Emotional stories that are great on audio
Plus new April books and LGBTQ romance novels
First of all, it appears that last week’s newsletter got stuck in a lot of subscribers’ spam folders. I mentioned some really great books in that email so if you missed it be sure to check it out here.
I’ve been enjoying the change of seasons here in Denver. It’s still very possible that we’ll get another cold spell or even another snow or two, but for now, I’m thrilled to be able to walk out my door and into the without bundling myself of Louise. It makes a huge difference to be able to get out with less rigamarole and I’m excited to be a little less housebound than we’ve been in recent months.
I’ve also been plowing through audiobooks. In March I read one physical book, one ebook, and over ten audiobooks! It’s been such a great way to get back into the swing of things and explore books I may not have picked up otherwise. I’ve been relying heavily on the Libby app but I also use Libro.fm a lot, especially when the library waits are too long. My Libro discount code is active again so if you’re looking to increase your listening time this season, you can use this link or code FICTIONMATTERS for two audiobooks for the price of one.
This week in books.
This week I read…
Intimacies by Katie Kitamura. I loved this book for the setting of the Hague and for the unusual and compelling tone Kitamura creates. This isn’t a mystery or a thriller by any means, but there is a somewhat ominous tone that hangs over the novel and the nagging feeling that both the reader and our narrator are missing something essential. There’s also a lot of intriguing reflection on the power and limits of language, which is a theme I always enjoy. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
My Life in France by Julia Child. I probably would never have picked this one up if not for the recommendation of a friend and trusted reader, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not much of a cook and I knew little about Julia Child’s career or influence on the cooking world, but I devoured this book (pun intended). Her winning spirit and enthusiastic outlook pervade this book and although hers was not a life without difficulties, the book as a whole feels like a warm hug…or maybe a warm soufflé. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
French Braid by Anne Tyler. Oh how I loved this book. When French Braid first arrived I was taken by the way it matched one of my baby’s favorite toys. Now after reading this newest novel from Anne Tyler, that observation seems particularly poignant. This is a beautiful portrait of a family and an exploration of the passage of time. And, for me, it was a reminder of one of the reasons I love reading fiction. I’m new mom consumed by the immediacy and urgency of life with an infant. I haven’t experienced babies growing up to become children who are drastically different than their parents imagined they would be. I haven’t experienced those children growing up and moving out and starting lives of their own. I haven’t experienced the simultaneous expanding and fracturing of a nuclear family that happens as everyone gets older. But after reading French Braid I feel like I got a tiny but powerful glimpse at all of that, and it gave me a new appreciation for these long sleepless days. In other words, five stars. This is a gorgeous book that I’d recommend to anyone who loves multigenerational family stories and quiet character studies. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
Now I’m reading…
*You can get two LIBRO.FM audiobooks for the price of one by using code my link or FICTIONMATTERS.
Links I love.
Children’s stories featuring transgender characters are being challenged around the country. Here are a few authors discussing their books and the importance of representation.
I started season 2 of Bridgerton and am really enjoying it.
I desperately want to watch Pachinko but I told my husband he could start it without me because it’s so hard to find time to watch things together these days!
Ezra Klein interviewed Margaret Atwood on his podcast this week.
Marlon and Jake Read Dead People is back and I really enjoyed their conversation about unreliable narrators.
Shopping for spring and summer baby clothes.
Scribd. It’s interface isn’t as functional as Libby or Libro.fm, but they have a pretty good collection and I often find books there that I don’t want to use a Libro credit on but still have a pretty long wait at the library.
Readers, sorry I got stuck in spam last week, and I hope this newsletter makes it safely into your inboxes. For questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or responding directly to this newsletter. I love hearing from you!
If you’re looking for more book recommendations and delightful bookish community, consider supporting FictionMatters on Patreon.
And if you enjoyed today’s newsletter, please forward it to a book-loving friend. That’s a great way to spread bookish cheer and support the newsletter!