My friend Amy, of MomAdvice.com, shared on Facebook that she read 11 books last month… and for some reason, I took that as a challenge. If she could read eleven books in one month, surely I could! I tied her with 11 books read by April 23rd, and I’ve got plans to finish at least one (if not three) more before the month is over.
April started with me driving all four kids to 10 different branches of our local library as part of their Spring Break program (it was a super fun week of Harry Potter activities – a different one at each branch).
While I managed to come home without any books from the first six branches (aka day one), I picked up books in multiple branches on day two.
A Busy Mom Reads: Must Read Book List | April 2017
*indicates a title for which I received a digital pre-release copy from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in order to share an honest review
**indicates a title for which I received a digital pre-release copy from Bethany House Publishers in order to share an honest review
The House by the Lake by Ella Carey
As a lover of historical fiction, I really enjoyed this journey into pre-WWII Germany as the main character uncovered her grandfather’s true past. The weaving together of her own story (modern day) with his story (mid-1930s) was truly captivating.
There were a few points where I found myself slightly puzzled by the main character’s seemingly quick change in attitude, but overall, I thought the story flowed well and the plot was intriguing.
In Twenty Years: A Novel by Allison Winn Scotch
I had to convince myself to keep reading through the first few chapters, but once I got into the story I found myself wanting to keep reading. I didn’t personally care for the crass language, and I struggled a bit with the third person POV, but the story itself was intriguing.
The plot would make for a good movie – friends who are gathered together, even though they’d rather be anywhere else, and forced to deal with the past twenty years and all that has transpired since they graduated college.
The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel set during the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth (Lizzie) is a widowed midwife who is close friends with Abigail Adams and tells her story of life as a supporter of the Cause.
The characters were full of depth, and at times, I believed the story to be true – so believable was the plot. It was as if I were reading the real diary of a woman from this time and place in history.
Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
Getting a glimpse inside the real life of one of my favorite TV characters was a fun read. I learned quite a bit about Lauren’s earlier years (including that she worked at the Barn Theater for at least two summers – which is less than 20 minutes from where I grew up).
My favorite part was probably the “diary entries” from when she was filming “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” It was interesting to get a glimpse “behind the scenes” and feel some of the emotions that she was experiencing revisiting Stars Hollow.
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
This was my first time reading this author, but I had fairly high expectations as several people had recommended her books to me. With those expectations in mind, I found myself several chapters into the story wondering if I was overthinking things because while the writing was “ok,” it wasn’t what I’d call “great.”
But I kept reading, and the deeper I got into the book, the more engaged I became with the story and the main characters. By the time I reached the middle of the story, I was fully hooked.
I think my issue at the beginning was that I struggled to connect with the characters – their world was significantly different than my own, and it felt far removed.
By the time I reached the end of the book, I was invested in the outcome of each of the main plots, hoping for the best, and making a note to add this author’s other books to my reading queue.
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber
I was instantly drawn into this story, finding myself lost in the plot. The three main characters had great depth and were relatable.
As I read, I found myself wishing Cedar Cove was a real place, wanting to visit the Rose Harbor Inn myself.
I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!
Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich
When a book hooks you before chapter one, you know you’ve found a winner. Curious Minds is a fast-paced suspense thriller with humor strewn throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first book in the Knight & Moon series, and I’m looking forward to reading future titles!
Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
After reading 23 books in this series, I’m starting to get bored with the story: Stephanie can’t decide between two men, neither will commit to her, something gets blown up, Stephanie becomes the killer’s target, Lula is over the top, and so on. The only thing that changes is the “who done it” part of the story.
That said, if you’ve never read a book in the series, you’ll probably enjoy it. It’s a quick and easy read with plenty of suspense and humor to keep your attention.
Sandpiper Cove* by Irene Hannon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I didn’t want this book to end! I was so engrossed in the story, eager to see how all the pieces would play out, that I was disappointed to turn the page and find myself at the epilogue already.
I have enjoyed each of the books in this series, but this might be my favorite this far. I love how each of the stories can stand alone as they focus on different individuals in the town of Hope Harbor, but their stories weave together throughout the entire series.
This was a well-written romance with a bit of mystery/intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am excited to know future titles will be released in this series.
Pursued* by Lisa Harris
Wow! How you can seamlessly packed so much action into a single book and yet still tell a great story full of characters with depth is beyond me. Lisa Harris hit it out of the park with this book!
When TBI Agent Nikki Boyd realizes the lady sitting next to her on a plane has vanished, she begins to ask questions. She and her team are assigned the task of finding this missing person, and it’s a race against the clock.
Mystery, action, suspense, crime-fighting, and a hint of romance… this book had it all and kept me turning page after page. A quick and easy read that grabbed my attention from page one, Pursued is definitely a book you’ll want to add to your summer reading queue!
Behind the Scenes** by Jen Turano
I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard while reading a book. More than once, I found myself laughing too hard to keep reading.
I love historical fiction, and this story definitely took me back to the Gilded Age, right into New York’s high society. Proper etiquette, wealth and affluence, and society life at its best – the scene was set, and I truly felt like a fly on the wall as the plot played out.
An unexpected heroine, a murder plot, and social faux pas… this story had it all, with a twist of humor and romance, too!
I highly recommend adding Behind the Scenes to your reading list – it’s a quick and easy read that will have you laughing and cheering until the end.
Be sure to grab a copy of these great titles from Amazon or your favorite bookseller!