Saturday, May 1, 2021

April in a Nutshell - Reading Plans for May

April has come and gone and a few good things happened: we are all fully vaccinated and we had out first restaurant dining experience in 14 months (we did sit outside but, it was great).  We also celebrated our granddaughter sisters birthdays in April. The girls were born 2 years and 5 days apart and, I can't believe they are now 9 and 7. Happy girls and glad to be back in-person at school - that happened in April as well.

My book group met online to discuss The Night Circus which I read in 2011 and loved, this time I listened to it performed by Jim Dale of Harry Potter audio book fame. It was wonderful and like a theatrical performance. The book is great but overly long.


This post has taken me much longer to compose with these (2) lap cats hindering helping out.  My husband asks, why my legs are often sore when I get up from the sofa and, I'm guessing it is from these two which amount to about 30 extra pounds around my ankles and knees....it's so worth it though and they are probably the reason I've never had high blood pressure?? Aww to feel so needed again.

so I persist....

April Reading

Here's a breakdown:

READING: My reading choices for April were mostly winners so I was pleased.

I read (18) books and I also had (1) DNF.

(3) children's books

(16) Fiction

(2) Non Fiction

(7) print books - (1) from my shelves of which (5) were sent by publishers and (1) from library

(8) audio books - (5)  library  download and (3) publisher download (0) purchased

(4) eBooks/eGalleys - (4) publisher downloads (0) purchase

(12) female authors  (YTD) (54)

(6) male authors       (YTD) ( 15)

YTD Total (69)

DNF 
  1. Good Neighbors; Sarah Langon

Countries traveled to through the books I've read:  South KoreaUnited Kingdom,  France,  Japan , Peru, Switzerland, Italy and England.

US States NY, CT, DC, OR, CA, New South and TX


  1. Stranger on a Train; Patricia Highsmith - 4/5 Setting: NY, CT. DC (April)
  2. Later, Stephen King - 4/5 Setting: NY
  3. Infinite Country; Patricia  Engel - 4/5 Setting: Columbia and US
  4. The Night Always Comes; Willy Vlautin - 5/5 Setting: Oregon
  5. The Island of Sea Women; Lisa See - 4/5 Setting: South Korea Island of Jeju
  6. Vera; Carol Edgarian - 2.5/5 Setting: San Francisco 
  7. A Sunday in Ville-d'Avray; Dominique Barberis - 4/5 Setting: France
  8. Everything That Rises Must Converge:Stories; Flannery O'Connor - 4.5/5 Setting: New South
  9. Zonia's Rain Forest; Julia  Martinez-Neal - 5/5 Setting Peru
  10. Zee Grows a Tree; Elizabeth Rusch - 5/5
  11. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer; Fredrik Backman - 3/5 Setting: UK
  12. The Sanatorium; Sarah Pearse - 2/5 Setting: Swiss Alps
  13. A World of Plants; Martin Jenkins and James Brown - 5/5
  14. Earthlings; Sayaka Murata - 4.5/5 Setting: Japan
  15. The Last Thing He Told Me; Laura Dave - 4/5 Setting: CA, TX
  16. What Unites Us: Reflections of Patriotism; Dan Rather and Elliot Kirshner - (NF) 4/5
  17. Nives; Sacha Naspini - 3.5/5 Setting: Tuscany
  18. The Absolutist; John Boyne - 5/5 Setting: WWI (France) and England
May Reading Plans

Finish - The Cold Vanish; Jon Billman - audio narration is fantastic and The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida; Clarissa Goenawan

Hope to Read in May (plus a few as the spirit moves me titles)
  1. Hour of the Witch; Chris Bohjalian
  2. Heaven; Mieko Kawakami
  3. When the Stars Go Dark; Paula Mclain
  4. One Two Three; Laurie Frankle
  5. Count the Ways; Joyce Maynard
  6. Family Reunion; Nancy Thayer 
  7. The Nightingale; Kristin Hannah
  8. The Perfect Daughter; DJ Palmer
  9. The Music of Bees; Eileen Garvin
  10. The Disappearing Act; Catherine Steadman
How did your month of April go? Any exciting plans for May?

38 comments:

  1. Looks like some good books coming up. We have actually eaten out (outside dining too) three times last month and it sure seemed weird after not doing it for well over a year. Howdy Ricky, howdy Lucy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just to know that you are fully vaccinated...that is huge, I think. And it's lovely to eat out at a restaurant. We hope to do that soon.

    I bet the discussion of Night Circus will be interesting. Such a magical book.

    I miss my cats. Can't talk my husband into getting any more. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's too bad, I've had cats most of my life since a young girl and it is hard to think that these (2) may be our last ones. We don't want to have our pets outlive us given some live close to 20 years.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like you had a really nice week! I think Jim Dale is an amazing book narrator so he probably made the Night Circus come alive. I somehow never read that book when it was all the rage. I should put it back on my list.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm 2/3 of the way through the "Earthlings" audiobook and still can't decide what I think of it, maybe because I'm not thrilled by the reader. Wondering if I maybe should have waited for a print copy. Parts of it have been absolutely horrifying...and I expect more.

    I'm curious to see what you think of "One, Two, Three" and "The Music of Bees." I enjoyed both of those and look forward to more from those authors. Too, I've never read Joyce Maynard but I'm fascinated by her personal history, so I'll look forward to hearing what you think of hers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually liked the narrator of Earthlings, it was the same one as for Convenience Store Woman. Just wait until the ending...OMG I remember you had read/reviewed Music of Bees and One Two Three so I'm looking forward to the. They sound really good.

      Delete
  5. Love your cats! Mine like to lay beside my keyboard, sometimes on it, lol!

    I see a few books that I have on my list to read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that you've travelled the world too with your April reading. I hope you enjoy your armchair travelling in May!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cath, it has been nice to branch out and not read so much set here in the US.

      Delete
  7. Hooray for vaccinations and getting to see friends and family!

    I agree that The Night Circus is great on audio, but too long. I keep meaning to reread it, but somehow I doubt I ever will. I'm so glad you read and reviewed The Absolutist. I love John Boyne's books and this one's now on my summer reading list. I also plan to read The Night Always Comes. Thanks for your recommendations!

    Happy May!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Boyce is a great writer. Looking forward to reading more by him,

      Delete
  8. Eighteen books in April and 69 books for the year already - I am in awe!

    I have Earthlings on my TBR list and hope to get to it soon. Also, I've never read any of Patricia Highsmith's books and that, too, is part of my reading plans for the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be curious what you think of Earthlings. I hope you try The Convenience Store Woman by the same author as well.

      Delete
  9. I loved One, Two, Three, enjoyed The Music of Bees and When the Stars Go Dark. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so happy that you loved these books, looking forward to them.

      Delete
  10. What a great month of reading! The Cold Vanish is an awesome book, isn't it? And your cats are so cute. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, we love our cats. The Cold Vanish was excellent - review coming soon.

      Delete
  11. Diane, you've had a great month, and year so far, of reading. Wow! My own reading has been slow, but at least it's been steady. Your cats are beautiful, "purrfect" companions. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slow is okay; I do hope that you are enjoying what you read.

      Delete
  12. Now tell me the names of your kitties ... from the photo you have of them above ... the one closest to the laptop is? and the one farther away? Remind me too ... they are related to each other, right? What nice cats! You had a great month of reading .... you seem to be on a roll .... Happy May to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our kitties came to our New England shelter from Georgia in 2018. We adopted them together in December of 2018 and they were 7 months old at the time. They were not sure they were littermates but they must be IMO. Ricky is closest to the computer and Lucy is behind him. They are purrfect!

      Delete
  13. You had a great reading month! I love the sound of several of your books, like Stranger on a Train has been on my wish list. I enjoy the author.

    Your May plans look like some of mine: I can't wait to get the new Bohjalian book, and I have pre-ordered Count the Ways. The Perfect Daughter and When the Stars Go Dark are on my shelves already.

    Have a great week!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like Highsmith's writing and want to read more of hers. Maybe in a month or so I'll read a few more. Have a good May.

      Delete
  14. April saw positive changes in many of our lives... thanks to vaccinations. I read Patricia Highsmith last month, too(first time for me) and must try John Boyne soon. Your cats look so sweet, even if they do slow down blogging progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read more Highsmith and more John Boyne, funny how that happens when we hit a few winners. I want to read Talented Mr. R and Price of Salt. Happy May.

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday to your granddaughters! And yay for being fully vaccinated! My husband gets his second vaccine next week. Then it will just me Mouse that isn't in our household. I want to go back and re-read Night Circus. I listened to Jim Dale read it years ago and loved it. I am glad you enjoyed it this second time around too! Such cute kitties! What we put up with because they are so adorable, right? My Gracie often likes to lay on my chest when I'm trying to work from home. We've worked out a deal where I have a spot in front of my laptop she can lay. It's still not the most convenient way to work, having to reach over her, but at least she's not on my computer or on me to the point I can't use my arms and hands. LOL

    It looks like you enjoyed a lot of great books this past month and have quite a few good ones to get to in May. I hope you enjoy all your books! Have a great month, Diane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Wendy, the things we will do for our cats...LOL well, and kids too

      Delete
  16. I have Maynard's book too and boy am I looking forward to it. She is such a good writer.

    You had some fun!! Dinner out is always fun. We've been to a few restaurants indoors but only when there is a good deal of space between us and the next party. We made an exception for the hub's bday dinner which was at a Teppan table where they cook the food in front of you. We had to share with a small family but my daughter had a partition between her and them and we were way on the other side. Everyone kept their masks on until they ate. I am grateful for that. Sometimes you get stuck at one of those table with people who are not so polite.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I do love Joyce Maynard's writing. Our first fine-dining experience in over a year will be Wednesday evening, curious how that will go. Many restaurants that were open 6-7 days a week prior to COVID are now only open 5 days a week. I guess once business picks up that may change.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your kitties are so fun, lol! We had a very good April in habit renewals or throwback to the past, whatever we call it. We only dined twice and then I lost my nerve lol. Love all the reading updates from April and I see some interesting books in your May pile. Happy birthday to your granddaughters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Athira - we have only dined once indoors since fully vaccinated.

      Delete
  19. Happy birthday to your granddaughters! And yay for being fully vaccinated! I have The Night Circus on my TBR and you've definitely convinced me to give the audio a try. Love when an audio book feels like a good theatrical performance. I hope May is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Night Circus on audio is long but quite outstanding.

      Delete
  20. That is wonderful that you guys were able to finally go out to eat! I've missed restaurants and looking forward to going back. We got our second dose almost two weeks ago. Yay. And, happy birthday to your granddaughters! Sounds like a wonderful month and look at all those books read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have taken it slow, just once for us since vaccinated for indoor dining.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.