I read a lot in April because I had my wisdom teeth taken out and I chose to spend the following week reading! It was a good time, and now I’m very ahead on my goal to read 52 books this year. There are lots of books this month, so if you’re still reading by the end of the post I’ll be very impressed.
I read four non-fiction books this month; Daring Greatly (Brene Brown), Atomic Habits (James Clear), Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindbergh), and Between You and These Bones (F.D. Soul). I gave Daring Greatly 4 of 5 stars. The content was accessible, relatable and easy to digest while being reliable research, though none of the information was new or amazing to me. Discussing shame and vulnerability, it is important information but not mind-blowing for me. Some chapters I will reread, but I can’t imagine I’ll reread the entire book in full again. Atomic Habits I gave 4 of 5 stars. His points are very clear and make a lot of sense – all about building small, stackable habits with clear goals than trying to change your life in big ways all at once – and the content was very easy to understand and work my way through.
Gift from the Sea was a gentle, enjoyable read full of interesting observations and thoughts. I love how the author related her sentiments to shells she finds while on vacation. She comments on life and relationships, and her style of writing was very peaceful and easy to read. 4 of 5 stars. And finally, Between You and These Bones was a poetry book that I gave 3.5 of 5 stars. This book didn’t have any standout poems, which was disappointing as usually there are at least a few that stick with you long after you’ve finished the book. Not bad on any accounts, just not outstanding.
I read two Christian fiction novels by Tamera Alexander; A Lasting Impression, and A Note yet Unsung. I gave the first 5 stars and the second 4. A trilogy that can read as stand alone stories, with secondary characters and the location linking them together. Alexander writes beautifully, making me feel as though I am in the 1800’s with the characters. I like that though they are fiction and contain a bit of romance (of course), there is a centre of God’s love and forgiveness to His children, and how important it is to repent and stop running from the past.
Men Without Women (Haruki Murakami) was a collection of short stories that sadly did not live up to my expectations. The way it was written was beautiful, but the stories themselves were just… a little too weird for me? I didn’t like any of the characters – which isn’t necessarily a problem – but as they were short stories, I just couldn’t engage with the content. I believe he’s a fantastic writer, this book just wasn’t for me.
I also read another three novels. The Push (Ashley Audrain) I gave 4 stars. About a wife and mother who suspects her daughter isn’t the innocent, sweet child her husband thinks she is, this book was unputdownable. The mother, our narrator, is unreliable, keeping you guessing the entire time as to whether she is making up the bad things her daughter does, or whether she is the only one who sees the truth. This book had heart breaking moments and heart racing moments and did not disappoint in the slightest (oh, except the hideous cover).
The Girl Who Reads on the Metro (Christine Feret-Fleury) is a quick, enjoyable read of 4 stars. A bit bizarre, but overall lovely. This book captures the magic of reading, and the power books have, which I was drawn to. The premise is beautiful: a mysterious bookshop, and the ability to give people the exact right book. Interesting characters and lives, and a charming ending.
And lastly, Who is Maud Dixon (Alexandra Andrews), which is a new release I gave 4 stars. I loved the premise of this – about Florence, who wants to be a writer but is fired from her job in the publishing industry. Not long after, however, she gets a job as an assistant to a writer – Helen Wilcox, who writes under the pseudonym Maud Dixon. Only Florence and Helen’s literary agent know her true identity. I picked up this book because of the writing aspect, and because of the mystery, as Florence wakes up in hospital with no recollection of the car crash she was in. What I wasn’t expecting was the twists and turns that continued to shock me page after page. While the first few chapters set up the premise, this is a fast-paced guessing game that I could not put down. I highly recommend!