April Reads: The List

On the first day of the year, I laid out my 2018 reading goals.

Here’s what’s on the list for April:

#1 Fat Fiction: Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes by Sue Watson. The description borders on encouraging weight loss, but actually doesn’t so I’m giving it a try.

Brief Description: Can you really turn a passion into a profession? Does more time at home actually give you a happier family life? Are men truly from Mars or another universe altogether? Stella has to roll up her sleeves and find out – when the going gets tough, the tough get baking…. ”

fairy-cakes

#2 The Oldest Book Shelved: Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel was purchased for a graduate class, but we ran out of time to read it. I’ve tried reading it before, but it’s challenging. If I get sick of this book at all, I’m calling it quits.

Brief Description: “In postwar rural England, Hilary Mantel grew up convinced that the most improbable of accomplishments, including ‘chivalry, horsemanship, and swordplay,’ were within her grasp. Once married, however, she acquired a persistent pain that led to destructive drugs and patronizing psychiatry, ending in an ineffective but irrevocable surgery. There would be no children; in herself she found instead one novel, and then another.”

giving up the ghost
Image from Abe Books

#3 Newest Book Shelved on Goodreads: The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts.

Brief Description: “Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma — the ‘opening soon’ part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. . . .Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn’t ventured outside the diner since it opened. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind.”

honk

#4 Random Pick: The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande. This the big “One Book, One Community” read that my county library is doing. There are plenty of sponsored events to go along with themes from the memoir, including a reading by the author.

Brief Description: Reyna Grande’s father his wife and three children in Mexico to create a future in the United States. Later, his wife joins him, so the children are left with a grandmother. Just before the age of 10, Reyna enters the U.S. illegally on her own and ends up being the first in her family to graduate from college.

distance between us.jpg

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33 comments

  1. You have some varied reads there. I don’t know if it’ll be a good read (haven’t read it, myself), but I like the title of the Letts. It’s creative and got my attention.

  2. Ineffective but irrevocable surgery – how sad is that. I’ve read (listened to) Wolf Hall and thought it was pretty good. I’ll keep an eye out for Giving up the Ghost.

  3. I also find it fascinating to see what libraries pick for their ‘one book, one city etc.’ read-alongs. we have a ton of them here in Canada. One year, the city of Calgary picked Neil Pasricha’s “The Book of Awesome”-ugh!

  4. Nice variety! I went through a Billie Letts phase in my early 20’s, but I remember virtually nothing about those books! I’m fairly certain I enjoyed them, though! 🙂

    The Distance Between Us sounds good. The last county-wide library sponsored read for our county was Station Eleven. I’m interested in hearing about the Mantel book too. I’ve never tried her before (I think I’ve been intimidated for some reason.)

    • I’m worried about the Mantel book. I started it twice, but couldn’t follow. That’s been about 10 years ago. People LOVE Letts on Goodreads! I’d never heard of her! I found her randomly because the title stuck out.

  5. I don’t even want to think about the oldest book I have shelved on my…bookshelf. I know at some point, I should really get rid of ones I know I’m never going to find time to read, but it’s so hard. How does one let go? I hope you enjoy all the books your pick up this month. Happy April!

  6. The Hilary Mantel book sounds depressing. Good luck with it! I like the sound of the Billie Letts book!

    It’s fun to hear about all the “One Book” events… we have one called One Book Nova Scotia. I saw in a comment above that you ended up loving it – are you planning to write about it?

  7. I’m impressed with the variety of your April reading selections! I appreciate the variety; as a mood reader I need that to keep myself focused and interested when setting a reading list.

    Where did you find The Honk and Holler Opening Soon and why did you decide to add it to your TBR?

      • Ah, yes. That’s a key sign of how long I’ve been away. I recalled your reading goals briefly from this post, but thanks for looping me back to Jan 1!

        I think I was really looking for the title selection story. I agree with you that a good title says a lot. My bookshop wanderings also involve seeking out eye-catching covers. They could be eye-catching for being beautiful or ugly or stained or campy or shiny– it doesn’t matter. But I have a weakness for eye-catching books which seem neglected.

        I hope you enjoy reading The Honk!

        • I love reading books with campy covers! Anything that reeks of Fear Street or Sweet Valley Twins will draw my eye immediately. I’ve been waiting for your blog to be fixed to ask you about your wedding and if you’re enjoying marriage so far. I didn’t think getting married would be different because we already shared a home, but it was, mainly in how other people treated us.

          • Campy covers are such a weakness of mine. I feel like I probably own more books with campy covers than not… Oops. 😉

            Thank you!! The blog will hopefully be ready for full-time activation come Tuesday morning (knock on wood!). Married life doesn’t feel different to me for the same reason, I believe. We already shared a home, and we’ve lived together for going on 3 years. I’m not at a point where people are treating me differently *yet*. But I can see it coming. I’m sad to say there are a few people I work with who suddenly seem to respect me more now that I have a wedding ring on… David’s theory is that they are intimidated by me and now that there is a ring on my hand it proves I can be “dominated”. Then he laughs like a mad-man because he knows I’m in charge. 😉

            • I think it has something to do with “officially” separating from your parents. When you live with someone but are dating, there’s always the chance you could still break up (this, of course, ignores divorce as a possibility). But there were weird markers, like taking my own gift to someone’s wedding instead of signing the card my mom bought, taking a dish to pass instead of being “the kids” who need fed because we’re just still kids. I think at work people may see you as more of an adult because you’ve entered into an adult contract. Marriage is a rite of passage in the U.S. People may not even look at long-lasting adult relationships seriously. What if you’re in your 30s, you’ve been dating 10 years, own a house together, but aren’t married? In the U.S., we think that “means something.”

              • Those are quite astute observations! I spent some time working abroad for a former job and I definitely noticed that marriage holds a LOT more weight in America than it does in Europe. It’s certainly a right of passage. But we are a country built on religions fleeing persecution for being too conservative, right? This has been built into our DNA. It’s like many people cannot respect, or even understand, the idea of a romantic relationship without marriage. And let’s not even bring children into this discussion. O_o So silly.

  8. I have read Sue Watson’s books before. Remember each of those having mouth-watering descriptions of food. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

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