Well, another month that seemed like a year (or a dozen) has gone by and times remain weird. Last month was a real struggle to get in a reading mood but it did keep my mind blessedly occupied when I did read. April was a rinse and repeat month when it came to reading. And that’s okay. If reading gives you comfort, fantastic. If reading is tough for you, that’s okay too. Books will always be here.
The Books I Loved and Liked in April
YAY! Another month with no loathe books.
The Books I Loved
These are the books that reminded me why I love books and reading.
The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James
Book Description: 30 years ago, Vivian Delaney disappeared while working the overnight shift at the Sun Down Hotel, now her niece is determined to find out who killed her aunt.
Book Review: I really liked this quite a bit. It made me sad/angry that back in the early 80s that Moms kept warning their daughter’s about the “bogeyman” to keep them safe from predators and we still do it today. Maybe we need to start teaching boys to not be douches. Just saying. Anyway, I love the strong women of the book, past and present, that everyone is a little bit damaged (because everybody is) and I didn’t mind the blend of supernatural (yup, the hotel is haunted) and thriller (yup, serial killer alert) at all. And if you’re interested in the book, but the ghost aspect makes me you unsure, just know that you ain’t gonna call Ghostbusters for help.
To Read or Not To Read: Yes. It gave me a lot of feels, fear, unease, anger, sadness, hope, satisfaction, so I obviously got invested in the story and that’s a good story to me!
The Books I Liked
These are the books I enjoyed from most liked to liked.
Blue Moon by Lee Child
Book Description: Jack Reacher helps an elderly couple who get caught in the middle of a mobster turf war.
Book Review: Baby, he’s back! You may recall that I spent the entire review of his previous book whining about ANCESTRAL RESEARCH because Jack Reacher spent 80% of the book on ANCESTRAL RESEARCH versus smiting bad guys. I was not happy. But Lee’s written 24 books so I graciously allowed him to have one dud (so generous, I know). Thankfully. Jack is once again kicking ass, taking no names and well, killings lots of bad people. So yeah, I liked the book. I also liked that Child is apparently part of the Resistance (surprised me, to be honest) and that ain’t “Fake News”. You’ll get it, if you read the book. ?
To Read or Not To Read: Yes. It’s one of my go-to series, especially now when the world is so topsy turvy that someone trying to right wrongs for the little guy makes me feel good. I mean, minus all the dead bodies he leaves behind. I ought to feel a little bad. But nope. They’re very bad dudes.
The Authenticity Project: A Novel by Clare Pooley
Book Description: The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.
Book Review: This was my feel-good book of the month. I liked the characters overall. They were flawed but human so even when they were being dopes, it felt natural. Sure, you would occasionally yell, “just talk to one another” but realistically we often don’t speak the truth, even when we know better and have knee-jerk, over-the-top reactions that we feel ashamed about later. There was really only one instance where it felt a teeny tiny bit contrived but I was so engaged with these characters and story that I let it slide. Again, so generous of me!
To Read or Not To Read: Yes. Connection, being authentic and unafraid of who you are or your dreams/desires and creating your own family are some of my favorite themes. Add in a colorful character or two and I’m sold!
TL;DR: The Books I Recommend
All of them! Those looking for a feel-good or a lighter read will enjoy The Authenticity Project. And to be clear, this is not a self-help book but a novel. Just in the case “The Novel” in the title didn’t make that clear. 😀 Genre mash-up fans (specifically horror and thrillers) should most definitely check out The Sun Down Hotel. I really enjoyed that one this month. If with all the craziness going on the world and you need a story with clear bad guys who get what’s coming to them, then check out Lee Child. Yes, the Reacher series is 24 books strong but they can be read as a stand-alone book too.
To More Great Books
I actually have quite a few books on my kindle and on hold at the library so I have more than enough to read next month. But I don’t know if book readers ever have enough books to read. We do. And we don’t. Right? 😀 As usual, I’m participating in the Show Us Your Books link-up hosted by Jana and Steph. Be sure to visit and see what everyone was QuaranReading last month.
What was the best book you read last month?
Those first two sound like books I would love!
I hope you give them a try! I really enjoyed them. Jack Reacher is an overall stellar series too!
Glad you had a great reading month! It feels good when that happens.
I’ve never read a Lee Child book. My husband watched the Jack Reacher show (or was it a movie?) and loved it though.
Great reading months feel so darn good, especially since it really feels like forever since I’ve had one too! Jack Reacher has a movie series with Tom Cruise who in no way, shape or form fits Jack Reacher (he’s a giant), although the movies are okay, and it is getting a series on Netflix or Amazon too. 🙂
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Is it bad that I’ve never read a Jack Reacher book?!! I did add The Authenticity Project to my to read list.
Nope. There are lots of series I haven’t read. Some I want to and others I don’t. Jack ain’t for everyone, although I do tell people to not be afraid by how many books there. They can all be read as a stand-alone so if one appeals, don’t be afraid you’ll be confused either. The Authenticity Project was really good, I actually maybe under-rated it in retrospect.
I keep hearing really good things about The Sundown Motel – and the author’s previous book. I think it would be something I’d enjoy! Glad you had a pretty good reading month. My interest and focus with reading is a bit hit or miss, but what can you do? It’s weird times. haha
I have one of her previous books on my TBR, The Broken Girls or something similar, and heard great things about it as well. I liked Viv quite a bit from Sundown. She was flawed but she had self-awareness, which was nice. It is definitely weird times. I finally told myself to read when I feel moved to and not to feel bad when I don’t, even if there is a really good book on my nightstand. Reading tends to make me feel better but I need very engaging books (which tend to be murdery books for me) to stay focused.
Elena Wiggins says
The Authenticity Project sounds fun! I’ll need to add that to my to-read list! I like how you structure your reviews with the plot and your reviews clearly marked. It makes it easy to navigate!
I’m linking my April reads if interested!
Thanks, Elena! Glad you enjoyed me reviews. I’ll definitely check what you read last month too. 🙂
Rebecca Jo Vincent says
The Authenticity Project sounds like it would be up my alley.
& ALL THE YES to just teaching boys how to behave more than making girls scared. PREACH IT!
I definitely think you’d enjoy The Authenticity Project a lot. It really makes me sad that the lesson we teach girls is to be scared versus teaching boys how to be respectful.
Jana @ Jana Says says
I actually bought The Sun Down Motel and it’s on my list to get to in the next month. I’m very excited for it.
Scott loves Lee Child but refuses to read Jack Reacher. I have no idea why.
I hope you enjoy it. You’ll like Viv for sure and I always enjoy a good cat and mouse game with a smart serial killer. 🙂 Interesting that Scott loves Lee Child but not Jack Reacher. And honestly, I haven’t read anything from Child but Reacher so I don’t even know what his other books are like!
Katie Clooney says
Wonderful Reviews! I took note of Sundown Motel. Stay healthy!
Thanks, Katie! You stay healthy too. 🙂
The Sun Down Motel is on my TBR and I was on the waiting list at the library… and then the libraries shut down 🙁 Debating whether or not to actually purchase the book since I have no idea when the libraries will re-open. #bookwormproblems 🙂
Our library is doing “curbside”. You actually go into the library and they have a table with your books in a plastic bag with your name on it. So I’m technically able to get physical library books but I can’t browse for them myself, which is part of the fine, but I’m grateful to still be able to get books too! Hopefully the libraries will be able to open back up soon!
Quaranreading- I’d forgotten that term, but I love it! The Authenticity Project is really piquing my interest, especially when described as “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually.” Hmm, my fave from last month is a toss-up between Verity, Sadie, and If I Never Met You, depending on your mood 🙂
That is actually a great way to describe Authenticity, although no one harbors an Eleanor-like trauma but plenty of secrets. 🙂 I feel like I maybe even underrated it a bit because it stuck with me long after I finished it. Verity was soooooo good. I haven’t read Sadie yet but it’s been on my TBR for a long time. Some day!
The Sun Down Hotel sounds like an interesting read! Going to add it to my list. I think I have the Reacher books on my list, but haven’t gotten around to them yet. I am 25 books deep in the Stephanie Plum series and not sure I am ready to commit to another series so large just yet haha.
I loved the Stephanie Plum Series, then around book 18 or so I started to get a little bored with them. But every so often I’ll still pick one up and they still make laugh. I just can’t binge them because they get a little repetitive yet they are still hilarious, if that makes any sense!
yay books! The Authenticity Project sounds like my jam. will have to check it out!
Yeah, I think The Authenticity Project is a Kristen book. 🙂
I can not wait until I can start requesting things from our library again! I am running out of books on my Kindle that will hold my attention.
I feel fortunate because our library still allowed curbside (sorta) pick-up. We had to order online or call, then schedule a pick-up but they put them on a table for us, already checked out. It was actually pretty nice and worked great. Under normal, good circumstances, I don’t mind a slow book but these days it has to hold my attention from the get-go, otherwise I can’t focus.
I feel like I’ve read Sun Down but Goodreads says I haven’t. I added it to investigate LOL
I’ve had that deja vu feeling on several books in the link-up too. I don’t know if my mind is slipping (possibly) or too many books have similar plots (also possible). 🙂
Jill K says
I remember your last Jack Reacher review. Glad to see he’s back. I’ve only read the first book in the series, but want to read more.
Yup, this was classic Reacher and oddly enough, probably one of my favorites. But man, that last one. Terrible! ANCESTRY RESEARCH is fine but weird for a Reacher book!
Thanks for all the recommendations. Sundown Motel sounds right up my alley. My latest book reviews ~ Tanya – The Other Side of the Road
Oh, I hope you enjoy The Sundown Motel. I loved it!
I’m very intrigued by The Sundown Motel, that sounds really good! That’s great that all the books were winners this month, always a great thing when that happens–especially right now.
Yes, it’s a small thing but right now, anything, even a good reading month, seems like a huge win! 🙂
This is the best description I’ve read of The Sun Down Motel. I’ve also been wanting to read The Authenticity Project. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your month as best you can!
Thanks, Becki! Both books are great. Very different from one another but great, engaging reads.
Alexandra Consolver says
I’ve heard good things about the sundown motel! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 XO – Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
I went in not knowing anything about the book but it hooked me from the get-go and those are my favorite kind of books!
I loved The Sundown Motel. I have heard good things about the Authenticity Project!
It was so good, better than I even expected! I really enjoyed The Authenticity Project, perhaps even underrated it a bit in my review. 🙂
The Sundown Motel has been in my to-read pile for so long but I just haven’t picked it up yet. I really like mysteries/thrillers and I’ve been looking for a good one!
LOL! I am terrible about that too – so many books I want to read and have been on my TBR forever (or so it seems) but just haven’t been able to pick them up yet. 🙂 I definitely find Sundown to be a great thriller overall.
Oooh, The Sundown Motel sounds great! Adding that to my tbr list!
I have no interest in reading the Jack Reacher series but I love John Krasinski and I’ve thought about watching the series, lol.
Sundown is great. And I’ve made this mistake too because everything blends together but John Krasinski is playing Jack Ryan, not Jack Reacher. Different but also very, very similar when I think about it too! 🙂
Maybe we need to start teaching boys to not be douches. – YESSSSS I mean, I am still going to teach my daughter to be aware of her surroundings, and to trust her gut and all of that…but it would be nice if the boys were brought up right too! I am pretty sure The Sundown Motel is on my TBR, but going to go make sure! The Authenticity Project sounds interesting, I like what you said about it.