April 2015

Reading Wrap-Up: April 2015

April 2015

You guys! April was amazing. And I’m not talking numbers, even though I did read a few more than normal thanks to Readathon, I’m talking really good reading. After a fairly lackluster start to the year, I feel like I finally had a month with consistently great titles…so many that I wrestled with picking my best book for the first time.

The Animals by Christian Kiefer
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill [Socratic Salon Discussion]
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller [Socratic Salon Discussion]
Hold Still by Sally Mann
Between You & Me by Mary Norris
The Shore by Sara Taylor
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Citizen by Claudia Rankine
Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones
Girl at War by Sara Nović
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Best Book of the Month

The Shore by Sara Taylor (Girl at War by Sara Nović a very close second!)


So, what’s on the horizon for May? I’m a little bummed that I won’t be able to get to BEA this year because of work, but I’m putting a Chicago trip on the docket for 2016. I do, however, have some great discussions over at The Socratic Salon and a quiet few months in the way of review reading to look forward to.

How was your reading in April? What do you have coming up in May?


  • Glad you finally had a consistently good month of reading! I’m about 60% through The Shore now and I already feel like this one needs to be read a second time, but I’m also not sure how I feel about it yet (I’m trying to decide if the reward is worth all the work or if the author could have made the structure a little cleaner). Might it make a good Salon discussion book?

    • I think it’s meant to be read almost as linked short stories, which I thought was really unique…but I love a good challenge when I’m reading. I think you might see it on TSS!

      • That’s exactly how it feels – just totally not what I was expecting! Now that I’ve wrapped my head around that, I’m enjoying it much more. And, that’s also one of the reasons I want to re-read it…with this different lens/expectations I feel like I’ll have a different reaction.

  • So glad you had such a good reading month! Mine was pretty stellar as well.

  • Looks like a fantastic month! I didn’t get to “Hold Still” during the readathon, but am taking it with me on a trip to Michigan next week, and am looking forward to reading it soon. Adding The Shore to my TBR list as well!

  • Lindsey Stefan

    Those are the happiest of months. “Which book was my favorite? I don’t know – read them all!!”

    I hope May is just as good as April was for you! I’m hoping to read Between You and Me in May, along with A Little Life and The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell.

  • What a great month, Shannon! I’ve got to get over to The Socratic Salon today to see what’s going on with Dept. of Speculation; so happy I was able to participate in Readathon this month, as well! Hope you have a great weekend and congrats on such a wonderful reading month!

  • Glad to see you have a great month! I have my eye on quite a few of these: The Animals, Our Endless Numbered Days, The Shore, and Girl at War. I also have a copy of Dead Wake already that I haven’t gotten around to yet. I’m just looking forward to May settling down a bit work-wise = more reading time!

    • All of the books you have your eye on were FAB…just scoop them all up and hide out for a week, you’ll be set :)

  • I want to go to Chicago in 2016 too, but I don’t know if I can make it happen. There are so many friends I’ve been promising to visit — L.A. and Austin are the two big ones, and I don’t know that I can manage three trips in one year. We’ll see.

  • I’m excited that you loved The Shore and Girl at War since they are both on my radar for May! I’m also looking forward to Our Souls at Night and Mislaid. I, too, have to miss BEA with the new-ish job and have to keep my vacay dates open but on board with Chicago 2016!! That’s one I will be definitely attending.

  • Amanda

    Yeah Chicago 2016!!

    You have me realyl wanting the Shore and Girl at War both! I am loving Re Jane right now and am very anxious to open A God in Ruins next.

  • Vasilly

    You had an amazing month of reading! Don’t you love it when you have a fantastic month of reading? It makes the world look brighter.

  • Amazing reading month! So glad the reading year has turned around for you! Your two favorites are at the top of my TBR this month!

    • P.S. I would love to go to BEA, but feel like I’m WAAAAYYYY too much of a newbie. Maybe next year for me as well, and Chicago is super close to home. :)

  • I’m glad your reading was so amazing! I had trouble picking a favorite this month too. But, you know, I read A Little Life this month. So I kind of had to pick that. Sorry about BEA, but see you in Chicago!! My apartment is right above a coffee shop, it’s a book lover’s dream. My hostel is open.

    • I haven’t been to Chicago in years, so I’m super excited about heading back to the Midwest and skipping over Michigan.

  • I didn’t read as much as I’d intended in April, but my attempt at #15in30 definitely gave me a boost and they were pretty darn impeccable. Looking forward to more good stuff in May, including THE ARGONAUTS and CITIZEN.

  • April sure was an amazing month in terms of reading for you!! WOW!!
    I’ve heard so many good things about Girl at War. I haven’t seen it or heard about it over here, but definitely keeping it in mind to pick up.

  • This might be a dumb question: but the islands that Sara Taylor is referring to is that the Chincoteague area or farther south? The Chesapeake Bay area I know quite well but the Atlantic side — less so. I think the whole area sparks my interest in her novel. Some of the dialects spoken on islands in the Chesapeake are quite unreal sounding.

    • The islands are right beside Chincoteague, so you’re right! Yeah, some of the dialects are nuts…I know Tangier Island basically speaks Old English, it’s so bizarre.

  • Hurray for quality!!! I have to look up several of these. You are always murder on my TBR.

  • Sooo many of these on my TBR. I know you were having trouble finding books that knocked your socks off, and I’m glad April delivered!

    Yeah, BEA isn’t going to work out for me this year either, despite the fact that it’s in NYC just a few hours away by train, but that week is already mad for me. Maybe we can all invade Julianne’s apartment come 2016.