Friday, May 3, 2019

What I Read: April

I read some really great books in April! I read a longer ebook this time around so I only made it through one this month and it took me almost the entire month! I started a long audiobook which I will likely finish in May so I didn't have many audiobooks either, but I made up for that with regular books.

Regular Books:
  • The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick- I saw this book on a list of new books coming out at the library. I didn't read what it was about, but it looked like it would be interesting and it had library in the title, what was there not to love? The book was so amazing and I adored it! I liked the fairy tales she and her mother and grandmother wrote in the book. It left me expecting something more magical than what actually happened with the book, something more like a fairy tale but I still loved the book! I would highly recommend this one.
  • Finding Nouf by Zoe Farraris- My mom recommended this one to me a while back and I was in the mood for a book set in the middle east or India somewhere so I picked this one. The mystery part of it wasn't super suspenseful since you knew from the beginning the girl died. My favorite part of the book was how she drew awareness to women in those societies and how they are treated/mistreated. I loved how she made Nayir start to question if the way women were treated was really protecting them. It was very insightful and clever how she did it.
  • All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding- I read about this one in a Book Pages magazine at the library. I put it on hold thinking it would be a fun, creepy one to read during October. I guess I didn't pay attention when I read about it, but it was an upcoming release. I realized when it finally came in at the library in April that it hadn't released until March. It was really suspenseful and kept me interested not just in the main storyline but the others surrounding it. It was really scary to think about Elise growing up with online dating and dating apps after reading this book. But honestly who knows how that will have changed by the time she is of age.
  • Dream More by Dolly Parton- I saw this book on multiple book lists with great reviews. I really wanted to get it as an audiobook since it was read by Dolly herself. I think that would have made it so much better! It was still enjoyable and a super easy read. I read it in one day. It really wasn't anything too special in my opinion, though. I've felt like with a lot of books like this, if you've read one, you've read them all. But you can always learn something, even if it is something small from each one. My favorite thing Dolly said was, "People like to say, when someone is giving you trouble, even in your own house, that the devil is at work. I never believe it. It's always God at work, because God puts the challenging people there for me, to care about them and to learn from them." Then she said, "So if I have one favor to ask you, it is to care more. Leave the judging to God." I loved that! I've always felt that the most challenging students in my class are the ones I enjoy the most because they challenge me to think differently and to come up with more and more interventions until I find the one that works. And when you find the one that works, it is so rewarding! I was just talking about that with our director during my evaluation. As far as adults, I feel like the challenging people force me to look at myself and discover what insecurities I have that are allowing them to effect me or what areas I need to strengthen to be the person I want to be even in the face of their challenges.
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed- After reading Tiny Beautiful Things which was a compilation of Strayed's responses to people who wrote in asking her questions as Sugar, I really wanted to read this book. It sounded like it was the book that made her a famous writer. I loved the way she wrote in Tiny Beautiful Things plus I love reading about backpacking. I was interested to read about the Pacific Crest Trail after reading Bill Bryson's book about backpacking the Appalachian Trail. I loved the book and once again found myself mesmerized by her writing style. Now I'm excited to go backpacking sometime! I've never done that. I've only either camped or hiked, never gone backpacking!
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson- One of my running buddies mentioned this book on a run quite a while ago. Goodreads recommended it to me recently which reminded me I wanted to read it. I downloaded it as an ebook. I usually stick to shorter ebooks because I don't read them as often, but this one was pretty long so I had to renew it a couple times. It was interesting but I also felt like it dragged on in some of the less interesting sections and then barely touched on stuff that I thought was really interesting. I might have liked it more as a regular book. It might have felt like it dragged on since I read it as an ebook and it took me so long to finish it! I think I was hoping for something more along the lines of some of the other nonfiction books I've read like In Cold Blood and American Fire. It was definitely not as well written as either of those books. 
  • Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott- This book was another one read by the author. Her voice was a little dry but it worked with her stories. I was looking for another short audiobook to listen to while I continued to wait on an audiobook I had on hold to come in. I picked this one because it was short and was on my to read list. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I laughed quite a bit over her concern about how we would recover from George W. Bush as president and had to wonder what she thinks of Trump if she was worried about ole Georgey as president back in the day! It's amazing how Trump as president can really color all presidencies that came before him. One morning I was listening to this as I foam rolled and was caught off guard as she went into her story about losing her dog to lymphoma. I found myself laying on the floor weeping rather than foam rolling but was surprised that when I was done crying I felt better. It made me think about how things seem so unfair when they happen to us, but really they are just the way of the world. I felt the same way after Harper died that she did after her dog died. She said she never wanted to get another dog because she didn't want to go through the pain of loss again. That's exactly what I felt and it made me feel a strong kinship to her. I think as time goes on we realize the enrichment of life through pets is worth the pain of losing them.
  • How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry- I was drawn in to this one because it was about a bookshop. I think my favorite romanticized job is owning a book shop and living above it. It sounds so cozy and wonderful, but I know it would actually be a terribly difficult job and one that would be nearly impossible to make a living doing. This book was so wonderful. After I finished it, I just kept coming back to these characters and thinking of them. I loved that she allowed each character to have this glaring flaw or negative aspect of their character but allowed them to be so lovable and wonderful in spite of it. I also liked how there were so many different characters who all were connected to the bookshop in some way and were all connected to each other. It had that Love Actually feel to it that I just adore. I know I use that reference a lot but it kind of describes a genre for me where there are all these characters who are interconnected and oftentimes you don't figure out how exactly until the end of the book (although this one isn't one where it's all revealed at the end) and the book all comes together in love. I just adore it. 


  1. More to add to my list to read! I'm reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult right now and she is my new favorite author.

    1. I've never read Jodi Picoult. She came to visit an independent book store here. I was there yesterday for book club and saw they had signed copies of her books for sale.