19 In Books

What I Read This Month: April

Sometimes you get in a groove at the library. Every book you pick sounds awesome and you totally enjoy reading it. The book gods are smiling on you. And then sometimes you have a month like me where things don’t go your way.  A month where it kind of feels that the book gods are mocking you.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I was less than impressed with my book choices this month. In fact, some of them very much tested my theory that every book deserves to be published because each has its own purpose and merit.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams “Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer. But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.”

This was my favorite book of the bunch, without a doubt. I’ve talked about how much I’m loving Beatriz Williams’s books and this one was no exception. The characters were engaging and there were plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing.  I highly recommend this one, especially if you need some easy beach reading this summer.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory “Elizabeth Woodville is a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition. Her mother is Jacquetta, also known as the mystical lady of the rivers, and she is even more determined to bring power and wealth to the family line. While riding in the woods one day, Elizabeth captures the attentions of the newly crowned King Edward IV and, despite her common upbringing, marries him in secret.”

Have you ever read a book and been pretty sure you’ve read it before, but can’t quite remember? This was me while reading The White Queen.  I went through a pretty heavy Philippa Gregory phase when I was in high school so it’s entirely possible that I read this one back then. But I just could not remember! So I kept reading. It’s a good one and, like all of her books, adds a little extra 21st century to the lives of the great women of British history.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez “Arturo and Alma Rivera come to the United States in the hope that their daughter, Maribel, can recover from a terrible injury. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.”

I was probably 50-50 on this one.  Part of me really liked the different voices and stories that the building’s tenants told.  I can honestly say that I haven’t read too many books about immigrants, especially not modern day ones and with all that’s happening in the news, it was kind of nice to hear their stories, even if they were technically fictional. The other part of me was really disappointed in the way the book ended. I definitely wanted something different and felt like it just ended for the sake of ending. Anyone else read this and feel the same way? Or did you like the ending?

Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles “When Samuel, a lonely linguistics lecturer, wakes up on New Year’s Day, he is convinced that the year ahead will bring nothing more than passive verbs and un-italicized moments. But the appearance of Mishima, a stray, brindle-furred cat, becomes the catalyst that leads Samuel from the comforts of his favorite books, foreign films, and classical music to places he’s never been (next door) and to people he might never have met (a neighbor with whom he’s never exchanged a word).”

And here’s where things started going downhill. I did not like this one. At all. I’m not sure if it’s because it was translated into English or if I just didn’t get it, but I just couldn’t get into this one.  I wasn’t a fan of the main character, who I think was supposed to be quirky and endearing, but instead came off as more than a little annoying and creepy.  Plus the “love story” was not appealing at all. I say skip this one.

No One Could Have Guessed The Weather by Anne-Marie Casey “After her husband loses his job, Lucy has to leave behind her posh life in London and settle into a tiny East Village apartment. Now she’s a middle-aged mother in the midst of hipsters, homesick and resentful until she embarks on a new love affair—with New York City and three new friends.”

Another one that I thought sounded awesome, but turned out to be less then good. I wasn’t a fan of the way the story jumped around between the different characters, none of whom I actually liked all that much.  It took me forever to get through this one and it was super short, so that’s a sign that I just wasn’t that into it. Leave this one on the shelf.

What have you been reading lately? Do you finish books you’re not feeling or do you just set them aside and move on?

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