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  • Writer's pictureKatie Dolatowski

Book Club: April 2022

Updated: May 17, 2022

Pondering the other day, I realized that this post might be useless for some of you, but then maybe not?

Here's the thing: I wouldn't find good books if it weren't for them being recommended to me 90% of the time. And sometimes I really don't think I'm going to like a book, but the concept grips me. For example, Ray Bradbury's The October Country. I remember ever since third grade have Bradbury's science fiction works shoved down my throat, like reading about a pretend UFO was going to get me into an Ivy League college. So when The October Country was recommended to me I was soooo tempted to pass it along to the depths of my mind that throws away all useless information.

Turns out, that book is full of wonderfull autumnal short stories that set the tone for crunchy leaves and spooky season!

My point in saying this is that my recommendations for this month are an interesting mix of works, and hopefully one of them is a good recommendation for you that takes you by surprise.

...Now, this month's books! I will admit I have already read most of these. This post is a little bit late, but that's ok! It's never too late to talk about books! Some are awesome recommendations I think you should go hurry and grab, while others are a hard pass.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is a classic I haven't read yet. I think I've read most other Jane Austen books in existence but not this one yet! Let me know if it's good. I would also love to hear what your favorite Jane Austen novel is, if you've read any! This particular edition is by Arcturus Publishing and is a part of their classics collection. The artwork is beautiful, especially on the spine. You can see more of them here.

You can pick this book up on Amazon for about $10, or head to your local bookstore for any version if you don't mind a different publisher.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is probably one of my top ten books of all time. Unfortunately my original copy is destroyed by months of annotations in high school, so I ended up purchasing a fresh copy that was barely used at Half Price Books. My favorite thing about this novel is that it really does help you dive into the 1920s era of mystery, drama, and charm. The narrator is a hilariously clueless, yet very observant man. Each character has so much depth that it makes me want to reread sections over and over. The length of the novel doesn't make it intimidating or difficult to follow, and although this was first published in April of 1925 (wowza, almost 100 years ago!), it reads more modern.

This version is widely available for under $15 at most online and in-person bookstores. I prefer my books slightly used, so that is a thrift store link, but a quick search on Amazon or Barnes & Noble will find you a new version!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was/is a delightfully sweet little novel. Well, technically not "little" because look at how thick it is! BUT, it didn't drag when I read it and actually ended up being a relatively quick read. A tale of four sisters and their journey through life together, it's a lighthearted life tale that's a classic for a reason.

I purchased my version for $4 at Half Price Books, however you can also get it for about $9 on the Barnes & Noble website or in one of their stores. Sometimes they also have the classics for only $5 in-store+

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. Ok... look. I am about to share spoilers ahead so DON'T READ the rest of this paragraph if you plan on trying this book! My main issue with this book is the title. It is very misleading, and makes it seem as if you are about to read a book about a town full of missing girls, which frankly, I would have found to be an awesome mystery read. Instead, there's only one girl that's truly missing in this novel. Literally one girl. So that was a bummer when I finished the novel. Also, it just wraps up in a weird tidy bow, with the main character suddenly pregnant and back in love with her high school sweetheart... which is just weird and unrealistic. The novel was not entirely bad though, and did provide some level of eariness throughout.

You can readily find this book at Half Price Books or on Amazon. I won't link this particular one, because it's so easy to find, as it's a modern publication.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles... is an interesting book. I truly enjoyed reading it, and it was so sweet. However I also struggled to find what the true meaning or purpose was. The overall plot seems to flatline, but the depth of the characters keeps it going! I honestly would recommend this one, because it's a new and unique style of novel that I have not encountered before!

You can readily find this book at Half Price Books, Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore or on

The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabain.

Not a fan.

Sorry! But when I chose this stack of books I figured this would be a lovely throw-in. Overall, it sounded super spunky and different. Men who speak Yiddish solving a crime involving drugs?! Sign me up! Sounds cool and weird, right? Unfortunately (for me personally) no. I got through about 75 pages before I quit the book.

And I never quit books. Ever.

Shame. Shame on me. But I just couldn't do it. It was going incredibly slow and the characters seemed to be bland.

I would love to know if any of you have read this one, and if so what you thought about it!

You can readily find this book at Half Price Books, Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore or on

A fun young adult book, My Life Before Me by Nora McClintock was an easy, smooth read. Of course it should be, because I'm an adult with an English degree, but some young adult books are filled with overly sexualized girls and overly dumb boys. This one teaches a good lesson while also allowing a little bit of mystery to flow through. The only thing I have a gripe with is the awful chapter names... for example "I ride my bike through town" or "I go to talk to John." Couldn't we be a little be more creative there?

I don't believe this book is in print anymore, so I recommend purchasing it via Thrift Books, who sells them in very good condition at a great price.

Possibly my favorite book of the bunch, The Collector: The Story of Sergei Shchukin and His Lost Masterpieces by Natalya Semenova and André Delocque is a refreshing biography of a world renowned art collector since forgotten. Who knew the tales of a Russian aristocrat with a love of Matisse would make a whole book transform into an epic page-turner? Try not to hold your breath for this one, as you journey along with Shchukin and his brothers as they attempt to preserve and protect art in the midst of a brutal revolution.

Available via Amazon here, but I would also check out your local Half Price Books for a price cut on this one!

Aaaand last but not least for this month we have a more "mainstream" popular book I've been living to try, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I will say, this one was a nice medium for me. It took me by surprise, but at the same time the book allows you to figure out the plot a little bit on your own, too. Highly recommend for a smooth read that you'll finish in a day or two!

You can readily find this book at Half Price Books, Barnes & Noble, your local bookstore or on

Will you pick up any of these books this Spring?


(This post is not sponsored. There are no affiliate links. Whenever possible, I encourage you to support your local bookstores over online shopping. However, in an era of safety concerns, if online shopping is what's best for you, then that's ok! Sometimes, your local bookstore will also have a website available, or may be willing to ship a book to you if you can and see if they have it. :)

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