What I read in April – Back on the Bookshelf

Last month was relatively good for reading for me… 7 books! There was quite a range of different genres, which is always fun and mind-broadening. 

Without further ado, here is what I read in April:

All the Light We Cannot See

Completed: 4/7/17
Format: Hardback from the Library

Just wow… There’s a reason this Pulitzer Prize winner has been on top of everyone’s to-read list for the last year. 

This beautiful story follows two young people during WWII, a blind French girl whose father leaves her with an incredible secret, and a brilliant German boy forced to work for the Nazis. They are destined to meet near the very end of the war. 

Very beautifully written, heart breaking, and just wonderful. Exceptional historical fiction that made me want to put Anthony Doerr’s other novel on my reading list.

Recommended for: everyone. 

The Princess Diarist 

The Princess Diarist - one of the 7 books I read in April!

Completed: 4/11/17
Format: Hardback from Library

Y’all, Carrie Fisher was an absolutely hilarious person. This book, tragically her last, is at times painful, raunchy, and awkward, but it’s always funny. 

The bits and pieces of Carrie’s diary from when she first began playing the role of Princess Leia for the very first Star Wars are interspersed between the stories of how she and Harrison Ford’s fling during filming of Episode IV. There is some gorgeous and haunting poetry, shocking stories, and of course, lots of laughs. 

Recommended for: Star Wars fans who aren’t afraid of some dark, witty humor.

A Place Called Freedom

A Place Called Freedom - one of the 7 books I read in April!

Completed: 4/17/17
Format: Hardback from the Library

Ken Follett is one my very favorite authors. His historical fiction is all just fantastic. Last year I read 4 of his books (all of them are pretty dang large), and this one is probably my fifth favorite of the ones I’ve read. While I really enjoyed it, you can tell it’s one of his earlier stories. The characters are good, but not quite as fully developed as in Pillars of the Earth or The Century Trilogy.

It was still worth my time, though. I just love Ken Follet.

Recommended for: Fans of Outlander 😉

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - one of the seven books I read in April!

Completed: 4/18/17
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

Malcolm Gladwell is just so good. Even though this book is almost 13 years old, it’s just chock full of incredible information and fun ways to hack your brain. Think-slicing is the fascinating way we take “thin slices” of information and quickly make decisions without knowing we’ve even had the first thought. 

Every human does it without realizing, and it’s a very important to keeping us alive while we move in the world, but it can also create implicit biases that hamper us and harm others. 

Recommended for fans of Freakonomics and other behavioral science type books.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - one of the 7 books I read in April

Completed: 4/24/17
Format: Audiobook through Overdrive

Who knew a book about what’s done with our bodies after we die could be so hilarious? I had heard as much about Stiff, but as someone who has lost two close family members this year, I was still a little nervous about so bluntly facing this aspect of death. 

I’m actually glad I read this book. There was something about Roach’s matter of fact, humorous approach that reminded me how our bodies are merely the shells for our souls. 

From crash test dummies to important sources of training for future doctors, bodies donated to science have incredible lives after their inhabitants are gone. 

Recommended for: Dark humor lovers and sciency-types. 

Paper: Paging Through History

Paper: Paging Through History - One of the 7 books I read in April

Completed: 4/26/17
Format: Hardback from the Library

This is when you get to learn just how much of a nerd I really am. This is a book about paper, but really it’s a book about civilization and technology. All throughout the book Kurlanksy makes the argument that technology doesn’t create change in a society, society creates the demand for new technologies.

A little dry at times, but ultimately very interesting for the budding sociologist in me. 

Recommended for: nerds like this girl.

Orphan Train 

Orphan Train - one of the 7 books I read in April 2017

Completed: 4/27/17
Format: Paperback from the Library

After the denseness that was Paper, I was glad I had something a little lighter like Orphan TrainIt’s the fictional story drawn from the real history of sending American orphans west on trains to serve as “adopted children” to families in the early 20th century. Many of these orphans were mistreated and even abused by their new “families.”

Orphan Train wasn’t always easy and uplifting, but it was a good, relatively quick read!

Recommended for: historical fictionites.

Well, that’s all of what I read in April! What should I queue up next?

 

2 thoughts on “What I read in April – Back on the Bookshelf

  1. Hi Lizzy! I’m in 2 book clubs with your mom. I’m reading The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell – thought I’d pass along to you for your ‘what should I read next’ list. Psychological thriller’ish – 2 women who work together in the police precinct in the 1920s, typing confessions of criminals. Excellent so far. Really admire your reading volume!

    1. Thanks, Paula! My mom is the best, isn’t she? I get my love of reading from her, without a doubt! I’ll add your suggestion to the list.

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