"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Reading

Well, this month went really fast.  But then again, it seems like forever ago that I read the books at the bottom of this stack.  (I always stack them in the order I read them from the bottom to the top.)  I made it through 10 books again this month - I did that in February too.  And I'm about 10 pages/day ahead of last year's totals.  So without further ado, here's what I read...

Totals for April:
Total books - 10
Total pages - 2,859
Total inches - 11.5

Year to Date Totals:
Total books - 32
Total pages - 9,509  - This puts my average pages per day at 79. :)
Total inches - 38.25

The books:
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - fiction - "read" as an audiobook, which I hate, but had to do for the book bingo challenge.  I have a hard time really considering this reading.

2. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - fiction - totally outside of my normal reading preferences, but I did enjoy this because it was so immersed in reading/books/libraries, etc.  This was originally going to go in the "book a friend loved" category.  It also fit into the "over 500 pages" category, but I finally ended up putting it under "book with a one-word title."

3. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - fiction - for "book that was made into a movie."  Had to read this after watching Saving Mr. Banks.  It's actually not much like the Mary Poppins movie at all, and it is VERY disturbing.  I don't honestly see why Walt Disney thought it would make a good movie.  Mary Poppins wasn't a very nice character, and really the main thing that is in the movie is only the first chapter of the book.  It was as if Disney took the idea of the character and made up his own story, with just hints at things in the book.  And while we're on the subject, there's a lot of license taken in the Saving Mr. Banks movie too - pretty much everything about her father was made up, except for the fact that he worked in a bank.  The movie is a really nice story though, and I liked it (better than the truth), but don't take it as truth.  If you watch Saving Mr. Banks, look up PL Travers on Wikipedia afterward.

4. Tenth of December by George Saunders - fiction - fits in the category for a collection of short stories - another thing I really don't care for. I honestly can't remember any of the stories in this book.  They must not have made a great impact.

5. The Road From Coorain by Jill Ker Conway - nonfiction - "book with a green cover" (surprisingly one of the most difficult categories to fill.  This was also our evening book club selection of the month.  It's a memoir of a woman who grew up in the bush of Australia.  Very interesting.

6. Savage Run by C.J. Box - fiction - "second book in a series" - I'm planning to read all of CJ Box's books. They are set in a small Wyoming town that sounds a lot like where I live.  Good mysteries.

7. The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch - nonfiction, about autism - "New York Times Best Seller" is the category I used this one for.  My sister told me about this one and it was very informative - written by a man who has Aspergers (now just part of autism spectrum disorder).  The man didn't know he had Aspergers until he and his wife had been married for 5 years.  It is a relief to him because it explains so much.  He sets out to improve himself and their failing marriage.

8. House Rules by Jodi Picoult - fiction, about autism - my "over 500 pages" book.  This is the second book I've read by this author and I'm impressed.  (The first I read of hers was The Storyteller, which was my favorite book from last year. That's saying a lot considering I read somewhere around 65 books.)  This was a very disturbing book for me to read, as the mother of a boy with autism.  That's often the case when the subject is autism.  I had the same problem with The Rosie Project.  In House Rules, the kid gets tried for murder, and all his autistic mannerisms make him look incredibly guilty.  It also gave me a lot to think about as to what it is like to have a sibling on the spectrum.

9. Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal - fiction - "book set in a different country."  This was the book of the month for the daytime book club at the library.  It wasn't at all what I was expecting - it's basically a fictional spy thriller - but it was so good.  I really liked this one.  I also found out it's the first in a series, so I'm looking forward to reading more.  (People in the marketing department are getting tricky.  They put the preface and first chapter of the next book at the end of the first one, so you're hooked before you even put the first book down - ha).

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - fiction, another autism book.  I read this one on my phone to fulfill the category "downloaded from Overdrive."  It was nice to have a book with me all the time, but it killed my battery and I had to force myself to finish it on the phone rather than picking up the real book, which I much prefer.  I wasn't as impressed with this story as the others related to autism.  I think this one seemed a little more difficult to believe.  But still, an interesting story.

Because of the "Book Bingo" challenge for our library's adult reading program, all of these books were ones that fit into squares on that chart.  I'm determined to not read anything that doesn't fit on the bingo card until after the contest ends on May 31.

I had been using the Post-it notes because so many of the books could go in more than one category, and I wanted to have the flexibility to incorporate all of my book club books from the two local book clubs I attend.  There were six of them, and I didn't know what they would be ahead of time.  Well, now that I know what books we are reading for the book clubs, I decided to commit to my plan, and filled out the original form with permanent marker.  It sure is easier to read.

I have seven more spaces to fill, and I'm nearly done with one of those, and the center square is a very short book I should be able to read in an hour or two.  May is going to be a very busy month, so it will still be a challenge, but it should be doable. There's no pressure though. We don't have to fill in every slot.  We just get an entry into a drawing for an Amazon gift card for each Bingo we get.  So that should be 12 entries if they count diagonal Bingos.  And I probably still won't win the gift card - ha.  But it's a challenge I set out to complete for my own satisfaction, and I'll be happy with that.

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