Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2021

  • The Wolf of Winter by Paula Volsky (★★★☆☆)
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (★★☆☆☆)
  • Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav (★☆☆☆☆)
  • Hex Life by Christopher Golding & Rachel Autumn Deering (★★★★☆)
  • The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster (★★★★★)
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (★★☆☆☆)


I…have had a rather dismal reading month. I DNF’d three books, skimmed the non-fiction book I was reading, and generally just did not love most of what I read. I was definitely in a slump for much of the month, brought on by a variety of factors (one of which I am certain is Mansfield Park, which was such a slog!). Thankfully, over this past week I have been slowly fighting my way out of the slump, and I look forward to a much better reading month in May!

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TV Corner: Shadow and Bone!!!!!!!

I thought I would give myself some time before writing this so that I could put together some coherent thoughts instead of just endlessly screaming like the fangirl I am, but I’ll probably just end up screaming anyway, because I absolutely loved this. It’s just. The gold standard of adaptations, to be honest. It exceeded all my expectations. From the talented cast to the gorgeous music to the special effects to the costumes to the unexpected humor, I just!!! I binged the whole eight episodes in a day, something I haven’t done in ages, and by the end I just wanted more. It wasn’t flawless — the questionable depiction of anti-Asian racism Alina faces is glaring, and I’ll talk about that — but overall my serotonin levels definitely shot up.

I read the original trilogy way back in 2013. It’s a series that has stuck with me and left a strong impression, and I was surprised when I went back to look at my review to find that I only rated the books 4 and 3 stars. I think even then I was kind of frustrated with some of the that era’s YA tropes, most of which the series thankfully excised! I do want to talk about my thoughts in more detail, so spoilers will follow below, in messy bullet point format, because I don’t have the brain cells for a well-organized essay right now.

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Fireside Chats: How to Read Nonfiction

As a history major, one of my required courses was historiography, or the study of historical writing. I didn’t retain very much from the course, mainly because it was taught through the lens of colonial American history, which at the time did not interest me in the slightest (and still doesn’t, unless it’s filtered through Hamilton), but one thing my professor taught us left an indelible mark, and that thing was: how to read a historical monograph.

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