What’s on your bookshelf – April & May

This is a regular monthly post amongst several bloggers who love to read and anyone can join in. Here is my entry for what I read during April and May. If you’re a reader or want to be a reader, this is a good place to start to get some recommendations. I also rediscovered my Goodreads account and was wandering around there the other night getting more ideas for books to read. My list is getting long! But that’s okay, I’m enjoying my new “reading life” 🤗

I believe I learned of This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel from the group of reading bloggers here on WordPress. As soon as I read that it was about a transgender girl, I knew I wanted to read it. I enjoy reading stories about people and places that I’m not terribly familiar with or have no personal experience with. So, similar to The Night Watchman that I wanted to read because it was about Native Americans, so it was with this wonderful story about Poppy, a transgender girl. It’s a story of a loving family where the youngest child was born a boy but was transitioning to a girl. Poppy felt more comfortable, happier and more herself as a girl. It’s a story of how a family lives with someone who is different. It’s a story I think everyone should read to gain understanding of these sorts of families, how they make decisions and how they care for and love their children. It also brings to mind the fear of “the other” that is so prevalent in our society. There really is no reason to fear others who aren’t like ourselves. They are just people trying to make their way, trying to simply be themselves like every human. More tolerance is needed. I believe people need to gain an understanding of others and have compassion for them so I would definitely recommend this book.

When I read The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich, a couple of people on blogs recommended The Sentence and I just finished it. It was good but I thought The Night Watchman was much better maybe because it was more believable? Tookie, the main character in The Sentence is haunted by a ghost in Louise’s bookstore in Minneapolis. I liked the way she weaved the story such that at the end you discover more about the ghost and why it haunted Tookie. But there was too much that was unreal, it seemed far-fetched. I wish I had learned more about it before I read it. While it is a good picture of the pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, if I had known much of the book would be reliving these, I’d have passed on it. Living in the twin cities I’ve seen so much about the murder, the aftermath, the trial. I guess I needed more of a break before I read about it again. Louise is a good writer so I don’t want to discourage anyone who likes her, this just wasn’t the right time for me to read this book. I did, however, get more of an understanding of what Native Americans experience here in the twin cities in current times. In The Night Watchman you get a sense of how Native Americans lived on reservations in the 1950s. In that respect, I’m glad I read The Sentence as it opened my eyes a little more to the difficulties faced by Native Americans.

I started Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi while I waited to pick up my next book at the library. I was telling my daughter about This Is How It Always Is and we got to talking about other books. She recommended Homegoing and lent it to me. It’s about two half sisters who lead completely different lives during the height of the slave trade years. I’ve read the first two chapters and I’m intrigued.

I’m also reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, recommended by a Youtuber that I follow. She loves this author and it takes place during the Dust Bowl migration, another topic I know very little about. I am learning that I really enjoy historical fiction such as this book and The Muse by by Jessie Burton. I do love a good story too and 60 pages in, The Four Winds is proving to be just that in a historical setting.

Speaking of getting ideas of books to read, my spot for A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman is now 4! I started at 49 mid-February and there are 17 copies in circulation in my local library system. Popular book! I read about this one via the group of bloggers who love to read and post about the books they’ve read once a month. I’m looking forward to reading that one too.

The what’s on your bookshelf challenge is hosted by DebSueDonna and Jo. The idea is to share what you’re reading, what you’ve enjoyed lately, why they resonated with you, how they made you feel, and what you recommend. Feel free to join in if you like.

Credit for my featured image: Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash


Filed under What's on your bookshelf

11 responses to “What’s on your bookshelf – April & May

  1. Hi, Toby – That you for joining us for What’s On Your Bookshelf. I read ‘The Muse’ and really liked it. I read ‘A Man Called Ove’ and absolutely loved it. Our local library also has long waits for many of their books. So I totally get the excitement of finally being #4! :D

    • Yes! You were the one where I learned of those two books. And you were probably on your break when I reviewed The Muse. I loved it and cried at the end! So I’d guess I’m going to love A Man Called Ove too. 👍

  2. Hi Toby, thanks for joining us for What’s On Your Bookshelf? and I really enjoyed reading your reviews. Some of the books you have reviewed I have not heard of and probably not my usual genre. as I’m doing the 52 Book Club Challenge, I’m starting to step out of my genre comfort zone so may try a couple that you have suggested. I’ve had A Man Called Ove downloaded since it was published and yet to read it!!! I think it might be perfect for my prompt in the challenge ‘A book everyone has read’. I look forward to you joining us next month. As an aside, I love Goodreads!! Happy reading. x

    • Oh yes, I think A Man Called Ove would qualify as it does seem that everyone has read it! Except you and me 🤗 I think perhaps our tastes change with time? I used to read nothing but nonfiction but I decided to branch out, maybe because the last two nonfiction books I started I never finished. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to join in again next month 👍

  3. Jo

    I’ve heard so many good things about The Four Winds I really must read it. Thanks for linking up…

  4. I loved The Sentence, which I read before The Night Watchman, Both great books.

  5. Hi Toby, thanks so much for joining us for WOYBS. I loved A Man Called Ove and recently watched the movie (with a similar name) with Tom Hanks, it was surprisingly quite good! I also like Kristen Hannah.

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