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  • Writer's pictureEmily

April '21 reading challenge round-up

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Alphabet challenge:

H: Hepworth, Sally- The Mother-in-Law

My Goodreads list:

Danforth, Emily- Plain Bad Heroines


The Mother-in-Law: This was a good surprise. I remembered that this was popular when it came out, and I hadn't read a review of it, so I made an assumption- oh, the mother-in-law is a psycho or something. Probably, she tries to kill the daughter-in-law. But it's better than that. It is a mystery, but it's also about the evolution of this family's relationships when the main character marries into the mother-in-law's family. It goes back and forth in time and between two viewpoints, which I don't even try to avoid any more. I think that three of the books that I read this month were like that. This was very interesting; it was much more than I expected.

I really enjoyed the mother-in-law's crankiness. She seemed so strange when described by another character, but when it was time for her own point-of-view, I realized that she sounds alot like me.

Plain Bad Heroines: This book is very entertaining, and very gothic. There were some mysteries that didn't get solved, and I think that the tone might be annoying to some, with footnotes interjecting occasionally to drop in an observation or anecdote, but I liked it. There are two connected stories: one about a girls' school that is suffering under a curse that has killed three students in the early 20th century, and the other is centered on three young women who are making a movie about the curse in the same place, a century later. The curse manifestations and ghost activity are very spooky, or at least I thought so when I read it late at night. It makes for bad bedtime reading. (BTW, The asterisks for footnotes are so teeny that I always missed them, then saw that there's a footnote and combed the page for the dot.)

This book reminded me of The Once and Future Witches. They are not exactly in the same time; I think it's off by about 30 years; and the girls in this supernatural story aren't witches, but OaFW kept coming to mind.

Living With Shakespeare: I don't have alot to say about this book. If you're a huge Shakespeare nerd, you'll like it. If you ever, say, asked for a complete works for your birthday present when you were a teenager, or if you watch PBS's Shakespeare Uncovered for fun, or if you listen to Shakespeare podcasts, then you'll probably like this book. I did! Some of the essays were a little dry, some were a little more academic than I like, but I learned from the duller ones and enjoyed reading about the plays I love.


I can't believe that I only posted three times last month. It's terrible! I've got some drafts going for this month, and I want to do more. Last month, I was house-hunting and working on my mortgage application, and I hope that next month, I'll be moving.

I've got my May books checked out or on hold at the library, and I have two extra books because I can't stop myself.

The first part of the April reading challenge can be found here.


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