of interest

Show Us Your Books – April 2018

It’s the second Tuesday of the month, and you know what that means – another edition of Show Us Your Books! Before I share what I’ve been reading over the past month, I wanted to let you know about a contest I’m currently hosting. In the Hungry Bookworm Spring Giveaway, I’ll be sending one lucky winner a brand new copy of America The Great Cookbook: The Food We Make for the People We Love from 100 of Our Finest Chefs and Food Heroes by Joe Yonan.

It’s a beautiful cookbook, full of delicious recipes and would be a wonderful addition to your home, or a perfect Mother’s Day gift. If you’d like to enter, you can do so here until April 21, 2018.  

Now, onto the books!  

Linkup Guidelines:
This linkup happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next is Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
1. Please visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & Steph
2. Please display the button or link back to me and the linkup hosts on your blog post
3. Please visit a few other blogs who’ve linked up and get some book talk going!

Last Month’s Edition & What My Ratings Mean

 

4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Life of Pi – I re-read this book as a part of the Book Challenge by Erin as my selection for “a book that takes place on a mode of transportation” since the main character, Pi, spends the majority of the book (227 days) stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger. It didn’t disappoint, and in fact, I think I liked it better the second time. Full review + recipe here.

If you’re a fan of magical realism, you may be interested in checking out the #MagicalRealFood linkup that I’m hosting this month in conjunction with Fandom Foodies. All April long other food bloggers like me who find inspiration in books, movies, television and more will be sharing recipes inspired by stories of magical realism, like Life of Pi.

Bel Canto – I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel, which we recently read for one of my book clubs. I didn’t care for the ending and it wasn’t particularly plot-driven, but I was completely engrossed in the characters. In this story about a hostage crisis in South America, Ann Patchett took advantage a unique setting and situation that really brought the characters to life. (I’ll be posting a full-length review with a Latin American-inspired recipe on Saturday.)

The Female Persuasion – Unlike many others, I wasn’t a fan of Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, but the description of this book grabbed me immediately. I was lucky enough to be the first person to check it out when it arrived in my library last week, and I read it this past weekend. The novel is based around a young woman named Greer who finds feminism after an inspiring talk by Faith Frank, a leader in the women’s movement. It also follows her high school sweetheart, her best friend and Faith herself. It offers interesting commentary on power, loyalty and ambition, particularly among women. I’m still gathering my thoughts, and I expect to post a full-length review later this month.

 

3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐

Rainbirds (3.5) – I was pleasantly surprised by this low-key thriller of a novel, which I received as my March Book of the Month. I was initially drawn in by the cover, which is gorgeous, but I selected it because of the description. It takes place in Japan, and I was inspired to make one of my new favorite dishes, Japanese Curry Rice. Full review + recipe here.

The Devil Wears Prada – This was my March pick for The Literary Feast Reading Challenge as a book that was made into a movie I’d already seen. I’m happy to report that, despite their differences, I liked the book even though I’ve seen the movie at least a dozen times over the past 10 years. (Whoa! Was 2006 really that long ago?) The basic premise is the same. Though the book may have a bit more heart, it’s not quite as well put-together as the movie. My full review + recipe here.

*The Wedding Date – I decided to read this one after Liberty Hardy recommended it, and I noticed it was available on NetGalley. I was pleasantly surprised that this story about a chance meeting in an elevator turned out to be more than I expected. Yes, it was a bit rom-com-y, but it also brings up some realistic dating issues between the biracial, long distance couple. My full review + recipe here.

The Astonishing Color of After – This YA novels tackles the tough topic of suicide and pairs it with magical realism and a uniquely artistic point of view. When Leigh’s mother committed suicide, Leigh is convinced she turned into a bird. She goes on a journey to find her, ending up in her mother’s homeland of Taiwan. She stumbles into so much more along the way.

The Hate U Give – This book has received rave reviews on my online book club; everyone is always talking about it. I picked it up expecting to be blown away, but unfortunately, wasn’t. It faces the tough issues of racism and police brutality straight on, immersing us in the world of teenage Starr, who is present when her childhood friend Kahlil is killed at a traffic stop. Despite focusing on a complex and important topic, the quality of the writing wasn’t there; at times the plot felt too melodramatic – in all the wrong places – and without that, it could’ve been more powerful. That being said, this is absolutely an important read, and it’s a story that needed to be told. It’s a story that’s worth checking out, and I hope anyone who reads it, learns from it.

 

Currently Reading

The Orphan Master’s Son – I’m reading this as my April selection for The Literary Feast Reading Challenge, which is to read a book from a country that intimidates me. I decided to go with North Korea, and this book has really promising reviews. I’m not too far in, and while I’m not loving it yet, I’m intrigued enough to keeping going.  

Reading Challenge Update

I’m excited to say that, with Life of Pi, I finally completed the Book Challenge by Erin 8.0! I’m planning to do a wrap-up post later this month, so look out for that. I’ll be honest, without the challenge guiding me, I’m a little lost as to what to read next! In The Literary Feast Reading Challenge, I’ve finished a book for each month and I’m currently working on my pick for April, so I’m happily still on track there. 🙂

What did you read last month?  

_________________________

 

*I received a free digital copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

 

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  • Reply kristen April 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

    i really really liked the wedding date, i thought it was adorable. but i am definitely a rom-com-y fan. The Devil Wears Prada is one of the only books that i prefer the movie, i don’t know why.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 11:44 am

      For DWP, it’s because the movie IS better! Though the book isn’t bad. It just doesn’t have Meryl Streep or Stanley Tucci 😛

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag April 10, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I’ve owned The Hate U Give for awhile so I really do need to read it.

    Sorry it didn’t quite blow you away though.

    -Lauren

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Definitely worth a read! Just not my favorite.

  • Reply Ana April 10, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I didn’t like The Interestings either, it spewed too much privilege and that bothered me so much!

    It has been a long while since I read Bel Canto, but I remembering how haunting it was.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 11:57 am

      I couldn’t remember why I didn’t like The Interesting, but maybe that’s it… it’s been a while.

      Bel Canto <3

  • Reply SMD April 10, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I think the melodrama in THUG is very typical of YA books. If it was an adult novel, I’d agree it was too much.

    I’ve never had the inclination to read Life of Pi.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      True, lots of YA has melodrama, but this one was over-the-top in comparison to the YA I usually gravitate to and enjoy. At times, it felt a little soap opera-y, and I guess I just expected more since so many adults rave about it.

  • Reply Lauren April 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I felt the same way about The Hate U Give–it was a bit too melodramatic at parts, and there were whole scenes that I thought could be deleted to make the book a little more concise. That being said, I did like it and feel like it’s very important.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      I’m glad to hear you felt the same way! It wasn’t my favorite, but yes, I think it’s a book people should read.

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says April 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Teenagers are melodramatic so that part of THUG didn’t bother me at all.

    I just downloaded The Interestings today and am waiting for The Female Persuasion.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      I’ll be interested to see what you think of The Interestings, and of course her new one too!

  • Reply Laura April 10, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    The Female Persuasion sounds really interesting! I’m going to have to see if they have it at the library.

    • Reply Megan April 11, 2018 at 7:36 am

      I hope they do! It just came out last week.

  • Reply Alexandra April 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Bel Canto is one of my all-time favorites. 🙂 I really want to read The Wedding Date. The Hate U Give is on my shelf. 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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