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April 2016 Reading Wrap Up and a Look to May

April 2016 Reading Wrap Up

Thanks especially to the Readathon, April was a pretty stellar month of reading. I finished a total of 13 books across a range of genres and formats – it’s quite a list!

  1. Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein (nonfiction)
  2. American Housewife by Helen Ellis (short stories, audio book)
  3. Rain by Cynthia Barnett (nonfiction)
  4. Spinster by Kate Bolick (nonfiction)
  5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (fiction)
  6. The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales (fiction)
  7. The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson (memoir)
  8. Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhink (nonfiction)
  9. The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Heinríquez (fiction)
  10. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (memoir, comics)
  11. Saga, Vol. 5 by Bryan K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples (comics)
  12. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievfvater (YA fantasy)
  13. The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee (fiction)

Honestly, I’m having a hard time picking favorites. Girls and Sex was a really important read, and one I’m eager to discuss with other people. I flew through Spinster, which also got me thinking a lot about gender and family. The Regional Office is Under Attack was such a fun read, as was The Raven Boys. And both The Expatriates and The Book of Unknown Americans were glimpses into contemporary worlds I’ll never get to experience.

The one read of the month I really, really didn’t like was Go Set a Watchman, which I picked up for our local library book club. The writing and pacing was just so poor, I had a hard time getting past that to think more carefully about what Harper Lee might have been trying to say about growing up, coming home, and facing your childhood in a new way. It could have been a really different – and potentially more complicated – novel than what To Kill a Mockingbird eventually became… I’m sad we didn’t get that.

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Update

I’ve finished 37 books so far this year, 20 that were books I own. Of those, 14 were books purchased before 2016. So… that’s a decent bit of shelf-clearing so far this year (if you ignore the number of books I’ve bought and not read yet… but shh!).  

A Look to May

I have three review copies on my reading pile for this month, one fiction and two nonfiction:

I started LaRose over the weekend and wow, I can already tell it’s going to be a good one. I can’t wait to dive into the other two.

The most exciting thing to look forward to this month is going to Chicago for Book Expo America next week. There are going to be a lot of great books at the show – I’m sure my reading plans are going to be derailed by something unputdownable that I pick up there.

For now, though, I’m going to keep making my way through the next two books in The Raven Cycle – The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I’m glad I didn’t start the series until it was completely published (the final book, The Raven King, came out last week) – I’m going to binge straight through!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.

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  • Sarah's Book Shelves May 3, 2016, 6:57 am

    I keep hearing about The Raven Boys. Probably should check it out just to see what everyone is talking about!

    • Kim May 4, 2016, 7:32 pm

      It’s a great opening to a quartet, and doesn’t end in such a cliffhanger that you feel like you have to immediately grab the second book. It’s coming along with me vacation, yay!

  • BermudaOnion (Kathy) May 3, 2016, 7:59 am

    Wow, you did have a great April! I’ve pretty much decided to skip Watchman. I’m bummed I’ll miss everyone at BEA.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading May 3, 2016, 8:41 am

    Wow, that’s an amazing month! Glad to hear LaRose is out to a good start, it’s one I’m looking forward to, too.

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes May 3, 2016, 10:35 am

    It looks like you had a great month! Almost all the books you read are on my TBR list, and I loved Spinster when I read it last year. I hope you have a great trip to BEA!

    • Kim May 4, 2016, 7:31 pm

      I really want to write about Spinster — I have many thoughts! — but I can’t seem to get them focused down to a review or discussion. Same with Girls and Sex, it’s really good but I’m struggling to write about it.

  • Kailana May 3, 2016, 1:59 pm

    I started The Raven Boys today and am enjoying it! Hopefully my slump with longer books is ending… I look forward to your thoughts on LaRose!

  • susan May 3, 2016, 5:53 pm

    You had a great reading month for April! I didn’t like “Watchman” either. It seemed a chore. I look forward to hearing about LaRose. & hope to see you at BEA. cheers.

    • Kim May 4, 2016, 7:30 pm

      A chore is a good way to describe Watchman, which is really sad.

  • Rachel @ R Squared May 3, 2016, 6:25 pm

    Wow! You had a great month. I really want to read Girls & Sex. I’m glad to hear it is good.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel May 3, 2016, 9:51 pm

    Wow! You go girl! That’s a lot of shelf-clearing and I’m both in awe and a bit jealous. I’m failing miserably with the challenge just because I haven’t had time to read as much as I’d like. Thanks for the motivation 🙂

    • Kim May 4, 2016, 7:29 pm

      It still feels like books are coming into the house faster than I can read them, but at least I’m clearing a few of them off the stacks 🙂

  • Jenny @ Reading the End May 4, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Oh, I am excited to read LaRose. Thus far I haven’t read a word by Louise Erdrich, and the plot summary of LaRose sounded super interesting, so I think it’s going to be a good starting place with her. I’m glad you’re liking it so far!

    • Kim May 4, 2016, 7:29 pm

      This is my second or third Erdrich book. I loved The Round House, which I think was her most recent before LaRose. LaRose pulls you in from the first pages, it’s great.

  • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard May 4, 2016, 9:25 pm

    That’s a really interesting and varied list of books! I did the same thing with the Raven Boys cycle: decided to wait until they were all out before starting the series. And now I’m swamped with other books to read, so it may be a while. Oh, well!

    Reading 20 of your own books is impressive; my hat’s off to you! I’ve got shelves and shelves full that I need to get to. *sigh*

  • Laurie C May 6, 2016, 8:43 am

    It’s Armchair BEA for me again this year! Mother Tongue sounds interesting in your list of upcoming reads. I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately, and that sounds like a good one. I never read Watchman, felt it was too likely to make me like To Kill a Mockingbird less, so I skipped it!

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey May 9, 2016, 8:56 pm

    It looks like you read some great nonfiction this month! Spinster, Girls and Sex, and Rain have all been on my to-read list for quite some time and I’ve heard almost exclusively good things about them.

    • Kim May 18, 2016, 8:59 pm

      Yes, it was a good month. I wish I felt like I had more reviewing mojo to get some writing done!