March is becoming one of my favourite months, the weather tends to start picking up but not quite so much that the blankets and fluffy socks get cast aside; I’ve had a week off work (we’ve done this for the last three years and its always well needed when it rolls around). The end of the month also marks one year since we moved into our house, we have done so little to it that it’s becoming a little embarrassing so this month’s week off work did see a spot of painting going on, it also saw a fair amount of reading going on. At times there I had five books on the go which seemed like a good idea at the time but really just started to get confusing; that aside this ended up being a really good reading month both in quantity and in terms of discovering new authors and series.
New World Fairy Tales – Very random recommendation, this is modern retellings of fairy tales told through the medium of interviews with people involved. Tales include Cinderella, Snow White and The Three Little Pigs; this was very cleverly done and I’d be quick to recommend, 5 stars.
Prisoners of Geography – This is incredibly interesting, if you have any interest in geography or world politics I’d definitely recommend this; personally I’m not normally massively interested in this kind of thing so some of these chapters were a bit forced but I did learn a lot and I’d say this has added to my overall general knowledge so even though I personally gave it 3 stars I’ve already told several people to give it a read.
Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops – This re-read was like a warm hug, the encounters covered in the book are just as funny and cringe-worthy reading for a second time, 5 stars.
I Hope This Reaches Her In Time – A nice compact poetry collection by a newly discovered author, 4 stars.
PS I Still Love You – I devoured the second Lara Jean instalment, this is such a feel-good YA trilogy, its difficult to say anymore with spoilers but, 4 stars.
This Can’t Be Happening – Another Prime Reading short story collection I discovered last month, these are non-fiction re-tellings of the authors most unbelievable life events; if you’re a fan of Netflix documentaries you’ll probably enjoy these, this month I read Identity Thief (4 stars), The Third Man (3 stars) and Black Sheep (2 stars)
Ghost Wall – When the women’s prize for Fiction longlist was announced at the start of the month I jumped straight onto my library reservation service to try and get hold of the ones that sounded the most interesting. I’ll be honest one of the main pulls of Ghost Wall was its length, at just over 150pages this isn’t a big commitment. This was quite eerie and even though I thought I knew where it was going where pretty I wouldn’t have put it down if it hadn’t of been that the drive through country lanes was making me feel a bit ill. I gave this four stars and would recommend to anyone after something a bit different.
This Savage Song – Since finishing the Darker Shade of Magic series last year I’ve wanted to read more from VE Schwab and Savage Song didn’t disappoint, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to enjoy a book that’s essentially about monsters. Set in a future America (I think) humans live alongside three varieties of monster, each with their own way of life; for the last six year a truce has held the city together and allowed it to run relatively peacefully by being split in two halves but when the daughter of the leader of the North side ends up at school with the son of the leader of the South the result is somekind of Romeo/Juliet heist adventure. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to the second one in the duology next month, 4 stars.
Best Microfiction 2019* – Microfiction or flash fiction isn’t something I’d ever come across before stumbling across this on Netgalley, this is a compilation of over 80 pieces, so perfect as an introduction to the format, there’s such a variety of authors, genres and topics that there should be something in here for everyone. As with most compilations there were some I really liked and some I skimmed through; one of the plus sides of microfiction is that if you find yourself not enjoying a piece as much then you won’t be wasting much time on it as each is around the 400 word mark. I found them to be a bit deceptive into how much time I could spend reading them; with the author using such a small amount of text to put their character or premise across so much is open for the reader to world build and draw their own conclusions which makes its quite possible that different people will have very different reading experiences. I don’t think that personally this format is really for me but I’m glad I gave it a go and if you enjoy shorter pieces of writing then this collection is definitely worth a go. 3 stars.
Notes on a Nervous Planet – Another re-read I thought was appropriate given I had some time away from work this month, Matt Haig’s words always provide me with a great sense of grounding, re-evaluation of priorities and actually remind me that its ok not to scroll through Instagram compulsively (though this is easier to say than do), 5 stars.
Convenience Store Woman – Its not very often I actually go and browse my local library, but being in town 20mins before my dentist appointment I figured it was a better way to past time than walking round Superdrug; this was a really random find that I’d heard of from a couple of youtube videos and at 160 pages long thought I’d give it a go. Its a quick read but while I enjoyed it I don’t think it was particularly memorable, 3 stars.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Wrapping up the trilogy, Lara Jean is applying for colleges and working through how the possibility of not being on the same campus next year might work for her relationship. I didn’t love this as much as the others but it wrapped things up nicely for the characters which is pretty much all I wanted, 3 stars.
Himself – At the start of March I increased my patreon subscription to Lauren from Lauren and the Books to be able to take part in her monthly bookclub, this was March’s pick and luckily for me was available for free via Prime Reading. Set in a small Irish village Mahony is searching for any information regarding his mother; it a bit slow paced for the first half but things picked up as the suspense and magical realism came together, 3 stars.
Sulphuric Acid – Another recommendation from Jen Campbell, at just under 130 pages Sulphuric Acid centres around a future reality television show that captures a nations attention; I gave this four stars mainly because I wanted it to be longer because of how much I enjoyed the first third. I already have a couple of people in mind that this will be passed onto next.
Conformity* – This was a bit of a mixed bag for me; the first couple of chapters around individual vs group behaviour and how we’re influenced by others as well as different types of incentive I found really interesting however this book started to lose me towards the end, there was a lot of research and stats around the American Consitution and Judicial system that without a full understanding of how those things work I found quite overwhelming and repetitive. It obvious that a lot of research has gone into to this and at under 200 pages its a good introduction to a very wide topic you could spend hours analysing.
Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review.