Confession: as of this moment, my Want To Read list on Goodreads contains 63 books. To Be Read (TBR) piles are just a way of life if you are a reader. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a TBR pile and it never seems to stop growing. I’ve heard other readers say, “If all of the authors would just stop writing and publishers would stop publishing for a year then I could get caught up!” It might be said in jest, but a life–even just a year–without a new book to buy, to get excited about, well that’s just no life at all.
What I Plan to Read in April
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My oldest son read this a couple of summers ago. He told me that I should read it because I would like all of the 80’s references. (It’s true. I do love the 80’s.) My son, a great reader, had never recommended a book to me before. Ever. As much of his recommendation meant to me, I am just now getting around to picking it up. As you probably already know, the movie version was just released this past weekend. The story is about a teen named Wade who spends his time in a virtual world called the OASIS–filled with 1980’s pop culture references–where he is fighting to solve puzzles to find a huge prize. I am only a few pages in, but I am already hooked.
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
I picked up this book for two reasons: it was Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick for March, and I thought the cover was pretty. I didn’t expect to walk out of the store with it until I read the back description. Here’s the part that got me:
“The proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn English, not short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of erotics and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories that they’ve held in for far too long.”
I have grown to love reading stories that are completely different from my own. Stories of other cultures, of a bigger world. Combine all that with a little sex and a lot of humor? I’m in!
The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
I have been cheating on my husband for a while now and he’s fully aware. I have fallen in love with all things French, a true Francophile, which of course includes the city of Paris. There are lots of books set in the City of Light, and I’ve read several, but I chose this one because it is partially set during the city’s great jazz age. Having just finished A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (which about Hemingway’s time in Paris during the 1920’s) I was happy to find another read that would take me back to one of the most fascinating times in one of the world’s best cities.
Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
Regardless of what you might think, I did not pick this book because it has a cuss word in the title. It was actually the subtitle that made me want to read this little non-fiction find: How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do. From the best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, this little gem isn’t for readers who are sensitive to cuss words. But for those of you who don’t mind a cuss word or two and are looking for encouragement when it comes to setting goals and getting through the sh*t it takes to achieve those goals, this book might just be for you.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Okay, I know. Another book about Paris. But after finishing A Moveable Feast, this book was a must being a fictional account Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, during their time in Paris in the 1920’s. I had seen this book over and over again the past few years in one of my favorite independent bookstores and is now in paperback.
Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness by Melissa Dahl
The topic of cringeworthy moments and how and why we experience them is intriguing. The book is broken down into three sections: 1) Is that what I look like?, 2) Is everyone staring at me?, and 3) What am I supposed to do now? I can’t wait to get to Chapter Six: Dance Like No One’s Watching, Because No One Is! Except When They Are. Dahl shares, through the awkwardness of other’s stories, the thesis that these moments are opportunities to test yourself. When everyone else is pretending to have it under control, you can be a little braver and grow a little bigger–while remaining true to your awkward self.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I picked this one up while helping my 13-year-old shop for a new book. After unsuccessfully trying to convince him to read it, I ended up buying it for myself. On the 2017 National Book Award Longlist, this story is about Starr, a young girl living in a poor black neighborhood while attending a fancy prep school. She witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend by a police officer. Timely and emotional, I have a feeling this will be one that will stick with me long after I’m done.
And if all of these books weren’t enough, there are three more books on their way from Book of the Month Club: Other People’s Houses, Circe, and The Oracle Year. The problem of an ever-growing TBR pile is real, people. Depending on how the month goes, these may or may not be on May’s list. Stay tuned.