Reading Recap: April 2020

Well, April was weird and sad and very different from any other month I’ve lived through. I have friends who lost loved ones and couldn’t celebrate their lives with a funeral. I had lots of disagreements with people I love on Facebook. I went on many walks with my fiance (who was supposed to be my husband by now). I worked a lot of puzzles and read a lot of books.

If you want to know more about what I’m reading, you can follow my Bookstagram @thelazybookshelf. Or you can follow me @heymeff for general silliness and sporadic posting.

I got this recommendation from Random House Twitter a couple of weeks ago after I asked for a Cormoran Strike read-a-like. It was okay. Nothing can compare to my love for the Robert Galbraith series (I tried Louise Penny and didn’t get the hype), but this one did follow a couple of British detectives. If you need a page turner, this one was good for that!

Shout out to my bookstagram friends for recommending Amal Unbound! This middle grade book follows Amal, a Pakistani girl who dreams of becoming a teacher. Despite hardship and adversity, she remains determined and strong. I read this in practically one sitting. It falls under the #weneeddiversebooks hashtag and I am here for it!

I tried to read The Heart’s Invisible Furies last year and put it down after about fifty pages. It is not for the faint of heart! Thanks to #bookstagram, I was encouraged to give it another try. It’s a really tough read, but after I got invested in Cyril’s life, I was hooked. It’s the same structure as Hannah Coulter–it tells the story of one person from the beginning of their life to the end. Unlike Hannah Coulter, this novel is dark, tough to swallow, and tackles some hard themes.

This book has turned me into a sanitation worker evangelist. Being a garbage man or woman is a thankless job, but one that is essential to our communities. It outlines the history of the New York Sanitation Department, what it takes to become a sanitation worker, and how dangerous the job is. I found it so nuanced and interesting. It was a great read during COVID-19 quarantine.

I think my expectations were too high for this YA title. I enjoy the Currently Reading podcast who raved about this one, but I don’t always align with their tastes. What drew me in was the unique set up: it’s about a podcast following the case of a missing girl. And the second narrator is the missing girl, Sadie. I listened to this one because of the set up, and it was okay. It wasn’t as good as I hoped, but I’d give it three stars.

This memoir was just what I needed during quarantine! It was short and light, but really compelling and interesting. I learned a lot about the magazine industry which is a world full of characters and wealth. Ruth Reichl is a world renown food writer and this is the first of her work I’ve read. It was a really good escape and it made me look up flights to Paris and dream about getting on a plane.

I miss baseball😭 The cover of this book caught my eye and the plot sounded promising. Although its labeled as a novel, I thought it was more like a collection of interconnected stories. Fun fact: this is a debut, but the author is the current editor of The Paris Review! While there was a lot of baseball talk, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. It was a slow burn without much resolution at the end. The writing was very good, but I don’t know if I can say I’d recommend it to anyone unless you’re trying to fill a baseball sized hole in your heart.

What did you read in April?

What else do you want to know about the books I’m reading?

1 Comment


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  1. Hearts Invisible Furies has been on my shelf since it came out. I have been hesitant to pick it up. Maybe this summer. I loved Save Me the Plums and all the behind the scenes of running a magazine. I have been interested in Picking Up too. I like those kinds of books that teach me things I didn’t already now about and find fascinating.

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