Reading plans

April 2022 Reading Wrap Up

We’re more than half way through May yet I’m only just getting around to posting a wrap up about last month. All my good intentions to have this recap ready in first week of May were scotched by some health dramas involving first one, then my other, parent. So getting them back on track has been the priority. But I didn’t want to get to the end of this month without posting something.

April Reading in Brief

My reading slumps of the past two months seem to be resolved. I didn’t have any DNFs in April and managed to read six books, two by authors I’ve not read previously. My favourite was Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan which is now a contender for book of the year.

His Excellency Eugène Rougon by Emile Zola: A novel about a politician and French politics might not sound all that exciting but this is a book that has tremendous contemporary relevance. Read for Zola Addiction Month hosted by Fanda@ClassicLit

The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel: A thoroughly absorbing piece of fiction based on intricate, interlocking narratives that jump around in time. I’m still not sure I understand the overall message however, beyond the Fragility of life.

She Who Was No More by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac: Read for the #1954Club, this is a psychological thriller about an adulterous husband who plans to kill his wife. Inevitably something goes wrong with the plan.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: Outstanding novella of one man whose conscience is troubled by the callousness of local nuns.

Pesticide by Kim Hays : the first in a crime procedural series set in Switzerland, involving a fraud concerning organic farming

Redhead By The Side Of The Road by Anne Tyler. This was one of the starting books in the Six Degrees of Separation chain a while back. I was wondering whether I’d enjoy this Anne Tyler more than the last one I read by her (A Spool of Blue Thread). I did.

On The May Horizon

One book I know I’ll be reading is Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason which is on the shortlist for the Women’s Prize For Fiction. It’s not one I would have chosen to read personally but it’s the book club choice.

Also on the horizon is The Beach House by Beverley Jones who featured in my Meet A Welsh author series in April. I’ll be reviewing Bev’s latest novel for a book tour with a group of bloggers from Wales. We decided to give a local author a boost.

Bookshelves Ins and Outs

The TBR is down by 12 from the end of March and now stands at 282. I somehow got through all of April without buying a single book (not sure that’s ever happened to me before). I also filleted out some titles that I knew I was never going to read. I’ve passed on a few to people in my walking group and the rest are sitting on shelves in a National Trust second hand bookstore.

How was your April reading? Were there any stand out novels that you would recommend? I would love to know what you’ve been reading, and what you plan to read in May.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

19 thoughts on “April 2022 Reading Wrap Up

    • Thanks Freda, the emergency part is over but there are some underlying issues about mobility that we have to deal with now

  • Happy birthday! Well done on no-acquire April – that is impressive! But sorry to hear about your parents’ woes – it’s such a worry, isn’t it. We’re dealing with frailty in my in-laws at the moment ourselves. The Keegan is one I am just going to have to get and read – I can’t imagine it won’t turn up in the charity shops soon as everyone in the world seems to have read it now! Talking of shops, I wish I had an NT shop nearby to donate to. My read-and-to-pass-on piles are getting a bit scary again, so I’ll have to ship some onto the shelves in our local coffee shop, once I’ve registered them on BookCrossing. What else – oh, I’ll be interested to see what you make of the new Anne Tyler, French Braid, if you get hold of it. People who liked Redhead and not Spool seem not to like it so much, and vice versa (although I was OK with Redhead, I am vice versa).

    • I’ve been reading the reactions to French Braid with interest – it does seem to have divided opinions. I guess I shall have to read it at some point and make up my own mind.

      What to do with all the books to give away is indeed a challenge. Some charity shops and libraries won’t take them any longer – they had too many donations after all the lock downs! I put a few into little free libraries but its mainly the NT shop that benefits though I still see ones I donated years ago lingering on the shelves.

      • Also a couple of our local ones told me they discard books even if they’re just duplicates, which put me off! I might have a book sale in my front garden on a dry day and give the money to charity.

        • What a good idea. During the lock down I put a box of books on our wall (free) and most of them went. My sister did the same thing. but also got a lot of donations.

          The National Trust bookshop close to us does an audit every year and the books that have been around unsold for years get sent for pulp.

  • Some interesting books here. Well done re: the TBR but you must always have new books for your birthday. I hope it was happy. I always tell my husband on my birthday that he must pick out a present from Fullers book shop here (the one I always mention in my posts) so he came home with a pair of novelty socks and a voucher. I love seeing what you read.

  • I began my May in the Er with my mom. She’s fine now and on new meds and has new doctors. Hope the situations with your parents have improved. 🙏🙏🙏

    • Thanks for your good wishes Carol. My dad has torn his rotator cuff having fallen down a 12 foot bank while doing some gardening (he’s 91 years) and my mum (89) has a long standing issue with osteoporisis which has flared up giving her appalling pain spasms. Neither is going to get resolved quickly so all we can do is take one small step at a time

      • I’m sorry Karen. My mom is 95! I hope your parents live close? We’re so fortunate to still have them!

        • We are indeed fortunate in that respect and also grateful that they are together.

  • Glad to hear you’re over your slump. Couldn’t agree more about the Keegan.

    • I’m pretty sure it was you or Cathy at 746books that alerted me to the Keegan, for which I say a big thank you

    • I’ve gone and blown it by buying two books today (well it is my birthday so a good excuse)

  • Glad to hear you enjoyed The Glass Hotel, I really loved it. Her new book Sea of Tranquility features some characters from that earlier book, which was a lovely surprise.

    • She’s a tremendously atmospheric writer isn’t she. I found myself sucked into this novel without knowing where it was going

  • Hello Booker Talk; My reading for April is long over; for May reading, I have been focusing on cozy reading; simple, leisurely reads that do not take too much time or concentration; the books have all been e-books done on my nook and posting them on my tea blog for June posting; weird how I do things. Anyhow, I’ve read the following: Guide Book to Murder by Lynn Cahoon; Home for a Spell by Madelyn Alt; and I am trying to read a couple of cookbooks on my nook as well but this is not ideal because loading the books with the images takes up so much time that it’s best to get the book from the library perhaps; one cookbook is: Half Baked Harvest Cookbook by Tieghan Gerard and I subscribed to their website and I have been getting their daily recipes as a suggestion for things to try. I am not a cook at all; not a gardener either. A lazy soul with no skills; the other cookbook is A Seat at the Table Beekman 1802 and it is the same with loading the book on my nook. So I may chuck reading or perusing them all together.
    I like that you do a summary of your reading for each month; I did think to do something similar but I have not. you do good work and thank you for sharing.

    • Hi there, gosh I can’t imagine trying to read a cook book on a nook. It must be quite difficult.


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