March was… a month. I had a ton going on with work, so I felt crazy busy all month! Somehow I managed to finish five books – I’ll consider that a win. 🙂
I started the month by finishing February’s Book of the Month pick – Perfect Little World. I loved it! I’ve posted on Instagram multiple time about this, but it seriously was a great read. Review here!
Early in the month, I headed up to Boston for a work conference. I downloaded Hillbilly Elegy on to my kindle from the library, and dove right in to it. I read it on the train up to Boston, while drinking Coffee at Barrington Coffee Roasters (highly recommend!), and even while at the gym in the hotel. And then.. it was March 8th, International Women’s Day, and obviously I went back to my kindle library to take a picture of We Should All be Feminists…. and by exiting out of Hillbilly Elegy, I lost my library digital loan! I guess it had run out, but while I had it open it was still letting my finish. I’ll never know what happens in the last twenty pages of Hillbilly Elegy (unless I borrow it again).
To be honest, that was OK with me. The first section was definitely the most interesting. The book discusses the mentality and history of the Hill People in Appalachia, and that was really fascinating to me. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, I’ve been left stumped about who these voters are and why they vote the way they do. Without being a starkly political book, it gives a lot of insight in to the mindset of rural voters.
The second section goes in to Vance, the author’s, time in the military, which was definitely interesting in a different way. The third (and I believe final) section goes in to what is like to be at an elite law school. This part kind of lost me – it just wasn’t the kind of people I was trying to understand. So in leau of a formal review (because I can’t get my kindle notes back from the library), these are my thoughts! Overall I’d give it a 3 stars. 5 starts for the first third, and not a whole lot after that.
With no more access to the book I was ‘currently reading’ and a four hour train ride ahead of me, I flipped through my kindle for something new. I tend to boomerang with books, so after a serious book like Hillbilly Elegy, I went for a light family drama – The Nest. New Rule: If there is a sex scene in the first five pages, and you think to yourself ‘I should put this down’, put the book down. I wasn’t impressed by the start, but I had nothing else to do, so I kept reading and had finished almost half the book by the time I got off the train. Then 100 pages a couple days later. And eventually I was kind of in to it. In the end I’d give it three stars. The plot was really weak, but in the end I didn’t hate it.
When I got home from Boston, midway through The Nest, what was on my doorstep but my Book of the Month box!! I was so excited for this month’s selection – Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I actually took a break from reading The Nest and read this one in two days. I wrote a full review and I gave it 4.5 stars. I would recommend it to someone looking for a well crafted, well written parable – or interested in expanding their reading genres. It wasn’t an easy read but it was quick and a story that will stay with you. If you’re intrigued check out my review!
By the time I finished those three, I was cutting it close to my book club deadline. We actually met twice in the month of March – albeit 25 days apart – so I think we all felt a little short on time. Our pick for this month was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks! It’s the story of an investigative journalist looking into the immortal cells of a Maryland lady who died of ovarian cancer in the 1950s, and her descendants journey to find answers. The cells have been used for an incredible amount of medical research, but no consent was given to take the cells or to use them – and the family didn’t even know about the cells until about 25 years later! It’s a good balance of science writing and story telling. For a nonfiction book, it was an easy read. I’ll be writing a recap of our discussions soon!
And now, as the month winds down, I’m trying to finish The Unmade Bed by Stephen Marche. It just came out this month, but it think got a little swept under the rug with all the other new releases. It’s full title is “The Unmade Bed: The Messy Truth about Men and Women in the 21st Century.” I don’t often read books like this but it’s meant to be well researched AND full of personality. We’ll see if it lives up to the hype!
Looking ahead –
April is set to be a VERY busy month – full of trips, visitors, birthdays, holidays, and my big test (that I’ve been studying for since January). I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done with all of that, but I have a lot on my TBR list..
1, 2, and 3. I have TWO free book credits for Book of the Month Club, so I’ll get three books from them this month. I’m thinking one from this month’s selections, Veins in the Ocean by Patricia Engel, and one more impulse buy!
4. I finally ordered my first Muse Monthly box (so excited!). This month is featuring a book called No One Is Coming to Save Us, said to be a modern reselling of The Great Gatsby set in the American South.
5. My book club book is Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich, so be reading that soon! I love when other people pick out books for me to read – I always learn to much 🙂
So little time, so many books to read. Happy End of March and here’s to hoping April is warm and full of good books!