Find out more about your favorite book blogger. See what’s new with Rachael – what she’s been doing, reading, and loving this month.
April is over!
Can you hear my sigh of relief at your house? I seriously thought this month might never end.
Between quarantine, homeschooling, and rainy days, April was an insanely long month for me.
When I started working on this post, I was worried I’d have nothing to say. What do you say about being home practically all the time?
Yet, looking back, there was plenty of good in my month. My reading wasn’t great, but I was able to get out and about in nature some – and not just weeding my flower beds.
I might not have made exactly the best lemonade from April’s lemons, but I will say that my dark clouds had some silver linings.
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What’s New With Rachael
I started training for cycling season. Every year, my best friend and I train for a women’s only bike ride in September. Over the years, we’ve slowly increased our distance and want to train for the 60-mile ride this year. Luckily it’s not hard to stay six feet apart while cycling, so our training was social distancing approved.
My other social distancing approved activity: snowshoeing up the abandoned ski runs at Alta Ski Resort with my husband and sister-in-law.
I picked up the neglected books on my TBR. I started the year with five books that I own but have never read – and three of them are around the 1,000-page mark. Running out of options, I finally picked up the first of those behemoths, a collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. If I read three short stories a day, it will take me a month to read.
I became an expert at Zoom meetings. My six-year-old has a show and tell video conference with her class every day and another one once a week with her reading group. My eight-year-old meets with his class three times a week to discuss the book Summer of the Monkeys. Every Sunday, both my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family do a video chat with all the siblings. Suffice it to say, I’m really glad I bought a laptop on Black Friday last year.
April Reading List
Books Read in April
*House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon ★★★
*The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner ★★★
Reading People by Anne Bogel ★★★
Refugee by Alan Gratz ★★★★
The Guest List by Lucy Foley ★★★★
*Maggie’s Place by Annette Haws ★★
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller ★★★★★
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James ★★★★
*The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson ★★★
168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam ★★★★
I’m constantly adding books to my to-read list on Goodreads. Besides all the upcoming releases I’m dying to read, here are April’s additions to my TBR:
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
Slade House by David Mitchell
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Stuff I’m Loving
Quarantine Survival Kit
Down Dog. A yoga app where you can customize your level, time, style, and focus. I love how I can tailor my yoga session to my needs. Since downloading, I’ve been doing yoga every morning and evening. Website
GeoFS. A free web-based flight simulator that has provided endless hours of entertainment for my children. Website
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. My kids have had a blast learning to draw with author and illustrator Mo Willems (The Pigeon books, Elephant & Piggy series). Website
Ticket to Ride. Also known as the train game, Ticket to Ride is the best board game ever made. Every year, my family holds a tournament across all the different versions. To connect during self-isolation, we’ve taken to playing together on the app. Website | App | Amazon
Tommy Boy. After a very emotional day, I just needed a laugh, and this ridiculous Chris Farley and David Spade movie was just the ticket.
Moneyball. Who knew a movie about baseball statistics could be so funny? The clever dialogue and great acting by Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill made this a great movie to watch.
Slumdog Millionaire. Usually, I think critically acclaimed movies are overrated, but this Academy Award winner for Best Picture is fantastic. While playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, 18-year-old Jamal knows every answer because each sparks a memory of his life growing up as an orphan in the slums of India. With brilliant acting and directing, the film is intensely powerful.
What’s New on Booklist Queen
- What’s New: Highlights & Favorites from March
- 50 Incredible Five Star Books to Read
- 50 Stellar Books About Bookstores, Libraries, and Books
- Reading Lately: Quick Lit Reviews from April
- May 2020 Book Releases: The Best New Books Out Now
- Book of the Month May 2020 Selections: Which Will You Choose?
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What’s new with you this month?