April 2020 Books Read

Monthly Book Round-Up-5

It was a slow start, but I ended up reading some really great books this month.

I think I found the genres that I’ve gravitated toward during this pandemic, and those include lighthearted literary, memoir, and true crime (because, why not?)

The books I read this month fit into those categories, and they’re some of the best in their genre. There’s even one that is giving Long Bright River a run for its money as my favorite book read this year.

I hope you and your family are staying sane. Maybe by this time next month we’ll be able to venture out again? Just in time for summer reading? Maybe??


Catch and KillCatch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Genre: Nonfiction/True Crime

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ronan Farrow’s involvement in uncovering the Harvey Weinstein case is riveting, fascinating, and at times, stranger than fiction. Farrow is a skilled writer, and this book reads like a suspense novel. Getting an inside look at how the entertainment industry conducts its business was both enlightening and infuriating. Farrow’s narration of the audiobook was a little strange with him attempting the accents of the people he’s portraying (sometimes he’s successful, other times, not so much), but don’t let that deter you from the powerful story he tells.


Jessica SimpsonOpen Book by Jessica Simpson

Genre: Celebrity Memoir

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting going into listening to this audiobook, but holy cow was it fantastic. Jessica Simpson has experienced many traumas in her life, and she doesn’t hold back in explaining them. A lot of celebrity memoirs I’ve read have been stilted and boring, two things this book definitely isn’t. It also had a nostalgia factor for me, since I grew up in the age of boy bands and Britney and had always liked Jessica Simpson. Well, now I love her. The audiobook also has 6 songs that are only available in this format, which helped inspire her in her writing. It was an awesome bonus, especially getting to listen and knowing the back story to the lyrics.


What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Format: E-book

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This is arguably Liane Moriarty’s most popular book (maybe just slightly behind Big Little Lies), and one that I’ve heard nothing but praise for. The premise is centered around Alice, who wakes up after hitting her head and thinks it is ten years in the past, when she was happy and in love with her new husband. She discovers that a lot has happened within the last ten years, including three kids she has no memory of and a husband she is now in a heated divorce with. It was an enjoyable read, and one that really makes you think. What would myself from ten years ago think of my life now? (In my case, I think I would be pleasantly surprised with how my life has turned out). While I enjoyed reading it, I was also a little cynical, especially when it came to the head trauma explanation (or lack thereof). But it’s easy to see why this has been one of Moriarty’s more praised novels.


Seven HusbandsThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is one of those books that I’ve seen talked about for awhile, and now seemed like the perfect time to pick it up. It’s an enjoyable “candy” read – light without a whole lot of substance. Learning about the fictional history of Evelyn Hugo’s seven husbands was a fun ride, with a big twist along the way. It’s a perfect escapism read for right now.


In Five YearsIn Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved this book. The writing was beautiful, and the story went in directions that I was not expecting, which is a hard feat to pull off these days (in my opinion). Our main character Dannie wakes up five years in the future and lives exactly one hour before coming back to the present. It feels like you know where the story is going to go, but Serle takes you down a completely different path that I can’t really talk about without giving anything away. I was just dumbfounded by how it ended, in a completely good way. I’ve been recommending this book to people since I finished it, and I can’t wait to read more of Serle’s work.


The Giver of StarsThe Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I didn’t know what I was going to think of this book, especially after the accusations of plagiarism when it first came out. But I was pleasantly surprised and ended up loving the story of a group of women in the 1930s and their traveling library (delivering books on horseback). Not to mention, I found my new favorite audiobook narrator in Julia Whelan, a phenomenal actress who brought a unique voice to each character (and there were a lot in this Kentucky-set town). I’ve always been hit or miss with Historical Fiction, but this one was a big hit for me.


Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Genre: Memoir

Format: E-book

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This memoir is so heartbreakingly beautiful. Kalanithi mixes prose with philosophy while explaining his short life as a surgeon who finds himself faced with his own cancer. The heavy topics were surprisingly readable and relatable. Kalanithi didn’t get to finish his manuscript before he passed away in 2015. You can feel how rushed the writing is at times, but knowing why makes it forgivable. This is a tearjerker, but it’s also a great insight into life and death and how we perceive time.


Books I DNF’d this month:

The Other Wes Moore – This memoir sounded interesting (discovering someone who has the same name as you is living out a jail sentence for murder), but I couldn’t get into it.

The Other Woman – I picked this up in hopes to do a buddy read with my sister-in-law (hi, Christine!), but I’ve realized that I don’t have the mental stability to read thrillers at the moment. I’ll let my SIL determine if I should read it in the future 🙂

Let me know in the comments what good books you read this month!

April Reads 2020-3

 

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases*

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