Monthly Wrap Ups

Monthly Wrap Up: March 2020


What a month March was, eh? Even though we’re only two weeks into April it feels like March was a lifetime ago. One of the very few consolations in all this is that many of us have more time to read. I’m a little jealous of all the reading time some of you are getting, but I also know how lucky I am to still be working as much as I am even if it means posts like these are taking longer than usual for me to put up.

I still managed to get quite a few books read, though, and (except for one) they were all fairly enjoyable reads. Take a look below!

(Also, I truly hope all of you are coping mentally, physically, and financially and that you and your loved ones are getting through this. Feel free to message me if you ever want to vent to an impartial stranger!)

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James


It was definitely a “deliciously creepy” read. I loved the blend of mystery and paranormal that was in this book. It was just so believable! All the women coming together over the decades was awesome, too. They really stuck together in the face of some pretty heinous stuff.

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov


I can’t believe how long it took me to finally read this. I’ve been meaning to read the Foundation series for years but am only just now starting it. Instead of reading them in publication order, I’ve decided to read them in chronological order as per the author’s own advice.

This first installment was wild. It was just so…bizarre. But not in a bad way! Hari Seldon was seriously groan inducing a lot of the time so I had to keep reminding myself of when this was written. Overall though, it was a fantastic start to a series I’m really looking forward to reading more of.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


Maybe this author just isn’t for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Night Circus (sorry), but I had high hopes for this one based on the synopsis alone. And that cover! So dreamy ❤

Unfortunately, this book didn’t work for this reader. The elements of a fantastic story were there and the writing was beautifully impressive, but I think what made this book just an “okay” read for me was the interjection of the various fables. They were interesting enough in their own right, but they would appear right as the main narrative was starting to ramp up. By the time I got back to the main story any connections I had with the plot and the characters was lost.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill


Thanks to Joe Hill I’m much more into the shorter fiction genre. I never really gave it much time in the past because there are so many full-length novels on my ever growing TBR. However, this master storyteller has proven that short fiction can be just as powerful and engaging as a longer tome.

This may be a controversial opinion, but I think he’s a far better writer than his father. I can’t wait to see how his career continues to develop.

The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate


When everything in the world seemed to be going crazy, I decided I needed a lighter read to cheer me up. I’ve had a copy of this book for a couple of years after picking it up at a library book sale I went to with my parents in California.

I ended up reading this in one night because I could not bring myself to put it down. I am so in love with Ivan! And Bob! And Stella! And Ruby! It was a thoroughly charming book that made my heart so full. ❤

Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs


A pretty standard Bones book. I can always count on these books to be familiar and interesting. The only downside to this story was the author’s offensive and outdated portrayals of people of color. It was pretty surprising because it’s not like these books were written all that long ago. I really hope it was a one off because I’d hate to think that Reichs actually believes only white people can be smart or useful.

Death in Her Hands by Otessa Moshfegh


A straight up NOPE from me. When I was sent this ARC I didn’t make the connection at the author’s name. If I had I probably wouldn’t have requested it. I’d read her collection of short stories Homesick for Another World when it came out because so many reviews were raving about it. This reviewer didn’t end up raving about it.

I won’t deny she’s a talented writer, but her stories were way too creepy for me to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, generally for me the creepier the better, but after reading Homesick I was left really unsettled. Unsettled in that “I just spent an afternoon with Jeff Lowe” kind of way.

Death in Her Hands started off interesting enough and I was finding myself liking it, but toward the end there was gratuitous animal violence that absolutely did not need to be there. It didn’t add to the story and it wasn’t necessary to the plot- all it did was completely ruin the book for me. Books like this should have content warnings in my opinion. So consider yourself warned!

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond


An utterly fascinating exploration of human development. I’d read passages of it before when I was doing my archaeology undergrad, but had never read the book in its entirety. I’m glad I finally got around to it because once Diamond started on his theories as to why the west ended up having more advantages over other regions all I could think was, “Oh my god, of course!”

Some of what he writes about has been disproven, but the overall premise remains strong and holds up. It should be required reading for anyone who thinks of developing countries as less than.

Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir


The cover of this book makes you think you’ll be reading a charming little thing about a female writer in Iceland. It certainly is that, but if you’re paying attention you’ll see that things are much heavier and darker than they initially seemed. Full review to come next month on its publication date!

The Road to Delano by John DeSimone


A powerful novel set in Kern County, California during the UFW’s Delano Grape Strike in the late 1960’s. Read my review here!


How was your reading in March? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap Up: March 2020”

  1. What a find your blog is! I am always trying to find new reading inspiration as I’m too tired and stretched to do the research myself. Thinking I’ll give the last one a go as I’m always interested in that period of American history. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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