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

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Teresa May 6, 2012 at 5:56 am

Hooray for Sleep No More! Just so you now, the Rebecca references are slight (mostly names scattered around the place), but Rebecca is well worth reading anyway. If you don’t have time to read Macbeth, I highly recommend the recent production with Patrick Stewart. It’s the best film version I’ve seen, and the time period and bits of the setting are similar to Sleep No More, which is pretty cool. It’s on Netflix streaming, if you have that.

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for the recommendation on Macbeth — we do have Netflix streaming. I’ve read the play once and saw it performed once, but my memory is sketchy. And I’m excited to read Rebecca regardless, I’ve heard lots of goof things about it.

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Amanda May 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

I can’t wait to see yours and Jill’s posts on Catch-22! That’s one of my favorite books ever, that I reread every few years, so it will be great to see what you guys think!

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

It’s so strange so far! I can’t decide what I think :) I do know that I can’t red it before bed when I’m sleepy, I miss so much.

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Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf May 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Wow, I can’t remember the last time I read that many books in a month! What an awesome month you had! I’m sorry the quality wasn’t quite as good as March, but I hope your month of May makes up for it!

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I can’t remember the last time I read that much in a month either. It was sort of crazy. But now I’ve hardly read anything in April, so it will all even out :)

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Lorren May 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Are you planning on reviewing Complications? I’m really interested in that book and am trying to decide if I want to read it. What a good month for reading!

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I am, when I can figure out what I want to say about it :) I really enjoyed it though. You should read it!

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Alex in Leeds May 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Love that you’re reading a book to chat about it as an ice-breaker with your roomie next month, what a great idea. :)

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Florinda and I have met before, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to talk about the book.

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Jeanne May 7, 2012 at 6:21 am

I thought The Uninvited Guests was hilarious (just posted the review this morning), and I also love The Sparrow and will be interested to see what you think.

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I read your review, it sounded fun! I’m looking forward to that one.

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Buried In Print May 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Keeping a balance is an ongoing project, isn’t it? I was averaging about 20% from my own shelves in March, whereas I’d been hoping for a minimum of 50% for this year, so I really made an effort in April and it was brilliant. So I rewarded myself by borrowing 20-someodd books from the library. No need to squint to see the flaw in this plan. Heheh. Enjoy your May reads: looks like a great assortment!

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

It’s really hard to do. It’s easy to get tied into review copies and ignore the books I’ve had on my shelves for awhile. Good luck with your library books :)

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Jennie May 8, 2012 at 9:27 am

TFiOS was one of the most amazing books IMO. I loved it. I hope your May is as great as your April!

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Kim May 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm

It was really good, I’m glad I read it.

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