Monday, May 1, 2023

What we read in May

It’s a new month! Yay! I am not sad to see April go because that means we are closer to summer and warmer weather! April was a solid reading month for me since I had flights to LA, Tucson, and Chicago. On work trips, I tend to read on flights (Delta’s free WI-FI has been awful so working isn’t an option) and a lot in the evening if I don’t have dinners at night. So I managed to read 8 books! 


These were my favorites! Hello Beautiful will for sure make my top 10 books of 2023 - and how gorgeous is the cover!! It was sooo good. It’s a character driven novel about 4 sisters that live in Chicago. We watch their lives unfold over several decades. I think it will especially resonate with those with bigger families. This would be an excellent bookclub book. Jacqueline in Paris is a historical fiction novel about Jackie Kennedy’s junior year in post-war Paris. I’m a huge fan of Jackie and this was well-researched and particularly focused on the fear of communism in the wake of WWII. Lastly I Have Some Questions For You has Serial season one vibes as it’s about a podcaster that returns to her high school boarding school to look into a murder that happened during her senior year in 1995. I loved this author’s previous book, The Great Believers; this book was very different but still excellent. I heard an interview of the author and she doesn’t love being compared to Serial but it’s hard to not draw that comparison.


The last 5 were all great! Bully Market is a memoir about a woman’s experience working on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs in the early aughts. I probably wouldn’t recommend it unless you work in finance or are curious about the horrid treatment of women in finance (which has luckily significantly improved but still has a ways to go, especially on the ‘sell side’ of the industry). Small Things Like These is a slim, quiet Irish novel about a home for unwed mothers that has gotten a lot of buzz lately. I liked it but didn’t love it - I think I would have preferred a longer book with more exposition about what was happening but it was still great. More Than You’ll Ever Know is similar to I Have Some Questions in that it’s about a journalist researching a crime that happened many years ago. It’s about a woman who was living a double life - she has a husband in TX and another in Mexico. When one finds out about the other, he allegedly kills the other husband. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is about Matthew Perry’s struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. I think he said he spent $7 million on rehab programs! It was a sad memoir that made me wonder how anyone kicks addiction given that an incredibly wealthy, privileged person barely kicked it. I read Girls They Write Songs About after reading about it on Nicole’s blog (hi Nicole!). It’s an excellent look at a complicated lifelong female friendship and I especially loved that it was set in NYC as that is one of my favorite cities. 

Boys’ reads:

Laying on the ground, reading a book. This makes my heart so happy!

We haven’t checked out anything noteworthy lately so I guess we are in a bit of a picture book reading lull. But Will’s interest in books continues to grow and he will happily read book after book after book! Paul is still learning to read. It’s not something we are pushing as I know he’ll learn to read in school but it is very cool to see him learn to read!! 

Did you read anything great in April?


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much - some great book recommendations, which will help get out of my current reading slump!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I also liked Jacqueline in Paris and thought it was fun to read a little about the post-war Paris rather than the city during the war. I have had Hello Beautiful on hold for a while and am glad to hear that you liked that, and have put the Makkai book on hold for the future (although I think I started Great Believers and could not get into it, but am willing to try another!)

I read a lot of books in April due to doing a backpacking trip at the start of the month, which involved a flight. I can easily listen to one book a day if I am hiking by myself. Some of my favorites were The Year of Living Danishly, Just the Nicest Couple and The Golden Couple.

Elisabeth said...

So fun! And I have already added Hello Beautiful to my holds list (but I'm like #62 on 12 copies will take a while.

I've heard very mixed reviews on the Matthew Perry book, but I am curious and seeing that you rate it well will likely push me over the edge to order it in.

I read a lot in April (for me).

Some favourites:
- The Nothing Man. Couldn't put it down!
- Crying in H Mart. Really enjoyed this; went in without knowing anything about the memoir and found it touching and powerful, but realize there are mixed feelings on this one.
- How To Keep House While Drowning.
- What Alice Forgot. An old book at this point, but again - couldn't put it down.
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. I didn't love the writing style, but it gave me so much to ponder.
- All The Light We Cannot See. I have about 50 pages left and have loved it. If this isn't a movie HAS TO BE at some point, right? (I just went to check and it's going to be a miniseries on Netflix coming out this November).

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Oh how fun that Paul is learning to read!! What an amazing stage. And that Will is enjoying books more is fantastic too.

I really want to read the Rebecca Makkai, but haven't gotten to it yet.

I read some really good books in April but nothing that was five stars I don't think.

Jenny said...

Oooh! More Than You'll Ever Know and I Have Some Questions For You sound great- I love mysteries! I just finished re-reading a couple Agatha Christie books, which was fun but a little mindless. And right now I'm reading Des Linden's book, which I'm enjoying.

Daria said...

Great recommendations, thank you! I've had my eyes on "Small Things like These" for a while now. There is a wait at my local library.

I only read four books in April, 8 is great!

1. Make Space for Happiness by Tracy McCubbin (audio, quick)
2. The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees (light adn quick)
3.Lost Connections by Johann Hari (loooong, fundamental, had to sift through research)
4. How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis (found valuable+quick read)
5. This is a story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (cherry picked essays).

Sarah said...

Jacqueline in Paris looks great-- adding to my library list as we speak :)

coco said...

another solid month of reading despite the work craziness. I only read 3 books, city of girls was the novel that I bought few years ago and finally read it. the quote I like the most is once I like someone, I can's unlike. so beautiful.

Jeanie said...

It looks like a good month. The one about Jacqueline Kennedy sounds interesting. You don't hear that much about her time in Paris.

Grateful Kae said...

Looks like some great reads! I finished The Tipping Point and have been (slowly) reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky. Have you read that? I have no idea if it was a big name or not. It was the April bookclub choice for my work bookclub, but I didn't end up starting it until just a few days before... and then I had a conflict and couldn't attend the book club meeting, anyway! So now I'm just continuing on reading it on my own. :)

Sarah said...

I have been seeing Hello Beautiful everywhere, so I'm happy to see it lives up to the hype. I feel like it's the new Lessons in Chemistry. I also feel like there are sooo many "murder at my old boarding school" books that I'm kind of burnt out on them!

Stephany said...

Ooh, I'm glad to hear that you loved Hello Beautiful, as I picked it as one of my BOTM picks last month. The cover is so gorgeous, I couldn't help myself!

I read 9 books in April and loved I Have Some Questions for You the most. Such a well-written story!

Anne said...

Oooh, I Have Some Questions for You and Hello Beautiful both sound good. You read a lot! Travel is good for that. Also, I miss being able to lie on a rug and read like Will is doing. :)