Books Read in April

Just for giggles, I’m going to start this post out with screenshots from the Readerly app, which I recently registered with (because who can resist yet ANOTHER app for tracking books? Except this one is not owned by Amazon which is their big “thing”)

Instead of “reviews”, Readerly has you posts what they call “gists”, essentially a couple of sentences summing up your feelings about the book. The goal of the app is book discovery and suggestions. They create a nice graphic that you can share in your Readerly profile but also easily share on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. These are my first two:

Currently, Readerly is “invite only” but I signed up and got an email code in about two days so it isn’t too hard to get on and start looking around. People can “like” your gists but that is all the interaction I am seeing so far.

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually didn’t finish this book. I think I made it about 190 pages and was just not feeling it. Not sure if it was the writing style or the characters, but I just wasn’t compelled to read on. I wasn’t finding the main characters particularly endearing and their whole deal seemed to be a popular trope right now, with the misunderstood hero, amnesia and whatnot.

Might try to pick it up again another time but right now…meh.

Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us about Life by Jonathan Kay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this personal look at board games through the eyes of these two people. I would say I wish the epilogue had been the introduction as they touch upon what the book ended up being versus what the introduction stated it would be.

I preferred Joan’s chapters to Jonathan’s – I think her style was more accessible and her point of view more relatable as she played games similar to myself. Jonathan’s penchant for heavy war games made a few of his essays a bit harder to read since I had no frame of reference. I really enjoyed his entry on Chinatown and Scrabble since those both shows a bit more of his personal side than some of the other essays where I think he was trying to sound objective in his critiques but came off as distant.

At a brief 166 pages, this was a quick read and a fun read for anyone that plays board games. I would love to see a similar collection, perhaps each essay written by different people in the games industry – from designers to journalists to online influencers.

The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe I am just easily amused, but this book had me giggling at the desk as I read it out-loud to myself. The font and text DEMAND you read it outloud, giving the turtle, armadillo and snake their own unique voices as they go through their day.

I think the sunset chapter was my favorite, if only for the final line.

10/10 forced everyone I know who was standing near by to read it while I stared at them.

Shortcuts by Molly Brooks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fantastic adventure with these two BFFs. I really appreciate how Brooks is slowly revealing the politics of this science fiction universe with little subtle hints when the girls interact with the Landsliders. There is a serious, complex story hidden underneath the almost fairy tale like plot of the two girls straying from the safe path and into the furthest boarders of their zone.

I really hope this series keeps growing and maturing, there is a lot that can be done with these two friends.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This hit me hard.

Think about superheroes, all the big names. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. All famous for stepping in and saving the day.

All white.

Now imagine that superhero is a teenager black girl. Imagine her struggle when she knows she could use her powers to help people, but also knows that many people that look like her and try to help end up dead.

Nubia is a fantastic entry into the DC Comics line-up and I really hope we see more of this series. It makes you think about representation in comics and the stories being left untold.

My hope is that Nubia becomes a series as well done and long running as the new Ms Marvel.

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