Want to know what books I finished in April? In 2019, I’m sharing the books I read each month and what my honest thoughts were on those books. If you love books, you don’t want to miss this post! (You can see all of my book reviews for this year here.)
5 Books I Finished in April
I set a goal to finish 80 books in 2019 and a second goal that 40 of those books will be books I already own. (You can see which books I picked to read from those I already own here).
By the way, I’m truly loving using GoodReads to track my reading. You all were right! It is really motivational to see my progress! And I’ve been ahead on my goal for the last month!
I finished 5 books in April — yay! Here’s what I read + my honest thoughts on each of the books:
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This book had been highly recommended multiple times. When I found it available on Libby, I “checked it out” and started listening to it. Honestly, I almost didn’t keep listening because she has such a strong and brash personality.
But I’m glad I stuck with it because her story was fascinating and sad… but worth listening to/reading. I really had no understanding of what Scientology was before this book and while I know that this is just one person’s story, it was shocking to hear of her experiences in the Church of Scientology, what she was required to do, how she was mistreated, and how much money she paid into the Church as a member.
Note: There is strong and crass language in this book.
Verdict: 3 stars
After I read Hillbilly Elegy, multiple people said I had to read The Glass Castle. Again, I found it was available on Libby, so I checked it out.
It’s one of those stories that I don’t know how to describe. It was engaging and thought-provoking, but also incredibly sad and haunting.
It’s the story of a woman who grew up in a very dysfunctional and poor family… and yet, despite the dysfunction, there’s also this layer of mystique that she paints her parents in. Like, you want to really dislike them, but you can’t fully allow yourself to because they also have these likable traits, too.
The book left me wishing I could have a conversation with the author and her siblings. It was also one — like Hillybilly Elegy — that I wished I would going through in a Book Club setting so I could discuss my big and sometimes disparate feelings about the book.
Note: There is language in the book and also some various details and stories that could be triggering, depending upon your background.
Verdict: 3 stars
This book is part memoir, part self-help. Elisabeth Hasselbeck shares lessons she learned from being on Survivor, being on The View, being fired from The View, being co-host on Fox & Friends, and ultimately deciding to leave television and focus on being a wife and mom.
I appreciated her candid honesty about her struggles with pushing herself too hard, trying to do too much, and not acknowledging her limitations and capacity. I also loved the behind-the-scenes stuff she shared about being on the various shows she’s been on.
My complaint with the book is that I wanted more. 🙂 I would have loved to hear even more details on what it was like to be on Survivor, be on The View, co-host Fox & Friends, be wife to a NFL player, and come home full-time to be a mom.
Verdict: 3 starts
I wanted so much to like this book. I loved Chasing Excellence and was hoping this would be a similar book.
It’s written by CrossFit Games Winner, Jason Khalipa, and the premise of the book is promising. He encourages you to live life with the AMRAP mentality.
(If you’re not familiar with CrossFit terms, AMRAP means As Many Reps As Possible. It’s basically where you push yourself as hard as you can go.)
I enjoyed some of the personal stories and inspirational tidbits he shared, but I felt like the book was sort of all over the place, not well edited, and it was hard to follow because it kept jumping from one part of his story to another and then back again.
In addition, I struggled with figuring out what he was inferring when he encouraged people to live with the AMRAP mentality. How does this actually look in real-life? He talks about being fully present when you are working on, or working on your business, or hanging out with your family, but I would have loved for him to unpack that a lot more.
Clearly, most people disagreed with me on this because it has 72 reviews and every single one of them is 5 star! So yeah, you might completely disagree with me on this one!
Verdict: 2 stars
This was — by far — the best book I finished in April! Many of you told me you thought I should read it as soon as possible and you were so right.
It’s the tragic and true story of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals and how they played out in the lives of the children who actually went through this horrific experience.
Truth be told, I had never heard of the Tennessee Children’s Home scandals before listening to this book — and I live in Tennessee! I have asked multiple people who live here and they haven’t heard of it either.
It’s heart-wrenching and horrible and I think a powerful reminder of how money can cause people to make terrible decisions that can hurt people in devastating ways.
The book is well-written and engaging and appears to be very well-researched historical fiction. It is also the beautiful story of sibling love and how trauma and devastation doesn’t have to define your future.
Note: There are a lot of situations in the book when it comes to abuse that could be very triggering to people, depending upon your life experience and trauma. The book doesn’t give nitty-gritty details, but it’s enough that it could be very triggering.
Verdict: 4 stars
What have you been reading recently? Any books you think I really need to read soon? I’d love to know!