April 2016 Reading

At the end of every month, I like to do a recap of the books I read. April was all about graphic novels and shifters, with a fun historical romance to round off the month. (The thumbnails look so weird together, I might consider dividing these posts up differently in the future.)

Graphic Novels

I read a stack of graphic novels with one of my students: Bone by Jeff Smith (Vol 1-3), Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown (Vol 1-3), and Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders by Mike Townsend. They were all funny and weird. The kid liked them. We’re continuing with Bone this month.

Funny story about Bone. I remember when it ran monthly in Disney Adventures magazine when I was a kid. I didn’t like it and would skip those pages. When I worked in a bookstore, and started working with elementary school kids, they all read the Bone graphic novels. I was like, “Really? That?” Now that I’m reading them through with a 2nd grader, I get the appeal, but I also see why I didn’t like them in the early 90s. They’ve very different from the comics I was already reading and the penchant for cutting off the last letter of words still bothers me.

 

Historical Romance

I finished reading A Convenient Engagement by Kimberly Bell. It effortlessly infuses humor into the romance, along with grand sweeping gestures and small tender ones. Gavan and Hannah’s story is by turns explosive and intimate, and sweet and sexy. The secondary characters delight and amuse without taking over, and the descriptions of setting and wardrobe bring the world to life. The book is funny and full of heart. I was glad to see the second in the series centers on Ewan, Gavin’s cousin, and I’ve already pre-ordered it.

 

Shifters

I really enjoy Viola Rivard’s wolf shifter stories, and last month I went on a marathon of reading her stuff. In April, I read Bound to the Alpha, Enslaved by the Alpha, and Running with the Alphas Vol 1. I have more on my kindle, but I’ll admit I’m kinda savoring them. She writes in parts, so for some of these I read the serialized versions, and some were compilations. All of them are compelling.

I’m trying to pin down what it is about her books that make me one-click all of them. They’re sexy, sure, but I think it has more to do with her characterization. The characters feel like real people you might know, due to the details she chooses to share, even though she avoids huge chunks of exposition. She also handles world building well, crafting a rich setting inside the series of caves that make up each den, full of a wide cast of secondary characters.

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