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April 2014 Reading Round-Up

April has been good for my reading. The readathon didn’t go as planned and I was sick for a few days, but deciding at the start of the month that I would read a good amount led to it happening and I’m pleased to at last have several books on a round-up list. April also saw the return of reader-boyfriend after a break of about three years. I think he’s on his sixth book so far these last couple of weeks (his reading speed’s incredible) and I’m hoping he’ll keep it up long enough to get through the Narnia set I gave him years ago.

The Books

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Greg McKeown: Essentialism – The author tells us how doing only those tasks deemed essential will improve our lives at home and work, including the tough-to-implement plan to say ‘no’ when people ask a lot from you. It’s ironically repetitive at times but contains much to think about.

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Lindy Woodhead: Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge – The story of Harry Selfridge from his very first job, to his retail success, to his death as a poor man. There isn’t much to be blown away by, particularly because the writing style doesn’t lend itself to excitement, but it’s an informative and unbiased book.


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Elizabeth von Arnim: The Enchanted April – A couple of women dulled by life, along with two others they interview specifically for the plan, rent a castle in Italy for a month to have space to think and relax. It wasn’t as compelling as I’d expected and there was a plot twist that I thought a pity, but it’s a good read nonetheless.

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Jane Austen: Mansfield Park – The daughter of an average family goes to live with well-off relatives and is the only person not impressed by the arrival of a couple of neighbours, neighbours who express romantic interest in her cousins. Objectively it’s not bad, but I have to be honest and say I found it a bit dull – predictable from the start and I didn’t feel Austen provided enough information about the villains until too late, leaving Fanny to appear as rather over the top in her dislike at the time.

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Johanna Lane: Black Lake – A man who hasn’t told his family of debts, loans their estate to the government whilst they have to relocate to a small house in the grounds. An excellent book that shows the different affects sudden displacement can have on people of different ages.

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Louise Douglas: In Her Shadow – A woman starts to see her dead friend in certain locations, and wonders if she didn’t truly die. Another brilliant story by Douglas, this book focuses on hidden abuse and the differences in perception that come with age.

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Peggy Riley: Amity & Sorrow – A woman who has finally realised just how bad life with her husband and his cult is, escapes, but whilst she is just about able to renter society, her children are not. There are a fair few flawed concepts in this book, most especially at the end.

My favourite this month was Black Lake, with In Her Shadow a close second. I wasn’t crazy about Mansfield Park and wish it hadn’t been my last Austen, but it has at least made me more determined to dig out my copy of Pride And Prejudice for a re-read. I’m happy to say there were no really bad books this month.

Quotation Report

None this time.

I’m somewhat sad to see May as it means we’re very close to that day when the light starts to fade again, but warmer weather would be nice. It’s not cold but not yet time to venture out without a coat.

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


Freda Mans

May 2, 2014, 2:10 am

Happy May reading!


May 2, 2014, 2:44 am

great month! my favorites were 2 histfic.


May 2, 2014, 5:38 am

A great reading month for you! I only finished two books in April so I’m hoping May is better for me. I’m also going to read Mansfield Park this year as it is one of the two Austen’s I have never finished (the other is Emma).
I hope May treats you well!


May 2, 2014, 7:43 am

I am glad May is here, now we can go for a walk later at night. It’s so dull to be out when it’s dark


May 2, 2014, 8:27 am

You’ve had a really good month :)

Every time I try and read Mansfield Park I become disheartened by the lengthy (and dull) beginning. It takes ages for anything to happen and I give up. Is it worth fighting through?

This also reminds me I need to read Amity and Sorrow.


May 3, 2014, 12:02 am

I recently read Mansfield Park and found it a bit dull as well, and yet it is often cited as Austen’s most important book. I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think I’ll be rereading it anytime soon (or ever…).


May 3, 2014, 11:27 am

Well done looks like April was a good reading month for you. It was for me too I finished 6 books my favourite being The May Bride. Happy reading in May!

Tracy Terry

May 3, 2014, 3:20 pm

I can’t wait to see what May brings, happy reading.

Jenny @ Reading the End

May 4, 2014, 7:09 pm

Yeah, Fanny’s kind of a dull heroine. I like Mansfield Park still better than, say, Sense and Sensibility, but not because Fanny’s any good.

Melinda @ The Book Musings

May 5, 2014, 3:39 pm

You had a nice reading month – definitely more books than what I’ve read :)



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