The Best Books I Read in March 2022

I finished 20 books in March, brining my total for the year to 58.

Out of those 20, half were 4-5 stars reads and the other half were 2-3 stars. I need to get pickier and quit more mediocre books!

Here’s a look at my top reads for the month.

For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes

Contemporary romance/ LGBTQ+

This was an absolute delight in every way. April is a trans woman who doesn’t believe she is worthy of love or a long term relationship. Dennis is smitten with her and determined to show her he’s in it for the long haul. Dennis hasn’t dated a trans woman before so he had to learn about Frankie’s body and what her life is like. I appreciated all the details and learned a lot along with Dennis. It’s a kinky book, with lots of sex, and it’s also sweet. It covers some heavy territory, so don’t expect a light read here but it’s very well done and was a wonderful reading experience all the way through. I highly recommend it for readers of LGBTQ+ stories and romance.

Bet the Farm by Staci Hart

Contemporary romance

This one is close to five stars but not quite because I was disappointed in how one of the characters reacted when push came to shove. Other than that, this book is a pure joy. It’s set on a farm so there are cute animals all over the place and lots of funny mishaps. I love how Olivia is determined to make the farm her home and contribute what she can, even though that’s not the typical physical labor Jake is doing to keep the farm running. While it’s a fun, sexy romp, the book also tackles heavy topics including loss, grief, financial struggle, and immigration. The author did a fantastic job balancing the light with the dark. I highly recommend this one and am going to seek out more from this author right away!

Bath Haus by PJ Vernon

Thriller/Audiobook

I avoided this book for a while because I thought it’d be too scary for me. I’m glad I finally took a chance on it. The audio book format was perfect, and the two narrators did great jobs bringing life to each character. I don’t want to give away the plot because experiencing it as it unfolds makes is best. This story is creepy AF. My only complaint is it moves pretty slowly. It kept me engaged from start to finish. I highly recommend for readers of thrillers.

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Essays

I’ve enjoyed all of John Green’s novels but I didn’t know much about him before reading this essay collection. Now I know A LOT about him and I like him a great deal. This is a brilliant idea for an essay collection. Reviewing significant (and some not so much) parts of the human experience on a five star scale is just a plain funny thing to do. The ratings come at the end of in depth pieces that are well researched, some quite emotional. And then all of a sudden you get “and I give this thing two stars.” It balances out the heavy topics and it’s just such an American thing to do. John covers all sorts of topics here. Some of my favorites were Canada Geese, Scratch & sniff stickers, The Hall of Presidents, and Kentucky Bluegrass. I agreed with him on some subjects and disagreed on others but I still enjoyed each essay. I highly recommend this one for readers of memoir and essays.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey

Memoir

I was impressed overall by the quality of the writing and the storytelling. I realize she had a co-writer but often those books have a generic feel with weak writing. Here, I got Mariah’s voice loud and clear! Learning about her traumatic childhood and abusive marriage helped me understand her. So much about her makes sense now. She was honest without sharing too much dirt about other people (other than her family, and all of that felt appropriate.)My only complaint is that she glosses over some major events in her life. That’s her choice as a memoirist, but it did leave me with questions. Overall this was a compelling read. I was fascinated with her the whole way through. I highly recommend it for her fans, and readers of celebrity memoirs.

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith

Contemporary fiction

This was a lovely read all the way around. I’ve seen it labeled as a romance novel and it definitely isn’t one, though there is a romantic element. This is a story about grief, and the different ways that shows up for people. Greta and her dad are both struggling to figure out how to move on without her mom. The setting of an Alaskan cruise was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved all the nature descriptions, and the setting provided humorous moments as well. I highly recommend this one for readers of contemporary fiction.


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