Month in Review: April 2016

Posted April 26, 2016 by Lory in blog housekeeping / 24 Comments

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 Tree — 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 responses to “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.

    • 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. 🙂 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!

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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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