What I Read in April

I’ve been SO excited to share my April reading list. I almost posted it early because I just couldn’t wait. But before I get into what I read (and what I highly recommend), I have to confess that I am just loving reading right now.

I made a commitment to myself to read 52 books this year and it felt a little daunting. I really didn’t want to let myself down. To read a book a week, I really have to read six to seven days a week consistently. For some reason, I was envisioning this as being a big mountain I was going to have to hunker down to trudge up. Instead? Reading every day has sparked ALL THE JOY. I’m loving books even more than usual and it feels so, so good. (Running a #bookstagram has also been a whole lot of fun. Love connecting with fellow readers!)

The Great Believers

So here’s what I read:


I’m a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand. Her books are almost always set on Nantucket, usually during the summer and she delivers the drama. The Perfect Couple is one of her latest books (and she has a new one coming out in June!!!) and in my opinion, it’s her best developed one yet. Sometimes her books are very beach-read-y, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this one reads like a true novel. It’s about a mysterious tragedy that strikes the night before a wedding on Nantucket. It kept me guessing the entire time.


Kristin Hannah is an incredible writer. (She wrote two of my favorite books The Nightingale and Firefly Lane.) The Great Alone is about a girl and her family as they move to Alaska and attempt to survive both the harsh winters as well as their own demons. I loved every bit of it, including the acknowledgments. While reading, I had head to toe goosebumps, I cried, I gasped out loud. Basically, I had a full range of emotions.

THE FAR FIELD: 4/5 Stars

Ultimately, I liked this book but didn’t totally love. It’s about a naive and slightly spoiled young woman who embarks on a journey through India to reconnect with one of her mother’s friends. There isn’t a whole lot of plot, but it’s so well written that it’s still easy to get caught up in the story. It takes place in Bangalore and a village in Kashmir. While reading, I found myself reading articles online about the political climate and conflict there to catch myself up. There are definitely some nuances within the story that required a bit of research (at least for me). I also found it useful to look up photos of both places so I could truly picture the dichotomy of the landscapes in my head!


This book felt like a mix between Alice Hoffman and Ann Patchett’s books, both of whom I love. The book tackles mortality with a touch of magic. Four siblings grapple with living and dying in each of their own ways. Some of the siblings had better storylines than others, but they all brought important elements to the idea of how to live life to the fullest– what that means and what that doesn’t mean.


Favorite book of the month. It’s definitely going to be a top contender for the best read of the year in fact. It goes back and forth between modern-day Paris and Chicago during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. The pace of the book is fairly slow– the story gently unfolds. But it can be gruesome and gut-wrenching at times. I cried multiple times while reading and felt deeply moved by it– at one point I truly felt like I had been punched in the gut. I think I’m still experiencing a “book hangover” from reading it.

PS Here is what I read in March.

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Alyssa Gianino

Thank you for always sharing! I read so many books you put on your list and love them!

Christina Castiglione

What process do you use to find your next books to read? I always feel so overwhelmed when I step into a bookstore.


I keep a list on Goodreads of books I want to read. I add a book there whenever a friend tells me to read something or I find a good review online. And I also love when book stores have a recommended section!


It would be great if you could denote books you listened to vs. books you read. I am not judging how the material was consumed but, most obviously, the action is different (i’m a psychologist so reading is something I know a bit about!) and, for many, book choices may be made differently based on the consumption method (I fall into this camp; I primarily read books but when I do listen to audiobooks (really on on long car rides), I prefer different types than what I may choose to read).


I’ve avoided it in the blog posts because people get VERY vocal about whether or not it counts, haha. But on my Instagram highlight for 2019 reading, you can see if it’s a book or a screenshot of an audiobook!

Mary Hagen Carmichael

Thank you for sharing! Have you considered a book club? I love reading and would the company of readers. Not sure how to find or go about one. Please let me know if you have any advice or ideas 🙂
Mary Hagen

Juliana Grace

I put The Great Believers on hold at my library! I can’t wait to read that one. It is incredible that a book can make a person feel that way right?? I am loving your bookstagram account and Ashley Brookes too. I can so see why y’all are good friends. I loved that short documentary you shared “Bookstores” on YouTube. It was so fun to watch. I want to go on a bookstore trip now, haha! (: Can’t wait to see what you read next month Carly!

Juliana Grace |


I loved the Great Alone and also Eleanor Olyphant, (my favorite), but I didn’t love or would even recommend the Immortalists. I felt that it had a great premise and did not deliver. Although, the writing was very good. I felt like it was all about the first story and then fizzled out after that.


I’ve also rediscovered my love of reading! But it’s the finding time that’s a little tricky. It would be great if you could do a post about keeping time aside to read!


You’ve become my favorite blog and I always open your newest posts first in my Feedly app. And just when I didn’t think I could love the content more, you’ve added these fantastic monthly book reviews. I like how you rate each book and how succinct the review is! I end up adding so many of your recommendations to my reading list. I love the clothes you style and end up buying {too} many of them, but at least buying these books is a less expensive habit! : )

Nicole Lacy

Carly I love your reviews! I also read the far field in April and really enjoyed the storytelling. I have so been enjoying reading this year like never before!! Xoxo

Audrey | Book Book Chick

Kristin Hannah is an author that I’ve been meaning to try out for awhile now. Top of my TBR with her is The Nightingale! // I also recently joined bookstagram, and I loooove nerding out about books with the community! Everyone I’ve come across has been so welcoming and positive <3 -Audrey | Book Book Chick