Books I’m Excited to Read in April

Read Along With Me

Today, I’m excited to share with you the books I’m looking forward to reading in March. These are the titles that will be appearing in my weekly book review posts throughout the month.

What books are on your list this month? I hope you’ll add your suggestions in the comments.

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The Monarch by John Jennings

Fisherman, publican, father – his influence reaches throughout North East England. Meet Jerry Compton, a friendly man, a just man, a reasonable man. The fairest of his profession. The Monarch, a modern masterpiece, is a searing portrayal of 1990s Northumberland, England and the North of Ireland. It is also the intimate story of the Swaddle family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by its unique position at the core of Northumbrian society in the aftermath of the Miners’ Strike, Ireland’s Troubles and industrial and agricultural decline. Throw in a young Irish woman and her young family for good measure to further expose the regions’ issues whilst hopefully choosing a path to success and enlightenment. Will they succeed and embrace the coming century, or will they succumb to the negative fatalism so typical of many of their forbears? Marrying traditional English and North Eastern dialects with a free and elaborate style, the author employs realism and streams of consciousness to portray North East England and Ireland in a way that resonates with audiences today and far beyond.

Willful Evolution: Because healing the heart takes strength by Janice Beetle

Starting over, reinventing the self—loving and laughing all the way
How do you come back and thrive after your husband dies four days after you are laid off from a job that was supporting your family?
It’s not easy, but I did it, and I can show you how I got stronger, so you might better understand how you can get stronger, too.
In 2010, I was laid off from my full-time job as a communications specialist in a hospital while I was on a family medical leave, taking care of my husband in his last days. I heard my boss tell me my position had been eliminated as I stood on my front steps; Ed lay in a hospital bed in my living room just inside the door. He died four days later. I had no income. No partner, and two teenaged children to raise.
I told the story of that devastating loss in my first memoir, “Divine Renovations,” which was published in 2011. My new book, “Willful Evolution,” is a sequel to the first book, and it is poignant, inspiring, and at turns, downright funny. The book shows how I reinvented myself, building not one but two successful businesses and otherwise turning vulnerability into strength.
When you read “Willful Evolution,” you will hear stories of my travels to far-away places, meet some of the wacky men I met while online dating, hear how I used yoga, exercise, and adventure to gain physical and emotional strength, and see how I met the man I wanted to marry after learning in my gut that I would be fine without another man.
My book is about wrestling fear, building relationships, and finally growing up—in my mid-fifties. Think “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert; “Love, Warrior” by Glennon Doyle; and “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown. My book is as inspiring, amusing, and powerful as these. “Willful Evolution” will make you laugh and empower your soul.
My hope is that people who read my book will find new strength in their own lives, take risks, set new goals, and reinvent themselves!
I publish my book through my business Janice Beetle Books, through which I help authors bring their book to the bookshelf. I am not just another self-published author. I have been a writer in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts for over three decades. I have worked for various daily newspapers, earning front-page headlines in the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Springfield Republican; I have published in magazines, including Nick Jr. Magazine; and I wrote promotional materials for prestigious organizations in the Valley.
I promise you will enjoy my book and that something you read will resonate and make you feel creative and inspired.


Rags of Time: A Thrilling Historical Murder Mystery set in London on the eve of the English Civil War by Michael Ward

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Anarchy and Other Lies by Jesse McKinnell

In the near future, fresh food is scarce, controlled either by the government or shady underground operatives. Water is rationed. Unemployment is growing, sending millions of people to live on the street. Those with the means distract themselves behind their screens from the impending apocalypse, and while America elects a new president, the world is on the verge of nuclear war.

Anarchy and Other Lies is a farcical look at modern society through the lens of new age everyman, Jake Anderson, as he transforms from a silverware designer to reluctant vigilante, living on the outskirts of society with a pair of terrorists. Anarchy peels back the many mini-catastrophes taking place right under our noses and examines our inability and disinterest in confronting them.

The story follows Jake as he is pulled aimlessly through a dying world. Searching for a purpose, he falls in love with a mysterious pink-haired woman. At first, Jake is eager to impress Sam, but the longer he stays trapped in her orbit, listening as she waxes poetically about revolutionaries she doesn’t seem to understand, the more he becomes disenchanted with both her and her mission to sow chaos.


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Among the Reeds: The true story of how a family survived the Holocaust (Holocaust Survivor True Stories WWII Book 1) by Tammy Bottner

A young Jewish mother. A Nazi occupation bent on genocide. A heart-breaking decision that will tear a young family apart.

Belgium, 1940. Melly Bottner is just eighteen with a three-week old newborn son when the Nazi occupation of Belgium begins. She and her young husband Genek live in fear as it becomes obvious that all Jews will soon be taken. Watching friends and neighbors disappear as the Germans carry out their shocking purge, the young family confronts an awful truth: if they are to survive, they must rip their own family into pieces.

In this biography from Melly’s point of view, author and granddaughter Tammy Bottner delivers a true and moving family memoir. This meticulously written and researched account brings to life the horrific decisions Bottner’s grandparents had to make simply to survive. Through their monumental choices, Tammy Bottner’s grandparents ensured the survival of their family and made their post-war reunion possible.

Among the Reeds is a deeply personal family memoir that is part-biography, part psychological observation of the extraordinary wartime lives of a persecuted people. If you like true stories of courage, heart-stopping near misses, and tear-jerking choices, then you’ll love Tammy Bottner’s compelling account.

All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen by Bernice Lerner

The first book to pair the story of a Holocaust victim with that of a liberator, All the Horrors of War compels readers to consider the full, complex humanity of both.


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