Saturday, May 23, 2009

April Reads in Review (a tad late)

I haven't read the book you see, at left. I just thought the title was fitting. Where do the days go? I can't believe it's already the 23rd of May and I'm just now getting around to posting a summary of my April reads. I had a slightly lesser month because of our week of vacation in April, but I still think it was a good one. Links lead to my reviews, if applicable.


YA - Young Adult
CH - Children's
NF - Non-fiction

Bookfool's April Reads in Review:

1. SLOB by Ellen Kennedy (YA/Ages 9-12) - A brilliant, overweight boy tries to unravel the mystery of who has stolen his cookies whilst working on an invention that he hopes will help him see into the past. Funny, poignant, great characters -- just an all-around terrific book.

2. The King with Horse's Ears by Batt Burns; Illus. by Igor Oleynikov (CH) - Irish folktales with stunning illustrations. My favorite is not a traditional tale, but a new one written by the author.

3. How I Got to be Whoever it is I Am by Charles Grodin (NF) - The actor/journalist talks about his youth and how he became an actor then segued into journalistic presentation.

4. Go Back and Be Happy by Julie Papievis (NF) - The memoir of a woman who claims to have died & gone to heaven (briefly), where she met her grandmothers and was told, "Go back and be happy." She then emerged from a coma. Doctors had expected her to die of the severe brain stem injury she received in an automobile accident.

5. Real Solutions for Busy Moms by Kathy Ireland (NF) - Just what it sounds like, practical solutions for making life as a mother more tolerable. Some of the book is written in question/answer format.

6. Spiced by Dalia Jergensen (NF) - (link leads to a mini review below that of Real Solutions) -Wow, I read a lot of non-fiction in April, didn't I? Another memoir, this time from the kitchen as Dalia describes how she turned her love of cooking into a career as a pastry chef. I thought this was really a fun read, apart from the bits about her sex life.

7. The Lost Hours by Karen White - A horse-riding accident left Piper in pain and took away her greatest joy but her grandfather's death, a charm & some scrapbook pages send Piper on a search that will change how she views her past and future.

8. So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones (YA) - When her mother remarries and her father decides he's not the best parent for her to live with, Bella goes from privileged lifestyle in the big city to life on a farm in rural Oklahoma. This book actually had me laughing out loud and became an instant favorite. I can't wait to read the next in this new series.

9. So Long Status Quo by Susy Flory (NF) - And, I'm not even done listing the memoirs. Part memoir, part inspirational, the story of how one woman decided to get up off the couch and start making a difference.

10. The Blood of Lambs by Kamal Saleem (NF) - Seriously, I had no idea I read so many memoirs in April. The Blood of Lambs was my favorite because it's beautifully written & gripping. Saleem tells about his childhood in Lebanon and how he became a terrorist for the PLO at 7 years of age.

11. Living Fossils - Evolution: The Grand Experiment, Vol. 2 by Dr. Carl Werner (NF) - I haven't reviewed this book, yet, but it's scheduled for review the first week of June. Dr. Verner was challenged to prove the theory of evolution, while still in medical school (he's an ER doctor). This book tells about the challenge and how he went about trying to prove evolution by disproving it -- and why he chose that method. I just read the first book and will review it at the same time.

12. Fire Me by Libby Malin - Anne is tired of her job and on the verge of resigning when her boss announces a layoff and informs everyone that the person who loses his or her job will receive an attractive severance package. Slapstick chick lit ensues as Anne tries to get herself fired.

13. Stop the Traffik by Steve Chalke (NF) - A shocking expose about the widespread problem of human trafficking. Interesting side note: Chocolate producers didn't like what I had to say about the slave boys working on cocoa farms in that region, along with my assertion that I will only buy Fair Trade chocolate (they haven't changed my mind).

That's it! Just 13 books finished in April. Two years ago, that would have been a record-breaker. Not so, now, but I'm satisfied.

Just to pretty up this post a bit, a "nom, nom" photo from Costa Rica:


  1. 13 is still a lot! Good job. BTW, the book in the picture looks good too!

  2. Jessica,

    Thank you. I thought that book looked interesting, too, even if I just snatched the image for its cover. :)

  3. That bird is gorgeous! I envy his feathers.
    13 is great. give yourself a pat on the back.

    your spam guard word is "fracked" lol

  4. Bybee,

    Isn't he beautiful? Thanks, I'm patting.

    Fracked is a cute word. There's a character named George Frack in Simon's new book. :)

  5. Okay I think we've switched book reading habits. I am only reading about 5 books a month and you are closer to what I was reading this time last year. lol Too funny and good job!

  6. Krista,

    Yeah, looks that way. Thanks!

  7. Sigh--if only my cruddy months were 13 books! Can't believe that soon the year will be half over. The hummingbird is lovely--we always love "feeding" them in the summer and watching them play.

  8. Spiced sounds really good aside from the bits about her sex life. I've seen a good bit of buzz about it lately, so I'll have to see if the 'brary has it.

  9. Trish,

    This has been a weird year. I'm pushing myself to read more books in a month because the ARC stack has, frankly, gotten out of control. 13 in a month would normally be huge for me.

    Thank you! I love hummingbirds. We need to work on making a garden to lure them to our yard. There are plenty in Vicksburg, but I haven't seen a single one, so far this year.


    I really enjoyed Spiced and I think I may keep it to refer back to. My one published short story was set in a restaurant. I can see now that it was wrong in many ways and after reading Spiced I realized that I know how to "fix" the story and even turn it into a novel, now. But, I need to do more research, so you may see some foody books showing up on this blog in the coming months!

  10. You always get such great bird pictures!

    I didn't do a review for April either and now May is almost done!

  11. Jenclair,

    Thank you! I try. Birds have a tendency not to politely sit still, so they're hard to photograph.

    Hard to believe how fast the year is going, isn't it? Maybe you could do a combination April/May wrap-up. I've done that in the past.

  12. Is that bird sticking his beak into the feeder? Wow, that's an amazing shot.

    It's surprising sometime what's grabs us looked at in retrospect. Must've been a non fiction/memoir kind of month.

  13. Carrie,

    I do believe he is, yes. Thirsty little dude. There were probably dozens of hummingbirds flying around the feeders in the area where I shot this. I was so disappointed when we had to leave. We had a hired driver (we didn't rent a car in Costa Rica because the roads are scary enough without David at the wheel) so we only were able to stand there for a few minutes and then our guide hustled us on. He didn't want to be stuck with us, since the tour was over!

    I don't know if it was a NF type of month or that's just what I had on the schedule but I'm trying to read more fiction, this year, so it really surprised me to see the sheer quantity of memoirs I ended up reading. I do love memoirs, though!

  14. You read a lot of books that looked interesting in April because several ended up on my wish list!


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