Books I Read in April (And Part of May)

WhatremainsHerewith, my semi-regular list of books I've been reading.  Why? Because I love and adore reading posts what others have been reading (so write more of them, y'all).  And I figure you might get a few ideas from my list.  

Here goes:

Fiction

Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther. (See bonus author video at the end of this post.) I enjoyed this novel about three women of different classes crossing from Europe to New York on an ocean liner.  Parts of it were a bit contrived, but it kept me turning pages.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson.  This is the story of a single woman who owns a bookstore in Denver.  Nothing so rare about that, right?  Well, this was set in the sixties, so it was unusual.  But every night she goes to bed and dreams that she has a whole other life, complete with adorable husband and children.  I thought this one was really well done.

The Shortest Way Home by Juliette Fay.  She's a wonderful women's fiction writer, and I think I've now read all her books.  This one is about Sean, a male nurse who comes home after spending much of the last 20 years working in war-torn countries.   Right in my wheelhouse. Loved it.

Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore.  Whoops.  Didn't finish this one.  Slow in starting and I lost interest.

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante.  I started this one in April, and finished it in May.  Ha.  I actually read it on the plane to and fro Nashville.  As I've been telling people this one is brilliant.  It is dense and gritty and claustrophobic and sometimes difficult to keep track of all the characters (buy a hardcopy because you'll continually flip back to the cast of characters in the front), but brilliant.  It is the first of four in the series called the Neapolitan Novels.  They are set in the city of Naples and follow the intense friendship of Elena and Lila from childhood on.  Oh, and I love this–the author's name is a pseudonym and nobody knows who she really is.  I've got the second one in the series and have to sit on my hands not to rip through it.

Besides the novels, I read (more like perused) a couple of beautiful books on embroidery. (But have I yet picked up needle and thread? Um, no.) I also leafed through a title on homesteading, hoping to glean inspiration for you own little back forty and read part of a book on how to plot your novel. (I'm still working on that one so don't feel I can list it yet).

I've already finished a couple of really great titles in May, but they will have to wait until next month's post.  And, up next….ta dum….

My friend Helene Dunbar's book, What Remains.  When I was in Nashville last week, I was so honored to receive one of her first two copies of the book.  Years ago, at a now-defunct writing retreat called Room to Write, Helene and I brainstormed ways to end her novel.  Mostly what I did was sit and listen to her talk, but she credits that conversation with saving the book.  I am SO excited to read it!

 Here's that video I promised:

What, pray tell, have you been reading?

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10 Comments on "Books I Read in April (And Part of May)"

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Don
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Don
05/13/2015 07:45
I’m ashamed to say it, but I haven’t read any new books…. none what so ever, in ages! True, I’ve been ill, but surely I could have, and I should have read at least one. Reading other books, especially those in the same genre, was one of the first things I remember when I took my writing course… shame, shame on little old me! Me’s bad, and bad to the bone. Now that you brought it up, I think I’ll stop at one of the local libraries and pick up a book or two in my genre to read! Got… Read more »
Charlotte Dixon
Guest
05/13/2015 08:40

I'm sorry you've been ill, Don.  I hope you are feeling better.  And yes, reading is one of the most important skills at being a writer! So I hope you went by the library!!!!

amanda
Guest
05/13/2015 15:36

The best book I read last month is Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff. It’s about teenagers in Brooklyn, and you never learn the gender of the main character. It’s really well done and beautiful writing.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
05/13/2015 15:57

Sounds intriguing–I will look it up.  

Zan Marie
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05/13/2015 17:35

Reading is a gift from God! I’ll have to check some of these out. 😉

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
05/14/2015 06:36

I always love going to your blog and reading your mini-reviews!  And reading is a gift, isn't it?

Angela roberts
Guest
05/14/2015 18:25

I HAVE to read more. ANd, now you have inspired me. I usually read on my iPad. Makes it so much easier for me.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
05/14/2015 19:52

Glad to have inspired you.  I go through phases–I'll read a whole string of books on my Ipad, and then suddenly a book will come into the library and I'm off onto physical books.  But it doesn't matter how we read as long as we are reading!

Sandra Pawula
Guest
05/16/2015 19:49

Oh my goodness, you read so much! I can never find the time. I’ve been reading Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra. It’s a great classic to return to, but I’ve paused a bit mid-way.

Charlotte Dixon
Guest
05/16/2015 21:04

I do try to read a lot, Sandra! It is really important to a novelist. I learn so much from it! And I've been known to put books down in the middle too.

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