wrap up: April 2019

  1. Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li ★★☆☆☆ | review
  2. Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li ★★★★☆ | review
  3. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett ★★★★☆ | mini review
  4. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli ★★★☆☆ | review
  5. Medusa by Pat Barker ★★★★★ | mini review
  6. Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden ★★☆☆☆ | review
  7. Maus by Art Spiegelman ★★★★★ | review
  8. The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott ★★★☆☆ | review
  9. Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn ★★★☆☆ | review
  10. Lie With Me by Philippe Besson, translated by Molly Ringwald ★★★★☆ | review

Favorite: Maus by Art Spiegelman
Honorable mention: Lie With Me by Philippe Besson
Least favorite: Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Medusa is a short story published in The New Yorker, which I’m only including in this wrap up because I added it on Goodreads to share some interest over there, and I want my numbers to match.  You can read it here.


Other posts from this month:

Life updates:

Well, for once there’s a kind of big one… I got a new job!  The company I’d been working for since 2013 went out of business in February and I was hired mid-April as an editorial assistant for a local (but also kind of low-key very well known) publisher and I am so thrilled about it.  I was already working in publishing, but I really hadn’t been expecting to find a position like this without having to relocate, so it was just a wonderful case of the timing working out perfectly.  It’s been a bit of an adjustment though, which is why I haven’t been posting as regularly; for the past year I’ve been working from home which obviously allowed me ample blogging time, and having to write posts in the evening is exhausting as I’m sure most of you know.  But I’m going to try to get back into the swing of my reading life in May, not least of all because I’m still looking for the the 5 star novel that’s been eluding me all year.

Also, unrelated, but my friend Chelsea also visited for a weekend and got me a VERY COOL belated birthday gift: she had Sally Rooney (my queen) sign a book for me!


So, that was neat.

Currently reading: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister (audio), A Natural by Ross Raisin.

What was the best book you read in April?  Comment and let me know!

P.S. Follow me!  @ Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Letterboxd

29 thoughts on “wrap up: April 2019

  1. Happy belated birthday!

    Good luck with your new job and don’t worry, it takes a bit of time to find a routine that works for you. Working in publishing sounds super exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! It was a month ago but still, best belated gift ever!

      Ahh thanks! It’s definitely an adjustment; I still have a bit of down time at work to blog (e.g., right now), but I don’t have large chunks of time where I can get into the zone for writing posts, which is a shame. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, bookmarking Medusa! Congrats on the new job, that’s really serendipitous.

    I read 17 books in April, which is silly, and far more than my usual average. I think it was because of all the prize shortlists. My favourite was Daisy Jones and the Six.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s SO GOOD! I just love her writing. And thank you! I really couldn’t believe my luck with how this all worked out.

      17!! You’re killing it!! I feel like my monthly record is 15 or 16. I really loved Daisy Jones as well, which shouldn’t have been such a surprise after adoring Evelyn Hugo, but I hadn’t really been sold on the premise so I was kind of taken aback by how enthralling I found it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I usually read 8-10, this was a v strange month!

        I generally dislike books about music AND books set in the 1970s so Daisy Jones was a surprising hit for me as well – I haven’t read anything else by Reid.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Get ready for a SHOCKING opinion that has never before been expressed on booktube or WordPress: Evelyn Hugo is sensational! Very highly recommended, even if the summary doesn’t appeal to you – I had to be forced to read that book kicking and screaming because the whole ‘aging Hollywood starlet’ thing sounded so tedious, but I LOVED IT.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the new job – that sounds wonderful! You’ll settle into a new blogging schedule soon, I have no doubt.

    I’m reading Lost Children Archive at the moment and fuming that it too isn’t on the shortlist. There are longeurs, but again, I’d rather have a book that was saying something about our current moment with regards to migrants and refugees, and doing it, mostly, with thoughtful elegance, than something more objectively commercial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I’m sure I will, but it’s hard not to resent my loss of free time when I’ve had such a lax work schedule for the past… five years. Rip.

      Ha I hadn’t even known the word longueurs but that’s such a good one for the vocab. And I agree COMPLETELY. That book overstayed its welcome for me and certain elements didn’t come together in a way I’d have liked, but it’s still immeasurably stronger than anything on the shortlist, barring Milkman. Argh.


  4. Congratulations on the new job, it sounds amazing!!! I know it’s a tough transition, I’ve been working from home for almost two years now and although I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to transition out of it at some point, it’s SO hard to imagine! Kudos to you for making it happen, and being an editorial assistant sounds kind of wonderful.

    PS I love the cover of Bottled Goods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh thank you Ren! I’m really lucky that I’ve been loving my new job so much, but this has been… a rough transition. My hours are 8:30 to 5 and that start time is KILLING ME as I’m a chronic night owl but also need at least 8 hours of sleep to not feel like I’m on my death bed, so I’ve had to completely restructure my day. (At my last job I had a conference call at 10 am every morning and I would literally set my alarm for 9:59.) I knew working from home wasn’t going to be sustainable and again, I’m lucky that I found a position I’m so well-suited for, but MAN, what I would give to be able to do this job from the comfort of my bed.

      Isn’t that cover glorious?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same on all of this!!! I’ve never been a morning person and always hoped that would somehow change with time, but so far, not so good. Working at home has helped that immensely, it’s much easier to start at 9 when there’s no commute or getting ready. And I also need a full 8 hours, I really feel like a zombie trying to get by on anything else but at least at home no one can see what a mess I am if I didn’t sleep enough. But you’ll get used to your routine, finding a job that’s such a good suit for you can be enough to motivate you for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was complaining to my mom about having to get up so early now and I was just like ‘I don’t think I’m made for this world tbh.’ Where can I find a job that lets me go to bed at 1 and wake up at 10 and still allow me to have a fruitful career in my chosen field?! I don’t think morning people fully appreciate just how blessed they are…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know!!! I feel the same. I’ve read a little about it, especially when I worked away from home and there was so much pressure to start early and it stressed me out, I always had the impression people thought I was lazy and it’s not that at all. Everybody’s rhythms are different and mine have been consistent this way, I basically need to sleep from 12ish to 8ish and trying to bend outside of that framework is excruciating. It sounds like similar for you. I think there are a lot of people like that but everything is just rigged against us!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes for sure!!! All through high school I constantly felt physically ill and only after I graduated did I realize it had to do with waking up that early every day – it’s kind of amazing how much better I feel when I sleep properly. How I would love to live in a society that allowed more flexibility to suit individual sleeping schedules!


  5. Happy belated birthday to you as well! And congrats on the new job! A signed Sally Rooney sounds like the perfect way to celebrate. 🙂
    I’ll have to check out Medusa, it looks like something I would enjoy. I saw it over on Goodreads (or somewhere…) but keep forgetting to get to it.
    I hope you find your elusive 5-star novel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Sally Rooney is indeed the greatest gift!

      I hope you enjoy Medusa, it’s very short and not the most subtle text in the world but I found it so bold and mesmerizing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I see you read The Complete Maus. Have you read The Complete Persepolis? That’s another great memoir. I’m pretty new here, but I was wondering if you have any blog posts in which you write about your career in publishing? I have an MFA and an MA in creative writing, so I was connected to all sorts of small presses when I was in the thick of it. Lately, I’m adopting a more tao sort of attitude, which means I’m not writing, but hope to feel less anxiety when I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have not read Persepolis but that’s been on my radar for a while!

      I do not have any posts about my job(s)! I’ve only been out of college for… five years? or something like that so at this point I don’t think a post about my career would be terribly interesting! But maybe when I’ve had this job for a little longer… That’s very interesting though, have you written posts about your own career? A tao attitude is never a bad idea!


      • I think as a younger person in an interesting field, your perspective would be valued by a lot of people. I mean, who typically runs every press? An old white dude with antiquated ideas. Smaller presses are moving away from that, which is why they’re getting more recognition. I haven’t written a ton of posts about my own career. Currently, I’m the production manager at a community theatre, so I add comments each Sunday about how that’s going. It’s about to end, though, because I resigned. I have a tab on my blog with some of my published short stories, but I haven’t written a ton about my MFA program because it was….not a great experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is very true! Actually I was surprised at my office demographic, I live in Vermont which has the oldest population by state after Florida (like, every time I go to the movies I am the youngest person by at least 30 years), but my entire office barring my boss are in their 20s and 30s, and all women. It’s refreshing!

        Production manager sounds like a fascinating job but it must be exhausting! I do love the theatre but I’m not sure I have the stamina to work in that industry!


      • I am definitely worn out with the theatre. I resigned! It’s community theatre, too, which means the executive director wants the theatre to look professional, though most roles are done by volunteers. *gulp* I would like to shelve books all day. It’s my dream job, but no one believes me.


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