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Thursday, April 30, 2020

April reading

These are the books I've read in April:
"Nothing to Lose" by Lee Child- Another Jack Reacher novel. I liked this one. It was kind of tame compared to some of the other Reacher novels I've read, but I think I needed that this month.
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"A Map of Days" by Ransom Riggs- This is the 4th book of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series. It wasn't my favorite of the series. Maybe it's just been too long since I've read the other books, but it kept feeling like Jacob was too old or mature. I liked seeing his friends in his time period and how they adjusted to the current times. :)
 "One Deadly Night" by John Glatt- This is a true crime novel passed to me by my former upstairs neighbor. I don't read true crime usually, so I thought I would give it a try to see if I liked it. I don't. Ha ha. It's kind of told in a "This is the way things seem" or "From so and so's perspective..." but I don't think there's any way around that when you're writing about something like a crime. The book itself probably wasn't bad, just not my cup of tea. This book completed my Keyword Reading challenge for April with the word "Night."
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"Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult-  I have only read two Picoult books but I have heard the endings can sometimes make you mad. This one did (for me). Basically, this is a story about an Amish woman who has been accused of murdering her baby. An attorney agrees to help out a relative by taking this case since the girl is a distant relative and the attorney is concerned she might not be able to handle the "English" court system.   As a condition of her client's bail, the attorney agrees to live on the Amish farm to guarantee that the girl will not flee.
     This book was interesting to me. I liked learning more about the Amish traditions, viewpoints and culture (though I'm not sure if they are all 100% accurate since I don't have much experience.) The story included history, romance, faith, friendship, ethics. In general, it was a good read.
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Nora Zeale Hurston- This was the last book of my Book Hive Book Club.   This was yet another book that I probably wouldn't have chosen on my own. It is considered a classic, and that surprised me since I had never heard of it before. I enjoyed this book, written by a black, female author in 1937. It also features a black, female protagonist, which I imagine might have been rare in the 1930s. This speech in this book is written in dialect, which some members of our group struggled with. One woman said that she listened to the audiobook and it was super helpful to her. I would recommend the book, but I know that some of my friends would consider this a tough read.
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"The Good Neighbor" by Maxwell King       I did not know a lot about Fred Rogers, other than the fact that I watched his show as a  young child. As an educator, a child who grew up watching, a musician and a mom, I found this book very interesting. He and I actually have quite a bit in common. It seems like Fred Rogers was "the real deal." It's not often you find celebrities whose public persona are the same as their personal lives. 

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"Braver Than You Think" by Maggie Downs-   Where do you dream of visiting if you could?  After her mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis (and downward spiral due to the disease), Maggie decides to take a year traveling to all of those places she and her mother had talked about visiting, but never got the opportunity to visit. In the COVID-19 era we're living in, this book brought me places I hadn't really thought of visiting before. It definitely satiated some of my current wanderlust. This book was good. There were some chapters that I just felt were a little "this giant thing happened, now this is happening, then I did this amazing thing," but I think that that might be hard to avoid after traveling to so many new places in the span of a year. I don't know if I would be brave enough to take the trip she took, though some of the places she visited sounded fascinating. 
"The Good Wife" by Clint Richmond- Ironically, after complaining about the last true crime story, guess what popped up in my "to read" pile? The good news is that this wasn't as bad as the last one. I still wouldn't say I enjoyed this book, but I thought it was well written and way more impartial than the last true crime novel I wrote about. 
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"Crossings" by Alex Landragin- I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley. This book is pretty cool. It's written as 3 short stories that can be read one after the other or in an alternate order (kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure but with 1 choice of where to go) that jumps between all of the short stories. I'm going to admit that, at the moment, I've only read it in the traditional beginning -> end order, being the rule follower that I am. Each of the short stories has other stories within it. It can be a little hard to follow if you're not paying attention, but I really enjoyed it. I am NOT a re-reader at all, but I do plan to go back and re-read this in the alternate order because I can see how the stories would be interpreted very differently that way. Cool book.

Goodreads Reading Challenge:29/60

Keyword Reading Challenge: 4/12