I get giddy about a good reading month, and April certainly was one. I didn’t read a lot in April. I only read nine books, which isn’t a lot for me. But of those, I gave five perfect grades.
Five books I loved is a successful reading month for me, for sure.
My reviews of my favorite books of April are below.
My Favorite Books of April
I gave two nonfiction and three fiction books perfect grades in April. Here are my reviews.
The Body Keeps the Score
It took me a while to get through The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, I think mostly because of the part of the book that is super heavy on neuroscience. But as someone who studies emotional trauma, I think this book is one of the most vital I’ve read in years.
It’s about how the brain responds to trauma, and the body physically holds trauma in the most unexpected ways. Dr. van der Kolk is a top researcher in this area and sprinkled studies throughout the book. I’m not sure how many times I said, “That’s absolutely fascinating” while I was reading.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More by Janet Mock gave me so much to think about. The book is about Janet growing up young, Black, poor, and trans, and the lengths she went to just to become her true self.
Before reading this book, I always thought of parents and family being the biggest challenge for trans people in their youth. It was naive of me to think that, and I now realize how many practical obstacles some trans people face.
Final Girls by Riley Sager has such a unique storyline. “Final girls” is what people call the three women who were the only ones left alive in mass killings.
Quincy Carpenter is a final girl. She went to a cabin in the woods with a group of five college friends 10 years ago. She was the only one who survived slaughter by a mental patient.
Quincy is trying to live her life without acknowledging that she’s a final girl. She’s doing OK. She has a baking blog, a fiance, and a friendship with the police officer who found her all those years ago. She also has terrible nightmares and anxiety.
Then Sam, another final girl, shows up to meet Quincy after the third in their group is found dead. Quincy has to figure out what’s motivating Sam and learn what she’s kept blocked from her memory all these years.
The Book of Cold Cases
I felt like I waited forever for The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James. I was ready to read it as soon as I heard it was coming out. It didn’t disappoint. My only complaint is that it may have a few too many plotlines.
One of the reasons I loved this book is that the lead character, Shea Collins, is a true crime blogger. Her website is called the “Book of Cold Cases.” Shea decides she wants to interview Beth Greer, the rich prime suspect of two murders back in 1977. Beth agrees. But the more Shea learns about Beth, the less she understands. Is Beth manipulating her too? Is she guilty? Or is she hiding the identity of the true Lady Killer murderer?
The Overnight Guest
True crime writer Wylie Lark is snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s researching and writing her next book.
Then Wylie finds a child in the snow outside the house. When she searches for the child’s mother, she ends up finding more than she expected. Pretty soon, Wylie’s past and present collide as she tries to keep herself and the child safe until the storm passes.
There they are, my favorite books of April! I hope you find something on the list to read and love. As always, happy reading!