April Reads 2015

Ah, April. You left me with some serious good reads and waiting on the mailman for Book #2s. The Shadow of The Wind has definitely become one of my favorite books and I’m totally, embarrassingly obsessed with A Discovery of Witches.  Can’t wait for May reading!

AprBooks

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
One sentence summary: Daniel finds a book by the mysterious Julián Carax, becomes intrigued by the life of the author, and follows it to the end of the story, as it echoes his own.
Oh man, I really loved this book. It was so good. I was left in a reading limbo after finishing it. (It wasn’t helped by the fact that I didn’t have another book lined up to read after it…) There are lots of twists to the story and the ending was really not what I thought was going to happen. I thought the depth of the story was good, the characters were interesting and the writing was engaging. I’m thinking I found a new favorite book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series because I finished the book about a week ago and I’m still thinking about it.
5 stars

All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
One sentence summary: Jake lives alone on a sheep farm on an island off of England and is trying to figure out what is attacking her sheep- an animal in the woods or has her past come back to haunt her?
This book was way shorter than it seems and I finished it before I knew it. Every other chapter is Jake in present day and Jake’s past told backwards. You know something bad has happened to her but you don’t know what until you reach the end. Everyone seemed to be confused about the ending on Goodreads and I can’t say I really understood it either. It really leaves you thinking and trying to figure out if Jake is a reliable narrator or not. It’s all very odd and while I didn’t NOT like the book, I can’t say I loved it.
3 stars

The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
One sentence summary: The stories of Bradley the people around him and how they fell in and out of love with each other and the power that love has.
The hardest books to write about are the ones that I liked  but didn’t feel any particular love or hate for. This is one of those books. I have no gripes against it, and no screaming love either. When I was reading reviews on Goodreads it seems a lot of people didn’t like some of the narrators but  I though Baxter carried it off just fine. The theme of love is interesting and carried out nicely and I enjoyed it being set in Ann Arbor (although I don’t think Baxter is from AA, there were a couple phrases that I don’t feel like we Michiganders really say) and overall it was a good reading experience.
4 stars

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
One sentence summary: Diana is a witch, who wants to ignore her magical powers but can’t when she finds a long hidden manuscript and is confronted by all sorts of creatures who want it, including her new love, a vampire named Matthew.
Is this the cheesiest book I’ve read in a long time? Absolutely. Did I love it? You betcha. Although some (okay, most) of the romance was eye-rollingly bad (there they go again as I type this), I really liked this book. As I got to end, I didn’t even want to keep reading because I didn’t want it to end. Luckily for me, there’s two other books in the series! This book is so easy to compare to Twilight (overseeing board of vampires/witches that doesn’t want the romance to happen, and some other things I don’t want to spoil) but it’s how I would have wanted Twilight to be written. With touches of history and science, and a twisting compelling story, it’s not quite the sappy, whining, romance book that Twilight is. The ending doesn’t feel like an ending because it mostly just sets up the second book without bringing this one to a close, making it feel a little incomplete (but now I can’t wait to read the next book). I don’t even know if I can recommend it, I’d rather get my twisting storylines from someone like Gillian Flynn but boy, did I enjoy this one.
4.5 stars

The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories by Carson McCullers
One sentence summary: A collection of short stories by Southern Gothic writer Carson McCullers , the eponymous story is about a woman and her doomed loves.
I read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter a few months ago and I enjoyed it, it reminded me of The Little Friend (I’m a big Donna Tartt fan) and Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen.  It’s just a simple collection of short stories that leaving you thinking.
4 stars

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
One sentence summary: An series of essays by David Sedaris, many of which are about his time spent in France.
So refreshing to read David Sedaris after a few years. I forgot how funny his stories are. I guess I just haven’t read anything that was laugh out loud funny in a long time. I like Sedaris’s cynical point of view and it was great reading about his adventures in Paris. But the best stories are about his childhood and family, who can’t relate to a cheerful story about a slightly dysfunctional family?
4 stars

Fresh Off The Boast: A Memoir by Eddie Huang
One sentence summary: Do you really need a summary for a memoir? It’s the story of Eddie Huang’s life!
We started watching the show  LOOSELY based on the book so Brian actually wanted to read it and we picked it up. I’m not sure that I could really relate but Eddie definitely took an interesting journey through life and it’s great to read it with Eddie’s voice so prevalent in the text.
3 stars

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