April was an amazing reading month for me. I read more books in a single month than I have read in years. It was wonderful and fulfilling. I can tell you May is off to a much slower start, but I'm okay with that.
Everything I Never Told You: After reading about this book on many best books of 2015 lists, I added it to my Amazon Wish List and Matthew surprised me with it in my Easter basket. I immediately devoured it. The book is about a Chinese American family and opens with the fact that one of the daughters has died. It weaves the characters' pasts into the present in a rich story about how our experiences impact our lives. I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn't like I felt I needed to tell the world about it.
Delicious: This was my book club's May selection. I always like to read our selects right away so that then I can encourage other members of the club as they are reading. Delicious is a lovely book about a girl who works at a food magazine, her discovery of letters writte to the editor in WWII and the people she works with. The story builds beautifully and by the last 20% I couldn't read fast enough to find out what happened. I didn't love this book at the beginning as much as I did at the end. In the days after reading it, I found myself thinking of the characters as if they were real people. Really delightful.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry: I posted a stack of books on Instagram and asked my followers what book I should read next. Nearly every comment said this book. It did not disappoint. I read it in just a few days and found it delightfully charming (you could easily read it in a day. It is an easy read.) AJ Fikry is a young widow who owns a small book shop. It's sales are terrible. He's lonely. When his prized collection of Poe poems is stolen, it seems like he can't get any lower. But then, something is delivered to his shop that changes the course of his life. I don't want to give too much away, but if you are looking for a light read, this is a perfect book to add to your list.
The Mother Letters: I read this book slowly over the course of the month. Each day I would read 1-3 letters. So much goodness in this book. The kind you want to give to everything mother and mother-to-be you know. It's exquisite too. I'll be writing more on this book soon, but for now, know that you should buy it.
The Forgetting Time: I devoured this book in a few days and couldn't stop thinking about it. I expect it will be one of my favorite reads of 2016. The Forgetting Time is about a single mother Janie whose 4-year-old son has horrific episodes, screaming for his “other mama”, fearing water and talking of guns. After his school encourages a psychiatric evaluation, Janie meets Jerome Anderson, a professor of psychology who is renowned for his work researching the stories of children who remembered past lives. I don't want to give too much away, but the journey they go on to help Noah and find peace is an incredible page-turner.
When Breath Becomes Air: I got this book as an add on from Book of the Month Club (another perk of the membership is that add on books are only $10 and ship free, often making the books way cheaper than Amazon.). I didn't really know what to expect, just that a lot of people seemed to be reading it. When Breath Becomes Air is an incredibly poignant memoir written by a young neurosurgeon who has a terminal cancer diagnosis. In the book he explores the question What makes a life worth living? I found myself captivated by his story, his education, his compassion and his perspective. The afterward is written by his wife and her words had me sobbing. A phenomenal book.
The Better Life: Small Things You Can Do Right Where You Are: I've had this on my bookshelf since it released and am so glad I finally picked it up. It is a very short, easy read, but full of practical advice you can apply immediately to your life. Perfect for anyone who leads a busy life.
The month of May is a bit overbooked for me, so I am not sure how much reading I am going to get in. I just signed up for Audible and selected Dead Wake by Erik Larson for my first book. It was recommended to me by Anne Bogel and has great reviews on Amazon.
If you have read it I would love to know what you thought! I have listened to an hour so far (It's about 12 hours long) and I am intrigued, but not sure I want to devote that much time to it… I have about 75 minutes in the car every day, so I am going to give it at least a few days and see what I think.
Please let me know if you have good audio book recommendations! I especially love historical fiction.
Other books on my list (I definitely won't be able to read all of these this month!):
- The Perfume Collector
- Flight of Dreams
- Rules of Civility
- Invention of Wings
- Wild and Free
- At the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Lastly, if you didn't catch my post last week on how I select great books to read, definitely check it out. It has gotten great feedback (one person told me they thought it was one of the best posts I'd ever written on The Mom Creative- ha!). I do think it is a valuable resource if you are looking for some new literary inspiration.
What books did you read in April?