Monday, May 2, 2016

What I Read: April

I am going to start doing a monthly post about what I have read each month.  First of all, I love reading what other people have read (and then getting ideas for new books to checkout from those posts!).  Second, I think it will give me a sense of accountability.  After reading through this month's list, I feel the need to perhaps add a little more depth to my list!

Also, if you are interested in reading any of these, I linked them to amazon (although your local library is free!).

The Royal We

This is a great example of why shared kindle accounts are fun.  Someone in my family (I'm guessing Katy?) downloaded this book to our account.  It's about the romance between an American exchange student and the young, British prince.  It's something that would never have caught my eye, but I really enjoyed it!  It's not a hard read, but it's interesting and funny.  

If you are looking for something a little on the light side (but not too fluffy) this is a good read.  And of course, if you are interested in the British monarchy, it's a really interesting read too.  Disclaimer: this was a little more on the wild side.

This Is Awkward

Oh goodness.  Get this book.  Read it.  You will love it.

I have mentioned before that I struggle to get through most non-fiction.  This book broke that rule.  It reads sort of like a memoir and it's written by an RUF pastor.  This Is Awkward is raw and real (sometimes painfully so, just check out the subtitle!), but the end result is amazing.  I tore through this book and loved it.  

Seriously, you will not be disappointed. 

The Things We Keep

I read a few posts that recommended this book.  Honestly, I wasn't a fan.  I kept waiting and wanting more, something a little bigger.  But really, the book was pretty straight forward. 

It's about a young woman with early onset dementia who moves into a nursing home.  She starts a friendship/romance with another young person that, a man with another form of dementia.  Again, not awful, but also not my favorite.

After You

I have been on the waitlist for several months for this book, the sequel to Jojo Moye's Me Before You.  It actually came in while I was out of town and I asked the librarian for special permission to have Bech pick it up for me (sans library card) because I didn't want to give up my place on the hold list!

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Look, sequels are hard.  If you've read Me Before You, you know that following up that story is going to be extra hard.  So in one respect, it was good.  I wanted to read more about the Traynors and about Louisa Clark and her family.  But one of the central elements of the story seemed like a bit of a stretch.

In the end though, I would say I liked this book; I might even say I liked it a lot.  If you read the first book, then definitely read this one too.  And if you haven't read Me Before You, oh goodness, go do that.

Dear Mr. Knightley

I'm a sucker for books written as letters (or should I say, letters written as books?  whatever, you know what I mean!).  Maybe it started with Beverly Cleary's Dear Mr. Henshaw.  Who knows?  I just love that style.  It is so fun to read!

This book is about Samantha, a girl from the foster care system.  She graduates college, gets a job, loses the job, and doesn't know where to go.  She gets a special scholarship for graduate school but there is one condition:  she has to write the head of the organization.  She has no idea who he is or even what his name is (she is told to call him Mr. Knightley), and he doesn't write back.  But she writes during this almost two year graduate program at Northwestern to tell him all about it and her life.

Samantha is used to living in her world of books, especially the Brontes and Jane Austen.  She even quotes the books instead of actually speaking.  This book shows how she finally learns to connect with others around her, how she starts talking about and dealing with her past, and how she learns to be a good journalist.  

I loved this book.  Again, it was another book that I just found on my kindle (my mom said it was the kindle deal of the day so she got it).  I liked this book because it was intense and heavy at times, but still overall a pretty happy book.

Someday, Someday Maybe

Can you believe Lorelei Gilmore wrote a book?

Oh, fine, her name is Lauren Graham.  Lorelei doesn't actually exist.  But still, how can I resist reading this book?

I have a suspicion (especially after reading the acknowledgements) that much of this book is based on Lorelei's Lauren's real life.  I definitely want to look into that!  This book is about Franny Banks, an aspiring actress in her 20's, living in NYC.  It's funny and sweet.  I really enjoyed this book, and not just because of who the author is!

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library

I saw this book somewhere online and was immediately intrigued by the title.  You know how some people like young adult fiction?  Not me...give me children's literature all day.  Anne?  Laura Ingalls?  The Giver?  Yes, please!

I would describe this book as a much more tame Westing Game.  It is definitely a children's book, but I enjoyed reading it.  Twelve 7th graders win a lock-in at the new (and amazing) public library.  But it is actually a game to see who can escape.  The book is full of fun puzzles.

I wouldn't suggest reading this unless you just enjoy reading children's books.  What I would suggest is buying this for any elementary school kids in your life.

The Secret Keeper

This book is going on the April list, although to be fair, I listened to 1/3 of it in March.  I logged into my mom's Audible account a few months ago and downloaded several of her books.  

I really enjoy listening to some books (Harry Potter, Flavia de Luce, Murder She Wrote).  This one, not so much.  I finally gave up the listening and just checked it out from the library.

Whoa, what a difference!  I tore through the rest of this book (I read 300 pages in a day!).  Kate Morton is a great writer.  Her plots are always across at least two time periods.  I love the way she weaves the stories together.  

This story is about a woman who is dying.  Her daughter is trying to piece together a pretty crazy memory that happened when she was a teenager.  The story goes back and forth between WWII era and present day.  I absolutely loved the ending.

I think I didn't like the audio version because it is a drier, more slow story.  I enjoy listening to fast paced books or books with a little humor--not really Kate Morton's thing.  I would suggest reading this book.  I think I might check out some more of Morton's books in May (I've also read her The Forgotten Garden).


Ah, another Elin Hildebrand book.  I've read a good amount of her books and I really enjoy them.  This book was good, but definitely not my favorite.  Maybe because I'm reading it during a still chilly Vermont April.  Her books, all taking place on Nantucket and most during the summer, are really best for beach reading.

This book is about four 17 year olds who have a car crash--one girl is dead and her twin brother is in a coma.  The story centers around the question--why did the now dead girl wreck the car?  I would suggest this book, but wait until you can read it while laying out!

Alright, so there's April for you.  9 books, which seems like a lot.  But, I had already listened to part of one and one was a children's book and thus a super quick read.  

My goal for next month is to read at least 7 books, at least 1 classic (I'm working on that one currently), at least 1 non-fiction, and at least 1 memoir (I'm counting that as different than the non-fiction).


Holly said...

Ellie loved Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library! She read the sequel, Library Olympics. And in April, our pre-ordered copy of The Island of Dr Libris arrived and she read it in one sitting. Great books! I love the idea of the shared kindle books. Ellie and I are working on a list for a mother-daughter summer reading club (just us!). I'm hoping we can read a lot more of the classics (and my old favorites) together since she skipped past a lot of them in school, reading more Rick Riordan type books instead.

Courtney said...

I can't believe you're just now reading Lauren Graham's book! I bought it when it came out. I really liked it. It was a fun read. I don't have the energy to read anything new these days so I'm sloooowly making my way through the Anne series again. I read a chapter or two every night after my other reading, which is (in this order):
Goodnight Moon
Bedtime for Baby
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
Are You My Mother?
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (this one is dependent on M's mood)

Thrilling stuff, huh? I want to read the Emily of New Moon series, but I hesitate to check it out of the library considering how long it is taking me to get through Anne.