What I Read in April, May and June 2017

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these columns. I’m going to be honest: I planned to stop writing them. But then I changed my mind (because it’s fun) so here I am again. It will soon become clear that part of the reason I decided to stop was because, er, I haven’t been reading much? Oops. Anyway, whatever. Here we are.

What I Read in April, May and June

My Fight Your Fight by Ronda Rousey
Finished on 8 April – Kindle

I LOVE THIS WOMAN SO MUCH. Ronda is an unapologetic badass and it was SO NICE to read a memoir by a confident woman who believes in herself. Because it’s rare. Often we’ll get stories of how downtrodden women were and then they realised something and made a change and then life was better. And there’s nothing wrong with this, of course. You can only tell your own story, after all, and unfortunately society tries to teach women to behave and be nice and polite and do what they’re told, which can lead to said downtroddenness. But not Ronda. Oh no. Ronda doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks, and she will do what she believes is the right thing to do. More role models like this for women, please.

Saga, Vol. 7, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Finished on 8 April – Paperback

No, I will never shut up about the brilliance of Saga, and not just because I’m friends with the artist or because I am in love with one of the characters. Fiona told me she thinks of me when she draws said character’s abs, which made reading this volume particularly exciting for me, because he is shirtless in it a lot. And when you figure out who I’m talking about, FEEL FREE TO JUDGE ME. I DON’T CARE BECAUSE MY FEELINGS ARE PURE. Also I just checked and more than one character is shirtless in this volume, so my secret is safe. Unless you follow me on Twitter, where I have definitely talked about this before.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 21, by Hajime Isayama
Finished on 15 April – Kindle

I’m not gonna lie, I get mixed up when writing about Attack on Titan in these posts. Mostly because I tend to read the new manga chapters on Crunchyroll when they come out each month, but the volumes published on Kindle (which contain four chapters each) aren’t released until several months later. So I actually read this aaaaages ago. I think lots of big reveals were made in this volume, if I remember rightly. Anyway, it was definitely excellent, because it always is. And Levi is on the front cover, which is a good sign. (Yes, I am in love with a lot of fictional characters, okay?)

Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova
Finished on 23 April – Kindle

I read Still Alice by the same author last year, and it was fantastic. She’s basically created a new sub-genre about living with neurological diseases, and it’s fascinating. In this one, a woman gets into a car accident that leaves her completely unaware of one side of her body. Physically there’s nothing wrong with it, but she can’t get her brain to communicate – or even notice – it. This wasn’t as heartbreaking as Still Alice, and I don’t think it was as gripping either, but I still enjoyed it. Worth a read, though if you were only going to read one, I’d say go with Still Alice.

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
Finished on 9 May – Kindle

I do love me an apocalypse story and this didn’t disappoint. Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, either. The shape the apocalypse takes is that of a pandemic flu, which is always a good one, I feel. Instead of following a linear journey, we go through three different time periods: before, during and after the apocalypse. Extremely well written, with some haunting scenes. One of which still gives me the creeps even now. You have to read it so that in six months I can say to you, ‘Do you still think about that bit too?’

We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Finished on 30 June – Kindle

I learned about this book through Mel Green, my friend and former student. In a beautiful unfolding of events, I had been bugging Mel to write her own What I Read column, and she did, and this was one of the first books she wrote about. Adichie talks succinctly and elegantly about what feminism is and why it’s so important and the whole way through I was just going FUCK YEAH! It’s actually a personal essay that began life as a Tedx Talk, so it’ll only take 30 minutes or so to read (I took longer than that because I’m a slow reader, but I have faith in you) and it’s cheap, too, so you really have no excuses. If you’ve ever thought, Ugh, we don’t need feminism any more! read this to learn why you’re wrong. I don’t know why I bothered to say that last bit, because I’m pretty sure a) none of you guys think that way, and b) if you DID think that way, you wouldn’t listen anyway.

My April, May and June Statistics

Books read:6

Fiction: 4
Non-fiction: 2

Audiobooks: 0
Kindle books: 5
Physical books: 1

2017 book total: 12

Keep up to date with what I’m reading over at Goodreads.

Get The Untamed Life, my guide to doing meaningful work online ⤸
Plus emails 2–3 times a month featuring:

  • My private tales of life & business
  • Links to my latest blog posts
  • Other good shit from the web
  • Subscriber-only deals
  • I only send awesome emails.