April Reading Roundup

While March felt like it went on forever, April actually flew by. I’ve spent my time working on summer classes, working my job remotely, and hanging out in Colorful Colorado.

We’ve gotten 36 inches of snow in one week, including 18 inches on Easter. But now it’s gotten warmer and I’ve started wearing shorts and Chacos on my daily adventures around Pinewood Springs (where my parents live).

Online classes have been going well, and I’m actually only one assignment away from finishing my first year of grad school! I’ve enrolled in summer classes so I’ll start “Folk and Fairy Tale” and “Editing the Children’s Book Manuscript” here in a couple of weeks.

This Month’s Blog Posts

Dispatches from the Void: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

What I Read This Month

This month, I read 12 books with two overwhelming themes emerging. I’ve read most of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and then because I am nothing if not contemporarily relevant, I’m reading a fair amount of post-apocalyptic fiction. As always, check out my Goodreads page for reviews of each of the titles listed!

Look for me reading to pick up in May as I finish classes and have a little more time on my hands, and as I add more readings to my plate for my summer classes.

Books for Fun

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • Feed by Mira Grant
  • Deadline by Mira Grant
  • Blackout by Mira Grant
  • Beezus and Ramona Beverly Cleary
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod by Traci Brimhall
  • Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

Review — Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod: My Favorite Book of the Month

Cover image sourced from Goodreads

I took three poetry writing classes with Traci Brimhall (Hi Coach!) in undergrad, from her intro level course to her grad-level course, and I loved every minute of them. So of course, when I found myself desiring to read some poetry, and with a little bit of time on my hands to do it, I decided to order Traci’s newest book Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod.

I may be biased here, but I loved this book. Absolutely loved every minute of it.

It’s hard for me to pick exactly what my favorite poem out of this book.

“Self-Portrait as Milk Hare in Active Shooter Alert” was a good read, because I’ve heard Traci read that poem before and because I remember being in the class where the conversation took place about how we would escape room 006 in Eisenhower Hall.

“Oh Wonder” just felt about small and large things in the natural world that are beautiful and magical. The line about “the sad is so big I can’t get it all out” gets me every-time I read it (which has been many) and I had great joy in getting to share this poem in particular.

The murder ballads that permeate this book are wonders in and of themself, heart wrenchingly painful and beautiful. If they weren’t so long, you would catch me reading them out loud over the phone. The Christian allusions that Traci employs throughout the book work so well and were one of my favorite parts of this collection of poems as well.

I think that has been the biggest joy of this book, is having it to luxuriate over it during this period of social distance. Of having it to share. Of having it to remind me a little bit of being in a classroom in Manhattan, Kansas and getting better at poetry under Traci’s tutelage.

My Favorite Non-Book Things

Dominion

I have been introduced this month to something that I greatly enjoy and have started using aggressively for procrastination. Dominion is a deck building game that has it’s own online platform (dominion.games). I have played this game so many times now, and it gives me so much joy. Right now, you also get free access to expansions on a rotating basis which adds variety to the game. If you’re looking for some time

National Poetry Month

April was National Poetry Month, and of course it’s always a goal to try and write a poem a day during the month. I didn’t accomplish that, but I still managed to write probably about 20 poem drafts over the course of the month. Some of them I like, some of them I’ll probably never bother with again.

Thriday

Since my freshman year of undergrad, one of my best friends and I have engaged in a practice we call “Thriday” which roughly translates to celebrating Friday on a Thursday with a movie night (it goes back to being gone most Friday nights for speech tournaments).

Now, she’s in law school and I’m in Boston, but we’ve revived Thriday’s this month using the Netflix Party extension for Chrome, and we’ve taken turns picking the movie to watch. I love that we’ve found a way to resurrect this time honored friendship tradition.

Scrunchies

This feels very basic, but I don’t care ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Since I’m wearing the same few outfits week after week, I’ve introduced some variety into my life with my scrunchies (courtesy of Walmart). I’ve picked up about three packs of them since I’ve been in Colorado (one for each trip to Walmart I’ve taken).

It’s a little thing, but it makes me smile.

Bonus: A Few Pictures from the Month

That’s it for April,

See you back at the end of May for another Reading Roundup!

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