What I read in April

It’s the fourth month of this year and I finally picked up reading again. I surprised myself and finished four – very different, I might add – books, after hardly reading anything between January and March. 

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder (★★★☆☆)

I picked up this book after seeing that the film had won awards at the Golden Globe. I haven’t seen the movie yet but wanted to read the book first. It’s an interesting, sometimes sobering read about the retirement system (or lack thereof) in the United States, although Bruder points out that this is not what nomads would like the reader to take away from it. I wish the book had been organized a little differently, as I felt that the author was “jumping” around (between stories and chronological order), but it was still a very good read and I am hoping to see the movie adaptation soon.

Anti-Cancer Living: Transform your life and health with the mix of six by Lorenzo Cohen (★★★★☆)

As the title suggests, this wasn’t a “fun” book. I chose to read it when I learned that my best friend has (yet again) to go through cancer treatment and I just wanted to educate myself and be able to support her better. It’s hard being so far away when someone goes through such a hard time (for the umpteenth time) and I wish there was more than phone calls/Whatsapp messages and the occasional card to let her know I am there for her. Reading this book won’t easily change the situation, but I feel like I have more of an understanding of what she needs right now. The mix of six talks about six different areas in one’s life (when you deal with cancer) where you can retain some control and how building social and emotional support; managing stress; improving sleep, exercise and diet; and minimizing exposure to environmental toxins work together to promote an optimal environment for health and well-being.

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris (★★★★☆)

I forget how I came across this book, but I was instantly drawn to it by the title and cover. I knew I was in for a heart-wrenching story. Based on an actual photo taken in 1948 showing four children sitting on their front porch steps with a sign saying “4 Children For Sale – Inquire Within”, the story starts with a photograph, taken by young reporter Ellis Reed, who’s on assignment in a small town and finds himself taking a random photo of two young boys sitting on a rundown porch, holding a sign “2 Children For Sale”. Then we learn what happens when the photo lands on the desk of his editor.

I first thought the book was going to be about the children and the circumstances that led to such a haunting photo. However, the book takes a different turn and focuses on the consequences of having taken this photo in the first place. The first half of the book held my interest much more than the second half with one too many twists and turns, but it’s still a very engaging story and every chapter kept me wondering what was going to happen next.

I will teach you to be rich by Ramit Sethi (★★★★★)

If you’re into personal finance and budgeting at all, you might enjoy this book by Ramit Sethi, who writes a blog under the same title. It’s written in a casual, very personable way and has a lot of great tips on how to get your finances in order if you need some guidance. The book is organized as a 6-week program with action steps and mostly geared towards people in their 20’s and 30’s, but there were still some benefits for older readers.
Did I agree with everything in this book? No, but lots of things gave me food for thought, and other things confirmed that I’ve been making some good choices along the way. Will this book make you rich? Unlikely. (Well, define ‘rich’, I guess). But it’ll teach you some important basic financial concepts and give you a sense of control about your own financial future.

What did you read in April? Anything you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. I just reserved Sold on a Monday from the library! Sounds SO interesting!

  2. I’m hoping to watch Nomadland at some point! I just need to be in the right state of mind to sit for a movie for that long! Ha! That is challenging with my early bedtimes these days…

    The best book I read in April was probably “The Raise a Boy” – it wasn’t a ‘fun’ read as it talks about the sexual assault that happens to young boys at school/in locker rooms and delves into consent and how to discuss it with your sons. Very important read for a mom of boys, though!

  3. Wow! You read some intense books!

    I am interested in watching Nomadland but heard it’s a tough hang. I am curious if it will jump around like the book does.

    I hope your friend is doing okay <3

  4. That anti-cancer book sounds really interesting! I might have to get it.

    I really want to read Nomadland and watch the movie, but I need to be in the right headspace for it, I think!

  5. I am sorry to hear your friend is battling cancer yet again. I hope she doesn’t loves faith/hope. What good friend you are to read up and try to support from afar.

    On another not the “Sold on Monday” book is on my TBR for a while now. Seems like I need to move it up a bit.

  6. Sold on a Monday would likely make me sob the entire way through.
    Can you even imagine the desperation that leads you to *sell your children*? I don’t have kids, and… wow. Just, wow. I appreciate you reviewing it, though, as now I am so curious about the phenomenon, and may have to make my way (slowly) through the book to learn a bit more. (Although it sounds as though that part of the story was dropped a bit…)
    Also appreciate hearing about a non-Dave Ramsey money person – so thanks!

    1. Also, I am so sorry about your friend. Your support – however you can provide it – is still support! I hope that she is doing okay.

      1. Thank you, Anne. She’s hanging in there.

    2. “Sold on a Monday” was a good book, but don’t expect more background of the circumstances that lead to someone contemplating “selling their children”. The story does not include any historical information on the phenomenon (other than that the depression lead to people making desperate choices). It’s still a good book ;)

      Haha, and yes, a non-Dave Ramsey money person… ;)

      1. You know, if I had read your review more carefully, I would have realized that about Sold on a Monday… I actually looked for a nonfiction book on the topic, but have come up empty. I’ll let you know if I find anything on it. I might mention it to my (retired) father. He likes research projects like that. Ha.

        And I am so glad your friend is hanging in there.

Comments are closed.