The world has come to a standstill and the miraculous human temperament has adjusted to the confines of staying at home. April was also a month that dragged on, the definitions between days blurring together. However, it did give me a lot of free time to read and blog, so you will see a spike in my reading and blogging stats. It’s not a healthy boost because this was fuelled by the intense need to disconnect from the horrors of the new normal. Hoping that I can find healthier ways to carry this momentum into May, let me share with you my April 2020 wrap-up!
I finished 11 books this month, which I think is the most I’ve read in a month since 2018! I participated in the O.W.Ls Readathon and also managed to make a dent in my physical TBR. I only had one ARC to review this month but I also got a headstart on my May ARCs. I completed all the prompts for the O.W.Ls and I’m one step closer to being a magical Librarian! Looking back, April has been an excellent reading month for me.
April 2020 Reading Stats Wrap-Up
✨Books read: 11
✨Average rating: 4.2 stars
✨Pages read: 3,881
✨Favourite of the month: Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa
✨SARC 2020: 0
✨YARC 2020: 3
I stuck to my blogging schedule and posted all of my content on time. Just being consistent helped increasing all the measurable stats and so did cross-posting on all my social media accounts. It’s made me really excited to put up better content for May and I hope that I can bring the same energy into this month.
April 2020 Novels and Nebulas Wrap-Up
✨Most popular post: Fantasy Book Recommendations Based on Your Zodiac Sign
✨Underrated post: 5 Reasons to Read the Aru Shah series
April 2020 Favourite Posts Wrap-Up
- Kal @ Reader Voracious – What My Favorite Characters Would Do in Quarantine
- Divine @ Rea(D)ivine – Why You Have To Be Critical In Consuming Content Before Passing Judgment
- Anna @ Reads Rainbow – Book Recs: Scribd LGBT Starter Pack
- Lili @ Utopia State of Mind – Interview with Clarissa Goenawan
- Giuls @ Bookish Giuls – New Blogger 101: A journey into starting your book blog (Guest Post by Cielo @ Bellerose Reads)
April was more relaxed for Stars and Sorcery as we picked an #OwnVoices Asian-inspired novella, The Black Tides of Heaven by J. Y. Yang. We went down memory lane for SARC with the theme of ‘Itihasa’ for April. We had an amazing time collaborating with Vicky and Lili from Backlist Bookworms with a 24-hour Twitter and IG takeover as well as a fun Twitter chat!
Stars and Sorcery April 2020 Wrap-Up
✨Read by: 3 members
✨Average rating: 4 stars
✨May 2020 BOTM: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
SARC April 2020 Wrap-Up
✨Featured post: SARC Collaborates with Ramadan Readathon | Q&A
Q&A with SARC Host – Rumaanah
1. What pushed you to join the SARC hosts team?
When I saw Fanna and Nandini on Twitter talking about their new project the South Asian Reading Challenge and what it entailed I was immediately interested. I was passionate about the cause – to get more people aware about the vast variety of South Asian books out there and to help boost and support SA works and voices – so I knew I had to sign up! I was lucky enough to be accepted which I was really grateful for, I feel like being part of this team has really made me feel part of a community and I’ve made some new friends and done some things I’ve not done before like manage a social media account for the team, did some Twitter chats and so much more. To sum up, I was looking forward to doing something new and something which felt important and SARC was the perfect opportunity.
2. What kind of South Asian representation would you like to see more of in books?
Being South Asian and Muslim, as well as being born and raised in the UK, I feel like I exist in a lot of intersections of the community and I have to admit, I found it hard to know where exactly my ‘place’ was at times and this translates to the books I would read too. I didn’t always feel represented, but in recent years I feel like there has been such a positive shift towards more South Asian writers, notably women and also SA Muslim women being published and putting their stories out there. Such as S. K. Ali, as well as Sabaa Tahir, Samira Ahmed and Farah Naz Rishi, to name just a few.
While this is definitely so great and I’m so happy this is happening, I would love to see more stories about practicing Muslim women, who are happy to wear a hijab or follow their faith, without stereotypes or feeling restricted by their religion. All too often, we see the narrative of the oppressed Muslim woman or the ‘rebellious’ Muslim woman. I would just like to read more books that reflects the community of South Asian, Muslim women who practice their faith out of choice and love these choices, you know?
3. Can you recommend some SA books that you think everyone will love?
This is the hardest question for any book lover! I would definitely recommend anything by Kamila Shamsie; I’ve read a few of her books – Home Fire, Burnt Shadows and A God in Every Stone and her poetic prose and characters just blow me away every time!
How was your April 2020 reading month? Did you also feel like the month just zipped by? What are your plans for May? Let’s continue to stay safe and power through May. Have a stellar weekend, readers from Earth!