Monthly roundup

Monthly Roundup: April 2019

Where did April go? (I feel like I start off every post saying something like that, but seriously, this year feels like it’s flying by.) Last month, I figured I would read fewer books once the weather started warming up, and so far, that’s been true. Of course, I spent a bunch of days being sick this month, and then spent several more cleaning up after being sick (have you ever seen pictures of, say, Buckingham Fountain or Niagara Falls? That’s pretty much what my daughter looked like for four days straight, except with vomit and not water. Picture that and you’ll have an idea of the amount of cleaning and laundry I had to do. Even when she made it to the bucket in time…she usually didn’t make it alllllllllllll the way in the bucket. Laundry, laundry, laundry). I’ve also been spending some time working outside in the yard that’s been badly neglected the past four years (due to my daughter being too young and not a great listener. I couldn’t trust that she wasn’t going to run off into the road while I yanked weeds!). I’ve been ripping out dead and unsightly plants and s.l.o.w.l.y. moving wagonful after wagonful of rocks from in front of my house to behind my yard. When that’s done, the area will look nice, but I’ve got a start on it! However, it does eat up my reading time, so BOO to that.

Let’s start this recap party with a list of all the things I’ve read this month!

Books I read in April 2019

1. Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein

2. Flocks by L. Nichols

3. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl (no review; I read this out loud to my daughter)

4. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

5. River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

6. To Kiss the Blarney Stone by Kate Curry

7. Accidental Jesus Freak: One Woman’s Journey From Fundamentalism to Freedom by Amber Lea Starfire

8. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

9. Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar

10. Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

11. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (no review, I read this out loud to my daughter)

12. The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunya Mikhail

13. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary (no review, I read this out loud to my daughter, who finally understands why I call her Ramona all the time)

14. Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing- A PEN American Center Prize Anthology, edited by Bell Gale Chevigny

15. Chasers of the Light: Poems From the Typewriter Series by Tyler Knott Gregson

16. The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman

17. They Come At Night by Nick Clausen

18. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (no review, read out loud to my daughter)

19. Jesse’s Girl by Tara September

20. Rabbit-Proof Fence: The True Story of One of the Greatest Escapes of All Time by Doris Pilkington (review to come)

21. Watched By Ancestors: An Australian Family in Papua New Guinea by Kathy Golski (review to come)

Not too bad! Poetry, fascinating nonfiction, thought-provoking middle grade and adult fiction, plenty of new-to-me authors, and some childhood rereads that I was able to share with my daughter (who both adores Ramona Quimby and is horrified by her behavior…which mirrors my daughter’s behavior SO often!). The numbers are okay, but in this list are two novellas, a bunch of children’s books, a slim volume of poetry…yup, my reading definitely slowed down this month!

Book Challenges Update

I’m closing in on completing Book Riot’s 2019 Read Harder Challenge! I blasted through a ton of books from that this month, and here’s what my list looks like now.

Three books left! I’m working on the cozy mystery right now, my library has a copy of a novel by a trans author, and then I’ll pick out a humor book and be done!

I completed some tasks from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2019 Reading Challenge this month as well. I finally read Watched by Ancestors: An Australian Family in Papua New Guinea by Kathy Golski (review to come). This came to me via my friend Sandy, who read and recommended it to me (and then sent me her copy! Thank you again, Sandy!), so I’m counting that as task #4, a book recommended by someone with great taste. πŸ™‚ And as for a book published before I was born, I’m counting Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, which I read aloud to my daughter. Bonus points because I never finished this one as a kid (probably because it wasn’t one of Dahl’s best). Here’s what my challenge looks like now:

Three more and I’ll have completed this as well! πŸ™‚ For someone who used to start challenges and then immediately fizzle out, I’m pretty proud of myself. πŸ™‚

Books I Acquired in April 2019

I won the copy of The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage from a giveaway at Always with a Book. Thanks, Kristin! (Okay, technically, I won in March, but the book arrived in April, so I waited to count it for this month.) And I picked up a copy of Purity by Jackson Pearce when I stopped by the thrift store in search of books for my daughter’s birthday. Their children’s’ books, YA included, are ten cents apiece, so I figured for that price, it was worth it!

OMG!!!! I’m a huge fan of the Dummies books, along with the Complete Idiots Guides. They give great overviews of broad topics, and I always enjoy delving into something new. I found this copy of Opera for Dummies at a church yard sale- it even has the CD!- and I could NOT be more excited about this. I enjoy listening to opera, but I don’t know much about it, so between this and my copy of 100 Great Operas and Their Stories (which has been on my shelf for a while), I’m ready to learn! The copy is pristine and only set me back fifty cents. πŸ™‚

Bookish Things I Did in April 2019

My library takes part in the Reading Without Walls challenge every year. The challenge is to read a book about someone who doesn’t look like you or live like you, read a book about a topic you didn’t know much about, or read a book in a format you don’t normally read. I figured my reading of The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunya Mikhail counted for this, filled out the paper (which looked like a brick), and turned it in to the librarian at Adult Services. I’m eligible to win a raffle prize of some sort, but really, I’m just glad that my brick/paper will be displayed as another sign in the fight against ignorance. πŸ™‚

Book discussion group this month covered Circling the Sun by Paula McLain, and as I predicted, we did have a great discussion. Overall, everyone seemed to like the book. One woman enjoyed the horse racing aspect of it, because it reminded her of visiting the racetracks with her father when she was younger, while others of us were more like, “Wow…that’s a lot of horses in there…” We were all surprised and fascinated to learn how Gatsby-esque colonial Kenyan society was during this era. I’m sad I’ll be missing next month’s meeting (my son has a choir concert scheduled that night); they’ll be reading The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan. Whatever they’re reading in June hasn’t been announced yet, so I’m looking forward to that!

On April 23rd, @the_WriteReads featured my post on books I love about Mister Rogers as their review of the day. I’m really proud of this post and am happy that @the_WriteReads helped me to spread the Mister Rogers love a little. πŸ™‚

I also logged my 2000th book on Goodreads!

Current Podcast Love

I’ve finished up listening to all the back episodes of All the Books! from Book Riot! This is such a great podcast, where Liberty Hardy, super reader extraordinaire, and her rotating cast of fellow Book Rioters choose several of the week’s new releases to gush over. I’ve read a bunch of books I learned about from this podcast and added plenty more to my TBR. If you’re looking for something book-related to listen to, you really can’t go wrong with All the Books!

I floundered for a few days before finally settling on my next bookish listen, and it’s:

I listened to my first episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books yesterday, and OMG WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? *sobs with joy* I LOVE these women. They’re smart, funny, they talk about books in a way that speaks to my soul (swear words! Feminism! Ridiculous euphemisms for genitalia! Picking apart romance novels for the good and the laughable!). I am in LOVE and I totally want to ignore all the rest of my life and binge all 347 episodes that I have left.

Real Life Stuff

We started out the month recovering from my daughter getting a case of the pukes, only to have both of us throwing up mid-month. NOT my favorite thing. Wedged in around both of us looking like the little girl from the Exorcist, we attended my daughter’s kindergarten orientation. She’ll go to full-day kindergarten in the fall and we’re both pretty excited! (I’ll miss her, but she’s a tornado wrapped in a hurricane wrapped in an earthquake, so it’ll be nice to have some time when I’m NOT on damage control.) Her school is within walking distance, so when it’s warm out, we’ll be able to get some exercise, and her classroom is suuuuuuuuuuper cute. They even hatch chicks in the spring, and they have the best little reading corner with a TON of books. I kind of want to go back to kindergarten…

My daughter turned 5! Seems like just yesterday I was throwing up in the bathroom…and the kitchen…and the living room…and dry-heaving in Walmart (pregnancy and I are NOT friends), and now she’s half a decade old. For the third year in a row, her chosen birthday activity was to eat lunch at Ikea (what can I say? She’s both a creature of habit and a weird little kid :D). We got really lucky in regards to her party, because we had a bounce house scheduled for Sunday, but Saturday, it snowed the entire day because apparently we live in Siberia now? Oh, Midwestern spring, what the actual. Sunday turned out to be lovely, in the upper 50’s with full sun, so the snow was mostly melted by party time and all the kids bounced to their hearts’ content.

My son’s school put on stage performances of Romeo and Juliet, and it was incredible. I say this every time, but his school’s Fine Arts Department is phenomenal, and I’m blown away at every musical and stage performance we attend.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand my cat brought me a mouse. A live one, small, only about two inches long. (Which I prefer over the one she killed in the basement and left for me to find via its overpowering odor who-knows-how-many days later.) It lives somewhere outside now, far away from the house. Here’s a picture of the mouse after I caught it in the plastic container that lives next to my chair in the living room. This plastic container is known as ‘the mouse bucket,’ which lets you know that this is not my first mouse gift rodeo. Thanks, cat…

And that was my April! Summer reading starts at my library on May 1st and you know I’ll be there to sign up. πŸ™‚ I’m going to finish off these two challenges in May and I’m looking forward to that. My daughter will finish up preschool, my son will wind up his junior year of high school (NO! GET BACK ON THE COUCH AND WATCH BLUE’S CLUES WITH ME, THIS IS NOT ALLOWED), and I have a book sale to go to this upcoming weekend. And maybe, MAYBE it will finally stop snowing, but who knows around here. πŸ˜€

Happy reading in May! How was your April?

4 thoughts on “Monthly Roundup: April 2019

  1. Oh man sorry you had the sickness in the house! We had the stomach bug in our house. It’s awful. Wow 2000 books! That is a cool achievement. I am almost done with the Mrs. Darcy Challenge too. I feel good it is almost done!! Hope you have a great May!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! Sorry to hear you had it as well, it was TERRIBLE! I was so weak, I couldn’t even sit up for about a day and a half. I’ve loved doing these challenges this year, but I’m also looking forward to some more freeform reading and tackling some of these books that have accumulated on my TBR since I’ve been focusing on the challenges. πŸ™‚


  2. Whew! You’ve had quite the April. I’m impressed at all the reading you got done, especially considering how many other things you had going on.

    My daughter is finishing up her junior year, too. She can’t wait to finish high school and go to college. It’s crazyβ€”seems like just yesterday she was going to kindergarten. Time moves way too fast sometimes! At least you have your little ones to keep you young πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, I don’t know if my daughter keeps me young, she’s more the kind that ages me, hahaha! My son is enjoying all his high school activities. He’ll be staying in the area and attending our local community college (which is like maybe ten minutes from us), so not a whole lot will change after next year, but it’s just unreal, these kids grow at what seems like warp speed!

      Summer reading has officially started at my library, so I’m looking forward to all of that! (I should be reading right now, haha.)


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