Thursday, April 1, 2021

March Reads, 2021


March was a mood around here. I had no idea what I wanted most of the time, so maybe that's why my reading list looks like a surprise grab bag. I've got young adult, classics, nonfiction, romance, mystery-horror, and I'm not at all sure what to call My Best Friend's Exorcism (other than awesome). 

I finished 7 books this month, and as I write this on the first day of April, I'm in the middle of 4 books. I tend to be reading at least three at any given time: one in paper, one on Kindle, and one in audiobook form. That way, I have something to read regardless of where I am and how screenburnt I am. 

I had pretty good success with this month's choices. I at least *liked* everything I read, and I loved two books. 

So, here's the run down: 

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez. As the title suggests, this is a young adult novel about a young Mexican-American woman navigating her bilingual, multi-cultural life. I appreciated how much Julia felt like a real teenager to me, and the empathy brought to all characters. The book avoided the YA pitfall of making all adults clueless or heartless by making the adults in Julia's life into real people, too. 

image source

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. My favorite read of the month came to me in a roundabout way. I'm part of an online community hosted by Sarah Gailey, and there's often a book-of-the-month up for discussion. The cover and title of this one intrigued me, reminding me so much of my teenaged years, and that makes sense since it is mostly set in 1989, the same year I graduated high school. This hit the 80s nostalgia vibes hard, while winning me over with an engaging story of a friend who refuses to give up on a friend, even when it gets really really hard. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I read this one for my First Monday Classics Book Club and I'm really looking forward to the discussion on Monday!  I've read it before, but I was a teenager then, and it's quite a different experience reading it as an adult. Surprisingly engaging for a book with a meandering plot and wandering character arcs, full of slice of life anecdotes and beautiful philosophical meditations on life, poverty, and immigration. Definitely not as difficult to read in terms of language and sensibility as some classics. The very definition of bittersweet. 

Six Nights in Paradise by Ashley Cade. I know Ashley on Instagram, and I bought this book when it first came out to support her career, but I haven't been in the mood for a romance. I'm kind of a picky romance reader, in that I don't read straight romances (as in books that are ONLY romances) very often, and I can't binge read them like some people do or I get fed up with the tropes. I very much enjoyed this story though of two young people getting a second chance at romance with one another. I even got into the contrived situation of going on a Honeymoon trip together so as not to waste the trip money when the wedding falls through. The characters had great chemistry and I was cheering them on. What more can you wish for in a romance? 

image source

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. This book has been ALL OVER Instagram, and since my children were both fans of her work for younger readers, I decided to give it a try. There was quite a bit to enjoy, but it didn't prove my cup of tea overall--we stayed too much on the surface, letting plot rather than character drive the story, and that's not my jam. I'm starting to think I'm a hard sell for Faerie stories, since I've found so few I loved. Tell me in the comments if you know of a great one I should try. 

Odd Thomas: You Are Destined to be Together Forever by Dean Koontz. I've gotten a habit of looking for the shortest books in my Audible and Chirp libraries when I'm not sure what I feel like reading to see what Past Me thought looked interesting. This time, I found Odd Thomas, as character I've heard of, and watched a movie about, but hadn't read any of. This was just a short story, but it did its job and intrigued me enough that I am likely to seek out more of the series at a later date. Supernatural-paranormal intermixed with mystery is a favorite combination for me. 

I picked up Dan Rather: Stories of a Lifetime for the same reason. Well, that, and the fact that his longer book is sitting in my Kindle waiting for me to choose it, and I thought this might be a way to gauge my interest in that longer book. Good news: I liked it. Rather is a personable storyteller and I found parts of it quite touching. I'm a sucker for a married man who loves and appreciates his partner, and Dan clearly recognizes his good fortune in his marriage. I also liked seeing the man freed from the constraints of maintaining objectivity now that he's retired, and being allowed to speak his own mind on political subjects. Heads up: he's anti-Trump, so if you're not, you probably won't like this one. 

So what did you read in March? Find anything wonderful? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. 

No comments:

Post a Comment