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book review, of interest

Show Us Your Books – April 2019 Reading Recap

I’m excited to report that I had another pretty wonderful reading month. I finally checked off a few ARCs that were releasing soon; I participated in a blog tour; I read a couple of my most-anticipated books of the year; and I read not one, but two 5-star books! Considering I usually read only a few 5-star books a year (and I’m already at three), that’s amazing. I was blown away by some of the amazing writing this month.

Linkup Guidelines:
This linkup happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next is May 14, 2019.
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

Here’s a look at what I read over the past month and what I’m reading right now:

5-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum – I was so excited to get this as my February Book of the Month, but unfortunately didn’t get to it until just a few weeks ago. This was a powerful read. Rum’s story about three generations of conservative Palestinian women in America is raw and heartbreaking. She is courageous and eloquent in her writing. While her story doesn’t reflect all Arab women’s experiences, Rum felt it was necessary to step up and break the cycle of oppression within her community, to step up and be that voice. An important must-read; I’m incredibly thankful to her for her strength and her story. review + recipe

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee – We read this for our book club last week, and it was another raw, powerful read. Lee’s novel is about immigrants, mental illness, relationships and so much more. I put it down deeply affected, and I was so glad to have an entire group of people standing by to discuss. Look out for my full review on April 20.  

4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Internment by Samira Ahmed – This was a novel I’ve been anticipating since late last year, and I considered myself lucky to get a copy from the library on release day. The YA novel imagines a dystopian future, just 15 minutes into America’s future, where Muslims are forced into internment camps. I appreciated that it portrayed a wide spectrum of Muslims from all backgrounds, and I thought it was pretty unputdownable. For me, it was a touch heavy-handed and lacking some descriptive nuance. That being said, it’s definitely an important read, and the author’s note shouldn’t be missed.

Internment by Samira Ahmed

3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐

*Chronicles of a Radical Hag by Lorna Landvik (3.5) – This story about a small town newspaper columnist is sprinkled with recipes. It covered a lot of bases—basically every big historical moment and several controversies over the past 50 years—but felt a little too full of characters. It was a quick, entertaining read, and one that could certainly work for a book club discussion. review + recipe

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden – Another highly anticipated read (it made it into my honorable mentions), I was really looking forward to this memoir. For the most part, I was disappointed—the first two sections (it’s split into three) were “scattershot” and confusing; I couldn’t get a sense of the timeline as she described her undisciplined childhood and a series of poor decision after poor decision. I was really leaning towards a 2-star rating until the third section came along, which was honestly amazing. In it, Madden marries the story of her mother’s childhood with her own experience finding long lost siblings. It’s really elegantly put together. I wish the rest of the memoir had been that way.  

*Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – If Big Little Lies were a courtroom drama, this would be it. Angie Kim weaves together multiple characters and flashbacks with engaging courtroom scenes to create a truly unique story. The honest, emotional response of the parents whose children have autism (and cerebral palsy) was heartbreaking and realistic. I thought some of it could’ve been a bit more concise but really liked the writing otherwise. This was an April BOTM pick, and I think it’d make for a great book club discussion too.

**The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick – I can’t resist a book about books and was happy to be a part of the blog tour for this novel last week. The main character is a librarian and there are lots of little “love letters to books” sprinkled throughout. Patrick’s characters certainly came to life and it was easy to get caught up in the movement of the story. review + recipe

**Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson – This is the story of three women who meet at West Point, their experiences in college together and their lives after. Gibson’s novel has been getting a lot of buzz, especially after it was announced as another April BOTM pick. I thought it was a little long, but I really appreciated the realistic, nuanced portrayal of women in the military based on Gibson’s own experiences growing up at West Point (her father was a professor there) and interviews with several military women. My full review will be shared on Literary Quicksand on April 15, as part of a blog tour.

Currently Reading 📖

Mother of Invention by Caeli Wolfson Widger – I pretty much just opened this feminist dystopia, but I’m definitely looking forward to diving in deeper. I have to finish this by Saturday because that’s when it’s due back at the library. Wish me luck!  

Mother of Invention by Caeli Wolfson Winger

What did you read last month? Any recommendations for me? Share in the comments below!

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This post contains affiliate links. This does not increase the price you pay, but I may receive a small commission for any products you choose to buy. Purchases made through affiliate links help to cover my blogging costs. Full disclosure here.

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

**I received a free copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review and participating in a blog tour.

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18 Comments

  • Reply withcurlsandcocktailsblog April 9, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I have seen pictures and reviews of A Woman is no Man all over IG but didn’t really know what it is about. It definitely seems like something I would read!

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:23 am

      I know! It’s very popular on bookstagram right now… and worth every bit of attention!

  • Reply Kay R.D. April 9, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    A Woman Is No Man has such great reviews. I cant wait to read it.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply kristen April 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    good to hear about a woman is no man, i got it from BOTM as well but i am horrible about reading them even remotely on time or close to when i get them. but hopefully this month! i tried the library of lost and found but couldn’t get into it.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:22 am

      I’m also pretty horrible about reading them on time! I didn’t read it until recently and got it in Feb! I’m still sitting on Queenie, which I got at the same time… But AWINM was as amazing as I expected, so that’s awesome.

  • Reply Tanya April 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the tip on A Woman is No Man. It sounds good! Tanya – The Other Side of the Road

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Of course 🙂 Always happy to share wonderful book recos!

  • Reply A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) April 9, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    A Woman is No Man sounds really interesting – adding it to my TBR. Interment also sounds really provocative (and terrifyingly possible) and adding it to my TBR as well.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:20 am

      Both are excellent choices, and yes, Internment definitely sounds like a possibility – the scariest kind of dystopia. But also the most eye-opening.

  • Reply Jana April 9, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    All of these books sound so fascinating! I should just copy and past the whole thing into my TBR.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:19 am

      That’s probably the easiest way forward! 😂

  • Reply Nancy @ NY Foodie Family April 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I haven’t heard of most of these books! I did really enjoy Everything Here is Beautiful. Internment sounds really good.

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Definitely lots of good ones this month! Glad to hear you liked Everything Here Is Beautiful too — our book club loved it.

  • Reply Laura April 9, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Well I am adding those five star books to my library list right now. I haven’t heard of either of them before but they sound fantastic!

    • Reply Megan April 10, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Hope you enjoy them!

  • Reply ericarobyn April 11, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Miracle Creek sounds really interesting! I’m definitely going to have to check that out!

  • Reply notinjersey April 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I have A Woman Is No Man on my list. It sounds good!

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