April 2020 Reads

April was a good month of reading. I got through a lot of books, all new to me but one play, and I’m on schedule to absolutely kill my reading challenge this year. Here’s some mini reviews of what I read.

Fiction

Richard II (William Shakespeare)
This is the first of the War of the Roses series. In the Shakespeare 2020 Project, they were read out of order, and I wish they’d been in order so it was more cohesive. I’m over the histories right now. I found this one kind of dull. Richard II especially seemed ineffectual as a leader, and I just didn’t enjoy much of the plot.

Venus and Adonis (William Shakespeare)
I really enjoyed this poem. Maybe because it wasn’t an historical play? At any rate, it tells the story of Venus trying to seduce Adonis, who is more interested in hunting.

Children of Fury by Rashid Darden book coverChildren of Fury – Dark Nation Volume III (Rashid Darden)
I got to read an ARC of this book which will be released on May 15, 2020. I really appreciate how real his characters act and sound. Darden has a great ear for language and I felt completely immersed in the world of these students at an alternative school who learn there is a coming war that could destroy the world, and only they can stop it. These characters will really become part of your heart, and the Washington, DC setting is so real you’ll feel like you’re there. Fans of mythology will love this. I know it says Volume III, but you don’t need to have read the previous book, Birth of a Dark Nation (Although you should! African vampires who can walk in the light!). Vol 2 is not out yet, and the books are meant to be read as standalones. Order it now!

Hamlet (William Shakespeare)
I read Hamlet eons ago in school, and so analyzed it to death. I find all of that intense work in school has really stuck with me, as I’ve enjoyed the plays I’ve studied a lot more now, probably because of the familiarity. The treachery, the standout lines – there really is so much to love about this play. I also highly recommend the 1996 film of Hamlet starring Kenneth Branagh.

The Rape of Lucrece (William Shakespeare)
This poem is the second long poem in the Shakespeare 2020 Project. It reminded me a lot of Titus Andronicus, as the rape and revenge theme are shared between them. It was okay, but I had no strong feelings toward it. Many people now refer to it as just Lucrece now.

The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
I had seen the movie a few times, but never read the book, and set out to remedy that. Wow. I’m not sure I have the words to say how much I was invested in Celie. I finished the book in a day. I’m a fast reader, but that’s crazy for me. I just didn’t want to leave her until I was sure she was okay. The language of the story is heartbreaking at times, but Celie and the other women, are the living embodiment of Maya Angelou’s words – “Still, I rise”. Just do yourself a favour and read this.

Non Fiction

The Modern Viper Guide 2nd Edition: The F-16C/D Exposed (Jake Melampy)
This is the definitive guide to the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet. There are hundreds and hundreds of photos of the jet from every angle, with explanations on different builds, and details about various systems. If you’re an F-16 nut, this book is a must.

A Patriot’s Calling (Dan Rooney)
Rooney served as an F-16 fighter pilot and I picked up this memoir in hopes of some F-16 content. While there were a few stories about his time at UPT and serving as a pilot, the majority of the book was about a foundation he began, his golf career and other personal aspects that I wasn’t interested in since I went in looking for something else. The book is good, but it wasn’t the subject matter I was in search of.

The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities in America (Lawrence C. Ross, Jr.)
As member of an NPC sorority, my first knowledge of traditionally African American fraternal organizations came from the internet (specifically the folks at Greekchat.com). This book shares the history of the nine NPHC groups that have flourished in America since the first was founded in 1906. I enjoyed the book, but found I wanted more in depth knowledge of the founding of the organizations. I think it was directed more towards those already familiar with black Greek organizations, so those with no knowledge will probably have a lot of questions after reading. I was (luckily) familiar with a lot of terminology and details so I understood it, but I think those with no fraternity/sorority knowledge would struggle with this.

On deck for May, I’ve got another memoir of an F-16 pilot, which I’m hoping will have a lot more F-16 and UPT content. I’m also starting Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give and Shakespeares first 80 sonnets.

Goodreads Reading Challenge Total – 35/52 (18 books ahead of schedule)

 

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