March 2017 Reads

Here it is, October in real life, and I’m talking about March.  Geez.  I’ll catch up at some point!  I’ve got several books that I have read early release copies of, and those reviews are coming soon!  Also, I’m going to catch up on all my monthly reading, and there have been several instances of COMMUNITY that I need to share!  So, here’s March’s reading list and reviews.

IMG_8613I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi.  I picked this one up as a Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon for cheap.  I listed it on my reading challenge checklist as “a book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read”, but I wasn’t dying to read it, and I don’t mind admitting that I wanted to read it.  That category is difficult for me because there’s no shame in my reading game.  Anyway, Luvvie has a lot to say on many different topics.  I enjoyed her humor and a lot of her views and ideas.  Several of the chapters felt like Bad Feminist (read my review of it here), but the rest were worth the read.  I’ve listened to her speak on a podcast since reading this, and if you’re in to podcasts, or just want to hear more from this author, they are worth the listen.  She was on Just the Right Book!  with Roxann Coady and For The Love! with Jen Hatmaker.

Running for Women: Ditch the Excuses and Start Loving Your Run by Danica Newon.  IIMG_8617 think I thought I was going to pick up running this year.  I borrowed this book for FREE on the Kindle’s Lending Library that comes with a prime membership.  This book was very informative about running both long and short distances.  It addressed speed and how to build it, diet, and marathon running.  There was a lot I didn’t know about long distance running, so it was a good source of information on that.  It was also motivational in the way of having goals and journaling those to track progress–which is totally me, I love to journal.

 

IMG_9397Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley.  I grabbed this one as a Kindle Daily Deal as well.  I check that every day and get great deals on books that I’ve had my eye on but don’t want to pay high prices for.  This one has been talked about in many reading circles for awhile.  It has recently come up again in a reading Facebook group that I am in.  This is a short read at just 126 pages!  It’s about a 39 year old woman who lives with her brother and stays home while he goes and does all the things.  When she’s given the opportunity to buy a traveling book store, she goes for it.  The adventures that ensue lead to danger and love.  This one is set in 1917.  I really enjoyed this one.

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders.  I’m surprised that I’m just now IMG_8623writing about this one because I feel like I’ve talked about it all year long.  Easily one of my favorite reads this year, and I wasn’t a bit surprised to see Saunders win the Man Booker Prize for this one just recently!  I loved this book so much, I also bought the audio book because I’ve heard rave reviews of it’s theatrical style and I want to hear all the different actors that portray different characters.  I lent this book to several friends, and I was surprised that they didn’t necessarily hold my same sentiments on it, so it’s one of those polarizing books that people either love or hate.  That’s fine, I fall into the “love” category for sure.  I bought a signed copy of this at Square Books in Oxford after a date night with the hubs, and I’m so glad to have it on my shelf.  It is written unlike any other book I’ve ever read.  It took me a minute to get used to the format, and I highly recommend at least looking at a few pages before listening to the audio book so that you can see what they are saying.  President Lincoln’s son, Willy, has died of typhoid and the ghosts in the cemetery are talking to him, encouraging him to go on to his afterlife, when the president himself shows up and picks up the boy’s body and holds it.  His grief is felt by everyone.  Later you realize that none of them have any idea that they’re dead, and Willie helps most of them transition into the afterlife when he goes. It was all so interesting.  This would make a GREAT book club read since there are so many, many ideas to talk about: the grief of a parent, the way the characters are disfigured after death (and why), redemption, there’s a scene about heaven/hell, how Lincoln’s grief affected the civil war.  I could go on and on.  It has stuck with me for the rest of the year.  I have also listened to several podcasts about this one!  It was recommended on What Should I Read Next and then discussed pretty thoroughly on Slate’s Audio Book Club.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.  Also counts as “a book nominated for an award in 2017.”

IMG_9398The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.  This is another book with a good bit of buzz that I snatched for $1.99 as a Kindle Daily Deal.  A girl from Sweden has a long time friendship with a woman in Broken Wheel, Iowa through their shared love of books.  Sara goes to visit Iowa for two months, but when she arrives, she finds that her friend has just passed away.  Through a series of events, she takes all of the friend’s books and opens a store that transforms the whole town and brings the people together.  Of course there is some love involved, and all the quirky townspeople were so enjoyable.  It is translated from Swedish, so it could definitely count as “a book in translation” on the reading challenge.  This could also maybe be “a book about books or reading” since you will definitely add to your TBR some of the titles talked about.  I checked off “a book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet” on mine.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett.  I checked this book out from my beloved local library afterIMG_9396 seeing it on every “must read” book list for 2017.  I was not prepared for the subject matter, but I’m so glad I read this.  This is the story of Nadia and Luke who have a sexual relationship while Nadia is still in high school.  When she gets pregnant, Luke’s parents (his dad is a pastor and his mom is “a Mother” in the church) pay for an abortion.  The book follows them through grief and how it affects all the lives involved-including a friend who knew nothing about it all-for years to come.  There is no tidy ending, but I liked it just the same.  Very timely.

 

I think this is a great place to stop and say that I am trying to mix up my list of authors this year.  I’ve done a fairly decent job of reading books written by more than just white women.  In the past, I’ve read a lot of “chick lit” which is mostly written by white women with white women characters.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those books a bit!  I’ve read loads of them!  I just see a need to branch out in my life.  In March, I mixed it up quite a bit looking back.  I would love to hear how you’re being intentional in your reading life.  Maybe it’s not changing up authors, but mixing up your genres.  I have gotten stuck in some ruts before myself.  Leave a comment and let me know what’s working for you this year!

If you’re counting, This puts me at 20 books for the year!  That’s more than 5 per month so far in 2017 (up to March).  This is the first time I’ve tracked my number of books read, and I’m really surprised at myself!

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