Reading Recap: April Favorites

April was a big month of non-fiction for me, with my favorites list for the month splitting up evenly between fiction and non-fiction. I also caught up on a few big titles from last year that I can't believe I've waited this long to pick up:


How to Find Fulfilling Work and How to Change the World: These two new volumes in the School of Life series make an excellent pair, urging readers to reconsider how we want to spend our limited time on this earth. How can we be fulfilled? And how can we make a difference? What makes us happy, and what will improve others' lives? Neither offers answers, but rather presents interesting arguments, facts, figures, and examples to force readers to start asking--and answering--the right questions.

Gulp, by Mary Roach: Considering the fact that I'll read pretty much anything Mary Roach writes, there was no way I'd be missing out on this one. And Roach's recap of the Alimentary Canal -- from how we chew to how we poop -- did not disappoint. It didn't top Stiff, which is still my favorite Mary Roach book of all time, but it's a close second.

Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberley McCreight: I'm not much for "when-x-meets-y" descriptors, but the entire time I was listening to this on audio, I kept thinking, "It's like Gossip Girl meets Gone Girl!" Seriously. Suspense, mystery, suicide, teen bullies, secret clubs, naked photos, drugs, booze, text messages and Facebook and even an anonymous newsletter--this one has it all, and I powered through it in just a few days.

Backlist Picks

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter: This one had been buzzing in the book world since last summer, and I finally picked it up on audio. It's just as beautiful and wonderful as everyone says it is, and Eduardo Ballerini's narration is spot-on. I'm picking up Walter's new short story collection, We Live In Water, this month.

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller: This ToB-contender didn't take home the rooster this year, but that doesn't make it any less wonderful. It's a love story based on a version of the myth of Achilles, which Miller has interpreted as a love story told through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles' lover and best friend. It's heartbreaking and lovely and wonderful and sad and hopeful and everything you hope a retelling of a classic myth could ever be.


  1. Song of Achilles has been sitting in my Nook for far too long now. I really need to get to it. And truthfully (shallowly) I've been avoiding Beautiful Ruins because I hate the cover. Ack!

    Glad you've had so much good reading on your plate lately!

    1. I had the same situation with Song of Achilles, and ended up reading it on via during lunch breaks at work. Not the most ideal reading situation, but it worked and I loved it! A really gorgeous book. Beautiful Ruins, too, though I agree -- not sure the cover does it justice.

  2. great titles! I still need to read The Song of Achilles! Here is my April recap, it was a great month:

  3. The Song of Achilles was really good! For once, the hype was worth listening to :-)


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