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April 2013 Reading Round-Up

So this is my longest list of books read in a month… ever. And this month I had a couple of days out due to illness, made day trips when I might otherwise have read, and spent lots more time with family than usual. None were far from 350 pages, but that’s often the case anyway. Yes, I am one very happy reader right now.

The Books

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John Elder Robison: Raising Cubby – Robison recounts his time as a father who has Asperger’s, detailing his son’s progress in life, too. Fantastic on many levels.


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Andrew Blackman: A Virtual Love – Various narrators discuss their time and dealings with Jeff, a man who posed as a famous blogger when a woman mistook him for that blogger and proceeded to show a romantic interest. Very good commentary on a current issue.

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F Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby – Family and love ties abound when Nick starts to attend the parties of Jay Gatsby, a man who is a mystery to all. Good, and I can finally cross off my first Classic Club book, though it wasn’t what I’d expected.

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Jeanne Ray: Calling Invisible Women – A middle-aged woman, finding herself ignored by society and her family, wakes up to find she’s literally invisible. Great premise, bad execution.

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Jeanne Ray: Julie And Romeo – Two 60-year-olds begin a relationship despite their families hating each other. A fair attempt at a retelling.

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Jeannie Lin: The Sword Dancer – A thief-catcher aptly catches a thief, and promises to find her every time she escapes – he loves her, you see. Okay, but there is too much telling and description instead of dialogue and thoughts.

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Jessa Russo: Ever – A girl with her crush for a ghost finds it difficult to choose between the dead and the living where love is concerned. Pretty good, though not without flaws.

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Paulo Coelho: Manuscript Found In Accra – A book not unlike Plato’s works, with parts borrowed from scripture. It’s alright, but I’m afraid I see exactly what Isi was saying when she said once you’ve read one you’ve read them all.

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Sadie Jones: The Uninvited Guests – On the day of a birthday a group of people involved in a railway accident must be taken in by the hosts, but it seems there is more to these survivors. It’s random and absurd, and not everyone will appreciate the mishmash of genres, but without the affiliations of literary fiction and Jones herself, it’s a hilarious book.

There are far too many Jeanne’s and Jeannie’s in that list. Actually there are too many authors with first names starting with “J”, it’s confusing. I read some brilliant books this month, it would be a toss-up between Raising Cubby, A Virtual Love, and The Uninvited Guests. The latter wins for its sheer absurdity, but Robison’s book is priceless and Blackman’s a good commentary. I was pretty disappointed by my readathon book, Calling Invisible Women, but other than that it was a fair month for enjoyment. I’m nowhere near Jennifer’s incredible record, but I am beaming today.

Quotation Report

If the rest of the family are downstairs and you want to complete your collection of animals-forcibly-drawn, you can always take a leaf from the book of Smudge from The Uninvited Guests, and lead the pony up the stairs to your room. Any excrement is unimportant, it’s the drawing that matters.

Goodbye April, you’ve given us some random weather but overall you’ve been really great.

What was your favourite book this month (or week if you round-up each week)?


Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

May 1, 2013, 1:20 am

I’m curious about The Uninvited Guests. I’ve had a copy for awhile, but never gotten around to reading it. I’m glad you liked it!


May 1, 2013, 7:08 am

This pretty much confirms my decision not to read another Coelho – The Alchemist and Veronica Decides to Die are all I need.

We’ve both had rather marvellous reading Aprils, which is lovely to see. Nothing more satisfying than scratching the reading itch. Only wish my April was as sociable as yours along side the reading.


May 1, 2013, 8:00 am

Hi Charlie – what an impressive list! A Virtual Love sounds rather intriguing: I might have to try that out in due course. And you made me laugh with your comment on Coelho. It’s so true! The Alchemist is beautiful, but others have just underwhelmed me. It’s a shame actually, because it’s a lovely cover and when I first read the author my mind saw it as Calvino – which got me rather excited. :-)

Wish I’d got through this many books in April. Mine was rather empty in comparison!!!

Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews

May 1, 2013, 10:45 am

I am looking forward to reading The Uninvited Guests. I had a great reading month too!

Laurie C

May 1, 2013, 12:56 pm

I’ve been busier than usual at work, so haven’t finished many books this month. My April favorite, though, is The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Loved it!


May 1, 2013, 3:19 pm

What a great month :) I’m glad to hear that you are a happy reader! That’s the best sort of reader.

Here’s to May, let’s hope it is as great!

Belle Wong

May 1, 2013, 6:10 pm

I’m very curious now about The Uninvited Guests! I like reading your mini reviews in your wrap-up posts. I was doing quite well for a while, making little notes on what I was reading in my daybook, but I fell out of the habit somehow. I can never seem to remember what I’ve read the past month!


May 1, 2013, 6:26 pm

Charlie 9 books is excellent well done! I too have read a little more this month managing to read 7 books. It was a hard choice but I think my favourite read was A Game of Thrones. Happy reading in May :-)


May 5, 2013, 2:37 am

Congrats on your awesome reading month! I recently read The Great Gatsby for the first time too, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. When I was supposed to read it in high school I couldn’t get past the third page.


June 13, 2013, 3:39 pm

Kim: I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘must read now’ book, but yes, definitely give it a read!

Alice: To be honest that’s not a bad decision. I wouldn’t say you’d waste time, per se, by reading the others, but after a couple you’ve got the general gist. If it helps my May was pretty dull, social-wise :)

Leander: Thanks! I’m glad you gave A Virtual Love a read, your review was great! I see Coelho a bit like Pratchett, in my thoughts on them – Pratchett is great but you can definitely have too much of a good thing, and the same with Coelho.

Jo: Yay, go for it!

Laurie: That book seems to have suddenly burst onto the Internet, pardon the pun but it does seem interesting.

Jennifer: Too true!

Belle: I like providing these mini ones, I’m one of those people who errs on the side of caution with reviews of books I’m due to read but in general a few words are spoiler-free. You just need to get back in the habit of it (if tracking reading is what you want to do). It’ll become easy to remember soon enough :)

Jessica: I’m going to say thank you for that :D 7 is really good, too. I know I’m writing this in June but April wasn’t so bad, weather-wise, I suppose, and inspiring. Not surprised you liked A Game of Thrones, it does sound very good.

Cass: I think Gatsby’s definitely one for reading when you want rather than as assigned reading.



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