It’s the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!
What’s the best book you read in April 2023 and why did you love it?
It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.
Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.
And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.
One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose one of these prizes:
- a FanLit T-shirt (we have sizes M, L, XL)
- a book from our stacks.
- a $5 Amazon gift card (this is the only option for non-USA addresses).
Subscribe to our posts here (you can filter for giveaway posts if you prefer).
Best book of April 2023: Desert Star by Michael Connelly. My review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5499995755
My March best was a fantasy book, The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, I finished that on March 30. :)
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was incredible! I knew it was well loved but nothing could prepare me for how mind boggling and entertaining that book was.
My best fiction book was Arkady Martine’s novella Rose/House while my best non-fiction was The Possibility of Life by Jaime Green
I very much enjoyed “Shadowmancer” by G.P. Taylor. If you enjoy stories of wicked wizards set in Olden Times, you will very much enjoy this. The very believable characters, combined with a believable world of magic and the supernatural, is a lot like the books with wizards written by the author Avi that I have also found quite riveting.
I really liked Avi’s “Crispin” story – I should go back and finish the trilogy.
Best? A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher. Not as disturbing as What Moves The Dead, but damn. Families and their secrets. And enough humor to have me snickering.
Otherwise poking through this and that.
I swear I hit post comment.
A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher.
It’s another horror novel, but different from What Moves the Dead. First, it’s not as traumatic. But it also has family and their secrets and histories. And it also has enough humor to have me snickering at points
Best of April was Embertide, third book in the planned quartet about the Fallows sisters by Liz Williams. A retro “urban fantasy” set mostly in the English countryside that’s more like the early “mythic fiction” strain of Windling, de Lint, and Bull, rather than the paranormal romance variety. Runner-up was The Godbreaker by Mike Brooks, final book in a trilogy, which attempts to do a few more ambitious things with the epic fantasy subgenre than you usually see. And I took a vacation from genre to fit in two nostalgia reads, Bob Greene’s Good Morning, Merry Sunshine, and Jean Sheperd’s In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Also, Arthur Ponsonby’s (1928) Falsehood in War Time, which shows the same types of lies and propaganda have been employed by all sides in every war, even if they (and how they’re deployed) are more sophisticated now.
Adjacent and new was Something Spectacular by Alexis Hall. I reread A.J. Demas’s Sword Dance trilogy (Sword Dance, Saffron Alley, and Strong Wine). They’re set in a quasi-ancient Mediterranean area with several different countries and city-states.
The Fallen Angel (Gabriel Allon #12) by Daniel Silva
I’m in a bit of a fantasy reading slump. I keep trying to read large novels that are part of long, epic series and I just can’t finish them. The Gabriel Allon series is about an Israeli spy who combats terrorists (and other bad guys). They are quick reads that are full of action and adventure. I’m really hoping to find something that will get me back into the fantasy genre!!
One legal thriller was fun, “The Plea” by Steve Cavanagh, but even better was “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley. I’m not sure what took me so long to get to this Newbery Award nominee, but I’m glad I did. From my review: “With a swirl of magic, a vibrant female protagonist and strong bonds of friendship and loyalty, this YA story was great reading.”
The Avatar: The Last Airbender short story for Free Comic Book Day 2023, “Lost and Found” (although the index inside the cover calls it “Team Toph”) was cute. Team Avatar rescues a lost girl who looks up to resident earthbending master Toph.
An old classic but a new read for me, Scott Turow’s “Presumed Innocent” gave me a chilling look into a world of betrayal, secrets and dubious conviction.
I also read an oldie but a goodie. “A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy chronicles a feverishly urgent and often thwarted search for existential meaning. The great philosophers struggled with the same questions we do today.
Anna Stanford, if you live in the USA, you win a Fan Lit T-shirt (please specify 1st and 2nd preferred sizes) OR a book of your choice from our stacks, OR a $5 Amazon gift card. If your address is outside of the USA, you will get a $5 Amazon gift card.
It’s good to see so many of you back commenting!