The Siberian American: Twelve Books I Liked in April

Monday, May 9, 2016

Twelve Books I Liked in April

First, I want to thank y’all so much for your support on the post I wrote about my health on Friday. I will be responding to individual comments soon, but I wanted to say I am truly thankful for your encouragement.

Usually I like to mix up genres throughout the month, but with everything going on, I preferred lighter reads in April (though I still had to throw in a few thrillers and some historical fiction). I was also still catching up on NetGalley reads, so I can go a month without reading NetGalley for Erin and Dani’s Read My Books Challenge in June.


The Winemakers by Jan Moran
(c/o NetGalley)
A book full of wine and secrets? I'm in! The Winemakers is set in the 1950s (with flashbacks to the 1920s) at a time when women are seen as nothing but homemakers. Caterina's mom Ava manages to run a successful winery in Napa, but that might all come crashing down when old secrets surface that could destroy her business and Caterina's future with the man she loves. The Winemakers is a quick, light read that kept me interested till the end.


The Witches of Cambridge by Menna van Praag
(c/o NetGalley)
This isn't a book I would usually read, but I am glad I gave it a try. I really liked all of the characters and how they solved their problems with just a dash of magic. It was a cute, fast read that helped me escape for a few hours.


The Girl from Home by Adam Mitzner
(c/o NetGalley)
This book started off a bit slow, and I was bummed, thinking it was going to be super boring. I can't say much to explain why it picks up, but once Jonathan and Jackie start spending time together, things got interesting. I still think there was too much financial jargon that made my eyes glaze over, but overall, it turned into a good read. If you like thrillers, I think this one is worth a read.


The House by the Lake by Ella Carey
(c/o NetGalley)
This book was one of those cases where I didn't like the writing, but the story made up for it. Anna's grandfather Max asks her to go on a mission after seeing an article in a newspaper: to retrieve something he left behind in his family's Schloss 70 years ago. The story alternates between 2010 and the 1930s as Anna discovers why her grandfather never returned to Germany after the war.


The One You Really Want by Jill Mansell
(c/o NetGalley)
If you're looking for a light read with great characters, The One You Really Want fits the bill. I liked reading about Carmen, Rennie, Nancy, and Rose as they all dealt with big changes in their lives. Even the minor characters were great. You really feel like you are part of the characters' lives. It was a bit of a long read for a chick-lit, but I enjoyed it!


Will You Won’t You Want Me? by Nora Zelevansky
(c/o NetGalley)
I thought this was a cute and funny story of a 28-year-old who needed to grow up and not live in the past. Marjorie was a great character, and I think you can't help to like her, even if you can't identify with her. The only thing that bothered me about the book was the constant cultural references. I thought they were a little too frequent.


Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
(c/o NetGalley)
I really liked this book of two sisters who decide to communicate by letters for a year. They discuss their children, marriages, friends, and other problems. Suddenly, a mistake occurs, and their letters go viral online. They have to face the repercussions of having their private thoughts available for the world to see. It was a good book, though I wish the problem would have occurred earlier (it was about 60 percent in), so the resolution didn't feel so rushed. Overall, I enjoyed it.


One Moment at Sunrise by Karen Aldous
(c/o NetGalley)
Let me get this out of the way first-the writing in this book is mediocre. The dialogue is super awkward, and sometimes it was hard to follow. That said, the story more than made up for the writing. I thought the characters were interesting, the plot was engaging, and it made me eager to find out how it ended. If you can handle the writing, I think the story makes it a good read.


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
(c/o NetGalley)
Ten years ago, Tessa and Callie helped put away a serial killer. Tessa has always had questions about that night, so when she goes back home, she is determined to find out what really happened and if the wrong man is behind bars. This was an interesting book. It kept me wanting to turn the page and had some unique twists. If you like thrillers, I would recommend this one.


I Said Yes: My Story of Heartbreak, Redemption, and True Love by Emily Johnson Maynard
(c/o BookLook Bloggers)
I am not usually a fan of memoirs, but I have always liked Emily Maynard and was curious to learn more about her Bachelor and Bachelorette relationships. If you are looking for a Bachelor-tell-all book, you probably won't like this. Emily's memoir is more about her spiritual journey and why she thinks the other relationships failed. I was hoping it would be a little deeper than it was, but it was still interesting to read more about Emily's story.


Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
(c/o NetGalley)
World War II historical fiction is my favorite genre, so I judge it a little harsher than other genres since I've read so many. I really enjoyed Chris Cleave's letter at the beginning explaining why he wrote the book (though it gave away a major plot point, which was a bummer). Overall, this book felt really slow compared to others (it felt like nothing happened until about 40 percent in), but I did enjoy the character development, and I thought it was very well written. If you are looking for a fast-paced war novel, this isn't it. If you enjoy character studies of people during the war, this is a good read.


Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma
(c/o NetGalley)
Sometimes, whether I like a book or not depends on timing, and I don't think the timing was right for me with this novel. I think if I had read it a few months ago, I would have enjoyed it much more. Even so, I thought this novel of four friends (plus an acquaintance) dealing with life in New York and an unexpected tragedy was powerful and well-written. I think it got wordy at times and could have been a little shorter (and then ended on a weird note), but it was an interesting character study.


Linking up with Steph & Jana.

I love book suggestions. What have you read lately?

33 comments:

  1. Oooo The Winemakers sounds good. I'm struggling with finishing any books this month!

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  2. Keep me Posted sounds so fun as does Will you wont you...I just finished Chasing Harry Winston - an old one but a good one and just started 30 days to 30...so far it's okay not quite amazing yet!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. The Winemakers sounds like such a fun read, especially since it involves one of my favorite things, wine! I definitely want to check that The Winemakers, The One You Really Want, and The Darkest Corners. I really enjoyed Keep Me Posted as well, and I have Everyone Brave Is Forgiven from Netgalley too! I'll definitely make sure to not read the letter at the beginning of the book though! Why We Came To The City is a book club book this month, so I'm looking forward to reading it!

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  4. Love WWII! What WWII fiction would you recommend? Added Keep Me Posted to my Goodreads list. I feel like my sister and I should start writing each other letters! I liked Emily's book. I wish it would have been a little longer - it did feel like she was skimming the surface.

    Ashley
    acutelifestyle.blogpsot.com

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  5. I've wondered about reading Emily Maynard' book---bummer it's not a tell-all because that is kind of what I was hoping for... ;) But I guess I should still read it!

    I've added several of these to my wish list now--thanks for the run down!

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  6. Interesting to know more about Emily's book, I was hoping for more of a tell-all but still think I'll like to hear more about her journey <3
    Green Fashionista

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  7. I love book review posts but I always forget what my initial comments/thoughts were by the time I get down to the comments :) Haha! I think The One You Really Want and The Darkest Corners look good!

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  8. The first two light reads sound perfect for the pool! The Darkest Corners sounds really good too! <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  9. I don't know how or why, but I started following Chris Cleave on twitter, and I've never even read a book of his. But, I have 3 of them on my tbr. Guess I need to hurry up and read!
    Also added The Darkest Corner, for what you said about it, and I like the cover.
    Thanks for the Read My Books shout out!

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  10. I was sadly not a fan of Will You Won't You Want Me and I really wanted to like it. The Darkest Corners sounds really good and I added it to my TBR.

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  11. I've been meaning to read Darkest Corners. I'll add Will You Won't You Want me to my list :)

    Sarah
    The Midwest Darling

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  12. I definitely can tell when I would've liked something better if I had read it at a different time.

    The Darkest Corners sounds like it would be something I'd enjoy.

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  13. So many of these sound really good! I've had my eye on Why We Came to the City, but will definitely wait for it to come to the library. I need to catch up on my Netgalley books so I can get to what's already on my shelf for Erin's challenge too. Also, I just went back and read your previous post and am thinking of you & praying for you!

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  14. Why We Came to the City is on my TBR. I like weird endings so now I'm even more excited to read it. I do agree that the timing of when I read a book affects how I feel about it.

    I went to add The Girl from Home and saw that it's already on my TBR, too! So many books...

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  15. The Darkest Corners sounds really good, and The Winemakers. I usually flip all around genres during the month, too.

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  16. The Darkest Corners sounds awesome! I'm not surprised about Emily's book. When I saw the publisher I kind of figured it wouldn't be the juicy scoop I was hoping for. I'll probably still read it though!

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  17. The House By The Lake sounds so good :) Adding it to my list!

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  18. I just added SO many books to my TBR list because of this post! THANK YOU!!!

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  19. i definitely think it depends on timing as well. can't help that. so many netgalley books! i agree with keep me posted. i have a Jill Mansell book on my shelf at home, but not that one, so good to hear she's a good author at least. added a couple of your others to my list!

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  20. Added Girl from Home to my list. I'm reeeeeally into thrillers at the moment!

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  21. I feel like we have similar tastes in books and just added at least five of the books you posted about to my to read list. The Girl from Home and The Darkest Corners because I'm always looking for a good suspense/thriller book and Will You Won't You Want Me and Keep Me Posted sound good as well!

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  22. Adding The Witches of Cambridge and The One You Really Want to my TBR. I added Keep Me Posted after a few of the other reviews I read today on it. Yay Netgaley! haha :)

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  23. The Darkest Corners actually popped up as a recommendation from my library the other day, and I was wondering if it was any good. I'm glad to see it's worth adding!

    I'm also adding Will You Won't You Want Me? and The Girl from Home. I'm on the fence about Why We Came to the City because it seems like the kind of book I would have really loved a few years ago, but I might not be as into it now.

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  24. Girrrl, you read a ton! I added The Winemakers and The Darkest Corners, but several of these look like ones I might like.

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  25. So excited for all of these Netgalley books because I just got my password and stuff figured out on that site yesterday so I want to start requesting! The Darkest Corner sounds really interesting!

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  26. Reviewing is so hard sometimes because of the whole book quality vs enjoyment thing. I have at least one author that I love but I have to admit that she's not terribly skilled. Not bad, but she churns out 3 - 6 books a year and you can kind of tell by the quality. I have to be in the right mood to read her.

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  27. A lot of those sound interesting -- especially the first two. And I'm a little in awe of how much you're able to read!

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  28. Wow!! I'm well impressed with the number of books you read - and here I was all excited I had read 4 books. HA I'm adding some of these to my reading list. Totally feel you on how a book can be good/bad depending on the moment...!

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  29. I really liked I Said Yes! Especially after reading Courtney Robertson's book (which WAS a tell-all sort of book). Emily kept it classy and honest. I love how she is using her platform to reach bachelor fans who probably aren't Christians.

    And thanks for the other reviews! I'm looking into a couple of these on GoodReads now. :)

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  30. I also love historical fiction so I'll have to check out Chris Cleve's book. I also really like slower paced character studies so this sounds like a book for me!

    Nellwyn | www.thecardinalpress.com

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  31. the Darkest Corners sounds like something I would enjoy. I love a good thriller. I saw emily Maryard's book on the shelf a few weeks ago in the library and almost picked it up, but decided against it. have you read Sean Lowe's memoir? I really liked it a lot. it was somewhat of a bachelor-tell-all, but more so if focused on his personal bachelor journey and his faith, which i thought was what the book memorable for me.

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  32. Your description of Witches of Cambridge reminds me of Sarah Addison Allen so I'm in. Even though you didn't love House by the Lake, I'm adding it because I love books like that. (alternating between past and present with a mystery thrown in and set in WWII). I just added Everyone is Brave to my list the other day because again, I love WWII. I read his Little Bee book and really liked it.

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