April book report

My reading frenzy, which began in March, is still going strong. I read 11 books in April, which puts me 10 books ahead of my 52-book reading challenge this year.

Here are one- or two-sentences about each of the books I read in April, for future reference:

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Oh, to be Hemingway, when living the life of a starving artist meant maybe cutting short your Swiss ski vacation to a month instead of two! Maybe my favorite parts were Hemingway's scathing descriptions of F. Scott Fitzgerald (and Fitzgerald's various, um, insecurities).  

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I'd never read this — and I had no idea there is so much more to the story than the crazy lady in the attic. Talk about a sprawling novel.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

This book surprised me with its spare, matter-of-fact characterization that somehow still left me with a vivid portrait of the main character's complex and paradoxical emotions. I was also surprised by how much I resonated with Toibin's portrayal of the immigrant experience.

What If? by Randall Munroe

I listened to this at 1.5x speed while I was laid up with a concussion and it was such a laughably poor choice for what was supposed to be a brain-resting activity. I did enjoy it — and particularly liked Will Wheaton's reading.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and John Levithan

This started my dive into John Green's back catalog. I loved the characterization of both Will Graysons — one reminds me so much of a few of my 7th grade boys, it's painful.

Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami

I usually feel deeply satisfied reading Murakami even though I never understand his books, but this time I just did not feel invested. 

The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima

Lima is a colleague from our sister school and she is visiting this month to give a talk in my class, so I figured I should read her book ASAP! Happily, I enjoyed it — I found her made-up world compelling and her characters sympathetic. (I cried!)

Animal Farm by George Orwell

WOW. This was so much darker than I anticipated — almost unbearably dark.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I can see why this remains an enduring Green favorite. He has such a gift for respecting the intelligence and maturity of teenagers.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Being a middle school English teacher gives me an excuse to read fluffy YA novels. I read one of Smith's other books based on a blogger recommendation and I liked it enough to pick this up from the local library.  

No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre

I read this play for my book club — dark, but darkly funny. Makes me wonder who would be in my version of hell...