April Reads (2020 Edition)

estimated 6 min read

Last month I tried to balance my need to keep my nose in a book with sitting outside (still easy to keep my nose in a book). With taking occasional walks (harder to keep my nose in a book, but still possible). And with work and work (very hard to keep my nose in a book, but kept me focused). Overall my system worked as I finished reading a nice selection of books. To my surprise I even completed two NetGalley reviews. I’m happy to continue to stay home and read! While I’ve always dreamed my love of staying home and reading should be for good, I never expected that it could help save lives.

April 2020 Reading List

  1. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey
  2. Symbiont (Parasitology #2) by Mira Grant
  3. Chimera (Parasitology, #3) by Mira Grant
  4. Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters★ by Jeff Schlegelmilch
  5. The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by N.K. Jemisin
  6. The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby
  7. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  8. Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams (Editor)
  9. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  10. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde
  11. The Golden Torc (Saga of the Pliocene Exile #2) by Julian May
  12. Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2) by Tomi Adeyemi
  13. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
  14. A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers
  15. Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3) by Becky Chambers
  16. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
  17. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
  18. How Birds Work: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of Form and Function—from Bones to Beak ★ by Marianne Taylor

A ★ indicates I received the title through NetGalley, the FTC wants you to know.

List of Book Covers for titles read in April 2020

Recommendations

NetGalley Reviews

Rethinking Readiness: A Brief Guide to Twenty-First-Century Megadisasters

by Jeff Schlegelmilch

It’s a unique and unexpectedly timely coincidence for me to be reviewing a book that looks into twenty-first century megadisasters in the midst of a global pandemic. Rethinking Readiness takes a brief look into the history and current direction of disaster prepardness planning, and is due to be published in the summer; months after the world coming to grips with the chaos and fear of this current health crisis. The book provides an overview of biothreats, climate change, critical infrastructure, cyberthreats, nuclear conflict, and cross-cutting threats. Disaster science is still in its infancy and globalisation has completely changed the world we know. Covid-19 has implications that will be more far reaching than we can comprehend today. This book will help us begin to reframe our views.

An addendum: Schlegelmilch stated via Twitter in early Aprilthat he drafted a new preface to discuss the implications of Covid-19 & why its impacts will reach far beyond pandemics. I look forward to reading it when available.

Read my complete review at Goodreads »

How Birds Work: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of Form and Function—from Bones to Beak

by Marianne Taylor

I’ve had a thing for illustrated guides since growing up with a (now lost) extensive Richard Scarry illustrated collection.

How Birds Work is a stunning book that covers everything about birds, from their history to their feathers and everything in-between. The scientific knowledge is readable and informative, not dense academic language or overly basic. The photos are varied and wonderful. The illustrations, diagrams, and charts add to each system and help to enhance comprehension. Taylor’s illustrated guide covers key avian systems and helps you to understand How Birds Work. It can be enjoyed by a variety of readers — as a picture book, as a basic text to understand key science concepts, as one to refresh memory.

This is beautifully compiled and it was very fun to read while the birds in my yard were chattering away.

Read my complete review at GoodReads »

Additional Recommendations

  1. The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by N.K. Jemisin

Oh my NYC, I ♥ you.

  1. The Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers
  1. Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
  2. A Closed and Common Orbit
  3. Record of a Spaceborn Few

How did I miss this series when it was published? I really enjoyed these three books as quickly as the library ebook system allowed me to. I’m a sucker for space opera, but I love stories that make me stop and think beyond the traditional characters I grew up reading. Record of a Spaceborn Few is written as interconnected short stories and amazing in its own way. I am unable to pick a favourite, I urge you to read them all!

  1. The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby

This was recommended by Seanan in one of her Newsflesh books for additional reading. It was fascinating. Further, it was frightening to read in the midst of pandemic that we don’t understand. It seems history has forgotten or never learned to listen to experts, quarantine early, completely, and for the proper amount of time.

  1. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This landed on my to-read list sometime in 2014. Last month, it was highly recommended by a friend and my library ebook hold arrived quickly. “What matters is that people change the world”. There’s lots to think about, it deserves a reread with a paper copy so I can better trace sources. It was fascinating to read at the same time I was finishing up The Golden Torc (Saga of the Pliocene Exile #2) by Julian May.

  1. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

This is a very quick novella and an absolute delight. I already finished Magic for Liars and recommend it too!

  1. Parasitology Series by Mira Grant
    1. Parasite
    2. Symbiont
    3. Chimera

This is a really good series and makes me want to read more in the horror and biothriller genre, but for reasons I’m unable to exactly pinpoint, I enjoyed the Newsflesh series more. There’s nothing wrong with it and I welcomed the “yes that could easily happen” nightmares it caused.

Next Reads

My eARC request for the first book in Kevin Hearne’s next series (set in the Iron Druid World) Ink & Sigil arrived last week. While I’ve been working on my studio/home office renovation, I hope to find moments to read it soon. It is due to be out in August. If you haven’t read any of the Iron Druid books yet, you should. They’re tons of fun. I also hope to keep working on “to be read” bookcases. We’ll see if I turn to a Valdemar or Pern reread.

Stay safe. Stay home. Wash your hands & wear a mask. Read more books.

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