Month in Review: April 2021

My reading this month was a little dissatisfying. I’ve been going through the Uncle Fred books by P.G. Wodehouse, which are amusing, but not my favorites of his, and become repetitive and self-referential by the end. And I tried an Agatha Christie for vacation reading, but did not get on with it — sorry Christie fans! Then I looked forward to great things from another Richard Rohr book, but was disappointed by sloppy scholarship and a too-vague and fuzzy exploration of an important topic. Ah well, on to better things this month I hope.


Books read:


I’m still plugging away with German. I try to watch a video or listen to a podcast each day, and read a little bit. I changed our subscription to the local supermarket (Coop) consumer magazine from French to German. The reading level of the articles is fairly basic, so with help translating unknown terms with my phone I can get through a few each week. And there are quite interesting topics, not only about food — this week I learned about beavers, an animal that was common to my former New Hampshire habitat as well.


April brought us from winter to spring, with snow still falling till mid month (and a ski trip in the mountains), followed by warmer days with the local wild daffodils and primroses spreading their cheerful blooms across the meadows. Nature is not affected by lockdown conditions, but human beings certainly are. If you don’t have a way to cope with anxiety, with the unknown, with the removal of support systems, and with the disruption of all our usual routines, it’s really difficult.

Along with being so fortunate to have meaningful work and my family to sustain me, I keep up the daily practice of silent prayer or meditation that I’ve been doing for the last few years. This was a lifesaver in times that were chaotic for me before the pandemic started. And now I can’t imagine not doing it. The results are subtle, and took time to reveal themselves, but very real. And these days it is good to have at least one thing to be sure of.

What is helping you to stay afloat these days?

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

26 thoughts on “Month in Review: April 2021

  1. I enjoyed my version of Make Me Read It when I offered readalongs of any book I had on my TBR. But I would need to wait a few months that are stuffed with books I need to read for reviews, blog tours and things!

    1. My month is stuffed too, so I’m not sure why I felt the need to add something to it, but it was a fun way to change things up anyway. I will do it again (hopefully after clearing the pile a bit).

  2. Last night I put something like “Christ Consciousness” into the YouTube search box and found a Richard Rohr interview about his book. I went to Goodreads and found your review. How’s that for synchronicity?!!

    Your comments surprised me in that he’s so well-respected, how could he write a book with such problematic scholarship? The interview really excited me, which is why I wanted to know more, but I trust your experience.

    1. It was quite surprising, any writer can make such mistakes on occasion but this was a bit much. Still I would read more by him. His daily meditation emails are also great.

  3. Lory, I am sorry quite a few of your books disappointed in April, but really pleased to hear that spring has arrived and you’re taking great comfort from your silent prayer/meditation. I have also taken a lot of comfort from prayer, my reading, yoga and comforting re-watches of favourite films. Take care and happy reading in May. 🙂

  4. Yep, silent prayer/meditation is important! Sorry your reading month was disappointing, and I hope for better things in May. For myself too, for while I have some really great books going, I spent probably half of April retreating into the lightest possible reading fare. Another, non-reading thing that sustains me is creative work — mostly with textiles, which is a fancy way of saying I sew and embroider a lot, but there’s other stuff too.

    1. Your textile work is amazing. For me knitting has been very therapeutic in the past, but at the moment I don’t have any projects going. Maybe I should start one.

  5. I’ve only read one P.G. Wodehouse book and I found it quite repetitive. However, it worked well, if I just read one chapter at a time. OMG, you didn’t get on with “And Then There Were None”? 😉 I read it as a child and that was the book, which got me hooked on crime fiction.

    1. I probably missed the optimal period to encounter Agatha Christie. I can appreciate her importance to the genre but at this point in my life character trumps plot, and there are other writers who do better characterization.

  6. I’m on vacation this week, and I am planning to read like crazy, as many books as I can put in my brain in the available hours of this time off work. I love reading so much.

  7. Lory, I’m sorry that your reading has been so disappointing lately. I hope you will toss aside your plans and look around to find something that is calling to you. I’m just discovering Richard Rohr books myself, so I’m glad to be reading some of his early work rather than the newest (so very sorry to hear that this was disappointing).

    You are right about meditation. It has sustained me during this pandemic. I am a member of a group that meets on Wednesday morning, and, fortunately, one person knew how to use Zoom so that’s ongoing and supportive.

    German is a language I’ve never tried to master, and I don’t know why. I’ve been working on Spanish for almost forty years, and French for about fifteen, and I wrestled with Italian for a couple of years. I should try German one of these days now that I can learn anything on Rosetta Stone (lifetime subscription).

    1. You’re well along in the Romance languages, so it could be really interesting to give German a try. It’s a difference world in many ways.

  8. Agatha Christie is one of my absolute favorite authors but she isn’t for everyone. I’ve only read a few Jeeves books from Wodehouse but I always enjoy them. I struggle with straight meditation but have been doing a mix of yin yoga and mediation and it’s probably played a large part in me keeping my sanity! I hope you have a great week!

    1. We all need something to keep us sane. Always interested to hear what others are finding helpful.

  9. Beautiful picture with the snow there! My sister is working on learning Italian I think right now. She kept up with German after high school and decided to do Italian next I think. Hope that you have a good May!
    Lisa Loves Literature

    1. Thanks Lisa, I wish your sister all the best with her language learning. I wish I’d done more when I was younger, but it’s never too late.

  10. I took three years of German in high school and can only remember tiny bits now. I’m studying Japanese this year and loving the culture and sound of the language. I started reading Jesus Always each day and it has helped me stay less stressed about the world happenings–my faith has grown and I pray it continues to deepen. I’ve learned so much about a loving God this past year that I’d wished I’d known sooner.

    1. Danielle, I am so glad that recently your connection with a loving God has grown and deepened. Many wise people in challenging or terrible circumstances have also been strengthened in their faith, and their example helps me to keep going.

  11. “Year Of the Fat Knight” sounds very good. I saw Antony Sher in Athol Fugard’s “Hello and Goodbye” many years ago, and he was, of course, excellent!

    1. I actually found Year of the King more substantial somehow, but maybe it’s because I read it first and met the people and the general premise that way. Both are worth reading for theatre nuts. And you’re lucky you got to see Sher in a live play. I can only dream!

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