Here we are at the end of April. I think these monthly book recaps I’ve begun doing make my days fly by even more quickly! Grace Grits Reads for April took me across the Pyrenees and deep into the “Wood Wide Web”. I visited with old Avonlea friends and sat bedside with Lucy Barton. ♬♪ Do you know the Pee-can man? the Pee-can man? the Pee-can man? ♬♪ I predict soon you will.
by Kristin Hannah
This was the first book I read in April, and it was FANTASTIC. I became so engrossed in this tale of two sisters during French occupation of WWII, I had a difficult time accomplishing much of anything other than reading. This was one of those beautifully written stories I didn’t want to end, all the more powerful because the people and events depicted were inspired by truth. When it did end, I had to sit with it for a while before starting another book.
This book made me: reflect, think, worry, weep at the end. I even lost weight because how could I eat when Isabelle was standing in food lines for pitiful rations? Read it if you haven’t already and ponder, what would you do?
My favorite sentence: “What good is safety if she has to grow up in a world where people disappear without a trace because they pray to a different God?”
Anne of Avonlea
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
After mourning the ending of The Nightingale, I needed something easy and light, so I chose the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series. This one isn’t as entertaining as the first, but it’s comfortable nonetheless, like visiting with a favorite aunt who gives you a glass of sweet tea and makes you feel happy inside.
This book made me: think about how much writing has changed. Each person, place, and thing is paired with a flowery adjective just as we learned in fifth grade. Each action verb has its own qualifying adverb. And my how the times have changed! Characters over forty have both feet ankle deep in the cold, cold grave.
My favorite sentence: “One can’t get over the habit of being a little girl all at once.”
My Name Is Lucy Barton
by Elizabeth Strout
I was thrilled to find this book in my Little Free Library! I loved Olive Kitteridge so this one’s been on my list since it was released. My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short read about relationships, and how so much of what’s said isn’t said at all. Know what I’m saying? I enjoyed it, but felt it was a bit melancholy as real life often is.
This book made me: Read between the lines and once again be grateful I have always had a wonderful relationship with my Momma. Some girls don’t.
My favorite sentence: “It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.”
The Hidden Life of Trees
by Peter Wohlleben
This is one of the most unusual books I’ve “read” in a long time. (I listened to the audio version.) Part botany lesson, part tree fairy tale, I learned some fascinating things about how trees thrive and communicate. I’ve always felt a little sorry for the lone tree standing in a farmer’s field. And know I know why. This book will not appeal to those without an imagination. It is certainly not for those who believe science is largely made of alternate facts.
This book made me: look at trees in a new way.
My favorite sentence: “Every walk in the forest is like taking a shower in oxygen.”
The Pecan Man
by Cassie Dandridge Selleck
As soon as you finish listening to my musical pairing, buy this book. The Pecan Man is a rich, southern read about a homeless man, a handful of lies that grow and multiply, and the relationship between two women who felt like family to me. I listened to this story (the reader was excellent!), so I know in this particular instance pecan is pronounced PEE-can. (Which is not how I pronounce the nut.) Seriously, add this book to your Goodreads list and read it asap so we can discuss. I have a soft spot for the character named Grace. 😍
This book made me: look up the author and send her a gushing (not a stalker) email about how much I love her book. I did a jig when I realized The Pecan Man has been selected for Arkansas’s 2017 If All Arkansas Read The Same Book program! This means, the author will be touring Arkansas soon. I for one will be in attendance and forming an Arkansas PEE-Can Man Fan Club. Let me know if you want in.
My second favorite sentence: “Once you tell a lie, you have to keep telling’ and telling’ and telling’ to make it stand.”
My favorite-favorite sentence was something about looking at the world through a lens colored by skin color, but since I listened to the story and didn’t write the exact phrase down, I can’t recall it verbatim. You’ll recognize it when you read it.
That’s it for April!
What are you reading? Any recommendations for May?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
“J’Attendrai” – Rina Ketty