For most people, “spring fever” suggests the urge to open the windows for some fresh blossom-scented air and head outside for a walk. Bookish people do this too, but usually with one or more books in hand. This year, spring fever among the book obsessed corresponds with a glorious shower of new reading events. Let’s list a few I know about:
Roots Readalong @True Book Addict
Michelle of the True Book Addict had the idea to host this readalong, in connection with the new televised mini-series adaptation of Alex Haley’s novel, to begin on May 30 at the History Channel. Since Roots is such a long book, this readalong will continue throughout May, so plenty of time to get the schedule and sign up. I am reading the 30th Anniversary edition, with an introduction by Michael Dyson, and looking forward to the discussions Michelle has planned to host at her blog.
Spring Into Horror @ Seasons of Reading
Michelle is also hosting her Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon at her site for recurring seasonal readathons, Seasons of Reading. I have two books picked out for the week: Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard and Broken by Karin Fossum.
Painting the Darkness is a darkly threatening Victorian mystery, about a man confronted by a stranger who claims to be his wife’s first fiancé, long believed to be dead. Is this man an impostor or the real thing? What will his wife do, and what does she believe? What secrets has she been keeping? I’ve already started this one, and I really like Robert Goddard’s writing–a new find for me! In Karin Fossum’s novel, one of her writer-protagonist’s characters has come calling on her at night, angry about the way his life is going. I plan to review this Norwegian writer’s boundary-breaking story at my Northern Lights Reading Project.
#ReadNobels for Travel the World in Books in April @ Guiltless Reading
My esteemed co-host, Aloi of Guiltless Reading, is hosting our Travel the World in Books (#TTWIB) event for April, combining this ongoing challenge–to read our way around the world with diverse books–with her own fabulous challenge to read books by Nobel prize-winning authors. Her announcement post for April’s combined challenge has all the details, including numerous helpful links to reviews and resources for finding books to choose from. The main thing is to pick ONE BOOK for April, something by an author who garnered the Nobel Prize in Literature. I will be reading Independent People, the most important book by Iceland’s 1955 Nobelist, Halldór Laxness. James Anderson Thompson is the translator of this beautiful paperback in English.
That’s the lovely thing about the Nobel prize–it tends to motivate skilled translators to take up that author’s works and make them available to more readers worldwide. As another example, Emma of Words and Peace, herself a translator, reviewed 2014 Nobelist Patrick Modiano’s So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood (in English translation) last year for our October #TTWIB Readathon. I’m looking forward to answering Guiltless Reader’s fun and stimulating questions slated to chart each week’s progress and cheer on our exploration of Nobel writers.
Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon
This overlaps conveniently with Spring Into Horror, so I will probably sign on, though I never go for the full 24 hours. Or keep up with all the mini-challenges. But it is nice to be part of this blogger favorite to see what everyone is reading and how they make room in their lives for our mutual favorite pastime. Signups are open!
And There’s More!
Besides books I am reading for upcoming reviews, I am also looking forward to my Goodreads book club reads:
- The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James is our TuesBookTalk Read-a-Longs selection for April.
- Three books by Jane Smiley are set for our Lit Collective: An Online Reading Retreat. Beginning in April, this will run through August when Michelle (that generous, and very busy girl!) will help get us going with Discussion Board questions on this author.
Will I get all this reading done in April? Probably not! But I love trying, and I love making a start on great books that carry over into the coming months. The best ones bear tremendous fruit–not just another review (although I love writing them!), but something new to think about or understand better about the multifaceted human life all around us.
If you know of other April Reading events you’d like to share, please leave a comment about them!