Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun
Children, Reading, Review

April 2023 Reading

This is not a sponsored review.
I didn't receive anything for writing it. 
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I do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only!

Large boy

Despite his recent embargo on me writing about him, large boy has agreed to help with the reviews this month, if somewhat briefly. He’s just moved on to his first proper adult book, so hopefully next month he’ll have something to share.

A Gathering Storm by Tamsin Mori

It’s good, it was the second one in the series. It’s about someone who can do weather magic and they go to a gathering with other weather magic people. One of the children has stolen someone else’s weather magic, and I’m not saying more because I want to leave it on a cliff hanger. It was a good book though.

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron

Another good one, based on a boy who’s never swum before because of a family secret about his mum and dad who aren’t together any more. I cannot say any more without ruining the whole story for people though.

Mum got this one for 50p in a charity shop and I actually read it and enjoyed it, amazing because she never picks good books for me!

Also read:

  • How I survived Bullies, Broccoli and Snake Hill, Laugh Out Loud, and Dog’s Best Friend by James Patterson
  • Wave Riders by Lauren St John
  • The Double Trouble Society by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Small boy

Mr Penguin and the Tomb of Doom by Alex T. Smith

It was a long time ago that I read that, I can’t remember anything. I think Mr Penguin found some people who were trying to steal a ring that can make anything turn to gold when you wore it. But when the person who wore it touched the ring, she turned to gold! I can’t remember any more than that.

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve

Very Very Good! Well, a boy called Shen got shipwrecked and found a town, he had 66 pugs and entered a race to the top of the world. Everyone who entered won because they said to the snowfather, who granted their wishes, that they wouldn’t have done it without each other.

Also read:

  • Combat Zone by Tom Palmer
  • By Jeff Kinney
    • The Last Straw
    • Hard Luck


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Still working on it…. watch this space. Maybe I’ll get through it during May since I failed over Easter.

Dead to Me by J. M. Dalgliesh

I can’t quite believe this is the thirteenth book in the series, it still feels so fresh and interesting. Tom, Eric, and the rest of the team set about figuring out the history behind another murder in some remote backwater of Norfolk. Not quite so picturesque as some of their adventures, but nevertheless the descriptions are evocative and you can easily visualise the locations, even down to the sounds and smells. There’s plenty going on in the background too, the personal lives of the central characters continue to evolve and I’m very much invested in finding out what will happen to them next.

We all know I love a good detective mystery and this one ticks all the boxes, definitely recommend.

Hurrah for Gin by Katie Kirby

I’ve been following Katie’s Hurrah for Gin Facebook page for years, enjoying regular sniggers and that pleasant feeling of relatableness when someone else is describing the same experiences as you once had. The book is now 6 years old, so her kids are the same age, roughly, as mine – maybe a little younger – and she has two boys as well. I would highly, highly recommend this light-hearted yet sincere and very open, truthful perspective on pregnancy, birth, baby, toddler and young child parenting. I very much hope Katie has a follow up soon on the horrors of dealing with older children as they face the challenges of school, dramatic friendships and the approach of hormones and secondary school.

Here’s the Facebook page if you want to get regular smiles too:

Sanctus by Simon Toyne

Kindle kept suggesting this to me on the home screen while it was loading, it was on unlimited so it seemed like a good opportunity to try something a bit different. Once upon a time I read Clive Cusslers and other adventure, political thrillers, so it was a bit of a return to an old genre for me too. This is the first book in a series and it grabbed my attention early one, engaging and well written with enough depth to capture you but not jumping about too much between characters. The backstory is pretty sinister and anti-organized-religion, but in the foreground are some likable, relatable characters and some really bad baddies.

I steamed through this pretty long book speedily, great escapism. However, the other two books in the trilogy aren’t free and since I have Kindle Unlimited I pretty much refuse to pay for any other books, I won’t be following it up with the sequels (even if I do want to see what happens next).

How about you?

What books have you and your family enjoyed lately?

Love from Smell xxx

1 thought on “April 2023 Reading”

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