The Books I Read In April

 I had such a great reading month; though I have had weeks where I'm trying to read 4 different books at once!  In all honesty I am still trying to finish up one of them...   In any case, I did have a good month of reading and enjoyed the books I read. 



1. One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle-- I wasn't entirely sure I was even going to finish reading this book.  I thought I was going to be reading a fun little summer vacation/ romance kind of novel but the unexpected turn of this book forced me to think of it as more of a fantasy novel and fantasy just isn't my thing.  However, I thought the characters were cute enough that I kept going.  It was good; but not my favorite.  When Katy's mother dies she is so devastated that she decided to leave her husband and father behind and take the trip to Italy her mother and her had been planning for the past year.  Within 24 hours of landing Katy has an encounter with her mother-- not a ghost but an actual flesh and blood 30 year younger, on vacation herself version of her mother.  It was cute and I was glad I stuck with it.  I also really want to go to Italy now!


2. Brat: An '80s Story by Andrew McCarthy-- Another wonderful audiobook I've been listening to.  I think Andrew is one of the brat pack that I've known the least about.  So many of the movies he talks about making, I don't even remember.  But at the same time it's neat to hear about his rise to stardom in his own words and while a few of his stories overlap with Rob Lowe's it was neat to hear them from another perspective. 


3. The Summer Getaway by Susan Mallery-- This was such a fun book that I read the whole thing in just under 24 hours.  When Robyn is feeling overwhelmed by life one summer's day she heads to her great Aunt Lillian's house in Santa Barbara.  Her daughter is planning a wedding and acting like a brat, her 18 year old son has moved out for the summer and doesn't appear to have any plans for his future, her ex-husband is causing family drama, and her best friend is planning on having an affair.  Robyn needs a break and just as she's settling in with Aunt Lillian and her aunt's houseguest Mason the people she thought she had left behind at home start showing up one by one.  It was a sweet little family drama mixed with a delicious little love story and I thought it was a wonderful escape myself. 


4. The Maid by Nita Prose-- A quirky little murder mystery.  Molly is a maid in a fancy boutique hotel and stumbled upon a dead body while cleaning one morning. Due to a series of events and Molly's own quirky personality she becomes the lead suspect and has to rely on friends to help prove her innocence.  I wasn't sure at first that I liked the story but by the middle of the book I really didn't want to put it down. It was cute and a bit unexpected here and there.


5. Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron-- This was a cute young adult story about Tahira who is a budding fashion designer.  When her internship falls through at the last minute her parents talk her into a replacement job working for her aunt in her clothing boutique she's not sure she's totally on board with a summer in the country.  Determined to make the best of it she ends up teaming up with a few of the locals for a flower arranging content called Bloom.  It was an adorable enemies to friends kind of book and I loved all the art/ fashion/ and flower references too.


6. The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 In Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede-- This is a fabulous, emotional, and uplifting book about the true story of an airport in Gander, Newfoundland that became home to 38 planes who had to land rather abruptly when the airspace over the Unites States was shut down on 9/11.  This small town of around 10,000 and a few of it's neighboring small towns became home to 6,495 passengers and crew members and their pets for almost a week.  The stories of friendship, comradery, help and community could teach us all so much about thinking and caring for others.  The author did a wonderful job of weaving so many stories into a seamless account of the events.  I am sure it's going to be one of my top 10 books of 2022!


7. The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich-- I love Janet's books and could not wait to sink my teeth into her latest series.  This is the first book in the Gabriela Rose series; a recovery agent who is hired to seek out lost treasures and stolen heirlooms.  I thought it was a fun read! In this book Gabriela pairs up with her ex-husband to search for buried treasure based on her own family's old legends in the hopes of saving her hometown after a devastating hurricane.  The pair team up with some pretty crazy people and have quite the adventure; nearly dying and getting held at gunpoint a few times.   I can't wait to read more of this series!


8.  Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton-- another audiobook I listened to in the car. While I can't say this was a favorite book for me I did find it rather enlightening listening to Diane's take on beauty and what it was like to live in a world obsessed with beauty when you don't feel beautiful. I felt a bit sorry for her at times and was surprised to hear how she often thinks of herself. 


9. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan-- When Anna Trent has a horrible accident at work that lands her in the hospital she finds herself convalescing near her old French teacher, Claire, and the two become friends.  Once Anna is out the hospital and unemployed she's not sure what to do with her life and Claire sets her up with a job in Paris making chocolates with an old friend of Claire's.  Anna struggles to fit in both in Paris at the chocolate shop which is nothing like her old job at the chocolate factory. This might qualify as my favorite Jenny Colgan book! Between the adorable characters, the talk of Paris and of course chocolates what's not to love? (though I was tearing up at the end with some sadness so be forewarned!)


10.  Stepping by Nancy Thayer- This is the only book I DNF this month.  I don't really know why.. it started off well enough and I liked the idea of a book that looked at step- parenting but I just struggled to get into the story.  I was not identifying with any of the characters and while I typically love Nancy Thayer books this was nothing like her summery, Nantucket stories I'm used to. I finally gave up on forcing myself to read it. 


11. The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock-- I have had this book for what has felt like forever.  Shelbee gifted it off to me after she had read the whole thing and I was so intrigued with this artist's work that I really wanted to read it too; yet somehow it always got pushed aside in favor of library books.  I decided this spring was the perfect time to tackle my reading pile and I must say once I got started I am really enjoying this!  I still have quite a bit of reading left to do as it is a very long book but her paper flowers are just beautiful! 


12.  A Place for Us by Harriet Evans-- I was hooked on this story from the very first line: "The day Martha Winters decided to tear apart her family began like any other day." Martha is turning 80 and decides to invite the whole family to reveal a big family secret her and her husband have been harboring.  Each chapter delves into various family and friends from as they receive invitations or hear about the party and they all seem to have secrets and things too so you feel this real slow build up of what's going to go down at the party. I had a few guesses early on about the big reveal but I was wrong!  That so rarely happens.  


Linking up with:







Comments

  1. What a great collection- interesting about the Nancy Thayer book- it does seem so different than her other beachy reads!

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    1. Very, very different; I can only assume it was an old book

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  2. It looks like you had a good month of reading a lot of books. I'm surprised about the book One Italian Summer as this was on my reading list. The Maid is also on my TBR list.

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    1. Yeah I was not expecting that twist in One Italian Summer at all!

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  3. I wasn't a big fan of One Italian Summer. I thought it could have been a little longer to flesh out the fantasy elements!

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    1. I thought it was okay; not a favorite but I enjoyed it enough to finish it. Not sure I would have if it were set anywhere else though!

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  4. One Italian Summer has been in my wish list for a while, but I haven't picked it up yet. I LOVED In Five Years by Rebecca Serle so I have high hopes for this one. And I adore Diane Keaton so I'll have to check that one out, too!

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    1. I don't think I have ever read anything by Serle before.

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  5. a new janet evanovich series?! yay! i admit, i kind of gave up on stephanie plum, not in a mean way, just in a lost interest way. really want to read the day the world came to town book. i thought the maid was super cute!

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    1. It was really cute too; and I loved that the main character wasn't totally inept like Plum usually is.

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  6. Have you seen the musical Come From Away about the 9/11 passengers in Gander, Newfoundland? I have seen it in person but it is also on Apple TV if you get a chance to watch it. So good!!

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  7. That book the Day the World Came to Town...I need to read it, but I saw the play and it was SO uplifting and fabulous.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I felt that way about the book; it was so uplifting to see how everyone came together.

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  8. I am always so impressed by how many books you read in a month. How do you find the time? I love Nancy Thayer books...my favorite is Three Women at the Water's Edge.

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    1. I honestly am not sure; I know I'm pretty fast reader and I always have a book in hand but I'm often surprised at how many I get through in a month too. I am going to have to check out that one; I haven't read it yet!

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  9. My gosh, so many books! I'm glad I can finish one a month!

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    1. LOL. I do enjoy reading a lot; plus I can usually listen to 3 books while commuting so that helps.

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  10. Tahira in Bloom sounds like a fun read and The Summer Getaway sounds like a perfect beach read.

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    1. The Summer Getaway would make a perfect beach read! I really enjoyed Tahira in Bloom more than I thought I would.

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  11. I'd not heard of the book about the diverted flights to Newfoundland. That one sounds so interesting. I finally started back reading during Covid on my Kindle App and haven't stopped.

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    1. It was so interesting and so uplifting to read how these people opened up their homes and lives to welcome all these displaced passengers.

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  12. I need to make time for some reading just for fun. Thanks for sharing your recommendations.

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  13. Nice mix of books! I'd like to read The Maid.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  14. Hi, Joanne - Thank you for joining us at #WOYBS. I haven't (yet) read any of the books that you have listed here, but 'The Day the World Came to Town' is high up on my TBR pile. I greatly enjoy your review style!

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  15. You've sold me on the Diane Keaton book. Sounds interesting. Was the Grander book what inspired them to make the musical? (I know true events, I'm wondering if the book was first or just a lot of people got inspired by the events?). Lastly, I'm midway thru The Maid now. I'm enjoying it but I know it got some criticism in Austism advocacy circles so I'm reading it and collecting my thoughts before seeing what the problems were.

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    1. Going by publication date the book came out a good 10 years before the musical... but according to Wikipedia it sounds like the writers of the musical did their own research so I think both might have just been inspired by the events?! I did think perhaps the main character was on the Autism spectrum but much like the show The Big Bang Theory that is never talked about or hinted at.

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  16. Okay...where do I start? With Jenny Colgan, of course! I loved this one too. There's a couple on your list that I'd like to read - the Susan Mallory and The Day The World Came To Town. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I saw that Colgan has a new book coming out for the summer and I can't wait to read it.

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  17. I like Jenny Colgan as well but her books are not recommended if you are dieting.

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  18. What a great selection you've read Joanne and I too thoroughly enjoyed The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. Thanks for joining up with us, it's so good to get reviews from friends!

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  19. A great selection this month so thank you for linking up and sharing with us. I enjoyed The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris and also The Maid. I've not read any others on your list although I am a Janet Evanovich fan. Plenty to add to my reading list for this month! Happy reading! x

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    1. Thanks! I've been enjoying some great books for May so far too.

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  20. The Day the World Came to Town has been on my list for awhile. Looking forward to reading it!

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  21. I like the cover for Tahira in Bloom. Hope you have a good reading month for the rest of May.

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    1. Thank you! So far May has been a really good reading month too.

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