May 1, 2023

April 2023 Wrap Up Pt. 2

You  may remember that a couple of weeks ago I posted a part 1 wrap up because I had already read 4 books and I didn't want to have us all get stuck with a long wrap up at the end of the month. Well, hang on to your hats because I read 8 more books before month's end. I had the last 2 weeks of the month basically off work and because I was stressed and dealing with trauma, I mostly just read. So grab a snack, make some tea, fortify yourself however you wish because here we go.


The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to Isis by Robert Spencer - OMG this book. I hated reading it. I hated myself for reading it. It was so awful. But I forced myself through it. When I suddenly had time off, I completely forgot to write the review of it. The people in charge told me I didn't have to write the review and I said, "No way. I read that whole stupid book and I have THINGS to say." I wrote the review so now I feel better. I can't wait to find out what they decide about the book.

Book Lovers

Book Lovers by Emily Henry - I read this one to clear my palate after the last one. I really liked it. It was fun. It was about an agent and an editor who run into each other in a tiny town. She's on vacation. He has moved back to take care of his parents. It's a nice little Happily Ever After that was just what I needed.

Good Time

Nothin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion by Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock - This was so much fun. I remember most of the bands interviewed or discussed. I remember a bunch of the events they talk about. It was fun to get a behind the scenes look at a time I was too young to experience other than through rock magazines, but look back fondly on.

Hope This Finds you Well

I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer - The author of this book has recieved tons of hate mail. In this book, she takes those emails and comments from social media, and turns them into positive poems. On the left page you get the original message. On the right is the poem she made by removing portions of the message. It's entertaining and didn't take a ton of brain power.

Camp Austen

Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan by Ted Scheinman - This was not as fun as I expected. Luckily it was short. Ted's mom is an actual Jane Austen superfan, but she couldn't go to a small convention where she was set to give a paper because of a knee replacement. So he went in her place to give her paper. He was not really into JA like all the other people there, but having been raised by one of them, he had read all the books, seen all the movies, and even knew how to dance (a requirement for the few men at these things). After this one, he went to a JASNA convention also and did all the same things. But he wasn't converted and didn't attend any gatherings on his own. It was fine.


Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley - I think this has been on my TBR since January. I finally read it! I enjoyed it once I got into it. The animals all speak to each other, but not to humans. They do have they ways of communicating to the humans what they want. It's one of those stories that are a bit whimsical even after you get past the talking animals and every one ends up better for having done all the things.


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys - I decided I needed something that would move quickly, so I grabbed this off my Seqouyah books stack. It is set in 1989 in Romania. Nicolae Ceausescu has the country in an iron grip and refuses to be concerned by the fall of communism in all the countries around him. The government comes to Cristian, a 17 year old boy, and blackmails him into spying for them. They say they will give his grandfather medicine for his leukemia if he will bring them info. Now he doesn't trust anyone. Anyone could also be a spy. It definitely did move quickly. I finished it in one day.


Message Not Found by Dante Medena - This one is weird. Two girls are best friends. Like sisters. Joined at the hip. Until one of them drives over a cliff in a blizzard in a place no one expected her to be. Her boyfriend is a mess, the best friend is a bigger mess. The friend, Bailey, finds an old AI app her mom had created years ago, and updates it. She feeds it all the text messages and social media posts and whatever she can get her hands on to make the AI more realistic. Bailey wants to know why Vanessa was on that pass in a blizzard. She thinks enough info to the AI will tell her the truth. There are several twists and I enjoyed those. The grief was palpable and it was hard to live in that headspace, so I finished the book in one day.

Ok. That's everything. 12 books in a month is pretty crazy, but there were extenuating circumstances. I won't be expecting that for May.