What I Read and Loved in April 2023

I was on spring break the first week of April. My only plans were to read. I picked up my first book but couldn’t get into it, so I tried another. I couldn’t get into that one either, so I tried again. This cycle happened about five or six times until I gave up. Even though the month started with a reading slump, it was short-lived, and I persevered. I’m so brave.

Anyway, here’s what I read and loved in April.

What I Read

Home therapy book cover

Home Therapy: Interior Design for Increasing Happiness, Boosting Confidence, and Creating Calm: An Interior Design Book by Anita Yokota
Format: eBook

Home Therapy features some beautiful interiors that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wanted more emphasis on the ideas in the subtitle, however. Most of the designs in this book feel out of reach for most people.

Beware the woman book cover

Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott
Format: eBook

Jed and Jacy, a recently married couple expecting their first child, travel to the middle of nowhere to visit Jed’s father. At first, Jacy is thrilled to learn more about her husband and his late mother. Her father-in-law likes her immediately, and the fact that he was a doctor gives her a sense of calm since she’s pregnant. However, as more and more unwanted attention is given to Jacy and her unborn child, she begins to question her own thoughts and concerns.

As usual, Megan Abbott delivers impressive suspense that builds slowly with every page. I like the facet of the book a lot, and I also appreciate her commentary on motherhood and bodily autonomy. While this novel’s ending felt rushed and clumsy, Abbott fans will still find a lot to enjoy here.

Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy of this book. Beware the Woman releases on May 30th.

Above ground book cover

Above Ground by Clint Smith
Format: eBook

Clint Smith’s new poetry collection is full of gorgeous and playful meditations on parenthood, love, and family.

Your emergency contact has experienced an emergency book cover

Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency by Chen Chen
Format: Print

Chen Chen’s poems are both topical and timeless. He addresses recent events, such as the pandemic and the Trump presidency, but he also writes about evergreen topics like family, belonging, and falling in love.

Love in the library book cover

Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Format: Print

I no longer work in elementary schools, and I don’t have any little ones in my day-to-day life anymore, so I rarely pick up picture books. However, this book has been in the news lately, which put it on my radar. It tells the true story of the author’s grandparents meeting and falling in love in a Japanese internment camp. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is touching and meaningful. I’m so glad I read this.

How to love the world book cover

How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope edited by James Crews
Format: Print

I’m taking part in the Unread Shelf’s monthly challenge to read more of the books I own. April’s theme was “delight,” so I knew this poetry collection was perfect. As with any anthology, there are so-so pieces, but overall, this book is full of delightful poems and writing. Some poets featured include Joy Harjo, Tracy K. Smith, Amanda Gorman, and Jane Hirschfield.

The laughter book cover

The Laughter by Sonora Jha
Format: eBook

I discovered this book while scrolling through the new arrivals on my library’s Libby app. The cover caught my eye, and when I read the summary, I couldn’t click “borrow” fast enough.

The Laughter is the story of a white, middle-aged man who’s an English professor in Seattle. He becomes obsessed with his Pakistani colleague and her nephew. The story is told from his perspective, which is great if you like unreliable narrators like I do. This book becomes increasingly tense as it moves along, and I loved every minute.

What I Loved

EVENT: Trevor Noah’s Off the Record Tour

My book club read Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime a few years ago, so we decided to see him when he came to town. I’ve never been to a comedy show with this large of an audience before, and I was surprised about how moved I felt to be part of such a massive number of people all laughing at the same thing. Noah was hilarious, and the night was so much fun.

MUSIC: New albums from JOSEPH, The National, The Hold Steady, and Josh Ritter

My musical cup was running over in April. The new JOSEPH album is fantastic, and I’ve also been listening to long-time favorites like The National, The Hold Steady, and Josh Ritter.

What did you read or love in April? What are you looking forward to in May?

One Reply to “What I Read and Loved in April 2023”

  1. Great article! I love how you persevered through a reading slump and found some gems in your April reads. The mix of different genres and formats is also impressive. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!
    founder of balance thy life


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