Monday, May 6, 2024

April Reading Wrap Up+

Look at that, another month done. This one was less eventful than last month (no ER visits for me this time around!) but it's still been busy. Mostly because of the whole "we bought a house" thing. The people we bought it from were staying there for a bit after we closed, but they ended up moving out way sooner than we thought so we've been getting some stuff ready for when we can actually move in, as well as working to show the current rental we're in and hopefully get it rented out before our lease is up. That's in between general work stuff. 
I didn't get quite the reading done that I wanted to, mostly because library hold timing was not working out in my favor. They either all come in at the same time or I have this window where I don't want to start something cos a library hold is going to come in any second and then I realize a week has gone by and don't get me wrong, love my podcasts, but still.

Let's get right into it. What did I read in April?

(Oh also, it turns out for whatever reason I still can't get images to upload and I will spend some time trying to figure it out cos WTF man but I'm sorry right now we are image less. Again.)

Total books read
The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwa
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World by Michael Pollen
Cut and Run by Ben Acker & Ben Blacker

The Kamogawa Food Detectives by Hisashi Kashiwa
What if you wanted to taste a very specific dish, a dish you couldn't just get yourself, one more time? And what if you liked Great British Bake-Off but thought it was just a bit too suspenseful and high-stakes for you? Well then, you are in luck because this book has you covered on both sides. The father-daughter-duo of Nagare and Koishi run a diner that is in a run down area with no sign out front, but they seem to do fine business, not only selling food but recreating specific meals for their clients. Lots of tasty meal descriptions, very little wondering if they're going to accomplish their goals. If you want to curl up with something nice, you could do worse. (That said, I have thoughts on their "Italian" dish which involved way more hot dogs and Tobasco than I think Italians would have considered, but what do I know?)
Rating: 3.75 stars

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Backman gets me every time, with his prickly characters that seem so unlikeable at first and manage to completely win me over without them having to do some dramatic 180 in behavior. It worked with Ove and it worked here with Britt-Marie. She starts out so persnickity and particular, aghast that she would be served tea in a plastic cup, not a mug and where is the coaster? She's awkward, she's a nag, she's very critical (even when trying to compliment someone) and when she finds herself at 60 with no home and no work, she doesn't have much choice but to take a job as a caretaker to a rec center in a small faraway town. And of course then she worms her way into my heart and was a bawling at points as Britt-Marie tries to find a place for herself and confirm that someone can see her and that she matters? Yes of course I was.
Rating: 4.75 stars

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
I didn't read 2 Backman's back-to-back on purpose. And I certainly didn't consider the order I read them in, but it turns out that Britt-Marie Was Here is sort of a spinoff/sequel to this one and I probably should have read them in the other order, if I gave any thought to this at all. But I didn't. Anyway. This time the main character isn't so unlikeable, probably cos she's a 7 year old girl with no friends except for her grandmother. Her grandmother who was a trailblazer as a doctor at a time when women didn't do that and now is mostly a chaos-causer and story-teller to her granddaughter. And then, her grandmother dies and leaves Elsa with a series of letters to deliver to various people in the house they live in (which has been divided into a bunch of apartments, including one for the previously-mentioned Britt-Marie). She learns about her neighbors, about her grandmother, about where the make believe stories from the Land of Almost Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas come from. This was harder for me to get into, but once again, I was won over in the end.
Rating: 4.75 stars

Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World by Michael Pollen
It's fine. It's a short-story-really-more-of-a-magazine-article history of caffeine, mostly from coffee and Pollen's attempts to briefly go off the stuff. It's fine. I read it because of the whole library hold timing thing and I wanted to read something and this was sitting in my Audible library and was short so there you go.
Rating: 3 stars

Cut and Run by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
This was another Audible Original I had sitting in my library but one I had never listened to before. This was more of a radio play wit ha full cast including D'Arcy Carden, Sam Richardson, Rachel Bloom, Ed Begly Jr and Meg Ryan, which is probably why I downloaded it in the first place (that and it was free). It's a tale of 2 lovable con artists who steal people's kidneys and it's less dark than that makes it sound (but it's not NOT dark cos still...kidney stealing). It's mostly funny and who doesn't love Sam Richardson? Anyone who says they don't is lying or hasn't seen him in anything and also lying. It was fun and short as a good in between waiting on those library holds to come in.
Rating: 4 stars

Total Pages Read


Female authors
0% - what the wha? I had to double check that, but alas, appears to be true

BIPOC authors

US authors



audiobook - 100%

Where'd I get the book
library - 60%
Audible - 40%

Decade published
2010s - 60%
2020s - 40%


Backman is from Sweden and his stuff is translated
Kashiwa is Japanese and his stuff is translated (and I have feelings about the translation being heavily British inspired and maybe that's how the original was written but I dunno...)