April Reads

Before we get into what I read in April (which, spoiler alert, was largely, meh), let’s highlight two great reading-related posts on other corners of the internet.

From GQ, How to Read a Whole Damn Book. I don’t do everything the author suggests, but I love the tone of the article. Just read a book. It’s not that hard. Stop Instagramming your book, stop trying to get to the end of something because you think you should, just read. You’ll be surprised how easy it is.

And from Everyday Reading, Janssen picked 3 books she’ll read this summer, based on her readers’ suggestions. I loved Echo when I read it last spring, and I remember seeing Ali was reading Loving My Actual Life. I ordered it right away when it came back up here, and I can’t wait to start it.


Now on to my meh month. March was full of great reads, and April left me feeling lackluster (except at the very end). Onward.

Just Read:

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson – I didn’t agree with a lot of his views on how much people were or were not to blame in a lot of cases, which meant this one wasn’t my favorite. Also, I thought it already felt a little dated, which isn’t surprising in an ever-changing field of social media.

The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines, and some guy who interviewed them and transcribed it without his questions and called it this book – It’s exactly what you think it’s going to be. A fun, quick read.

The Happiest Kids in the World, by Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison – On the plus side, I learned that it is acceptable to eat chocolate sprinkles on toast and call it breakfast. On the minus side, this book seems like it was cranked out quickly because we love books about ways other cultures get life right. I wish it was more in depth, and not so general.

Towers Falling, by Jewell Parker Rhodes – Without a doubt the highlight of the month for me. It’s written for middle grade students, but I’d recommend it to anyone who was a student on September 11 as well.

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I had to plow through this one, and as I only just finished it, I’m not entirely sure what I think yet. I liked it-ish? I assumed it would be more of a page-turner, and for me, it wasn’t. I am obviously someone who loves middle grade fiction, so maybe that’s why, but I do think The Giver is a better take on dystopian futures than this one. Excited to watch the Hulu series nonetheless.

Today Will be Different, by Maria Semple – I love her. I love her writing. I want to say that no one does frazzled suburban moms better than Maria Semple, but that claim, though true, would turn off 90% of potential readers. This isn’t a mommy-book, but it is. In the same way Bernadette wasn’t, but was. I don’t know how to write about Semple’s books other than to tell you that so much of what makes her so great is in how unique her writing is. She defies categorization and writes the snarkiest, driest literature I’ve ever read. Flat out loved this one, as will anyone else who often feels pulled in a zillion directions at once.


At Home in the World, by Tsh Oxenreider – Always love hearing from Tsh. This one went on super-sale for Kindle, so I snagged it about a week ago.

My (Not So) Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella – She was one of the first chick lit authors who drew me back into reading in late high school and college.  I loved the Shop-a-holic books, but then her later stuff fell flat for me. This one has been fun, if formulaic, so far.

Want to Read:

Gracious, by Kelly Williams Brown – I loved Adulting, and this seems like it’s the kind of thing I love reading.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese – I’ve wanted to read this forever, and a friend just gifted me her copy, so it’s time.

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