The Sunday Salon: My Top Five Reads in April

I’ve come to like the notion of a monthly reading wrap-up, and what better place to do it than here in the salon on a sunny Sunday morning?

Top off your coffee cup, and take a peek at the favorites from off the top of the stack...

The World Without You, by Joshua Henkin: You know I’m a fan of family sagas, and this one was right up to speed. Henkin plunges the reader into the midst of the Frankel family as they’ve come to memorialize their only son, a journalist who was kidnapped and later killed in Iraq. Despite the tensions and disagreements, it’s obvious this family cares deeply for one another. Henkin aptly portrays that even a family this fractured can find ways to connect in the end. (This book will be published on June 19, 2012).

Some Assembly Required, by Anne Lamott: As a new grandmother, how could I resist Lamott’s “journal about her son’s first son”? Written with her trademark humor, whimsy, and insight, the book made me laugh and cry in equal measure.

Ninepins, by Rosy Thornton: I’ve loved Thornton’s other novels, and this story of a mother and daughter living deep in the Cambridgeshire fens fits right in with her other books. Once again she gracefully explores the family dynamic and the relationship between modern women and those they love.

Digging to America and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler: These are both re-reads, so I’m lumping them together, even though from a plot standpoint they were nothing alike. But both of them have Tyler’s delighfully quirky and sympathetic characters. I went on a bit of an Anne Tyler binge in eager anticipation of her new novel, which is just out in stores.

Secrets of Eden, by Chris Bohjalian: This smoldering story of a small town minister, a young mother’s suicide, the secrets they shared, and (of all things) angels, made me remember why I like Chris Bohjalian’s books so much. He takes ordinary characters and places them in rather microscopically extraordinary circumstances, then shines the magnifying glass of his writerly perception on them until they burst into flame! I’m looking forward to his new one too (The Sandcastle Girls), due out in July.

What I was missing last month? A good audio book – any recommendations?

All told, I completed 9 books in April, even though I was also busy trying to catch up on a lot of television shows that had accumulated on my DVR. We had a minor meltdown with our recorder a couple of weeks ago, and I never realized how much I depended on it and on Direct tv. We use the dx3 direct tv system to schedule and record all our favorite programs, and I never have to think about when anything is on..the dx3 does it all for me. Without it, I was literally lost. But all is in working order , and I’m a happy watcher once again.

And up next for May – oh, I’m excited.  I have a library stack and a review stack, and both of them contain some goodies – for instance…

The Year of the Gadfly, by Jennifer Miller

The Book Lover, by Mary Ann McFadden

The Cottage at Glass Beach, by Heather Barbieri

Other Waters, by Eleni Gage

Kindred Spirits, by Sarah Strohmyer

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m back to my current read, Web of Angels, by Lilian Nattel. This is a fascinating novel about an ordinary wife and mother who has DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), better known as multiple personality disorder. Compelling and heart wrenching, I was hooked from the first stunning chapter.

Now tell me – what were your favorite April reads, and what’s on the stack for perusal in May?

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12 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: My Top Five Reads in April

    • Oh, thank you Becca! I spent a good chunk of April reading The Whisperers by Orlando Figes, which is non-fiction about the Stalin era. It was long but worth it, a fascinating book.

  1. I guess for April my favorite books were 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (books 1 and 2, I haven’t got the 3rd yet) and Death with interruptions by Jose Saramago. This is my first time at your blog, and I like it very much!, Enjoy your book 🙂

  2. My reading pace has slowed considerably lately, but I did manage to read (and love!) “Canada” by Richard Ford. Up next in May, I’m starting “Kaboom” by Matt Gallagher and hope to get to “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain after that–two different perspectives of the Iraq War.

  3. A day late this week, storms made my internet keep dropping so I gave up and read a book. You top books all sound good to me!!! My wishlist is growing!
    Have a great week!

  4. I read Heft by Liz Moore, A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd and Defending Jacob by William Landay in April. My favorite was Defending Jacob.

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