Well another month has come and gone. April both seemed to last forever and to also flash past (did anything even happen in April?!). Here in Ohio the weather was very ICK for basically the entire month. Usually we get a month of warm days and cold days mixed together, but this year it was just the cold, dreary (and even snowy!) days dragging by. It’s finally warmed up this week, which helped me realize how much the lousy weather had been getting me down! I’ve felt so much more energized with the warm sunshine coming through the open windows!
It hasn’t been that great of a month for blogging, either, as I’m still just not particularly feeling it. So I’ve had another month comprised mostly of minireviews, and still have quite the backlog of books that need mentioned. The lousy weather meant April was a pretty good month for reading, even if I haven’t felt much like reviewing!
Favorite April Read
I think I’m going to have to put The Runaways (by Elizabeth Goudge) in this slot. This children’s book was just so precious and magical. I loved every page and wanted it to go on forever.
Most Disappointing April Read
Probably Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. There was a lot of potential for this concept, but all the characters were just so flat and uninteresting. The ending was weird, too.
Other April Reads
- Adam Dalgliesh mysteries by P.D. James – I read the first 4 1/2 books… they just weren’t for me.
- The Black Stallion by Walter Farley – 4/5 – a childhood favorite revisited.
- The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillup – 3/5 – a decent story, but somehow not magical.
- Come On, Seabiscuit by Ralph Moody – 4/5 – surprisingly engaging biography of an underdog racehorse.
- Don’t Believe a Word by Patricia MacDonald – 3.5/5 – not bad but not amazing.
- The Foundling by Georgette Heyer – 4/5 – how are all of her books so delightful??
- The Good Girls by Sara Shephard – 4/5 – a crashing conclusion to a duology… still have no idea why there is an ice cream cone on the cover.
- The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge – 5/5 – not sure it’s possibly to write a book that is more magical.
- The Man Who Made Lists by Joshua Kendall – 4/5 – a decent biography of Peter Roget, but I wasn’t a total fan of Kendall’s writing.
- The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard – 4/5 – a book that made me like it more than I wanted to.
- The Princess by Lori Wick – 4.5/5 – an old favorite revisited.
- Ride Like an Indian by Henry Larom – 3.5/5 – a cute children’s book, but nothing amazing.
- Timeless Fairy Tales by K.M. Shea – a series of 10 books so far – decent retellings with some stories a lot stronger than others.
I actually wrote the April 2017 Rearview in June! The last two springs have been very busy with me working full time at the greenhouse. This year, I’m not working there, so I’m at least a little more prompt getting this post done! :-D Interestingly enough, last April’s favorite read was also by Elizabeth Goudge – The Scent of Water went on to also become my favorite read of 2017. I still can’t recommend it highly enough.
I also read my first (and last!) John Green book. Paper Towns was just as overrated and pretentious as I anticipated it being, just as the author himself seems to be. No surprises there, and with literally thousands of amazing books out there to read, I’m glad I don’t have to wade through any more of his twaddle.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:
- Standalones: 822 (up three)
- Nonfiction: 79 (down two!)
- Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…): 690 (down five!)
- Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 230 (holding steady)
- Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 108 (down one)
While there haven’t been any dramatic changes, I do feel like I am very, very, very slowly whittling away…
I really thought I was going to get some more of these cleared out before the end of the month, but here we are!
- I’ve been rereading Gerald Morris’s Squire Tale books. I’d forgotten just how funny and engaging these books are! I have two left in the ten book series. While I’ve read the earlier books several times, I’ve only read these last two once before, so I am looking forward to revisiting them again. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I read these!
- The next batch of five “Love Inspired” books have been read. Spoiler alert: I have no idea why I keep reading these. In memory of Aunt Darby, I guess.
- My current mystery series is the Under Suspicion series by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke. These have been SO good. Only two books left, but I’m hoping maybe more are still in the future, as the most recent one was just published in 2016 or 2017, can’t remember which.
- The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster – absolutely delightful children’s history book.
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield – another long-ago favorite that has taken me a couple of decades to revisit, and I don’t know why – this book is PERFECT.
- I’ve been reading the Royal Weddings series by Rachel Hauck, which has been overall solid. One and a half books to go on that set.
- The Girl With a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson – total throwback-noir vibe to this one that I weirdly enjoyed.
- The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – a retelling of The Arabian Nights that I think I’m going to like but am not sure. Only about 80 pages in.
- The Widow by Fiona Barton – just picked this one up today, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it around the blogosphere so I’m looking forward to it.
- How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck – the third book in the Royal Weddings series.
- The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke – the current Under Suspicion read – I’m only about 30 pages in and am already so hooked.
Approaching the Top of the Pile
The probably next five reads…
- The Rose & the Dagger by Renne Ahdieh
- Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke – last in the series
- A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck – last in the series
- Missing, Presumed by Susie Stiener
- The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge