What I Read in March 2020
Wow, what a weird month March was, am I right?! I finished seventeen books total. Only four of them were non-fiction. It’s going to be hard for me to catch up and hit my 50/50 goal for the year. I’m totally okay with it though, I’m getting enough reality right now, so I’m escaping into fiction. Mostly I’m devouring romance novels right now. They generate a warm hopeful feeling in my insides that I never want to let go of!
So here’s my March Reading in Review!
Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
This was my book club‘s selection for this month. It’s a memoir unlike any other I’ve read. Hindman takes what could have been simply a funny anecdote and connects it to every facet of her life. Her writing is sharp and funny. Her observational skills allow her to create very involved scenes that were fun to read. She is honest about what drove her actions throughout the book, which I appreciate a great deal. I highly recommend this for readers of memoir, and those looking for a compelling non-fiction read.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
This is a cute story but it didn’t wow me. I felt like the story-line was fast forwarded and something was missing. The writing is standard for the genre, so it was a fast easy read. I liked the setting of a Renaissance Faire, it’s unique and made for great visuals. I recommend this one for romance readers, but there are many out there that are much better.
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
This novel is a unique concept executed extremely well. It’s a collection of letters that tell the story of a community of people living on a fictional island off the coast of South Carolina. It’s a fascinating look at totalitarianism and to a certain extent, religion. It’s also a good look at human nature and relationships. I highly recommend this one for lovers of language, and also readers of literary fiction.
Faker by Sarah Smith
A great take on the enemies to lovers trope, this novel was a delicious treat, and showcased everything I love about the genre. All the characters were fun and the story stayed engaging and quick moving. I highly recommend this for fans of romance and anyone who wants a uplifting, funny read with a little steam.
Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
The story of a woman who has to pick up the pieces (metaphorically and literally) after her father commits suicide in the family’s taxidermy shop. The writing here is exceptional. Like, mind blowingly good. This story is part family drama and part love story. It’s about the different forms loss and grief can take. I recommend this one for readers of literary fiction.
Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman
Advanced copy from NetGalley, publication date March 3, 2020 If you have ever struggled with anxiety, or loved someone who has, this story will resonate with you big time, as it did for me. Judy is struggling watching her teenaged son become more and more distant. Her marriage is troubled, and she’s faced a lot of grief recently. It’s no wonder she becomes so attached to the family dog. I highly recommend this one for general fiction readers.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
This story starts out fun and cute, but then I was annoyed with it. It’s an interracial romance and the issues that came up for the couple in regard race were breezed over. Fans of the genre may want to give it a try, and might even like it. I recommend you skip it and read a different romance novel that’s more satisfying.
Chasing the Sun by Linda Geddes
This is a fascinating look into all the ways our lives are affected by the sun. I learned things about my body and modern lifestyle that I had never contemplated before. She goes into every aspect of human living, all in relation to the sun. It’s dry at times, and dense with scientific language, though the author explains things well. I recommend it for readers of scientific non-fiction, and anyone who feels drawn to it based on the topic.
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
I read the first in this series back in January. I liked this follow up even more. The plot is fast moving and compelling. It revolves around a current hot topic (sexual harassment in the workplace) and features a strong female protagonist. This is a fast fun read. I highly recommend it for fans of the genre, and anyone looking for something a little different in a novel.
The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
I was really excited about this book, but it didn’t do a darn thing for me. I didn’t dislike it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it either. A lonely geriatric man leaves a notebook in a cafe, after he’s written his story and posed questions for finders of the notebook to contemplate. The notebooks travels around and brings the people who find it together. Fiction readers who like plots with multiple intertwined characters may like this one.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I suspect this one would have resonated with me more if I had children. There were parts I couldn’t connect with, then sections that resonated with me to my core.I appreciate the message here, that women have been tamed by society and need to live their wild lives. However it just didn’t land with me like it has for so many other women. I do recommend this one for Glennon’s fans and readers of memoir/personal essay.
Godshot by Chelsea Bieker
Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication April 7, 2020 One of the most powerful novels I’ve read in a while. It’s slow to start, but keep with it! This is a bleak, heavy story. It follows a 14 year old girl who lives in a desert town that is run by a fanatic religious leader. Bieker’s writing is vivid, that’s part of what makes it difficult to read at times.It’s about a religious cult, and about so much more.I highly recommend this one for readers of literary fiction.
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
This book kept me up waaaay past my bedtime, which is hard to do! It’s heavy for the genre, which I appreciate. It’s the most realistic romance novel I’ve read so far. It’s a beautiful story of not only romantic love, but friendship and self love. It’s an emotionally complex story, funny and heartbreaking within the same page. I highly recommend this one for readers of the genre and also general fiction readers.
Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
Advanced copy from NetgGalley, expected publication April 28, 2020 This is a fun, sweet romance that made for an easy breezy read. It’s a pretty straight forward take on the fake boyfriend trope. I found it entertaining from start to finish, thanks to the immediate obvious physical attraction between the two lead characters. They each had enough of a back story to give them a little depth but not bog down the current storyline. Besides the romance, this is also a story about family and forgiveness of the past. I recommend it for readers of romance.
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life by Steve Almond
It feels like this book was written by John Cusak’s character in High Fidelity. It’s a collection of essays about what it means to be a “Drooling Fanatic” of a music fan. Some of it is universal for music lovers, some of it feels mean and judgey. There are some great lines in here though. I recommend it for readers of essay collections and music lovers.
What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication July 14, 2020 I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as her other novels, though I still found it a pleasant read. It’s about a librarian who is living a happy life until someone from her past shows up at her school. There’s a lot of heartache in this story, and also a lot of hope. I recommend this for fans of Center’s other novels and readers of women’s fiction.
Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman
I listened to the audiobook of this novel and it was a juicy, compelling listening experience! This is the story of a neighborhood where the families are quite intertwined. When news of a mom’s extramarital affair becomes public knowledge, the entire block is on edge. This is an emotional story about families and relationships. I highly recommend it for fiction readers.