April in Maryland turned out to be beautiful this year, a lot nicer than May is shaping up to be so far, and so my reading took a hit in garden-planting, sun-seeking endeavors.
I only have 3 books to share with you this month, sorry about that, but they were good ones, at least.
I’ve really enjoyed all of Kate Morton’s books, but this one might be my favorite. It’s a page-turner centered around a family on an English country estate and a decades-long family mystery. I don’t think I’d call this a mystery in the traditional sense, and you can probably figure out the ending pretty early on, but it’s still fun to take the journey with the characters and see how everything wraps up. Just a word of caution, however, it has a *very* tidy ending that may annoy some people. The imagery and descriptions of English summers is beautiful in this book. A few trigger warnings: the story centers around the loss of a young child, and while it is heart-wrenching in the beginning, I think it’s well worth soldiering on. Overall, I think this is a great book to curl up with on a rainy summer day.
I alternated between audio and Kindle for this book (hurray for Whispersync!), though I think the narrator was good and added to the story. I just grew impatient and can read much faster than listen! Anyway, this book was slow for me and I often had to make myself pick it up and keep going so I could finish already, but I ended up feeling glad I’d read it….if that makes any sense? It centers around a young boy who seems to have high-functioning autism (though I don’t think that label is ever used) and his relationships with a few adults, and how those relationships intermingle and grow in his absence. It also tells the life story of 104-year old Ona Vitkus, and offers some fascinating insight into aging. There is some heaviness and sadness in the story, but mostly it is a story of friendship and family.
Shame seems to be a buzz word in the last few years, maybe stemming from Brene Brown’s popularity? This is another perspective into the world of shame, centering around social media shamings. So often there are disclaimers on social media posts, “No judgement, please!” etc. because it is unusual at this point to see comments that don’t judge or even outright insult even the most benign posts. Ronson tells the story of several people who were publicly shamed via social media, mostly Twitter, and how they dealt with the aftermath. This is a great read to better understand intellectual property and also the mindset that allows us to say things ‘anonymously’ on the internet that we would *never* say in a face-to-face encounter.
On the docket for May:
Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis (book club)
Tsh Oxenreider’s new book, At Home in the World
Something great on audio? I’ve been plugging away at Hamilton for quite awhile, but need to break it up a bit.