Book Chat

April 2016 Reading Log

Whew, what a busy month! Every weekend in April was busy but I still managed to fit in some fun books. Fortunately my energy is back and so is my reading habit. Enjoying some uninterrupted beach reading was just what I needed! I also realized that having too many half-read books was driving me a bit crazy, so I turned in all my library books, cleared out the To-Read piles sitting around, and I’ve been focusing on finishing one book at a time before starting a new one. Sometimes I like having a half-dozen books to choose from, and sometimes it’s nice to start fresh. Bring on the summer reading!

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

Apri; 2016 Thoughts


Holes, by Louis Sachar

The Amateur Librarian // March 2016 Reading Log

Start Date: 3/10/2016
Finish Date: 4/2/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit (Newbery Winner) / Audiobook

I finally got around to this modern classic and I’m glad I did! The stories of two boys intersect at a camp for “troubled teens” where they have to dig a hole in the desert every single day of their sentence. History meets up with the present as the boys figure out the significance of the holes. I enjoyed the mix of stark reality with the magical realism of fate, and there was a surprising amount of depth too, touching on topics like race that I didn’t expect. I vaguely remember the movie and it seems like a pretty true adaptation – I might have to watch it again some time soon. (Quick tip – if you buy the ebook you can also get the audiobook for an additional $2.99.)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson

The Amateur Librarian // March 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 3/23/2016
Finish date: 4/13/2016
Genre/Format: Fiction / Audiobook

Quick, entertaining listen recommended by the What Should I Read Next? podcast. Frances McDormand was the titular character in the recent movie version, and also narrated the audiobook – she was fabulous! This Cinderella story of a 1930s spinster discovering a new life of nightclubs and “fast women” was charmingly subversive, although a few old-fashioned sentiments (AKA casual racism) put a damper on any chance of this becoming a new favorite. The movie has been added to my “Must Watch” list.

 Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids, by Asha Dornfest– A

The Amateur Librarian // April 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 4/4/2016
Finish date: 4/5/2016
Genre/Format: Parenting / Paperback

I’ve been a longtime fan of the Parent Hacks website, probably since searching the internet for babysitting tips in college. These hacks are old-school, non-branded, MacGyver-esque tricks to help solve everything from travelling quandaries to broken gear to entertaining babies and beyond. The release of this book was perfect timing, and it’s probably the first “baby” thing I bought for myself. After reading it through, I bought a couple more for shower gifts – it’s that good!

Where’d You Go Bernadette?, By Maria Semple– A

The Amateur Librarian // April 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 4/8/2016
Finish date: 4/10/2016
Genre/Format: Fiction / Paperback 

Quick-paced, darkly funny commentary, and a mystery to unravel: yes please! I’m a fan of novels that vary from a straight narrative, and the collected emails, notes, and letters pieced together a compelling portrait of agoraphobic genius Bernadette from her daughter’s perspective. I spent an enjoyable couple days scarfing this down, and although it might not stick around in my brain for long, it was the perfect beach read.

Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5), by Marissa Meyer– A

The Amateur Librarian // April 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 4/13/2016
Finish date: 4/22/2016
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Audiobook

This prequel of sorts was released between the third and fourth books of the Lunar Chronicles, and it’s the perfect placement to delve into the villain Leavana’s backstory. Pretty much anything I say about the plot is a spoiler for the rest of the series, but it does a good job of explaining Leavana’s motivations and fills in a lot of details that aren’t covered in the other books. The Lunar society on the moon is one of my favorite aspects of this futuristic sci-fi series, so I enjoyed reading an entire book devoted to world building. It isn’t necessarily required reading for the series, but it’s definitely heightening my appreciation for the fourth book.

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, by Maja Safstrom– A

The Amateur Librarian // The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts Book Review

Start date: 4/26/2016
Finish date: 4/26/2016
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction / Hardback

The quirky illustrations that accompany the animal trivia on each page make this book stand out from other similar animal fact books – you can tell it was put together thoughtfully with an aim toward appealing to both adults and children. The facts are fun and interesting, ranging from bodily functions to world records, accompanied by black-and-white line drawings reminiscent of Shel Silverstein. I really loved the understated design, and each illustration feels special. Such a fun book to add to my “picture book” bookshelves, especially now that I have a future animal-lover on the way!

Still Reading:

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, by Anthony Doerr

Start date: 2/17/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Still reading. I pick it up from time to time, but it’s not a particularly fast-moving memoir so I’m content to dip in and out. Haven’t picked it up lately, but I’ll get back to it eventually.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), by Marissa Meyer

The Amateur Librarian // March 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 3/29/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Library book

Still reading. I put this one on pause to listen to the audiobook of the villain’s backstory, then dove back in. I’m almost afraid to finish the last book in this fun series, but at least there is a short story collection after it’s over.

I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage, by Mary-Ann Kirby

The Amateur Librarian // April 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 4/11/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / Paperback

Still reading. My mom lent me this book while we were at the beach, but now that I’m back to reading in five-minute chunks during breakfast each day, I haven’t made much progress. I’ve never heard of the Hutterite community, but the author’s story of growing up in a tight knit group and later assimilating into American culture when her family left the Hutterites is fascinating so far.

Books read in April: 6

Books read so far in 2016: 30

Still reading: 3


So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of April, the fourth month of 2016.  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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2 thoughts on “April 2016 Reading Log

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