I have recently read his novella Once a Greek, in Russian, which was translated as A Greek Man Seeks a Greek Woman, and found it hilarious and satirical, albeit with one worrying female representation, but, again, I think, the different times!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Ooh, I haven’t read Once a Greek yet, so I may have to try that one next! πŸ€— “Hilarious” and “satirical” sounds right up my alley, especially since the satire is one of the things I love most about DΓΌrrenmatt’s plays!

      And it’s nice to hear I’m not alone with my thoughts on The Pledge. Yeah, the mystery was pretty generic, but I did love how the psychological aspect of being so sucked into it that you forgot to live your regular life was explored. I don’t think I’d ever seen that done to this extent before!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again says:

    You visited so many gorgeous places! Schloss Neuschwanstein is like a castle out of a Disney movie, I’d love visiting it! And it looks like Salzburg is just as cloudy as I’ve left it in March. πŸ˜‚ It’s such a beautiful city though. I could never get tired of seeing mountains every day!
    Wow, that avalanche must have been a terrifying experience! I probably would have got a heart attack at the site. πŸ˜… I’m glad you managed to escape in time.
    I read Beartown this month, it was really good, so infuriating because of certain characters and situations… Have you continued with the second book yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Walt Disney actually based his castle on Neuschwanstein, so it makes sense you would say that 🏰 It’s definitely well worth a visit!

      And trust me – even after living in the Alps for almost a year, I still haven’t gotten tired of mountain-watching 🀩 Watching the sun rise over the peaks every morning from my bedroom window is still one of my favorite things to do. Apparently I’m very basic 🀣 Even that avalanche – which did nearly give me a heart attack – couldn’t make me stop appreciating my mountains!

      And aahhhh, a fellow Beartown fan!! πŸ€— “really good” and “so infuriating because of certain characters and situations” sums it up perfectly πŸ₯°πŸ˜­ And no, I haven’t read the second book get – I’m kind of saving it for summer break so that I’ll have the time to read it without having to deal with any other responsibilities and also to fall apart afterwards because I’m assuming I’ll need that? πŸ˜…


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