April was full of lots of busy, mindless chores, so I’m not at all surprised to see that I worked my way through 3 audiobooks this month. Definitely higher than my average and it sure beats listening to Pandora (although no slight is meant to Pandora—my Shake It Off station serves me well, even if it is probably more appropriate for a preteen sleepover than my average day of laundry and diaper changes).
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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson // I can almost guarantee that I never would have picked this up on my own—as much as I love reading historical fiction, historical non-fiction inspires the same fear in my heart as high school history textbooks. I read this with my new book club and loved it. Equal parts murder mystery and Chicago’s world fair historical guide, it almost read like a novel. And, like a total weirdo, I loved the gory murder chapters (which followed the life of H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer), and found myself hurrying through the chapters on the fair itself. A great read, though, all around (even for those hesitant about non-fiction).
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty // I loved Big Little Lies and hated What Alice Forgot, so reading Ms. Moriarty is always an adventure. This book—which I listened to on audio—was a fantastic blend of mystery, intrigue, and complex (sometimes heartbreaking) relationships. I was so hooked to the audio that I basically ignored my family and refused to take my headphones off until I finished it, all in one day.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne // Okay, I get it. This is very old and revolutionary for its time and completely visionary and perhaps something is lost in its translation . . . but on a reading enjoyment level, this was like negative 1 million stars. Absolutely felt to me like the sort of book you are assigned to read in high school that everyone skims through, writes a report on, forgets entirely within a day of finishing, and pushes aspiring readers to watch TV instead. Sorry Jules. Not for me. (I listened to the audio as fast as it would go, and only finished it for the sake of holding my head up high at this month’s book club.)
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley // Despite its popularity, The Winter Sea (by the same author) was not my cup of tea, so I was hesitant to read another Kearsley. But many Goodreads reviewers specifically stated that they didn’t care for Winter Sea but loved this, so I gave it a go, and just loved it. A great blend of historical fiction with a lovely modern setting, with mysticism and romance, too. I thought the characters were a bit dry, but found this hard to put down anyway.
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White // My motivation behind this title was based 100% on its ready availability from the library on audio. I’ve already almost entirely forgotten it, but I can recall that I found it silly and predictable. It certainly made for easy listening and has plenty of fans on Goodreads, but I guessed the big mystery within the first few chapters, and found every single character completely obnoxious. Not my favorite, but I got a few good guffaws out of it (not because it meant to be funny, though).