Books I Read in March

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
This book was peripherally on my radar for quite some time, but I never picked it up. Perhaps it was the (in my opinion) lackluster cover. It kinda screams cheesy women's fiction, not at ALL a time travel story. And though the writing is not to my taste, a little stilted and melodramatic, the story was super compelling. I am a sucker for a good time travel or alternate universe yarn. If you're looking for a quick sorta sci-fi read, definitely pick this one up!

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
Hinton's story about spending 30 years on death row as an innocent man is a MUST READ. It's infuriating, horrifying, devastating and an absolute call to action regarding our criminal justice system. That's really all there is to say, other than it made for an excellent audiobook.

My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
As the title probably implies, this book is crazy! But not in an overt way - it's written with a subtle, ominously slow build. I had constant simmering anger on the protagonist Korede's behalf, cleaning up after her almost criminally self-centered sister, on top of being a murderer. It's got suspense and originality in spades and I gobbled it up in two days - it's a rather slim volume, too. Yet it's packed with food for thought about gender power struggles and how far we'd go for our family.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I am glad I finally checked this one off my list, but I didn’t love it like I hoped I would. It was a sweet and a lovely little story, but the comparisons to Anne of Green Gables fall FAR short in my opinion. I definitely see the similarities in the protagonists, but the language didn’t wow me and I maybe laughed aloud once or twice, unlike being inside the head of Anne Shirley. Alas, comparison is the thief of joy and perhaps I should have read this one before I heard anything about it!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The structure of the book, told as an oral history of a fictional rock band, was utterly absorbing. I am a fan of multiple narrators, and usually they alternate by entire chapters. Having each character voice their thoughts from one PARAGRAPH to the next really was impactful and amazing how we can see the same situation in such different ways - so much juicy drama! I loved all of the relationship dynamics - not just Daisy and Billy, but Daisy and Simone, and especially the back and forth between Karen and Warren. And Reid's depth of research into the music and culture of the time shows. So good! I also had the pleasure of meeting Taylor Jenkins Reid at an event for the book and she's a goddamn delight.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Sounds a bit out there, but I think this would make a great pairing with The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir in thinking about the relationship between modern youth and religion... Acevedo touches on other thought provoking subjects like immigration, sexuality, and family loyalty. It's equally heartbreaking and uplifting. I haven’t read a story written in verse since Brown Girl Dreaming and I think I need to rectify this - so gorgeous and immersive.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
This was a sweet love story - full review here!

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
I think that one has to have been living under a rock to not have heard about Elizabeth Holmes and the massive scam she pulled upon creating Theranos. Unfortunately, I think that led to me not being as wholly captivated by the book as I could have been if I didn't already read the news pretty thoroughly. It's an excellent account by the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who broke the story, and the second part of the book told from his perspective was absolutely riveting. I wish it had been in that format from the start, but nonetheless, this is an insane story of wealth and privilege that is utterly shocking and we're all better off that it has come to light.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
I stole this graphic novel from my daughter's library stack because it's been getting a fair amount of buzz and is reportedly going to be made into a Netflix film. We both really enjoyed it, especially the power of the Pashmina which had me guessing until the end. It's a lovely juxtaposition of high fantasy and the struggles of the characters everyday lives. Chanani does not shy away from the harsher realities of her culture, nor the beauty. I definitely recommend for adults and kids alike.

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott
This was was a bit of a disappointment for me. Full review here!


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