April Wrap Up – Memoirs and Classics and Thrillers (Oh My)


This was kind of a weird reading month for me. I read a total of fourteen books, which is great, but half of them were three-star reads, and I also had my first one-star book of the year. Mostly, I was just flying through books because that’s what I was in the mood for (hence the unusually large number of thrillers on this list). I’m not mad about it, but my goal for next month is to concentrate more on books I really want to read, rather than what I know I can read quickly. Here’s my April Wrap Up:

What I Read:

Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman – ★★★☆☆. I had pretty high expectations for this one, but the pacing kept me from truly enjoying it. The story is exciting, but it was so slow that it was hard to feel excited about what was happening.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – ★★★★☆. I listened to this on audiobook (after owning the physical copy for years) and ended up really enjoying it. Yes, it was funny in the way you’d expect from Amy Schumer, but it also had some serious moments, which I loved. I had a lot of fun with this one.

A Fist Around the Heart by Heather Chisvin – ★★★★☆. I picked this up on a whim because I was looking for more historical fiction, and am always open to female-centric historical fiction. I really fell in love with how wonderfully feminist this was, and am so glad I read it.

S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett – ★☆☆☆☆. I did not like this one at all. Maybe I’m just over teenage drama, but I rolled my eyes through the entire book. It was also really predictable and weirdly slow and I hated every single one of the characters. First one-star read of the year!

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare – ★★★☆☆. This was my Shakespeare play of the month. It wasn’t really anything new – it kind of felt like a mash-up of Shakespeare’s other work. I liked it, but it wasn’t amazing.

From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris – ★★★☆☆. I had pretty high hopes for this one, which is a historical fantasy set in a time/place akin to Ancient Rome. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I wish it had been more fine-tuned or fast-paced or something. I couldn’t get into it.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – ★★★★☆. I was in the mood for a thriller, so I picked this one up because everyone’s been talking about it lately. I thought it was really interesting and there were definitely twists I didn’t see coming. It wasn’t Gone Girl, but I do think it’s worth reading if you like thrillers.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – ★★★★☆. I flew through The Woman in the Window so quickly, I just wanted another thriller. Neil Gaiman and Stephen King both raved about this one, so I decided to finally read it. Yes, the ending is completely surprising, but I’m not sure I liked it. I did enjoy the rest of the novel, though.

Middlemarch by George Eliot – ★★★☆☆. This month, I managed to finish Middlemarch. I honestly think I would have loved this had Dorothea not been so annoying. I didn’t like her at all. Overall, I did enjoy this book, though. The story was interesting and I did get attached to a few of the other characters. So glad I finally got around to this one (even if it took more more than a month to finish)!

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – ★★☆☆☆. I listened to the audiobook of this one (well, mostly), but I just couldn’t get into it. The author doesn’t do a great job reading (I did switch to the ebook eventually) and I couldn’t get over how she inserted details of her own life on a murder case she wasn’t involved with until years after the fact. I wasn’t impressed.

Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir – ★★★★★. I am so glad I read this one, because it’s the only book I loved this month! This is one of my favorite series, and the newest installment blew me away. Just so good! This book will be out May 15, and I’m planning to have a review up later this week.

The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley – ★★★☆☆. I was looking forward to this one, but, ultimately, there were too many things I didn’t love about it. It’s a solid historical fiction novel about something I hadn’t read about before, but it could use some improvement. If you’re interested, it will be out tomorrow, May 1.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang – ★★★☆☆. This book took me nearly a year to read, and it’s pretty short. It’s just slow and weird and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. Not a favorite, but I’m glad I (finally) finished it.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott – ★★★☆☆. I wanted another thriller, so I picked this one up. I have mixed feelings about this because it was really suspenseful and exciting, but also really predictable. I also found the ending really unsatisfying and kind of unrealistic.

What I’m Currently Reading:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I couldn’t decide what to read after finishing The French Girl, but the movie trailer for this one sold me. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while, so I decided to finally go for it. I’m about a quarter of the way in, but I am enjoying it so far.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. This past weekend, I was in the mood for fantasy, so I decided to finally start the Mistborn series. I’m only like ten pages in at the moment. I’m having a little trouble really getting into it, but I have high hopes.

What I Watched:

The Quiet Place. I am decidedly not a horror movie fan, but I had to see this one. I love John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and the premise is just so interesting. I ended up really loving it! The hype is well-deserved. Highly recommend! (Though I do not recommend getting any snacks – even the ice in my soda seemed overly loud because the theater was so quiet.)

What I Did:

Launched a freelance editing service! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and I finally bit the bullet! It’s something I love, it’s what I went to grad school for, and I am really excited to start actually doing it. Check out my Editing Services page for more information!

Non-Book Favorites:

Reigns. This is an iPhone app (not sure if it’s available on other platforms) in which you play a king – or Queen in Reigns: Her Majesty – and see how long you survive based on your decisions. It’s so addicting and dark and funny, and I have definitely played it a lot this month. The gameplay is really interesting in that you literally just make decisions by swiping either right or left, and judging based on how it will affect each element of your kingdom (you have to try and keep a balance – if any part gets too strong or weak, everything falls apart).

Mango Sour Patch Kids. I found these at Target one day, and have become obsessed. They are SO GOOD. Possibly my new favorite candy.

Celestial white noise. I’ve been really stressed out this month (hence the daily migraines) and that’s largely because I never really get relaxing quiet time. There is always some annoying noise, whether it is the three televisions in my house, or the girls next door who just really like screaming, my brain just hurts. I recently discovered this celestial white noise on YouTube, and it is a game-changer. I haven’t had too much luck with things like rain or waves, but this really blocks out sound and lets my mind relax.

I hope you all had a productive month! What was your favorite book in April?

11 thoughts on “April Wrap Up – Memoirs and Classics and Thrillers (Oh My)

  1. I can’t wait to see The Quiet Place, but I’ll probably wait until it’s out of theaters. My boyfriend is a movie chatter 😆
    Thrillers are so fun to read, but a lot of them tend to be 3 stars for me too.

    1. It’s so good! I’m curious to see if it has the same impact out of theaters, though. It was an interesting experience.

      Totally agree about thrillers. If I know what’s coming, it’s gonna lose a star haha

  2. Lol on not getting snacks when viewing Quiet Place. I totally agree. I loved the movie too and enjoyed the experience of watching it. I went fairly early in the day. It was probably the first I’d seen a movie in a theater and have the audience be so engaged and quiet.

    1. I had a similar experience, and I went on a Saturday night. (With the exception of the group that walked in five minutes after the movie started – to a completely silent theater – and loudly asked “is this it?”)

  3. Wow, Jane Seymour? Will keep an eye out for that review….and why did you have to remind me about those mango sour patches?!

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