April Reading Roundup

Time for another roundup. My month was consumed on the blog with the Radetzky March readalong, but in between that, I also read some other great books. Read on to get my reading recommendations, and let me know how your month went in the comments below.

Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai

Scattered Sand: The Story of China's Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai

Wow, this one was powerful. I had no idea that the recent movement of 200 million Chinese peasants is the “biggest mass migration in history”. Hsiao-Hung Pai tells their stories in this book, and many of the stories are incredibly painful and important to hear. The metaphor of scattered sand is also perfect for describing the migrants’ ubiquity and individual vulnerability.

The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth

Radetzky March

I’ve already said a lot about this book, so I won’t add more here. If you’re interested, you can read my thoughts here:

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

A well-told tale of an Indian-American family grappling with the aftermath of domestic abuse. Some of the characters’ actions seemed hard to believe in places, as if they were making life intentionally complicated for the sake of a better plot, but overall it was a compelling story with an important theme.

Blue: A Memoir by John Sutherland

Blue: A Memoir

What’s it really like to be a police officer, dealing with all that horror on a day-to-day basis? Not much like TV, as it turns out. I enjoyed this memoir about life as a London copper, from initial training right through to complete mental breakdown. It was quite fragmentary, though, and I’d have preferred more depth in places.

The Production of Money by Ann Pettifor

The Production of Money by Ann Pettifor

Before reading this book, I thought that central banks like the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England created money by printing banknotes. From this book, I learned that only 5% of money is created this way. The other 95% is created by private, commercial banks typing numbers into a computer. I learned a lot more, too, about how money is created and how it’s intrinsically linked to debt.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I’ve read this one before, but I really enjoyed listening to it again on a wonderful audiobook recording read by Sissy Spacek. It’s a classic for a good reason, and this version really does it justice.

The Verdict

I’d recommend all of the books I read this month for different reasons. No disappointments this month. I think the book I’d most whole-heartedly recommend is The Production of Money, simply because it’s such an important subject that most of us know so little about.

As always, check out the roundup on Feed Your Fiction Addiction for more book bloggers’ April reads. And you can find more in-depth book reviews on my A-Z book review page.

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There are 8 comments

  1. Another fascinating group of books. I was also amazed when I learned how central banks create money. I think that I first learned about it in William Geider’s Secrets of the Temple. I may give The Production of Money a try myself.

    1. It’s a bizarre process, isn’t it Brian? And amazing that money is so central to our lives, but its creation is discussed so little. The author says that it’s not even covered properly in economics courses.

    1. Me neither! It was quite a surprise to learn about it. Thanks for visiting, Nicole, and hope you’re having a great reading month so far 🙂

  2. Hunh. I had no idea: The Production of Money does sound like an eye-opener (and yet another reminder, with Scattered Sand, of the fact that we often think we know about topics but we don’t r-e-a-l-l-y know). As usual, you are adding to my TBR list faster than I can even think of reading. *scribbling sounds* Also, I love the idea of Sissy Spacek narrating Mockingbird. I just recently reviewed the Gregory Peck film and wondered whether a reread of the novel would be worthwhile.)

    1. Wow, I’m sorry, B.I.P.! I have been overwhelmed lately and just sort of stopped doing anything except the deadlines in front of me. I thought it had been a few weeks, but it turns out to have been three months since I last left a blog comment or replied to one. How rude of me. Can you forgive me? I always love the insightful comments you leave on my site, which usually leave me scribbling new ideas onto my own TBR list too 🙂

      Do you have a link to your film review? I just checked your site and couldn’t find it. I know it’s been a while…

  3. I’m adding Blue to my TBR–I’m intrigued and terrified by this book at the same time. I know I don’t have what it takes to be in law enforcement or emergency medical either. Thanks for the post on books new to me.

    1. Hi Danielle, As I just said to B.I.P. above, I’m sorry that I never responded to this comment. I got a bit overwhelmed and just haven’t logged on to my blog in ages. Didn’t realise how long it had been! Anyway, thanks for commenting, and I hope you enjoy Blue.

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