Posted in Books and Shows

What I’ve Been Reading: April 2023


I had a busy month of reading…and actually finished four books! I read quite the mix, and they range from three stars to five! Today I’m sharing about them…

This month I read:

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

The Husbands:


Nora Spangler is a successful attorney but when it comes to domestic life, she packs the lunches, schedules the doctor appointments, knows where the extra paper towel rolls are, and designs and orders the holiday cards. Her husband works hard, too… but why does it seem like she is always working so much harder?

When the Spanglers go house hunting in Dynasty Ranch, an exclusive suburban neighborhood, Nora meets a group of high-powered women–a tech CEO, a neurosurgeon, an award-winning therapist, a bestselling author–with enviably supportive husbands. When she agrees to help with a resident’s wrongful death case, she is pulled into the lives of the women there. She finds the air is different in Dynasty Ranch. The women aren’t hanging on by a thread.

But as the case unravels, Nora uncovers a plot that may explain the secret to having-it-all. One that’s worth killing for. Calling to mind a Stepford Wives gender-swap, The Husbands imagines a world where the burden of the “second shift” is equally shared–and what it may take to get there.

Quick Thoughts:

This wasn’t necessarily “my type” of book to read…which is probably why I thought it was just ok. I guess it’s a “thriller/mystery,” and I thought the plot was interesting, but the “Stepford Wives” angle and some of those details made me lose interest. Also, I felt like some parts were predictable.


A Quiet Life:


Set in a close-knit suburb in the grip of winter, A Quiet Life follows three people grappling with loss and finding a tender wisdom in their grief.

Chuck Ayers used to look forward to nothing so much as his annual trip to Hilton Head with his wife, Cat—that yearly taste of relaxation they’d become accustomed to after a lifetime of working and raising two children. Now, just months after Cat’s death, Chuck finds that he can’t let go of her belongings—her favorite towel, the sketchbooks in her desk drawer—as he struggles to pack for a trip he can’t imagine taking without her.

Ella Burke delivers morning newspapers and works at a bridal shop to fill her days while she anxiously awaits news—any piece of information—about her missing daughter. Ella adjusts to life in a new apartment and answers every call on her phone, hoping her daughter will reach out.

After the sudden death of her father, Kirsten Bonato set aside her veterinary school aspirations, finding comfort in the steady routine of working at an animal shelter. But as time passes, old dreams and new romantic interests begin to surface—and Kirsten finds herself at another crossroads.

Quick Thoughts:

This was a beautiful and simple read. The powerful stories of Chuck, Ella, and Kirsten had me rooting for each one of them. As their stories intertwined, I really wanted to keep reading. Each character was brave in their own way, and I loved following along on their journeys. I think this could be in my top 5 this year.




Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man. This new translation by his wife and most frequent translator, Marion Wiesel, corrects important details and presents the most accurate rendering in English of Elie Wiesel’s testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must simply never be allowed to happen again.

Quick Thoughts:

I’d read most of this book in March of 2020 while helping some students, but then school transitioned to virtual, and I never finished it.

I was helping a group of students read this book for their English 1 class last week. They came to see me every day, we read a chapter, discussed and completed the questions. This memoir really is a powerful read. The kids had so many questions, and I had to continue to remind them that Wiesel was sharing his experience in the concentration camps.

Obviously, this isn’t a light read, but is it a pretty “classic” high school text, but I’d never taught it (or read it). I feel like students are always invested in this book and have lots of questions. I’m glad that I got to read and discuss it with my two reading groups.


The Secret Bridesmaid:


Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.

As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is hired by London brides to be their right-hand woman, posing as a friend but working behind the scenes to help plan the perfect wedding and ensure their big day goes off without a hitch. When she’s hired by Lady Victoria Swann––a former model and “It Girl” of 1970’s London; now the Marchioness of Meade––for the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.

Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Lady Victoria’s daughter, Cordelia, is an absolute diva and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient that Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. But when a rival society wedding is announced for the very same day, things start to get…well, complicated.

Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career––execute a high-profile gala for four hundred and fifty guests in record time, win over a reluctant bride, and catch the eye of handsome Lord Swann––all while keeping her true identity a secret, and her dignity intact?

Quick Thoughts:

This was a “lighter” read for me this month. It was predictable but cute. I liked the secret bridesmaid aspect of the plot…it’s fun twist on the topic of weddings. This book has friendship, romance, and even a bit of drama. The email exchanges from clients for the wedding plans are funny too. It was a quick and easy read.


It’s crazy to think that next month, I will share a few books I hope to read this summer! Do you have any suggestions?

What have you read lately?

6 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading: April 2023

  1. I am reading The Secret Bridesmaid right now and maybe I should read A Quiet Life. I bet the Elie Wiesel book is great. I think you should read Remarkably Bright Creatures and I really liked The Cheat Sheet – it’s a total rom com book but it was well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A Quiet Life does sound good!! The Secret Bridesmaid sounds a bit like The Paid Bridesmaid that I read last year; I thought it was super cute.

    Liked by 1 person

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