That Was The Month That Was… April 2020!

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April was such a strange month with the UK (and most of the world) on a lockdown. I’m housebound for much of the time anyway as I can’t physically leave the house without help but it’s still so weird not being able to go out even though my husband is home every day (he’s been furloughed). I’m in the high risk group so it’s all very worrying but day to day we’re doing okay. I’m so grateful that we have a small garden so can get some fresh air most days.

My reading and blogging mojo upped and left a while ago – partly because I was really unwell earlier in the year and then the anxiety about Coronavirus began mounting. Thankfully I’ve finally been able to finish some of the books I started weeks and weeks ago, and over the last week or so I’ve been reading more frequently. I’m hoping my reading mojo is properly on its way back and that my blogging will follow!

Whilst I haven’t been reading I have been catching up on some TV boxsets. My husband and I re-watched all of Life On Mars (which is brilliant!) and we finally finished watching Ashes to Ashes. Can’t believe we watched the first two series years ago and then never watched the final series. It was so good. We’ve started watching The Sopranos for the first time (somehow neither of us saw it when it was first on and we’ve both been keen to see it).  I’m still addicted to House of Games – BBC2 is currently showing repeats of the first series (which I’ve never seen) so I’m enjoying those episodes.

Anyway, I finished reading nine books in April (more than half were books I’d been reading on and off before April), which is a vast improvement on my reading in March. So without further ado…

Here are the books I read in April:

Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing by Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse

I bought this audio book on a whim when it was on a daily deal last year. My husband and I listened to it together during the first week or so of lockdown and it was so relaxing at a time of high stress. We discovered the TV series on BBC iPlayer that this book accompanies so we’ve since watched that too and it’s been such a tonic. I recommend both (even if you’re not into fishing!).

Strangers by C. L. Taylor

This novel was such a good read and was the first fiction that I managed to read over a short period in quite a while. I’ve already reviewed this one so you can find my full thoughts here if you’d like to know more.

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff

As is often the case for me I gravitate towards non-fiction when I’m struggling to read and I found I wanted to read about people overcoming very difficult times so this one caught my eye on my Kindle. I found this such a moving, and sad book but it also had hope and a sense of healing running through it. It’s sensitively written and I recommend it.

One of Them: From Albert Square to Parliament Square by Michael Cashman

I’ve had this book on my radar ever since I first heard about it last year so when I spotted it on my library app recently I immediately reserved it. It’s such an honest and moving memoir and I found myself completely lost in Michael’s story.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

This is a review book that I got from NetGalley fairly recently and I’ve been so keen to read it so picked it up. It took me a few days to read it but I did really enjoying it and I had no idea how it was all going to turn out!

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

This book is the one that really got me back into reading and I read it all in just two sittings! It’s such a good read and one that had me desperate to know what was going to happen and how things were going to end. I’ll be reviewing it for the blog tour in May but in the meantime I definitely recommend it!

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

As I began to get out of my reading slump I was craving a comfort read and decided to go back to the magic faraway tree – a much beloved series from my childhood. This is the first book and it was lovely to meet all the characters again.

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

This is a book that I’ve owned on ebook for around four years so when I spotted the audio book available on my library app I immediately downloaded it. I’m glad I did as I quite enjoyed the audio but I’m not sure I would have kept reading if I’d been reading the ebook.

Adele by Leila Slimani

This is another book I borrowed from my library’s app and I enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was quite as good as Lullaby but I still found it engrossing and I wanted to know how it was going to end.

 

April Blog Posts & Reviews:

Due to my reading and blogging slump I’ve only published two posts in April but hopefully May will be better. I managed to post my review of Strangers by C. L. Taylor earlier in the month and the on Wednesday I posted my WWW Wednesday Post where I shared what I’m currently reading, what I’ve recently finished reading and what I hoped to read next.   

 

 

How was April for you? I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know.

Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your April wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read. 🙂

25 thoughts on “That Was The Month That Was… April 2020!

  1. I think my favourite book of April has to be Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell – just brilliant! My husband and I used to watch The Sopranos and loved it. I generally don’t like violent programmes or very sweary things but the characters are so fascinating in The Sopranos that we watched every episode. I did close my eyes a lot though!

    • I can’t wait to read Hamnet, it’s calling to me from my TBR stack. I wanted to wait until my reading mojo was back so that I can properly get engrossed in it. I’m glad you loved it so much.
      We’re enjoying The Sopranos so far, it’s got such interesting characters that I can’t wait to find out more about them. I don’t like violence either but I can deal with it if it’s part of the story and not just there for the sake of it.

  2. Lovely to see you back. I had a reviewing slump but have pulled it back. I’ve been so busy with work and then the rest of life is so full of problem-solving and everything taking a million times longer than normal, just exhausting.

    I’ve fallen back on fiction myself. A few pony books last month and a Diana Wynne Jones, and I’m almost unable to put down “The Authenticity Project” at the moment (it feels like you’ve read this one but I’m not sure. If you haven’t, I think you would like it). I have a big pile of lovely non-fic to get into so am trying to ring-fence my weekends now.

    Books of the month were Helen Lewis’ “Difficult Women” and Candice Carty-Williams’ “Queenie” both full of strong but nuanced and often damaged women.

    Take care and hope May feels a bit easier. I’m really struggling, if that helps.

    • Thank you. Life is exhausting at the moment – it must be particularly hard working from home in these strange and stressful times. I can imagine it’s difficult trying to focus, and to find time for everything that needs to be done.

      I haven’t read The Authenticity Project but I recently bought it so I’m keen to pick it up now you’ve said you think I’d like it. I hope you’re still enjoying it. It’s especially wonderful at the moment to find a book that’s hard to put down.

      I started reading Queenie weeks ago and it feel by the wayside with life stress. I was very much enjoying it though so must try and pick it back up soon. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.

      Thank you. I’m sorry that you’re really struggling – if you ever want a chat please know you can message me. I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well. x

      • Thank you – you’re so sweet and kind. I have had a good run this morning and will have some reading later and those two things do make stuff feel better. I have finished The Authenticity Project now, really wouldn’t put it down for the last quarter, even staying up late to finish it, so can recommend it. Review might come out tomorrow …

  3. April was a strange month, wasn’t it, Hayley? I’m glad, too, that you can get out into the garden for fresh air on a lot of days – that makes such a difference. I hope you’re enjoying The Sopranos. I think it’s a very well-done show, and James Gandolfini was a great choice for Tony Soprano. He did an excellent job, in my opinion.

    • It really was! Being able to get outside in the garden does make a difference – the fresh air and hearing nature and other people around reminds us we’re not alone.
      I am enjoying The Sopranos – it’s so well-written and the characters are fascinating. I’m looking forward to watching more very soon.

  4. April was a strange month, wasn’t it, Hayley? I’m glad, too, that you can get out into the garden for fresh air on a lot of days – that makes such a difference. I hope you’re enjoying The Sopranos. I think it’s a very well-done show, and James Gandolfini was a great choice for Tony Soprano. He did an excellent job, in my opinion.

  5. I am glad you were able to get back to reading. I hope you stay safe and well.

    I have been eyeing The Only Plane in the Sky, The Trap, and The Guest List. Also…now I must check out Strangers.

    Enjoy May!

  6. Sounds like you had a good reading month still all things considered… Fingers crossed May will treat us better! Stay well and safe. xx

  7. Pingback: That Was The Month That Was… May 2020! | RatherTooFondofBooks

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