I feel like it’s becoming sort of obligatory at the start of every monthly reflection post to talk about the fact that another whole month has somehow passed. We’re now in May, spring has sprung, and the days are becoming a tiny (emphasis on tiny, because this is England) bit warmer. In terms of reading, I didn’t read as many books as I did in March, but I still feel like I’ve had a very satisfying month! I managed to finish one non-fiction book and one fiction, which fits in nicely with me wanting to diversify in terms of reading a combination of both.
Here’s what I read in April!
Book #1: Your Mind is Your Teacher: Self-Awakening Through Contemplative Meditation by Khenpo Gawang
I picked up this book in my attempt to learn more about the “technical” aspects of meditation; what I’ve learned so far has largely been from a western perspective and I feel like since it’s such an integral part of my life that I want to understand its roots in greater detail. In the book, Gawang takes us through the principles of contemplative meditation from a Buddhist perspective, outlining major ideas and key terminology in a way that is made accessible as an introduction for the western reader.
The major thing that I enjoyed about this book was the aspect of simply learning more. The principles are laid out in a logically structured way of outlining concepts and giving practical advice for implementing them – and I loved the personal memoirs that are included to give some perspective on the personal nature of practice.
I did find it particularly hard to rate this one, however, as there was nothing exactly wrong with it, and I feel like it’s hard to judge a book like this based on enjoyment as that’s not necessarily the point. That being said, I found the second half particularly hard to get through, and it took me a long time to read despite being fairly short. Overall, it was a useful read, but I don’t feel like it had an impact to the extent that I expected it would on me.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Book #2: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
I feel like I’ve raced through this trilogy. Considering that A Conjuring of Light comes in at 666 pages, I’m impressed that I managed to fit in reading it around other reading for uni. This third instalment follows protagonists Kell and Lila (alongside a lot of other perspectives that I particularly enjoyed) in their attempts to bring peace back to their magical multi-dimensional world.
In general, I really loved this book. For me, it was definitely better than A Gathering of Shadows (which confused me), but not as good as A Darker Shade of Magic (which I could hardly fault), and I felt like a good conclusion was reached for the series overall. Unfortunately, there were a few elements that slightly lowered my impression of the book as a whole, but I don’t want to go into any further detail about my specific thoughts on this book as I will be uploading a full series review next week. There were so many aspects to it that I feel need further discussion and there’s just no way I could fit them all into one small recap! On the whole, however, it was a good end to a great series.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I’ve had a pretty poor month in terms of making my way through a lot of the classic films that I feel like I should have seen. In fact, I watched just one film in the whole of April, but I’m determined to do better in May!
*NO SPOILERS DON’T WORRY* Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Incredible in its ambition, and well-executed throughout with only a few things that I felt were slight plot-holes (4/5 stars)
And there we have it – April is now all nicely wrapped up. I feel like it was a good month! With increased pressures of revision, I’m pleased that I’ve managed to read as many things as I did. As always, let me know what you’ve been reading! Also, pleeeeeeeease tell me your (spoiler-free) thoughts on Infinity War because I’d love to know what you thought if you’ve seen it already!
First book for May: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (could it really have been anything else?)
Have a lovely day,