What Shannon Read, What We Read: Monthly Recap

What Shannon Read: April 2023

Happy May!

April was a bit of a time. We had some warm weather, some awfully cold weather, some flowers, and I was off of work the whole month, which gave me a welcome breather from the frenetic pace there.

Here are some of the tulips on our little plot. They give me hope that warmer days are just around the corner.

Most recently, we celebrated our grandon Ames’ first birthday! What a little king. I can hardly believe he’s a year old now!

That’s it from the homefront. On to April’s books!

What Shannon Read in April

I read seven books in April and went on a bit of an Elizabeth von Arnim bender. I love reading her books in the spring.

Some Notes:

The Enchanted April, Father, Vera, and Love:

I think von Arnim must be one of my favorite authors. Every spring, I come back to reading The Enchanted April, Elizabeth and Her German Garden (read last month), and Love.

I did re-read and enjoy those this year, but I then realized how large her catalog is and delved in head first. I liked Father the best and Vera was good, but not my favorite.

I then saw that von Arnim’s collected works were available for a pittance via Kindle, so I’ll be reading more of her in May.

Aside from the writing and good stories, one reason I love von Arnim’s books so much is that she focuses on women and their roles in relationships and society, especially when those roles are unexpected and fly against the sort of standard patriarchal assignations.

The Day Job:

Mark Wallington wrote a book called 500 Mile Walkies, which I first heard about when reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. I couldn’t find a reasonably priced copy of that book, so I pivoted to The Day Job, which is all about Wallington’s work as a jobbing gardener around London.

I truly enjoyed his storytelling and meeting all the characters he comes across in his work. Do recommend, especially if you’re interested in gardening and fellow gardeners.


I was worried that this book was going to be “cute,” but it definitely wasn’t. In fact, it had definite thriller vibes. It is about a woman who is unhappily married to a controlling man who doesn’t see her for who she truly is—and who doesn’t allow her to be herself at all, really.

Victoria, an avid bookworm, regularly visits her favorite café to read and ends up falling in love with a man she meets there.

There is intrigue as she begins a relationship with the new man and also begins to defy her controlling husband. I found the plot surprisingly suspenseful.

Here’s the Goodreads blurb if you’re interested.

Note: This is the book I chose for the “2000-present” category of the 12-book When Are You Reading? Challenge. Just one more book to go for that challenge!

How to Catch a Mole:

Mark Hamer is a wonderful nature writer. I thoroughly enjoyed his descriptions of the English countryside where, in this book, he works as a mole catcher. What a job to have. I didn’t even know it was a job.

There are some kind of gory bits involving the moles he catches, but those are few. The rest is an interesting history of the animal and the work of mole-catching, plus much about the nature that surrounds him.

That’s it for April! May has started out rainy and cold, but I’m looking forward to some upcoming warmth.

Happy reading!


2 thoughts on “What Shannon Read: April 2023

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