Welcome one, welcome all, to my March Wrap Up which is relatively on time, for me at least. March as a whole was ok – I officially started my new job, I still work for the same place but I’ve moved into a newly created role, a promotion for all intents and purposes, so this month ended up being a lot of me trying to find my feet when none of us at work really fully know what my role entails until I do it for some time and work out what the teething problems are. That’s fine, but it has made me feel a little unsure and, at times, like I’m achieving nothing. It’s going to be a slow process into making this job my own, I think, and I’m trying to be ok with that. That has probably affected my reading a little in this past month but hopefully now I’ve found my feet a little, it’ll be on the up from here on in.
Aside from work stuff I also was fortunate enough to see Wicked as it is currently touring the UK and made a stop in Liverpool. It means I’ve finally seen a show at Liverpool Empire and I’ve also managed to tick off one of my ‘must see’ musicals from my list. It was also really good so I’m glad we got tickets and saw it. The Fiyero wasn’t quite to my tastes but he was accomplished enough, and the Elphaba was amazing so that redeemed that really. I also thought the Wizard and Madame Morrible were great! Like I said, I’m just glad I finally got to see a musical that, up until then, I’d only experienced through the original cast recording.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of March:
In March, I read a total of 6 books – 6 fiction and 0 non-fiction – and 1 was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 2572 pages in total.
In terms of format: 2/3 were paperback, 2 were hardback, 1 was an eARC, and 0/1 was an audiobook. I should explain the weird X/Y numbers – I read one of these titles by alternating the print and audiobook version throughout so that has messed with my statistics a little. I’m sure I’ll figure out how to settle it when it comes to my overall wrap/statistics at the end of the year.
And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 were fantasy, 1 was a YA dystopian, 1 was YA fantasy, 1 was contemporary, and 1 was historical fiction. Quite the nice spread of genres which is something of a change for me!
Onto the books themselves…
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Genre: historical fiction
Read: 25th February – 1st March
Challenges fulfilled: Around the Year #18: A book with a location in the title
Review: To come
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge [audiobook/paperback]
Genre: fantasy; young-adult; historical fiction
Read: 2nd – 4th March
Challenges fulfilled: Around the Year #13: A book with a plot centered around a secret
Review: To come
Circe by Madeline Miller [eARC]
Genre: fantasy; mythology; retelling
Read: 4th – 13th March
Challenges fulfilled: Around the Year #34: Tenth mini poll close call: A book with a supernatural character (witch/goddess)
Review: “What I was most pleasantly surprised with was Madeline Miller’s willingness to portray the vanity, selfishness, maliciousness, and downright cruelty of the gods – to allow them to be the “bad guys” and painted vividly with all their flaws intact. Although they might place themselves, and each other, on very high pedestals and considering themselves above the rules of us mere mortals, Circe worked well to expose the many, many hypocrises of the famous gods of the Greek pantheon.” (full review here)
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Read: 16th – 18th March
Challenges fulfilled: Around the Year #43: A book with a title that is a whole sentence
Review: To come
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Genre: young-adult fantasy
Read: 25th – 30th March
Challenges fulfilled: Around the Year #22: A book you have high expectations or hopes for
Review: “The rules of the fairy tale world and the rules of “real life” don’t match up and, in having a character operate outside of their usual system, Melissa Albert cleverly illustrates that the worlds and societies we create are all a fiction, in one sense or another. There is something simultaneously incredibly mesmerising but also terrifying about the implications of this, and the narrative of The Hazel Wood was perfectly woven to make its readers feel the disquiet of seeing ideas ordinarily confined to the realms of the fairy tale exist in the same walk of life as their own.” (full review here)
The Selection by Kiera Cass *
Genre: young-adult; dystopian; romance
Read: 30th – 31st March
Review: To come
All in all, I think March went just ok. I’m glad I finally got around to reading a couple of books I was pretty sure I’d love (The Essex Serpent and The Lie Tree) but that I’d been putting off for fear of disappointment – I’m very glad to be able to report back that I did indeed enjoy them a lot. However, when I look back, I probably could have read a little bit more, especially towards the beginning of the month.
My enthusiasm for reading picked up in the second half of March, even if that wasn’t necessarily reflected in the amount of books, or indeed pages, that I read. Feeling a little bit down on my overall reading progress, I decided to join in with Kate’s somewhat impromptu readathon that happened towards the back end of March over the Easter weekend. Now, when I put together my TBR for the Easter Weekend Readathon, I did not expect, nor plan to read The Selection series by Kiera Cass, but here we are. Since the end of March I’ve finished The Elite and I’m just about to start The One. They’re terrible but they’re, unfortunately, compulsively readable. The writing is terrible, I pretty much hate the protagonist/narrator, but the concept is pretty interesting, even if the execution leaves
something a lot to be desired. I hate myself for reading them, truth be told, but I can’t stop myself so I’m sure I’ll be completing the rest of the series whilst I’m on this roll. (If you’re curious how I did during the Easter Weekend Readathon, you can find my updates thread on Twitter.)
Aside from this, I’m halfway through City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and I seem to be reading it so slowly even though I am enjoying it. I’m putting that down to the fact I’m reading it as an eARC on my iPad/iPhone so I feel as though I’m reading a lot but actually it doesn’t amount to that many pages. It’s a shame because I had all these grand plans for April that I was going to call it ARC April and do my own little mini personal challenge to clear the eARCS I have via NetGalley. However, I’ve quickly come to realise that trying to just read eARCs almost put me into a reading slump in March because sometimes you just don’t want to read off a screen anymore, particularly when your day job involves staring at a screen too. That’s what prompted me to want to pick up something quick and disposable (hence The Selection) and I don’t want to risk going back into a slump again so, rather than try to read all my eARCS, I’m going to make sure to include a couple/few with each monthly TBR to slowly chip away at them. Hopefully, this tactic will be successful but we shall see.
How did your March reading go?
What was your favourite book you read this month?
Please do share in the comments below and let’s chat books!