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Chapter 15 - Enchanted April

As you know my April was pretty full of travel and even now I'm just getting back into a routine. Sleep patterns have been disturbed, I have been catching up on printing photos for my travel journal (yes, I am that girl), and there are friends to see, chores to do, bills to pay. Aside from this I have actively been cleaning off my TBR shelves and yes the stack is bigger than just a pile of books by the bed.

I feel like I've missed a huge chunk of the new books out recently. I came across a list I made a few months back of those I wanted to look out for and here are a few which caught my interest.

After Annie by Anna Quindlen - This book was published in February and is Quindlen's first novel since 2018 as she has been busy writing nonfiction and essays. In this book the unexpected death of Annie Brown leaves her husband, her children, and her closest friend bewildered as to how to move forward without the woman who has been the lynchpin of all their lives. Her husband Bill is overwhelmed, her best friend Annemarie struggles with her bad habits, and her daughter Ali has to take on adult responsibilities she might not be prepared for. Annie has left them in good stead as she has taught them all how to move through a difficult time. This is described as a book of hope and change.

The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang - This was also a February release and is historical fiction of 1906 San Francisco. Two women, Gemma, an aging soprano, and Suling, a Chinese seamstress fall under the spell of Henry Thornton, a charming railroad magnate whose extraordinary collection of Chinese antiques includes the fabled Phoenix Crown, a legendary relic of Beijing’s fallen Summer Palace. When the San Francisco earthquake hits, Thornton disappears along with the Phoenix Crown. Gemma and Suling work together to solve the mystery.

The Paris Novel by Ruth Reichl - Ruth Reichl is best known for being the editor of the now defunct Gourmet magazine. She has written cookbooks and a few novels as well. Her latest is about a woman, Stella, who is given a gift when her mother dies - a one way ticket and a note reading "Go to Paris." Cautiously Stella decides to go and finds that life can be so much bigger than she ever knew. One reviewer called this "a mouthwatering adventure through the food, art, and fashion scenes of 1980s Paris."

The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War by Erik Larson - Historian Erik Larson has turned his sights to the months before dark horse Abraham Lincoln's election. It was a time of turmoil civilly and politically beset by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions. (Seems like Larson could have been writing about today!) Lincoln himself wrote that the trials of these five months were “so great that, could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them.”

Funny Story by Emily Henry - Finally here's a good beach book! Emily Henry is best known for her books from Beach Read (2020) on but she has been publishing since 2016. Her latest rom-com is about Daphne whose fiance realizes he is actually in love with his childhood friend, Petra. Stuck in Michigan without family or friends and a low-paying but rewarding job as a children's librarian, Daphne has to find a roommate fast. As it turns out Miles, Petra's ex is also looking for a place so they strike up an improbably friendship. They devise a plan to post deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures to make their exes jealous but it's all for show - right?

Any suggestions for other books I've missed this April or just this year in general? Let me know!


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