Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: April 2014


Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

Last month I read a total of twenty books, which sounds like a lot but many of them were graphic novels: After Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #13.5) by Charlaine Harris, Mass Effect Foundation: Volume 2 by Mac Walters, Red Country by Joe Abercrombie, Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes, Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor, X-Men Forever 2, Back in Action (X-Men Forever 2 #1) by Chris Claremont, Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Volume 2 by Stan Lee, This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Civil War: Marvel Universe by Ed Brubaker, A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, Behemoth (Leviathan #2) by Scott Westerfeld, Goliath (Leviathan #3) by Scott Westerfeld, Wolverine Noir by Stuart Moore, Wolverine First Class: Ninjas, Gods and Divas by Peter David, Wolverine First Class: Wolverine-By-Night by Fred Van Lente, X-Men Legacy: Emplate by Mike Carey, The Avengers: Volume 2 by Brian Michael Bendis, X-Men: Worlds Apart by Christopher Yost, The Kill Order (Maze Runner #0.5) by James Dashner.

I was so happy to finally finish the Leviathan series, and it’s now one of my favourite Young Adult series out there. I read some other great books this month: Days of Blood and Starlight was just as gripping as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Falling Kingdoms was a wonderful fantasy read. I also went crazy on the graphic novel front, ordering as many Marvel comics as I could through my county library service. And there are still plenty more to read! I also read most of Dragon Age Library Edition: Volume One, but unfortunately my ARC stopped about three quarters of the way through. I did email Netgalley, who contacted the publisher but sadly I haven’t heard anything and the title has now been archived. I will just rate and review it based on what I did managed to read.


Challenge progress:

  • I read five books towards the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge, so unfortunately I didn’t do as well as last month, and I also didn’t quite manage to defeat April’s villain, Kingpin. Better luck next month! May’s villain is Bullseye, and he looks to be quite a challenge.
  • I’ve already beaten my goal of fifty books for this year on Goodreads. I’ve raised the goal to seventy-five, which I think will still be manageable – I may even reach that before August, and I can raise it again!


Currently reading:

>The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black The Quick by Lauren Owen

Off the blog:

The majority of April was fairly quiet, but this past week has been pretty busy. I’ve been off work since last Tuesday, although I’m back today. On Wednesday night I went to the Glamour Book Club to see Laini Taylor and Lauren Owen, and I also met up with some fellow book bloggers! I will cover the event in detail in a future post. My friend joined me in London, and she stayed until Tuesday. On Thursday night, we went to see Jace Everett in Bristol. It was a TINY event, with about one hundred people – but the venue put out chairs, so no-one was dancing and I felt like we gave off a bad impression. But despite that, I loved the music and got to meet the man himself afterwards, and get a CD signed. Then on Friday we went to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which I really enjoyed, Saturday was Free Comic Book Day which meant a trip to Forbidden Planet in Bristol, as well as Bristol Zoo because it was a lovely, sunny day. Oh, and a few weeks ago my Dragon Age: The World of Thedas book arrived, which my fellow Queen of Ferelden, Paola, convinced me to buy. I was just a *little* bit excited by its arrival, as you can see…

Some highlights from April 2014.
Some highlights from April 2014.


How was April for you?



Review: Doctor’s Notes by Rosemary Leonard


3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Last week I discussed the careers of book bloggers, and shared with you all that I aim to one day be a museum curator. But what I somehow failed to mention (don’t ask how) in that post is that my current job is a medical receptionist. It’s an interesting job, both enjoyable and very stressful at times. So when I saw this book on Bookbridgr I had to request it, to compare Rosemary’s stories to my own experiences!

There were some truly hilarious stories, and others that were really quite shocking. For example, within the same week Rosemary saw three teenage girls who’d all recently gotten pregnant and were happy to keep the baby as their boyfriends had proposed. And then a couple of weeks later, all three girls came back with another problem. Turns out they all had gonorrhea, had all been seeing the same man, who had gotten them all pregnant and proposed to each and every one. Although on occasion the detail in some tales was a bit grisly and graphic, the information about various medical conditions was fascinating. And of course there were bits that were possibly only funny if you work in a GP surgery – such as rushing to fulfill QOF targets before the end of the financial year (which we were doing at the end of March this year).

However, whilst it was quite enjoyable, at times it felt a little… uncomfortable, in a way. Obviously when it comes to healthcare there is a MAJOR emphasis on confidentiality, and this felt almost like it was breaching that trust at times. I know the names and identities were changed but still – what if someone featured in the book read it and recognised themselves? Sure, no-one else could, but that person would feel humiliated and betrayed. And then of course that left me feeling conflicted over whether I should really have found some of those stories funny, as they happened to real people and had real consequences. The writing style also reminded me of ‘true life’ stories in those trashy magazines that we love to hate (‘My father is also my brother!‘, I married a serial killer!‘ etc). Unfortunately, what let the book down the most in my eyes was how judgmental I felt Rosemary was at times. She makes far too many comments on class and appearance, and whilst I understand that doctors may see people in a different way because they’re used to making visual assessments, there was really no need for it here.

Overall, a light and quick read – occasionally cringe-inducing and able of making the reader feel rather uncomfortable – but interesting nonetheless. Worth the read if you work in a similar environment, if only for the familiarity.