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The books on my April 2019 reading list include a mix of books coming in May, some new books that came out earlier this year, and a National Book Award Winner from 2018.
Since I’ve been planning my reading by month, I feel like I spend more time trying to put together the perfect blend of books. It’s almost like making an old-school mixtape (wow, showing my age!).
I’m pleased with the variety of stories coming up in April. I tend to have trouble reading books that are too similar back-to-back–if one really blows me away, it’s hard to judge the next one on its own merits.
I’m hoping the mix of moods will also work this month. There are a few that I think will be more uplifting, plus a gritty thriller, some heavier historical and literary fiction, and one nonfiction book that pairs nicely with a previous read.
Do you plan your reading based on how well the mix of books works for you? If so, do you look for books that are different, or do you like to read on a theme?
I think bloggers probably do a little more planning in advance than non-blogging readers, but even before I started my blog I needed the books I read back-to-back to be different from one another.
I’d love to hear if this matters to you.
Books on My April 2019 Reading List
This story of a 40-year-old woman who chooses to set out on an odyssey to reconnect with her old friends in person–not online–sounds like a wonderfully observant novel for the digital age. It seems fitting for those who spend a lot of time online and for those who reject the notion but still must live in a world where many people only cultivate friendships online. Probably not a plot-heavy page-turner, I anticipate that this will be a pleasant and possibly even inspiring read.
Fay Fern, an expatriate in Ecuador, and her son, Wright, watch on television as Vincent Kahn takes the first steps on the moon in 1969. A brief affair resulted in Wright’s birth, and their lives quickly diverged. Vincent becomes an American hero, while Fay becomes a leader of another kind, demonstrating against the Vietnam War and landing on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
This book promises to be a big story with big personalities, set during a time of raucous turmoil–I have high hopes for another historical fiction page-turner.
Taz and Marnie are eager to build their lives together in the West–even more-so when they learn they are expecting a baby. When Marnie dies in childbirth, Taz faces parenthood alone in a fixer-upper in the wilds of Montana. Following Taz’s first two years as a father, this book promises that the unique personalities and landscape of the West will offer additional texture and interest to what is already a compelling premise.
At first glance, The Farm seems to have tinges of yet another feminist dystopian novel. And while I think this one will have some elements fitting of that designation, it really sounds like more of an examination of the issues surrounding immigrant women, their desperation, and the lengths they must go to for their families. In this case, the women are confined to a “retreat” for nine months–until they produce a perfect baby–at which time they will receive a huge payment. If this is done well, I have high hopes for a thought-provoking and eye-opening read.
Two brothers meet at the line of their properties in the Australian outback, with their third brother dead at their feet. They grieve his loss and investigate what could have happened–but there are few suspects on the isolated outback, and secrets that people want to keep hidden. I missed Jane Harper’s The Dry (and its sequel, Force of Nature), but I heard many raves and I thought I’d give her new stand-alone book a try. If it’s a winner, I’ll likely go back and try the others.
I have always wanted a Great Dane (their short lifespan is really the only thing holding me back), so I knew a book featuring one–a National Book Award winner, no less–was a must-read for me. This story about a Great Dane and the woman who finds herself his unwitting caregiver after her friend’s death promises to be both sad and touching, but I’m hoping its literary acclaim means that it doesn’t veer into sappiness.
The follow-up to Brennert’s 2003 novel Moloka’i, which tells the story of Rachel, a young girl diagnosed with leprosy and forced to live in quarantine in the colony for leprosy patients on the island of Moloka’i. Daughter of Moloka’i follows Ruth, Rachel’s daughter, through her adoption, internment in a California camp, and eventual reunion with Rachel.
Part memoir and part nonfiction exploration of McMullan’s family’s history through the Hungarian Holocaust, Where the Angels Lived is a somewhat unique take on a WWII book. Similar to My Flag Grew Stars, McMullan explores her family’s origins in Hungary and what happened to them during the war, but her mission is made more difficult by long-held resentments and feelings that hold long after the end of the war.
Are you looking forward to any of these? And how do you plan your reading?