Finishing April with a bang!

This last week of April reading had been fantastic! Seven books – 1 play, 1 inspirational, 1 thriller, 1 kids fiction, 1 fiction, 1 historical fiction, 1 non-fiction/current affairs. I was all over the genres and it worked 🙂

Listed in the order I liked them best with my Instagram thoughts posted.

Leaving Coy's Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke
Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A Sherbrooke

Leaving Coy’s Hill is my last book of April and one of my favorites! Lucy Stone isn’t a trailblazer I knew anything about, except to hear her named linked to Susan B Anthony or Elizabeth Stanton. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on this one when it comes out next week (May 4).

Lucy, raised by an abolitionist father, became a skilled orator as she paid her own way through Oberlin in in the mid 1800s. Her skills caught the eye of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglas and she began touring the northeast for their anti-slavery group. Her experiences led her to start fighting for women’s rights as well.

This is a work of fiction, based on real people and facts. I loved every page and have already done some quick reading on Lucy and her family, so it inspired me to want to know more. I was swept up in the time period and what is was like for women at the time. I’m so glad that I read more about the women and men fighting the good fight for blacks and women when it was dangerous to do so. An immensely readable and inspiring novel.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey

This was my morning reading for over a month. Some mornings I only had time to read two pages, sometimes more, but my day was better either way. I always found ideas and thoughts to add to my journal.

After 200 interviews for her Sunday show, Oprah decided to compile a book with quotes or parts of interviews broken into 10 areas, like intention, forgiveness, and fulfillment. Some of the speakers that went into my journaling were Father Richard Rogers, Deepak Chopra, Thomas Moore, Devon Franklin, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Elizabeth Gilbert, Geneen Roth, Glennon Doyle, and many others. You can slide through some random pages I flipped through to take a look.

It’s a beautiful, heartfelt book that’s good for the soul AND would make a great Mother’s Day gift 🌷

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

I saw the 1957 movie, years ago, and was pleasantly surprised that I liked this at least as much. I’d like to see the movie again and do a comparison. The playwright, Rose, wrote the adapted screenplay so it’s probably as true as it can be to the play. My initial thought is that reading it was much easier to digest than the fighting and arguing over each other of the film.

Twelve men walk into a jury room charged with deciding whether a 16 year old boy lives or dies. Initially, only juror 8 (you never learn their names) is the only one who votes not guilty and he’s not even claiming the boy is innocent. Jeers, jokes, and fights ensue. What does it mean to be a juror in the American justice system? Is there justice in the system? Can regular citizens be expected to set aside prejudices and do the right thing (whatever that may be)?

This should be required reading for all and at 74 pages it will only take an hour or two, even less time than it would to watch the movie. A look at prejudice and faith in the ideals of America.

Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

Before there was Nomadland the Oscar winning movie there was Nomadland:Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. Older Americans, lost in the shuffle of a changing economy, are forced into making choices they never thought they would be forced to make, including getting rid of their biggest expense, their home. They move about the country in whatever kind of mobile home they could afford, finding jobs by companies that seem intent on taking advantage of them.

These people lived sometimes day to day, finding a place to move their vehicle and having enough food to eat. There is a subculture that Bruder covers well.

My greatest anger was at some of these employers who clearly take advantage of people who have no where else to go. Although Amazon stories have been told there are many others using this mostly older demographic as cheap labor.

While some chose this way of life or learned to embrace the perceived freedom, it was still a sad book. The people were resilient, but we have failed them as a country, vilifying instead of making their lives a little easier.

I both read and listened and much preferred reading. I liked the book but felt it could have been a bit shorter.

Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton
Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales by Virginia Hamilton

I read the last Virginia Hamilton book I have checked out of the library, Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon. If you are reading your children fairy tales, please make sure you add a Hamilton book or two to your list. These are so rich in history, which she does a great job of explaining in a paragraph or two at the end of each chapter, and so different that every child should be to exposed to them. Obviously, when they are of fairy tale age, but also at the time that slavery is introduced in their learning. These stories were passed down from slaves and Virginia makes them easier to read and understand.

Loved this 112 page book of 19 stories as much as I have loved all of her others.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

So, I read this book in my early 20s and fell in love with Jon and his journey to perfection, or Heaven. I’d never read anything like it. Reading it again in my late 40s, having more than doubled the age when I first read it, I’m less enamored with the tale, but still loved its lightness and spiritual exploration. Definitely a fantastical tale worth an hour of your reading time. Your day will be enriched.

Have you read this classic? What did you think of it?

Never Go Back by Lee Child
Never Look Back by Lee Child

This is the book that the second Jack Reacher movie was based on and,no surprise, many changes were made. This is the 18th book in the series and the first one with a hint of Reacher showing positive feelings for a happily ever after or kids. He’s also been recommissioned back into the Army.

This is not the first book to try if you haven’t read the others, too many anomalies from the first 17. But if you’ve read the series it was a fun diversion. I’ve grown to really like Dick Hill’s narration of Reacher and enjoy listening as much as reading these books.