May 9, 2017

April Books 2017 (the slim month)

Things I learned about myself in April:
1. I do not read when I'm feeling stress.
2. I would rather start a new book than plow through one I like but don't love. I liked all of these, but I kept starting new ones because it was more fun than continuing on with what I was already reading.

I don't know that I've had a month like this in forever. I just kind of stopped reading. Or caring? I don't know? It's a long story. So there's not any ratings here. Maybe a book shouldn't be reduced to a letter grade or a star count? Here's what I thought about the books I tried...what I attempted and what worked and what didn't:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith As I said on Instagram, this reminded me of what Pride and Prejudice would've been if I'd liked Pride and Prejudice. I liked a lot of it, but it did start to drag toward the middle. Also, I know it's taking place right before WWII happened, but it seemed to take place in the 19th century because they were living in a very old-fashioned way.
Also, Topaz? Really? I couldn't take that seriously as a character's name, so I had trouble believing she was as strong and resourceful as she was written to be.

The Winds of War by Herman Wouck DNF This was my 45 hour audiobook. It was fine. I like the WWII aspect (if you proclaim to "love" know, that forgotten "genre" everyone seemed to discover after The Nightingale?...try it).
I didn't not like it. But my attention span is at about .0005% right now so back it went. Oh well.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders DNF I normally love weird, alternate histories. This was promising in the first chapter and then it just got too weird. It reminded me of The Graveyard Book. It was short (7 hours) but I couldn't do it. This felt like a major fail.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan This was my favorite of the books I attempted to get through in April. It was the easiest to read and most enjoyable. I was able to just sit and read because I was really interested in what would happen next. I had trouble putting it down. I liked the first half better than the second half, but I liked it. Macmillan's other book, What She Knew, was one I read in January, and I think I liked The Perfect Girl better.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison I went back and forth between the audio and the Kindle, as it was the whispersync version. The audio was fine, though Aubrey was not an endearing character to me at all. The writing in the ebook wasn't good, so that didn't impress me. It really started to drag around the 60% mark.
The story was fine. It reminded me of Everything We Keep but I liked Everything We Keep better.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker This was a Daily Deal and I'll try most things if they cost $2. I wasn't familiar with her writing but it was like reading a blog so it was easy to breeze through. I picked up some tidbits that were helpful to me in this season as well:

I liked it and it was an easy read that had humor, truth, and a bit of conviction all in the same place.


Well. That was a sad month. I don't anticipate May being better because I seem to have lost my taste for audiobooks. Which is just weird so I'm not sure what to make of it. I've been listening nonstop for the last three years. I'll say, shamefully, that I've been listening to backlog of Reality Steve podcasts because it is mildly stimulating nothingness and that's what I prefer to get through the day. Just to give you the parameters of where I'm at mentally.

What have you read and loved lately? Or, better yet, read and hated?

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. I started Lincoln in the Bardo on audio when it first came out and I was really interested in the story, but didn't have enough time to listen to audio as closely as I needed to, to follow what was going on. I planned on reading the rest of it, but still haven't picked it up again.

  2. No One Knows is on my list. Sorry about the lack of desire to listen to audiobooks...that must feel weird because you're right, I feel like I almost always hear about you listening! Sometimes that's just the way life is. Maybe find some good TV shows for the meantime :)

  3. I really want to check out Lincoln in the Bardo; sorry it didn't work for you though!


  4. I hate I missed that daily Deal of Jen Hatmaker - I love her.
    45 HOUR?!?!?!?! OH MY WORD!!!!

  5. I hate meh reading months. And I have a hard time reading something when I'm really stressed too. I typically reread favorites because they give me comfort. A new book might suck and waste my time! LOL! I need to check out Gilly Macmillan as she's been recommended to me as an author I'd enjoy.

  6. 45 hours of an audiobook is way too much. But re: WWII books, I think plenty of people read them before The Nightingale but that book just struck a chord. And as a general rule, I don't read WII books. Doesn't mean I don't know they're there.

  7. Adding The Perfect Girl to my TBR! Thank you!!!

  8. Wait, do you almost exclusively listen to audiobooks over reading? Have we discussed this before?

    I don't think WWII was ever a forgotten genre, those books have been coming on for quite a few years before The Nightingale.

  9. I'm the same way when it comes to being stressed, I can't read either, it's hard to focus.

  10. The forgotten Kind of true, the topic did have a sudden burst of popularity much like YA dystopian novels did right around the time of The Hunger Games. I feel exempt from the crowd, though, I've loved WWII books since I was in elementary school.

  11. i get really hung up on stupid character names. topaz? seriously? lol.
    ha @ the forgotten genre. i feel like i went the opposite way.. i used to read way more world war 2 books before the nightingale vs after it.
    i go through more up and down phases with audiobooks than i do with normal books. sometimes i will go weeks without listening, but i will read a real book. sometimes i just don't want to listen to a story, i want to do the mindless thing.

  12. I had a lousy month too. For The Love sounds good though. I follow Jen Hatmaker on facebook and she's really funny.

  13. I felt the same way about No One Knows. Also, a 45 hour audiobook? That's crazy!

  14. I felt like I had an off reading month too! I Capture The Castle sounds like a really good read though, so I'm going to add that to my list!


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