The Best Books I Read in April 2022
I finished 18 books in April and only three of them were 3-stars or less, that’s a record for me! I’ve read so many great books lately that it’s hard to pick what I think was “best”, so I’m doing my best here to represent all the different genres I read this month.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication May 3, 2022 This gorgeous novel is my favorite release of 2022 so far. It’s a story about grief, yet it’s also hopeful and life affirming. There’s a large cast of characters, and the chapters give us their viewpoints, including that of a Giant Pacific Octopus named Marcelle. The writing is beautiful and poignant. I loved the descriptions of the sea creatures in the aquarium that is a frequent setting throughout the book. I also appreciated how these characters all showed up for each other in different ways. I highly recommend this one for readers of literary fiction.
Cultish by Amanda Montell
This book is so interesting, I didn’t want it to end. That’s saying something for a non-fiction read! Yes this book is about cults, but what it’s truly about is language. Montell explores the language cults use and why it works on getting members to stick around. It may seem far fetched to say Cross Fit or Mary Kay is a cult, but once you learn about the ways they use language, it makes sense. And of course, not all cults are created equal. This is something the author stresses from the start. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. She kept the material engaging and the pacing was perfect. I highly recommend this one for those interested in cults and/or language.
In the Weeds by BK Borison
Available on Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy a romance novel more than I did Lovelight Farms (book one in this series) but this one more than exceeded my expectations. Second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes, and I’m a sucker for one night stands that lead to love. This story does both of those so well. Everything I love about the romance genre is here: great characters, hot sex (outside!), humor, and heaviness. Evie and Beckett are wonderful characters separately and together. I appreciate that they each had an individual journey aside from their one as a couple. Returning to the setting of Lovelight Farm was a joy, and I was happy to catch glimpses of characters from the first book. I highly recommend this series, but start with the first book.
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Abby Jimenez is one of my top favorite romance authors. She combines sweet love stories with difficult subject matter and steaminess. This one in particular is especially great, with a component of magical realism, which is a favorite genre of mine too. Here we have Alexis, a successful doctor who is a disappointment to her parents. When her car slides into a ditch, she meets Daniel and his charming small town. Though the two live in separate worlds, they begin spending time together and a one night stand turns into something more. The big question is whether either can compromise enough to live in the other’s world. While this is a fun story, it’s also heavy. It deals with domestic violence and familial troubles. Alexis’ life as a doctor is difficult and hard on her. I enjoyed her and Daniel as individuals and it was easy to root for them to be together. Daniel is a cinnamon roll but he’s got his own issues going on as well. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance.