What's on My Nightstand in April

I am having a seriously hard time coming to terms with time flying by.  It was a week into April when I realized it was not March any more.  The proof was on freezer foods marked with the wrong month.  These are the books that I read this month!  See what others are reading at What's on Your Nightstand!
Ring of Secrets, by Roseanna White.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable Revolutionary War spy novel.  It was an excellent book.  Read my complete review.
Villa Triste, by Lucretia Grindle.  OH MY!  It was a really awesome book.  One part present day mystery.  One part historical fiction.  I suspect it will be one of my top picks of the year.  Thank you, Carrie, for pointing me to it.  For a 600 page book, it went surprisingly fast!  (For conservative readers, there was some language in it, but not a lot.)

Non-Fiction Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson.  I read this over the past three months or so sitting in my van waiting for the afternoon bus.  This was a good book, though I must admit I did a good bit of scanning.  Sally speaks about moms building relationships with their children by serving them.  (I read aloud in the mornings when we all wait together.)

13 Gifts, by Wendy Mass.  Young Adult.  On trips the library I kept noticing this book, and finally picked it up, knowing nothing of it or its author.  I actually really enjoyed it, though Tara's stealing in the beginning of the book was a bit tough to read through.  Tara's parents send her to her near-stranger aunt's home for the summer while they go overseas to work.  In Willow Falls, nothing is as it seems.  Tara makes friends for the first time in her life and learns many lessons all before her thirteenth birthday. My only complaint is that though there was a consequence for some of her ill-chosen behavior, there was no admittance of guilt to the one she attempted to wrong.  I appreciated that the things that seemed almost supernatural during the story were explained away at the (surprising) end of the book.   I do recommend this and intend to seek out other Mass audio books.

Churchill, by Paul Johnson.  A biography of Winston Churchill.  I enjoyed it.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney  .  I decided to listen to this book to see for myself what it was all about.  It's middle school drama from a boy's perspective...all in diary format.  I am not a big fan, but can see why boys of that age would like it.  Some negative content would be name calling, deceiving parents, and things like that.

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri by I think last month we listened to the book as a family.  This month we watched the movie.  (I prefer the book, and my 6 year old did, too!  I did not care for Clara in the movie.)

Did Not Finish
The Sacred Cipher, by Terry Brennan.  I read the first 100 pages of this book.  Though I really liked the idea of it, I just couldn't connect to the characters and could not finish it.  I may try again in the future though because I do see the potential!  (This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.  That is my honest review.)
~ If you have read Villa Triste and enjoyed it, what else would you recommend for me?
~ Be sure to enter my giveaway for six board books!  Just leave a comment on the post to enter!  It's low-entry!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}


  1. Replies
    1. YES! Thankfully, my library had a copy. (Actually, the county library I prefer had a copy. My own county library did not.) I would also say it's worth owning if you like to keep your books. It's one I would read again!

  2. Villa Triste sounds interesting, though I'd have a hard time with a 600+ page book - I need to reduce the stack I have first before getting into a long one.

    It's been a long time since I read Heidi.

  3. Villa Triste sounds intriguing - adding it to my library list now.

  4. I'd enjoy the Churchill -- I'd like to know more about him. I read a Sally Clarkson book recently and agree with you -- good reading, although I scanned a lot as well. Pleasant, affirming stuff. Enjoyed your "Wimpy Kid" take and doubt I'd like the format either, but like you can see how they'd appeal to boys. Have a good month!

  5. Ring of Secrets looks like my kind of read!

    It is too bad that Heidi can't be turned into a decent film. I've watched several version and they are all badly done.

  6. Hey YAY! So glad you liked Villa Triste. I so loved that one!!

    And hey, hey, HEY....you're winning in the unspoken "Churchill wars" in which I keep saying I'm going to read more OF him and ABOUT him and never manage to do so. :P



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