March Wrap-Up and a Look to April

by Kim on April 4, 2012 · 17 comments

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When I first looked ahead to March, I wrote that one of my goals was to get caught up with books I’ve accepted for review consideration. Looking back on the month, I think I was half successful with that goal — I’ve read all but one of the books I had on my plate for March, but I am woefully behind on writing reviews for them. Here’s what I finished this month:

  • We’re With Nobody by Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian (nonfiction)
  • Best American Essays 2011 edited by Edwidge Danticat (essays)
  • Notes from the Firehouse by D.E. McCourt (memoir)
  • Methland by Nick Reding (narrative nonfiction)
  • The Reconstructionist by Nick Arvin (fiction)
  • House of Stone by Anthony Shadid (memoir)
  • Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King (nonfiction)
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed (memoir)
  • India Becoming by Akash Kapur (narrative nonfiction)
  • The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (fiction)
From the short list of links, you can see how far behind I am on writing reviews… which is too bad, because nearly all of the books I read this month were fantastic. March was my best reading month in recent memory.

And Looking to April…

I actually did a pretty good job limiting the review copies I accepted for the month of April (May, however, is a totally different story… but we’ll get there in a month!). Here’s what I’ve got on my plate this month:

  • Butterfly’s Child by Angela Davis-Gardner for a TLC Book Tour
  • Winged Obsession by Jessica Speart, true crime nonfiction about the illegal butterfly industry (how much more quirky and fascinating could you get?)
  • City of Scoundrels by Gary Krist, subtitle: “The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago”
  • The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum, the story of three men (a detective, a gold-discovering former Marine, and a predator-conman with a vast criminal empire) during the Yukon Gold Rush

I also finally got John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars from the library, so I’ll be digging into that in the next couple of weeks. Probably when I’m in the mood for a good cry, because I don’t think there’s any way a book about teenagers with terminal cancer isn’t going to make me sob.

Oh, and some poetry! April is National Poetry Month, so I’d like to read at least one book of poetry during the month. I have a Billy Collins collection I haven’t read yet, Ballistics, and also recently bought a collection of Adrienne Rich’s poems, The Dream of a Common Language. Both of those sound great.

And then there are all the books on my Shelf of Doom. I haven’t been making good progress on that pile — I’ve just finished one so far — but maybe I can knock off a couple this month. I really, really want to read Possession by A.S. Byatt, but I haven’t been able to get into it yet. I think it just needs some sustained attention, and despite reading like a madwoman in March, I just couldn’t give it the time it needed.

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Flickr

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm April 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

I really liked City of Scoundrels! It’s a pretty quick read too, which should leave you some time to catch up on reviews. :)

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Yeah, I finished that one this week. It was pretty speedy (but in a good way).

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Belle Wong April 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

Congrats on getting all those review books read! I’ve been thinking about reading more essays lately – will have to add Best American Essays to my TBR.

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

The 2011 edition of BAE was so, so good. I highly recommend it.

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Suzanne April 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

I can’t wait to see your review of India Becoming — I have that one on my TBR

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Lu April 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

Methland and Wild! & Devil in the Grove!

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Stephanie April 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

I am behind with review books too. If there is no tour scheduled, I have a lot more trouble getting them done quickly. Apparently I need a rigid timeline! Good luck with April.

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I have the same problem. I’m not very good with setting and keeping to self-imposed deadlines.

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Jeff Smith April 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Regarding THE FLOOR OF HEAVEN, there is good news and bad. The good news is that I am currently working with the screenplay writer for the big screen version of the book! The bad news is that the book is wholly and intentionally inaccurate and should not be considered non-fiction.

I am a historian, author, and descendant of Soapy Smith, the bad guy in the book with whom Mr. Blum used my book as a source for his. Unfortunately, he chose to include a lot of fictional events in his book which is fine, but his book is actually defined as a historical novel over that of non-fiction. Sadly, there is not a single shred of information showing that the three key characters in his book ever met.

Of the three characters, Soapy Smith is by far the most interesting. I invite all to visit my sites.

Jeff Smith
author of ALIAS SOAPY SMITH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL
website: http://www.soapysmith.net
blog: http://www.soapysmiths.blogspot.com

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for your thoughts Jeff. I’m looking forward to reading the book and judging for myself.

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Florinda April 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

CIT OF SCOUNDRELS sounds interesting!

I usually try to ignore National Poetry Month, but I accepted a challenge from Serena to read and review a book of poems, CITY OF A HUNDRED FIRES by Richard Blanco, so I guess it’s on ☺.

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I don’t read much poetry, so I usually gloss over National Poetry Month too, despite my usual intentions to read something. Maybe this year will be different; good luck with your read/review!

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Care April 6, 2012 at 7:11 am

I’m interested in Methland. Congrats on a great March and good luck for a fab April!

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Vasilly April 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm

March was a fantastic month for you! I hope April goes just as well.

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Buried In Print April 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Well, even if the review writing is going slowly, you’ve read a lot of the books, which is half the struggle. Billy Collins is a favourite of mine, too, though I haven’t bought a collection of his in awhile. I suppose it would be very predictable to do so in April…

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Kim April 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

I haven’t read a poetry collection forever! I don’t know why I always avoid them, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to it in April either.

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