March has gone by so quickly, I feel like just yesterday I was writing my February wrap up post. I love March, what with my birthday and the first hints of spring here in the States.
Outside, the birds are chirping and daffodils and hyacinths are popping up here and there. Even if there’s still a day or two more of snow in the forecast, the sunshine has been a much needed lift to my spirits.
April brings with it the 30 day countdown to my wedding. Yikes, yay, etc. Time will tell whether much reading happens with all the last minute detail work, but at the very least, we’ve still got March’s best books to talk about before I disappear into seating charts and wedding vows.
(Full disclosure: This post uses Bookshop.org affiliate links, which earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Titles noted with an asterisk were gifted advanced reader copies in exchange for my honest review.)
The Bright Side Running Club by Josie Lloyd
Format: Paperback (from February Authentic Books box, Valentine’s Special Edition)
Why I Read It: Running, fun pink cover, and the promise of coffee in the V-day Authentic Books box
I adored this fast-paced, uplifting delight that didn’t shy away from the heavy stuff. The Bright Side Running Club also got me back onto my treadmill, which gives it a few bonus points, I think.
For more of my thoughts on this book about a woman who joins a running group comprised of other women with breast cancer diagnoses, check out my full review, here: I Raced Right Through “The Bright Side Running Club”
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell
Format: Audiobook (Audible)
Why I Read It: Loved Cultish, here for more
After reading (and loving) Cultish, I was quite excited to dive into Montell’s backlist. Though not quite as juicy with behind-the-scenes gossip, Wordslut did not disappoint in the entertainment + education front.
Montell’s love for language sparks throughout the book, and you get to word nerd right along with her as she teaches you about the ways language has changed over time and how it impacts our perceptions of sex and gender.
I listened to this on audio, as read by the author, and highly recommend that experience. Definitely NSFW or for the kiddos (unless you want them to learn a lot of creative ways to curse and talk about their nether regions, that is).
Running Outside the Comfort Zone by Susan Lacke
Why I Read It: Got this ages ago as a perk for joining the Women’s Running subscription membership. Am back to running regularly so it felt like time to dig in.
Running Outside the Comfort Zone is a series of essays about Susan’s experience running a bunch of unconventional races over the course of a year. And oh my gosh is it hilarious and entertaining! I enjoyed this one so much more than I expected to, since I thought it would be more how-to and less, well… just excellent storytelling.
My full review is here, if you want to hear more: Laugh and Seize Life’s Adventures with “Running Outside the Comfort Zone”
Fangs by Sarah Anderson
Why I Read It: Love Sarah’s Scribbles, was a teenager obsessed with vampires, so yeah, this book was coming home with me at some point
I don’t usually review graphic novels or comic collections because I tear through them way too fast and have no artistic skills myself, so couldn’t begin to comment on the art itself. But I will say that I loved this book and kept annoyingly poking Andy to show him the parts I found particularly hilarious.
Fangs is a cute, funny love story between a werewolf and a vampire, with slice of life comics about their relationship and daily lives. Very much would recommend to fans of Sarah’s comics and to vampire fans.
White Magic by Elissa Washuta
Format: Audiobook (LibroFM)
Why I Read It: Adored Elissa Washuta’s previous collection and wanted more
White Magic took me well over a month to finish because there’s a lot to process and think about with this one. It’s a stunning essay collection wherein Elissa tries to parse out her life and her identity through essays and a bit of magic, and my MFA writing nerd slash witchy soul loved every bit of it.
This book got one of my longest reviews to-date because I had a lot of thoughts. Here they are: The Alluring Alchemy of “White Magic”
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Murata’s Convenience Store Woman last year, so I was all too eager to dig in to Earthlings, which features an adorable hedgehog on the front cover. Reviewers on Goodreads have feelings about this adorable cover, which is admittedly a bit of a mismatch from the overall mood of the book. Still, it’s not inaccurate, since the plush hedgehog Piyyut does play a huge role in the story, and he does have a little angry frown on the cover.
This book is… very difficult to describe in a way that doesn’t make it sound very weird to say I enjoyed it. It’s magical realism and horror, both genres I tend to stear clear of, and yet there’s just something compelling about the way Murata tells a story that draws me in and keeps me reading.
Her work examines the tension between society’s expectations and our own inclinations, particularly concerned with those who feel strange or different. This book continues this work while also prodding at the darker realities of what human beings are capable of. It is a disturbing book in which terrible things happen, so I would recommend it only with caution and with all the content warnings given (sexual, verbal, and physical abuse to a child, violence, disturbing images).
I’ll be thinking about this book, particularly the ending, for quite some time. Overall I really liked it, but do wonder whether the steep left turn towards the end ultimately served the story well.
- Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood (audio) — turns out, I’m a slow burn kinda girl and a novella just doesn’t give me the buildup I need to really sink in to romance. A cute story but left me wanting more. I think I’ll review these as a series once the third one comes out (because, yes, I’m still going to listen to it even though the first two didn’t fully work for me).
- The League of Gentlewomen Witches* by India Holton (eARC via NetGalley) — review in Your Book Friend
- Stone Broke Heiress* by Danielle Owen-Jones (eArc via NetGalley) — I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this one. I rarely DNF books, and this one was wasn’t bad. I just didn’t feel like I really cared about what happened next and felt no drive to keep reading whatsoever, so at 60% when I still didn’t feel invested, I decided to set it aside. Definitely a fun one for fans of a riches-to-reality story, but not for me.
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