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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

Reading Recap for April 2023

I really wanted April to be my catch up month. Outside of my own book club I had several books I wanted to finish so I could go into May with no lingering books! Well...that didn't quite work out. I did not finish "I Have Some Questions For You". I just didn't prioritize my reading of physical book like I did keeping my Kindle streak alive!

WHAT WAS PLANNED FOR APRIL BOOK CLUBS

VBC: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, audiobook, 12h 15m

CBC: finish All The Dangerous Things and I Have Some Questions For You

HFBC: finish The Midwife of Auschwitz

list of books read this month for book clubs on black background

VBC: Little Women, 4.29 on FB Messenger Room

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*From Audible* Hollywood icon Laura Dern breathes new life into Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming-of-age tale that follows the lives of four sisters against a backdrop of the American Civil War. This autobiographical novel takes place in and around the girls’ New England home. With their father away at war, Meg, the oldest and prettiest sister, and Jo, the tomboy, take care of Beth, the shy one, and Amy, the artist. When their beloved Marmee must leave to nurse Father who is badly wounded in the war, the girls sustain themselves by putting to use the lessons they have learned from their family about the value of loyalty and patience. This great American novel demonstrates Alcott's extraordinary talent at portraying the joys and struggles of family life in an unforgettable way. Generations of people—young and old, male and female—have fallen in love with the March sisters. This classic of young adult fiction transcends genre, gender, and class with its examination of personal quests, societal restrictions, family ties, and the end of innocence.

Originally I had planned to read this and not listen to it because I found this absolutely BEAUTIFUL copy on my shelf from 1930 with a dedication in 1932. As much as I was enjoying reading the stories, it was taking me entirely too long to read so I opted to listen. I chose this one for three reasons. First, it was the shortest one I saw on Audible. Second, it is a performance piece meaning that there are multiple voice actors which can keep things entertaining for me. Third, it is free to listen to with the Audible Plus membership! At some point I'll read the physical copy of this book as I had never read the book or seen the movies. I also was going into this book not knowing anything other than it was about four sisters. That's it!

This review is for this particular audiobook. I give this a 3.75 out of 5 stars. When an audiobook has multiple voice actors, it is almost always more entertaining and I did find it entertaining. The voice actor for Jo also was the narrator for the Shadow & Bones series. Her voice is sort of similar to the actress Jessie Mei Li who plays Alina in the Netflix series and I know that Winona Ryder plays Jo in the 1994 movie (still haven't seen at the time of writing this). You can see how my head would be confused. This era of writing is very wholesome and minimal drama, especially by a female author. I appreciate the stories and I cannot wait to read my physical book but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe I've been reading too many thrillers and dramas and not enough romance but I'll give it another shot at some point. 3.75/5 Stars

CBC: All The Dangerous Things (finished from February)

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*From Goodreads* One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally. Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year. Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust... including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. As a mother, I can't even IMAGINE going into my child's room and finding her bed empty. She literally got up in the morning, didn't hear her son making any noise so she didn't even open the door to check on him just wanting some quiet time. I know I did that and can absolutely relate to just wanting some peace and not looking in. The author does jump back in time to when Isabelle was a child and the present but it's not in a confusing way. I was really left guessing how it was going to end up to the last page! Definitely a great read! 5/5 Stars


HFBC: The Midwife of Auschwitz (finished from March)

Woman walking on train tracks with back to viewer, barb wire towards the viewer, birds flying above woman's head with a brick building in the distance.

*From Audible* Ana Kaminski is pushed through the iron gates of Auschwitz beside her frightened young friend Ester Pasternak. As they reach the front of the line, Ana steps forward and quietly declares herself a midwife--and Ester her assistant. Their arms are tattooed and they’re ordered to the maternity hut. Holding an innocent newborn baby, Ana knows the fate of so many are in her hands and vows to do everything she can to save them. When two guards in their chilling SS uniforms march in and snatch a blond-haired baby from its mother, it’s almost too much for Ana to bear. Consoling the distraught woman, Ana realizes amid the terrible heartache there is a glimmer of hope. The guards are taking the healthiest babies and placing them with German families, so they will survive. And there are whispers the war is nearly over.... Ana and Ester begin to secretly tattoo little ones with their mother’s numbers, praying one day they might be reunited. Then, early one morning, Ana notices the small bump under Ester’s thin striped clothing. This review is for the audiobook. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars! This was a fantastic, heart wrenching story. I was originally planning to read this but March became overwhelming and I decided to listen to it instead and I'm so glad I did! I'm glad that I listened to it because I know that there were some words that I wouldn't have been able to pronounce and would have had to go to Google Translate or my grandma. The narrator did a fantastic job. The story is being told from both Ana and Ester and at some times I got lost as to how many years we were experiencing but that could have been because my child was being loud and distracting me or I was lost in my own thoughts. I did attempt to watch the replay of the book club discussion but there was some major delays in parts of the conversation plus the author had the wrong time and wasn't able to make it BUT if you read this book and feel like you need more she teased that there could be a sequel! 5/5 Stars

list of extra books read

EXTRAS: READ/LISTENED TO

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Ice Cold Murder (Cozy Baked Mystery Book 5), eBook, 137 pages

*From GoodReads* It's a new year for Allie and Alec and that means a new mystery to solve. When beloved elementary school teacher Iris Rose ends up on ice, they must find her killer before her killer makes Allie the second victim. There are lots of changes in Sandy Harbor, Maine. Allie McSwain has retired her grief blog and is baking up a storm to sell her pies and cakes at Henry's Home Cooking Restaurant, while her boyfriend, Alec Blanchard, has retired from the police department and is studying to become a PI. Allie's sidekick Lucy Gray shows up to help along the way. If you've read any of my other reviews then you know that I love this little series...I mean why else would I keep reading them. I don't read the description of the book prior to writing these reviews but I have some issues with it but only on technicalities. I've also mentioned that I'm a very slow reader but I was able to finish this book in just a couple of nights (probably another reason that I enjoy them, they're fast reads).

I give this book 4.75 out of 5 stars. It did keep me guessing who done it the whole time even though I had my suspicions. If you've read the previous books then you will know that it's basically a new mystery every month and with this being the 5th month in a row that Allie has been in the midst of a murder investigation (helping not a suspect), you finally see the toll it is taking on her. That Southern woman doesn't like to show her weakness but her daughter calls her out on it and I loved it! 4.75/5 Stars


Red & black background with chocolate cake on white plate with red filling

Love is Murder (Cozy Baked Mystery Book 6), eBook, 170 pages *From GoodReads* Love is in the air in Sandy Harbor, Maine and so is murder. Allie McSwain and her PI boyfriend, Alec Blanchard, are thrust into the middle of a murder investigation where love makes solving the murder tricky. Allie and Alec's romance is sweeter than a chocolate raspberry triple layer cake in book six! I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I still enjoy these books but there are times when I'm yelling in my head that there is no way that a former detective would allow his girlfriend do do this stuff with him. There is no way. The way Allie always inserts herself gets a little irritating especially when she claims to not like being in danger and yet she goes directly against what Alec says. He says stay put and call the police if you hear anything and she's like, "I don't think so, I'm going it." That's what she does and it's getting a little frustrating but I just keep coming back. I do have to say that one of my favorite scenes was Allie getting told off by the French pastry chef. 4.5/5 Stars

KINDLE CHALLENGE UPDATE

Number of Badges Earned: 8

What Badges Were Earned: Bronze Reader (read 15 days), Bookish (finish 1 Kindle Book), Bookworm (finish 2 Kindle Books), Bibliophile (finish 3 Kindle Books), Head Start x1 (read 1 day a month), Perfect Week x4 (read every day Sunday - Saturday), Perfect Month x1 (read everyday in a calendar month)

What Mystery Badges were Earned:

4.21 Hint: A day to celebrate all things books; Badge: Voyager (pictured above); Challenge: Read on World Book Day 4.23; EARNED ON 4.23.23

WHAT IS PLANNED FOR MAY

VBC: The Haunting of Beacon Hill by Ambrose Ibsen, eBook, 178 pages

CBC: You Shouldn't Have Come Here by Jeneva Rose, eBook, 309 pages

HFBC: Remarkably Bright Creatures, audiobook, 11h 16m


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