2019 is shaping up to be a great year for books and reading. In fact, I found a new favorite book in April! I love when that happens.
Here’s the list with short and sweet reviews of the fourteen books I read last month.
April 2019 Reading: Quick Book Reviews
Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman | This book imagines what would happen if the California drought escalated to a major catastrophe. It was pretty gripping, especially on audio.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm | I love Jennifer Holm’s books. This is a great middle grade book! Ellie’s having a hard time transitioning to middle school, but it gets even weirder when her Grandfather (a renowned scientist) shows up as a grumpy teenage boy.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger | I either need a fast paced thriller, or entertaining chick lit to listen to while I run/walk/exercise. This one falls into the chick lit category. It was fast paced and pretty enjoyable (but be warned, there is a lot of language).
Eva by Peter Dickinson | I meant to read more books by Peter Dickinson in April, but I only got to one. But this one was fantastic. Eva, a young girl, wakes up in the hospital after a terrible accident and finds that her parents and doctors have saved her life by implanting her mind in the body of a chimp. Really fascinating science fiction.
Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson | This book was riveting! It follows Abdi, alternating between his life as a child soldier in a jihadi group in Somali, and his life after as a refugee in Kenya. It’s a fast paced read and tackles the horrific violence and destruction happening in Somali.
Shakespeare’s Spy by Gary Blackwood | This is the third and final book in a series that I read aloud with my kids. We loved all three books. Wonderful historical fiction middle grade read if you want to dig into late Victorian England.
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite | I loved this one! I listened on audio at the recommendation of a friend and it was fantastic (I love that Nigerian accent). The book is a dark comedy about two sisters – one who kills men, and one who cleans up the messes. It’s a clever satire about gender roles and societal framework. And while it’s funny, it’s worth paying attention to the deeper psychological side too.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | I can’t resist a book that everyone is talking about, even if I’m pretty sure I won’t like it. This one, despite all the buzz it’s getting, was just okay for me.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides | This is a mystery-thriller that is unputdownable. It was super compelling, but honestly, I figured out the main twist really early on and I only kept reading because I thought maybe I was wrong – it seemed too easy. (Language warning for this one too)
Circe by Madeline Miller | Best book I’ve read this year! A new favorite. I loved the rich story telling and the Greek myths from a feminist perspective. It was a real page turner too – completely captivating. I highly recommend this one.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal | I read this one for book club and if I hadn’t been reading it for book club, I definitely would not have finished it. It was just way too cheesy for me.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien | It’s always interesting to reread a childhood favorite aloud with my kids. I remembered loving this one so much as a child, but it definitely was not as good as an adult. I felt really annoyed with how the females in the book were portrayed (the lady rats don’t show up to any of the meetings because they’re home taking care of the kids!).
And I felt myself picking apart little things through the whole book – like why do the crow and the mouse make plans to meet at 5:00? Do they have watches? Is there a clock in the garden? Why not make plans to meet when the sun hits the oak tree, or something like that. Anyway, the kids still enjoyed it.
Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu | This is a Fantastic middle grade book about grief and loss. It’s like a cross between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Pleasantville, but for kids. I wrote more about it here.
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center | More chick lit for my workouts. I thought this was fun. Kind of like Me Before You, but without the sad parts.