April Wrap-Up and a Look to May

by Kim on May 6, 2012 · 16 comments

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I had a ridiculously, amazingly good month of reading in April — 14 books for a total of 4,794 pages read and 16.5 hours listened. That’s a ton of reading for me. A ton!

I don’t think the quality of the books was quite as high as March, but that would have been pretty hard to do, since half of the books I read in March received five-star reviews. On the whole, average for April was probably 3.5 or four stars each. Here’s what I finished in April:

  1. Green, John: The Fault in Our Stars (YA fiction)
  2. Krist, Gary: City of Scoundrels (nonfiction)
  3. Gawande, Atul: Complications (memoir)
  4. Davis-Gardner, Angela: Butterfly’s Child (fiction)
  5. Peters, Elizabeth: Crocodile on the Sandbank (fiction/mystery)
  6. Martin, George R.R.: Clash of Kings (fiction/fantasy)
  7. Speart, Jessica: Winged Obsession (narrative nonfiction)
  8. Moriarty, Laura: The Chaperone (fiction)
  9. Nicholls, Davis: One Day (fiction/audio book)
  10. Lancaster, Jen: Bitter is the New Black (memoir)
  11. Ozma, Alice: The Reading Promise (memoir)
  12. Bergstein, Rachelle: Women From the Ankle Down (nonfiction)
  13. Miller, Jennifer: The Year of the Gadfly (fiction)
  14. Fadiman, Anne: Ex Libris (essays)

I didn’t read any poetry, which is a bit of a bummer. But, I did get ahead on some of the books I accepted for review for May, which means I have more flexibility for my book choices this month. Here’s what I’m hoping to get to:

  • The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones — A “comedy of manners” and “frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises” I received from the publisher for review consideration. It just sounded fun!
  • The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall — I’m on a book tour with TLC Book Tours for this book in a few weeks. It’s nonfiction about why we tell stories, which sounds fascinating.
  • The Ball by John Fox — An anthropologist asks, “Why do we play ball?” Sounds quirky, right?
  • The Floor of Heaven by Howard Blum — This is a leftover from April that I didn’t get too: 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
  • The Forgotten Founding Father by Joshua Kendall — This is a leftover from February, all about Noah Webster and his impact on the nation through building our first dictionary. I started it, but got side-tracked about 40 pages in.
  • Homicide by David Simon — The boyfriend and I just recently finished watching The Wire on DVD, which made me want to read Homicide; the author, David Simon, was one of the creators of The Wire, which was inspired by Homicide, which is about Simon’s year of being embedded in the Baltimore Police Department Homicide Division.
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller — Jill (Fizzy Thoughts) and I are doing a buddy read of Catch-22, which is fun. I love getting to talk through books like that one, even virtually, with another reader.
  • The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell — In a post-blogiversary post, Florinda (The 3R’s Blog) said this was one book she wanted to make everyone read. Since we’re going to be roomies in New York City next month, I decided to try and read it before my vacation so we can have a book chat in person.
  • Rebecca and/or Macbeth by William Shakespeare — One of my other big NYC activities is to go see Sleep No More a crazy experimental “immersive theatre installation”  with Florinda and Teresa (Shelf Love). The play is inspired by both of these books, so I want to read Rebecca for the first time and do a quick re-read of Macbeth before the show.

I’ve already started Homicide and Catch-22, and I’m enjoying both so far. I don’t expect to finish another 14 books this month. My usual goal is between eight and 10 books, but with some thick ones on the pile (Homicide is more than 650 pages!), I don’t know if that’ll happen.

One other thing I noticed when checking out book stats for this month: I’m basically running even between review copies (15 books), library/borrowed books (14 books), and my personal stash (14 books). That’s fantastic, since one of my goals for this year (and for probably the last two years) has been to read more of my own books. I’m sure going to BEA (Book Expo America) and seeing all the upcoming books will shift things, but for now I’m really pleased with that.

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Flickr

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