Oh, dear. How embarrassing. Can you believe I only read THREE books in April?

Emma by Jane Austen

I’d never read this although Lorelei had been begging me to for years. Then I found out that Haley Stewart was running a Jane Austen book club, so now I will be reading ALL of Jane Austen this year! I enjoyed it very much, although it is not going to be my favorite Austen novel. I found it a little hard to follow and it dragged in spots. We watched a movie adaptation afterwards which was also fun. Also, did you know the movie Clueless is based on Emma? We watched that too.

The Fall of Numenor by J.R.R. Tolkien

This one I read for the Tea with Tolkien book club. It is a beautiful book, I mean physically–the paper is heavy and smooth, the illustrations are great–it’s a pleasure to hold in your hands and read. And it is an amazing feat by the editor, who pulled together so much of Tolkien’s writings to produce a chronological record that did not exist in this form before. If you are serious about Tolkien, this belongs in your library.

Thorpe by Mary Dutton

So this is a book I read multiple times as a child. I never owned a copy; it was on my aunt’s bookshelf and I would read it when I was over there. As a child, there was a lot I did not understand, and I think this may have been my first read-through as an adult. This makes for an interesting parallel with the book itself, since it is narrated by a precocious six-year-old girl who herself does not understand much of what she is reporting on. Anyway, I don’t know what made me think of it one day but I did and I ordered it and it was even better than I remembered. The easiest way to explain it is that it will remind you of To Kill a Mockingbird. The titular character is the little girl I spoke to, who does not understand why her father has lost his job for giving used school books to Black teens or why she cannot say that the son of her mother’s Black washerwoman is her best friend. It’s a great exploration of the complexities of race relations in the South (it’s set in Arkansas) in the 1930s.

Well, I may have read only three books, but they were all good ones!

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