April Reading List

It’s April, it’s April!!

Can you believe it?

I’m still working on the books from last month’s list — I blame Candy Crush for taking over my spare time.  Stupid game.

I did read the Maeve Binchy and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye.  The Maeve was really great — not one of the best books I’ve ever read, but cozy and fun, and it just felt like her.  I’ll miss her terribly.

I liked The Unlikely Pilgrimage more than I expected it to.  It ended up having a lot of layers, and some sadness, but I was happy with the ending.  It’s really a great book!!

 

Now for this month’s choices…

Eleanor & Park

This was recommended to me by a good friend, and I was so excited when I read the description.  John Green loved it, and I LOOOVE John Green (hello, The Fault In Our Stars), so his seal of approval is all I need.

The description, via Amazon:

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

The Interestings

I’ve seen this book reviewed everywhere lately, and the reviews are always great.

The description, via Amazon:

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
This is another book that was recommended by a friend.  We have similar taste in books and she said it’s really good, so I’m excited to read it.  It’s a true story and was named one of the Top 10 Books of the Year by Oprah Magazine and The New York Times.
The description, via Amazon:
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Tapestry of Fortunes

I’ve always liked Elizabeth Berg’s books, so I’m looking forward to this one.

The description, via Amazon:

Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction.

She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.

In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women’s lives. “Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does,” said USA Today. Elizabeth Berg has crafted a novel rich in understanding of women’s longings, loves, and abiding friendships, which weave together into a tapestry of fortunes that connects us all.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books for this month, and if you read any of last month’s books.

Have a great week and happy reading!!

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Kerry says:

    I read Eleanor & Park and it was so good! I think you will enjoy it especially since you liked The Fault in our Stars. I’m a children’s and teen librarian so I’m all about good YA! Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio? Another moving story that you have to read.

  2. 2
    Michelle says:

    I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers and – just wow. You realize how fortunate we really, truly are…

  3. 3
    Ruth D says:

    I really enjoyed Eleanor & Park (she also wrote The Attachments) and loved (if that’s possible) Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I’m a John Green fan too and seem to like a lot of the same books as you so I always like to see what’s on your reading list. I hope you enjoy both of these.

  4. 4
    Chelsea says:

    We are reading Mr. Prenumbra’s 24-hour bookstore for book club this month and I lovvvvvvvvvvved it! I really love books about books and this one is particularly clever.

    • 4.1
      Marie M.C. says:

      I loved Mr. Prenumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, also. Can’t get anyone to read it. Have you read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Can’t get anyone I know to read that either. Or The Time Traveler’s Wife. All wonderful books.

  5. 5
    Lisa says:

    Late to the game but still wanted to add a review.
    I just read Eleanor and Park
    I LOVED it
    I cried often while reading it ( maybe it was the story maybe it was PMS or maybe a bit of both..)
    a great coming of age, young love story but so much more

    and while I am posting anyway I did read The Interestings this past Spring.I also really enjoyed it. I loved how over the years the relationships matured, disintegrated, and crossed so many lines.

    also really enjoyed Mr Prenumbras 24 hour book store. I also can not get anyone to read it. I describe it as a National Treasure type treasure hunt/mystery. So perfect for today’s electronic youth

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