A selection of words and pictures to represent April’s reading:
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
Could it be each fate is not ordained, but random? No masterful design, but patched together with mere moments. That we were victims or victors of chance, nothing more?
The Trial of Lotta Rae by Siobhan MacGowan (2022)
It’s the way of the world, though unfair, and I hope one day women will have more agency to make decisions, especially about issues that affect them. Men control our lives, though I believe this should not be so. We should not be married off at the convenience of our fathers, brothers and uncles.
The world can think you’re all wrong when one person thinks you’re just right.
The Night Ship by Jess Kidd (2022)
He did not think: This must come to an end in time. A circle had no beginning or end; it existed. He did not allow thought to enter the hours that he waited for her, laved in memory of her presence. He seldom left the apartment in those days. In the outside world there was time; in time, there was impatience. Better to remain within the dream.”
“You’ve never been in a scrape yet but what it came about by accident. The thing is, no one else has these accidents.”
“We do not understand. And when the time comes that we begin to understand your world, too often we lose the understanding of our own.”
We talked of literature, of the novels we had read, of Shakespeare and Milton, and I recognised that books sparked the same joy in him that they did in me, for reading is an expression of fondness for life. It is love of life in the shape of words, not words in the shape of a life.
Winchelsea by Alex Preston (2022)
An entire wall is covered by three towering bookshelves, packed with volumes. It’s an awe-inspiring library, though another saying of Voltaire’s dances maliciously in my mind: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
The Fugitive Colours by Nancy Bilyeau (2022)
Some historians have viewed these letters as evidence of Brunhild’s fierce maternal instincts; others insist the emotion expressed in them was manufactured for politically expedient ends. It is most likely that both are true. Can a person ever completely divorce her genuine emotions from socially and politically useful ones?
Lady almoners like Mrs Sinclair had spent their days engaged in a simple, if brutal, sorting of humanity. The indigent and destitute were the business of the Poor Laws and the workhouses. The wealthy had to be sniffed out and sent packing to their own doctors and their own bank accounts. The middling layer, thick and worried, were sent to provident societies, workers’ benefit unions or the right charity for their complaint. ‘The aim, Helen,’ Mrs Sinclair used to say, ‘is to end each month with no ill untreated and no bill unpaid.’
In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson (2022)
Favourite books read in April:
In a Lonely Place, The Fugitive Colours, The Eagle of the Ninth, The Trial of Lotta Rae and In Place of Fear. Yes, it’s been a good month – I loved all of these and can’t leave any of them out!
Authors read for the first time in April:
Siobhan MacGowan, Shelley Puhak, Alex Preston, Catriona McPherson
Countries visited in my April reading:
Australia, England, Scotland, US, France
Reading notes: This month I managed to read my Classics Club Spin book and two books for 1954 Club, as well as continuing to work through the titles on my NetGalley shelf. I don’t have many plans for May, but I will try to take part in Ali’s Daphne du Maurier Reading Week and I’ll probably read the May selection for Read Christie 2022, which is The Murder on the Links.
How was your April? What are you hoping to read in May?