02 April 2015

Last Month in Review: April 2015



Oh, March.  Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.  That's all I have to say about you.

March was a terrible month.  I mean, my reading was only okay for the month, but at least I got to meet Kazuo "Call Me Ish" Ishiguro and hang out with him and his wife for a little bit, so it wasn't shabby on the bookish front.  But I had to drive to Boston. Twice. In the snow. And the driveway was covered in ice and mostly I just wanted to grumble and crawl back under the covers every morning.  I'm a bit of a wimp that way.

Because I started tons of books and never made it very far into many of them, my stats don't really reflect the sheer number of pages I consumed, as I only completed six books.  In chronological order, they are:


1. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Audio book, read by the author.  Holy crap, but this was a good book.  My book reviews are woefully behind at this point, but I certainly hope that I can get around to talking about this one on the blog.  This is an important book, and I don't say that lightly, and it's probably the most important nonfiction book I'll read all year.


2. Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry.  This book enchanted me from nearly page one.  I enjoyed puzzling out the ways that the different characters' stories would come together.  If you like the idea of combining the seedy underbelly of  fin de si├Ęcle New York City with The Night Circus, you'd like this book, too. I do hope to get around to reviewing this one, too, because I just enjoyed it SOOOO much.


3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  This is the first book in what will no doubt be a trilogy.  This new YA dystopian series combines the machinations and court intrigues of the series The Tudors with a worldview and structure that is derived from The Hunger Games. This was a quick read, and while I didn't love the book overall, I did like the ending.  I doubt very much that I will take the time to review it, though.


4. Lifted By the Great Nothing by Karim Dimechkie.  This is a book that started off really well for me and then fizzled out a bit.  It's a dual coming of age story, it's the immigrant experience writ large, and it's a story of family secrets that would perhaps have been better left uncovered. I kinda doubt that I'll review this one, but we'll see...

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  Audio book read by Claire Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher. This book was okay; I probably would have enjoyed it more if it had been hyped less.  I don't read a lot of mysteries, so I was a bit surprised when the character I had pegged from early on as the one "whodunit" was actually the culprit.  The entire book is told in three different first person, present tense narrators, a structure that I actively loathe. The readers were all solid choices, though, so there's that.



6. I'd Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them by Jesse Goolsby. I read this as an ebook one night during an endless fit of insomnia.  It's pretty derivative of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (not least for its cover design), and not nearly as good. I don't think I'll be reviewing this one, either.




So, that's it.  Only six books completed. I'm not sure how much better April will be, since I'll be traveling to Ireland for the first time with my two best friends from high school & college -- we're gonna be go, go, go to make the most of our eight nights on the ground there. Which means that every time I log into Goodreads these day, it shames me when I look at the percentage of books that I'm behind in my reading goal for the year.

How about y'all? Did you read anything spectacular in March?  Are you as glad to see the last month of winter in the rearview mirror as I am? 

13 comments:

  1. Ok, I think my voice teacher bought Red Queen, and I super-want to borrow it because the premise sounded kickass and like something I would like. BUT ALSO I think Imma check out Church of Marvels. Because oooh.

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    1. Church of Marvels is SOOOOO good. But Red Queen is also fun and super-fast, so read both.

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  2. I only read 2 books in March, which bums me out, but is one more than I did in February (I think), so that's a win, right? Also, I am dying, DYING, to get my hands on Church of Marvels. so glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yeah, it was so fantastic. And the author is coming to our store in June 'cause it's our store's First Editions Club selection for June.

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    2. Also, it's not like you don't have a small little bundle of excellent reasons not to be able to read like you used to!

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  3. Oh gosh, Just Mercy. Don't you feel like the world would be a better place if everyone had it uploaded into their brains?

    I've been going back and forth over picking up Church of Marvels (I keep getting duped by books in this vein!), but you are swaying me!

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  4. All The Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer was probably my best read. Steinhauer's acknowledgement is in the front of the book, so, naturally, I read it first. I liked the way he described how he wrote this book, and how the plot takes place mostly around a restaurant table set for two. I guess clever is my word for the book. Belle

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  5. NEVER feel guilty about reading less because you are experiencing life to the fullest.

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  6. I have The Girl on the Train coming up some year, if I ever come up in the queue at the library. By that point, the hype will probably die down!

    I can't wait to hear about your Irish adventures. :)

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  7. March is the worst: you are correct. Sounds like you made a good go of it, though -- some of these reads sound great. Looking forward to your Irish-travel post! Will you be doing any literary tourism type stuffs?

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  8. I want to read Church of Marvels very badly because all that it needed was the mere mention of "The Night Circus". I'M SOLD. <3

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  9. SO glad you read and enjoyed Just Mercy! I agree that it's an important book - I wish it was required reading for our entire country.

    I'm now so intrigued about Church of Marvels! I'll keep an eye out for it. I've been on a huge non-fiction kick lately, and I need good novels to mix in.

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