Wednesday, May 1, 2019

What We Read in April

Mom's Reads

I had another strong reading month. I read very little when I was on vacation - typically I would read 2-3 books on a vacation. Turns out traveling with a toddler doesn't leave much time for reading! I made up for it, though, and read 9 books this month! Some of them were fairly short so that is how I read so many books in one month! I italicized the books that were 5-star reads.

Books 12 and 13 in the Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache Series

I'm one book away from being caught up with this series. Part of me wants to hurry up and read it, another part is putting it off as I know the next book won't come out until August. I'll be so sad when this series ends! These books really do keep getting better and better. I enjoyed the early books but have LOVED the last 5-6 in the series.

Non-Fiction Reads

I read 4 non-fiction books which a lot for me! 

Everything is Horrible and Wonderful is a memoir written by a woman whose brother died from a heroin overdose (which started as an addiction to pain pills). Her brother was a successful comedian and senior writer on the show, "Parks and Rec." He had been in rehab three times but after his death, she learns that he started using again within a week of leaving rehab. It made me wonder how a person of average means can overcome an opioid addiction when an affluent person who can afford the best of care succumbed to it. Opioid addiction is such a huge problem in our country; reading this book made me wonder how we are ever going to solve this problem. 

Inheritance is a memoir written by a women who, on a whim, takes an tests and finds out the man she thought was her father wasn't. Her parents have both passed when she learns this so it's up to her to figure out what happened. This is such a relevant topic these days with the advent of inexpensive genetic testing. It made me wonder how many people receive a bombshell like this. But it also made me think about what it means to be a mother and father - how much do genetics really matter in the parent/child relationship? I think the answer is not very much. 

Dear Fahrenheit 451 is written by a librarian in Michigan. In the first part of the book, she writes letters to books that she had strong opinions about, both good and bad. The second part of the book is about a collection of topics such as read-alikes (i.e. if you liked this book, try this book) and other miscellaneous thoughts on reading. It was an entertaining read for a book nerd like me!

Bad Blood is a non-fiction book that reads like fiction. It's about a company called Theranos that was supposed to revolutionize the way blood is collected and tested. It was maddening to read how their unproven, unvalidated device was used to make patient care decisions. The company lied about the accuracy of their device. One of the largest clients of Theranos was Walgreens. You'd think they'd do some due diligence! But the owner and CEO of Theranos was so secretive and her ridiculous level of secrecy made people think she was onto something revolutionary but really she was hiding the fact that the whole operation was bogus. 


A Woman is No Man is a debut novel about the terrible way women are typically treated in the Arab culture. It features a dual-narrative structure as we hear from both a mother and daughter who are living in Brooklyn. The story was so well crafted so I was very surprised to learn it was the author's first novel!

The Masterpiece was the 3rd novel I read by Fiona Davis. It was entertaining but I didn't like it as much as her first 2 books. Her books are set in a prominent building in NYC. This book was set in the Grand Central Terminal. It was interesting to read about how the building was almost torn down but was saved by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Less won the Pulitzer last week. I usually avoid award-winning books but I was assured that this was very readable and entertaining. I would say it was 'just ok.' I need to stick to my rule of not reading books that win huge awards I guess!

Paul's Books

Paul is still very into lift the flap books. Dear Zoo is his favorite but he enjoyed a farm book Grandma Joan got him for Easter.

He still loves the Little Blue Truck book. The original one and the spring book are his favorite.

We love Little Blue Truck
He also really likes one of the Easter books I got him. It has a finger puppet and he giggles and giggles when we read that book and move the bunny around.

What have you been reading lately?


The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I'm reading a ton of older books that I got at fill a bag days at our library sales in the past. I am trying to clear one book shelf for the baby and I need to my other one downstairs. So it's been interesting. Lots of read to donate going on. I'm currently reading Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck and 3 chapters in I like it.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I totally recommend a couple young adult books that are award winners, but I think those are more readable just because they are meant for youth. I am obsessed with The Giver series by Louis Lowry, and read it with my students every year. The first book won the Newberry award, and I usually really enjoy all the Newberry winners. Anyway, it's one of my favourite books and the kids always love it. I also absolutely love The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It's another that I read with the kids every year, and they end up talking about it and referring back to it all year long.

Gracie said...

I don't know about award-winning, but if Oprah ever even let her pinky finger touch a book, I won't go anywhere near it! She and I clearly do not share a taste in books!

Jeanie said...

Don't wait too long for the next Gamache. And Louise P. has a new one coming in August! I was worried she was done with the series but no!

I'm reading "The Widow" by Fiona Barton. I just finished "Becoming"(MIchelle Obama) and "Edward VIII" by Philip Ziegler (500 pages!) and a mystery called "The Incredible Crime" from the British Library series of 30s mysteries. I'm part way into Lynne Truss' "The Cat from Hell" or something like it. Not sure if I'll finish. I probably will but not enjoying that much!

Amber said...

I got Olivia one of those finger puppet books as well (hers has a moose - very Canadian ;) ) and she LOVES it. She is also still really into lift the flap books.

I could not get into Bad Blood when I tried listening to it, I just kept zoning out since there was SO much name dropping, but maybe I will have to try reading it as I've heard sooo many people rave about it. I thought Inheritance was a really interesting read, I listened to that one as well and you could really hear the emotion in the authors voice at some parts when she talked about her journey. I read the book The Ex-Pats last month, it was an Anne Bogel recc and recently on sale on kindle and was a good page turner of a read.

Stephany said...

A good fiction read-alike for the book about Harris Wittles is All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. It's completely different than her usual novels, and tells the story of a woman who seems to have it all but ends up getting addicted to pain pills to deal with the stress of her life. It showed just how easy it can be to get sucked into that kind of addiction. A lot of people said they didn't like the main character but I think that's what made her so well-written. Drug addicts are typically very lovable and trustworthy!

I'm currently in the middle of The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne, which I started reading on the plane to Ireland. I usually finish at least a couple of novels when I'm on vacation, but this trip was SO busy (and this book is nearly 600 pages...) so it's taking me more time than usual to read. But it's so fun to read about places I know, since it takes place in Dublin and I was just there!

Marlys said...

I love how Paul is so into his books! That just warms my heart.
We watched the movie, Ben is Back, about a young man who became addicted after being on opioids. It was so devastating to see how tricky they become and how difficult it is to kick the habit. I am truly inspired by anyone who overcomes any addiction as it is such hard work.

San said...

You got a lot of reading done and I love that Paul loves books, too. You gotta get them young ;)

I haven't read anything for the last few weeks, mainly because I was busy with soaking up family time, but I am looking forward to picking up a book again.