Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what happened to March. It was February, and now all of a sudden it’s April. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen this year, okay? At any rate, here are my four book choices for April. The Rules: a new-to-me novel, a work by Shakespeare, a book that has to do with my career and a “fun” book. Often the “fun” book will have something to do with that month’s focus, but this month, that one fits into the “career” slot. I’m off to Charleston and Savannah tomorrow, and I’m excited to settle into my seat on the plane and Just Read for a little while. I hope you’ll check out these titles and read along with me. We’ll dish about them next month!
- A New-to-me Novel: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. My Korean friend, Yun, suggested this book for our Boston book group. Everyone who has finished it has been raving about it non-stop, so I’m reading this one first before they let out any spoilers!
*”In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.”
2. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. Because “The Shew” is named Kate, and I need to see if she gets her way or not 😉
“Love and marriage are the concerns of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio’s marriage to Bianca is prompted by his idealized love of an apparently ideal woman. Petruchio’s wooing of Katherine, however, is free of idealism. Petruchio takes money from Bianca’s suitors to woo her, since Katherine must marry before her sister by her father’s decree; he also arranges the dowry with her father. Petruchio is then ready to marry Katherine, even against her will. Katherine, the shrew of the play’s title, certainly acts much changed. But have she and Petruchio learned to love each other? Or is the marriage based on terror and deception?”
3. Theoretical and Practical Treatise on the Violoncello by Diran Alexanian. I remember dipping into a copy of this at the NEC Library when I was in College, and I’m excited to dive into it once and for all. This is the be-all end-all book on cello playing, written by a very smart Armenian man. Enough said.
“The Classic Treatise on Cello Theory and Practice, by one of the revolutionaries of the 20th century. This republication of Diran Alexanian’s classic, “Traite Theorique et Pratique du Violoncelle” published in Paris by A. Z. Mathot, 1922 is one of the stellar examples of cello pedagogy in one volume. This volume represents one of the most thorough explorations of cello playing and technique in the literature. When Pablo Casals first held it, he acknowledged that it not only did it mirror how he saw the technique, but he found it to be the best treatise since Duport.”
4. Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. Admittedly, I’m reading this one because I got a free copy of it. It might be brilliant, it might be a bit woo-woo. But it is definitely aligned with my desire to make the most of my time, and to keep the different parts of my life in balance, so let’s give it a whirl, shall we?
“We all want to live a life that matters. We all want to reach our full potential. But too often we find ourselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day. Our big goals get pushed to the back burner–and then, more often than not, they get forgotten. New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt wants readers to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, he thinks that this is the year readers can finally close the gap between reality and their dreams.”
A little of everything, I’d say. Some heartfelt drama, a little clever humor, an Epic book on playing and teaching the cello, and a dash of life-improvement.
*All quotes are from the publishers.
Happy Reading, Everyone!