Month in Review: April 2016

Book of the Month

The last Sunday of the month was co-opted by Elizabeth Goudge Day, so here’s a slightly later-than-usual monthly review post. I’m putting together a wrap-up post, but in the meantime, do please visit my review of The Rosemary Tree, enter the giveaway (US only, open till midnight tomorrow), and leave me a comment if you posted a review on your own blog, so I can include it in the round-up. I’m so excited to share this event with you.

For my Book of the Month I’m picking one that I actually read at the tail end of last month, and will be reviewing at the end of this one: Frances Hardinge’s latest YA novel The Lie TreeΒ — a delicious combination of history and myth and science and suspense. Hardinge is now officially a new favorite author of mine, and I look forward to seeking out more of her books. Have you read any? What are your favorites?

In real life, I’m looking forward to facilitating a New England book blogger get-together in the Boston literary district on May 22. If you’d like to join us, tweet me at @LoryECBR, or email me at lory AT emeraldcitybookreview DOT com.



  • Galvanized was a wonderfully rich and rewarding collection by Vermont poet Leland Kinsey, perfect for the poetry category of my Reading New England challenge.
  • Also for Reading New England (and the 1938 Club), I read the classic play Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
  • I was pleased to be part of the blog tour for the newest Maisie Dobbs historical mystery, Journey to Munich.
  • And for Brooding About the Brontes, I reviewed The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, a literary romp that I enjoyed more than I expected to.


Other Books Read

  • The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell – Review to come
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown – Review to come
  • Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery – Reread
  • Emily’s Quest by L.M. Montgomery – Reread
  • The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida – Doing Dewey’s Nonfiction Book Club
  • Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill – Reading New England
  • Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovich
  • Persepolis II by Marjane Satrapi
  • The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett – Review to come
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman – Reading New England
  • False Colours by Georgette Heyer – Reread
  • The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard – Review to come


Other Features and Events


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

24 thoughts on “Month in Review: April 2016

  1. I’ve actually had a copy of Frances Hardinge’s novel ever since I saw this wonderful review at way back in January, and even though it’s since won the Costa Prize I’m saving it up for just the right moment. I don’t know if she’s written any others but if she has I suspect I’ll be searching those out too.

    As always, Lory, I’m in awe of your completed reading schedule this month, both in quality and in quantity: as I’m currently wending my way through that exquisite doorstop Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell I think my average will be well done on my usual modest monthly achievement.


    1. Chris, you have got some treats in store. Though I didn’t review Cuckoo Song, I think you would enjoy it as well — the publicity makes it sound like a creepy horror book but it’s much more complex and moving than that. And Strange and Norrell are certainly worth spending a good chunk of reading time on.


  2. Oooh, Lory, I’ve read several of Frances Hardinge’s novels now – The Lie Tree, Fly By Night, Face Like Glass and Cuckoo Song – and the bad news is that I loved all of them so I can’t recommend one to you. Just all of them. πŸ™‚ Happy reading!


  3. I’ve never heard of Francis Hardinge before now – thanks for the introduction! I will definitely be checking out her books.
    I just read your guest post about children’s books inspired by the Brontes. Great picks! I re-read all the Anne books last year, and think it would be fun to do the same with Emily, but just haven’t gotten to it yet…
    You read a lot of great books this month. Looking forward to the reviews!


    1. I re-read Emily of New Moon to refresh my memory for the guest post, and then I couldn’t stop with just one book. I’ll have to do Anne as well at some point.

      I hope you love Frances Hardinge’s books too! It’s a pleasure to find a really creative and original author.


  4. I cannot wait to read The Lie Tree. It’s out now? I thought it wasn’t out in the US until May; anyway, I am really excited to read it. I thought Cuckoo Song was superb, and Frances Hardinge just seems to be getting better and better as an author.


    1. I read an ARC, but it does seem to be available now — Powell’s seems to have it in stock anyway. You are right to be excited…it’s terrific.


  5. How wonderful first to live in New England and to be organising a get together. Do hope you enjoy it. Looks like a very busy month. I am off to read your Twitter discussion!


  6. Oh…I remember reading the Emily books when I was young. I was/still am a huge Anne fan and recently bought myself a new copy of the books. I reread/listened to the whole series a few years ago and am now starting to collect copies of just the first book…but I never thought to reread the Emily series…just might do that! The blogger get-together sounds like so much fun!!!

    Hope you have a great May!
    ~Kristin @ Always With a Book


    1. Reading the whole series was a nostalgic treat. Now I want to read/reread some more Montgomery…I hear The Blue Castle is a good one. Happy May to you!


  7. I just put together that Fly By Night and Cuckoo Song have the same author after reading this! I adored Fly By Night. I got Cuckoo Song for my classroom library because the kids always want more “scary books” and that cover is sure creepy. I might actually read it myself, now that I realize who it’s by and since you say it’s more thoughtful than horror. I’ll be looking for The Lie Tree too.


    1. I’ve got to read Fly by Night ASAP. And I definitely recommend Cuckoo Song. I do not like books where the horror is just there for thrills, but Hardinge uses it to explore questions of identity and relationships in a really interesting way.


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