I was able to get a lot of reading done in March. Half of the books on this list were audiobooks I listened to while weeding my garden and doing household chores. If you are interested in any of the books I read this month click the title and you can purchase them using my affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission from each purchase. Here is what I read this month.
I have never read this classic so I decided to pick it up for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge my friend and I are participating in. This book was definitely interesting to read but my teacher brain kept taking over. I have a lot of friends that read this book when they were in school. As I was reading it I was imagining the class discussions and I think it made me enjoy the book less. I just could not figure out why people would want to spend time discussing this book (especially with kids) when there are other classics out there that are more interesting (in my opinion). If you have had an awesome discussion about this book I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
This is a light read about a woman who leaves the secrets of her past behind to come home to Ireland and start an inn. I loved the Irish setting; it made me want to book a vacation to Ireland ASAP. Once the inn is open the point of view changes with each chapter and lets the reader in on the circumstances that bring the first round of guests to the inn. I have become a sucker for a good short story collection and while this is definitely a novel, these little glimpses into the characters’ lives gave it just the right short story feel for me. It also added charm and intrigue. I listened to this on audio and I would say it is not required but fun to hear the accents. If you would like a lighthearted feel good read I recommend this book.
I love memoirs because the human experience is what stories are all about and I love reading a person’s story from their point of view. I try not to bog myself down with too many celebrity memoirs because I could read one right after the other but this Leah Remini memoir has been on my “to-read” list for awhile. I was able to snag this on audio on my Overdrive library app and I am so glad I did because Remini reads it herself. Her story is so interesting and crazy! I blew through it and kept finding reasons to keep listening. If you are interested in Scientology or celebrity memoirs at all definitely put this on your list.
I picked this book up after I found out that Sprinkle would be visiting my church to talk about this book and answer questions about his point of view on this topic with our youth group. Since I lead a small group of high school girls and I like to have my research done before I open my big mouth I thought reading this book would be the best way to be prepared. I am so glad I read it. The first part Sprinkle digs deep into scripture and gives the reader an inside scoop on Hebrew and Greek phrases that most modern Bible readers would not know. Then he relates stories of Christian friends he has made that identify as LGBTQ. Good stuff. The talk Sprinkle led at my church was great as well. Listen to it here https://subsplash.com/morningstar/media/mi/+3dbhq3h
I have had this book on my shelf for awhile. I am not sure where it came from but the cover is gorgeous and it is based on the real life girl who inspired a Degas sculpture so it is right up my historical fiction loving alley. I powered through this book taking turns listening to it on audio and reading my hard copy. I loved the story of the Parisian ballerinas and Degas interest in them. The author also added in a story about a murderer of the same time period (based on true events). It felt a little bit like a fictional Erik Larson book. There are some graphic scenes so be warned.
I absolutely loved this collection of short stories. I loved the peek into Indian culture and the characters in each story were captivating. It is so hard for me to pick a favorite story because so many of them stuck with me and had be rereading bits or thinking about them long after I had finished reading them. If you do not have much time for reading but love a good story I highly recommend this collection. The stories are poignant, sweet, and sometimes heartbreaking.
I read this book for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club this month and got to listen to the author talk about the book during our exclusive book club chat. It is set in Nigeria and covers so many difficult topics, polygamy, marriage problems with a twist, infidelity, and the loss of children. So obviously this book comes with many warnings attached. If those topics are not for you skip this one. This was not a particularly fun read but it was very well written. There was a lot to talk about in our book club discussion so if you have a book club this may be a good pick.
I loved this book. It was another audiobook and I would highly recommend listening to it because there are so many African names and it is so good to hear them pronounced correctly. Plus the dialogue is so much fun when you get to hear tone and inflection. This story follows a Nigerian girl from childhood in Nigeria to adulthood in the United States. I loved the way immigration and race were discussed. It was a fresh perspective on many hot topics in our world today. The characters are so endearing and their personal journeys are very well written. There are some hard to read scenes but this book was tame compared to Stay with Me.
I started this book in January and finally finished it this month. I took this book slow because there was a lot for me to think about with each chapter. This book has a ton of good productivity ideas for people whose jobs require them to come up with a finished product, think creatives, academics, programmers, designers, etc. There were also little tidbits that related to my job as a teacher. My favorite parts were the stories about successful people and their work habits. If you like reading books about productivity then pick this one up!
This book is set in the Russian wilderness, includes Russian folktales, and has a bit of magical realism which makes for a great read for me. I listened to this on audio and think I would have preferred it in a hard copy. I think it would have seemed more magical if I had read it for myself. The story follows a young girl who can see the creatures that inhabit Russian folktales and how her gift both helps her and puts her in harm’s way. It is a story of family, friendship, and love. I liked it, but it felt like the author was trying to do a lot. It is the first book in a trilogy and I would consider trying the second but if it doesn’t grab me right away I will abandon it.
This book centers around a bookseller and her journey to find out the story of her friend who committed suicide and left clues to his past that intersects with her own. I loved the sense of adventure and mystery this book had. It reminded me a bit of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore but it was a bit darker. The main character witnessed a murder when she was younger and was the only person in the house left alive. She has been running from her past her whole life and does not speak with anyone from it, including her father. When her friend commits suicide she can’t avoid the past any longer. I listened to this on audio but think it would be fun as a hard copy too. If you like murder mysteries and books definitely check this book out.
I have seen the movie this book is based on and didn’t remember much about it but decided to pick it up for the “banned book” on the above mentioned reading challenge. I totally understand why this book was banned. It is very graphic. Some scenes I had to skip over because they were a little too much for me. This book is interesting because most of it is spent describing all of the high end fashion people are wearing and making reservations for fancy restaurants. Then all of the sudden there are graphic sexual scenes and brutal violence. I appreciated the writing but thought the first half of the book was boring.
That is what I read in March. I was very surprised when I counted up twelve books at the end of the month. It didn’t feel like I did that much reading but those audiobooks allowed for some extra reading time. What did you read in March? Have you read any of these? Are any of these books going on your “to be read” list? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
I love you more than bookstore mysteries and African histories,