March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

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Not only are Coloradoans under a stay-at-home order, but we’ve also had a few snow storms and cooler days that have made it next to impossible to get outside. Because of that, I’ve had a lot of reading time and I am really trying to get through some of my backlist books to clear off my unread shelves!

March By the Numbers:

  • Total Books Read: 16
  • Audiobooks: 3
  • Five Star Reads: 3
  • Unread Shelf:  10 (2 DNFs)
  • Books Aquired: 31
  • By Women Authors: 13 (1 DNFs)
  • By Authors of Color: 3
  • By Queer Authors: 2
  • Nonfiction Reads: 7 (0 DNF)
  • Debuts: 6
  • Published in 2020: 6 (0 DNF)

Favorite Books of March: 

SO HARD!

My favorite book of the month was The Two Lives of Lydia Bird.

But here’s is also a list of the ones I think I’ll remember for awhile: From Scratch, Severance, Running With Sherman, You Are Not Alone, Anna K, The Witches Are Coming, and Untamed.

Here is a look at the TBR I set:

  • A Backlist Title – 📖 Lab Girl by: Hope Jahren
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I was so surprised by this one. I was worried about the science being over my head and too science-y, but Jahren has a talent for writing. I was engrossed throughout the book and so inspired by the end!
  • A BOTM Title – 📖 Severance by: Ling Ma
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What a crazy time to just happen to pick this one up! It paralleled real life in an uncanny way (similar pandemic storylines), but I also think this added to my overall enjoyment of the story. It definetly helped it become a memorable read!
  • A Nonfiction Title – 📖 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis by: J.D. Vance
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Maybe if I had read this one closer to its release date, I would have rated this one higher. But the hype has simmered down, and I was also let down. As a memoir, I liked this well enough, but as a social commentary on “hillbilly-ness” it was quite disappointing.
  • At least 2 physical ARCs
    • 📖 *** A Good Neighborhood by: Therese Anne Fowler
      • ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Sadly, I just didn’t love this one. I did enjoy the bones of the story, but there were two aspects of the book (no spoilers) that totally overshadowed everything else and ruined the book for me. It had so much potential but didn’t deliver.
    • 📖 *** Anna K by: Jenny Lee
      • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 When I saw comparisons to Gossip Girl, I was all in! I loved that show of elite teenagers seemingly running wild on the streets of New York, and this book had many of the same vibes. Drugs, sex, parties, privilege, and money galore, Lee takes the classic, Anna Karenina, and gives it a fun, modern YA twist among the NYC high school social scene.

I also read the following books:

  • 🎧 *** Running With Sherman: The Donkey With the Heart of a Hero by: Christopher McDougall
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An absolute delight, especially on audiobook! McDougall writes nonficiton that is immersive and encompasses so much more than the title of the book. I will read everything McDougall writes!
  • 📱 *** You Are Not Alone by: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unlike any other psychological thriller I’ve ever read, I couldn’t turn these pages fast enough. It was twisty and creepy and perfect.
  • 🎧 *** Make It Scream, Make It Burn by: Leslie Jamison
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but the essays quickly pulled me in. Jamison narrates this herself and listening to her read her own deep thoughts really made the essays stand out that much more for me.
  • 📱 *** Under the Rainbow by: Celia Laskey
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ When a small town in Kansas is named the most homophobic town in the country, a small nonprofit moves in to educate the small minds of this town. It is insightful and I loved the way each chapter was a new perspective of one of the townspeople.
  • 🎧 *** The Witches Are Coming by: Lindy West
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ LOVED this…and the audiobook was amazing! Read it ASAP!
  • 📖 The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by: Josie Silver
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ While this one struck me as a romance at first sight, there is so much more. When Lydia’s fiancé dies, she begins to live in parallel universes – one where Freddie is dead and another where he is alive. The nuances presented surrounding grief and love and loss really struck a chord with me.
  • 📖 Untamed by: Glennon Doyle
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Is Glennon Doyle capable of writing something bad?! I don’t think so, and Untamed is no exception. It’s amazing and reminds me that Doyle has a way of transforming pain into healing. She gives women permission to be themselves – to live in their one life fully and unapologetically. This book is like balm to the soul.
  • 📖 Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by: Leigh Bardugo
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 While the world building was great, it also made the story drag. To commit 175-200 pages of a 450 page story is quite the commitment for the payoff that you get at the end. I did love Alex, the conspiracy theories surrounding Yale University, and the overall story, but it was just too long and dense to receive high praise from me.
  • 📖 *** The Long Flight Home by: Alan Hlad
    • ⭐️⭐️💫 During WWII, the British Royal Forces used pigeons to help figure out Hitler’s moves. I had never heard of this and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. It was incredibly interesting. However, that was the only facsinating thing about the book. Unfortunately, the writing felt amateurish and it really didn’t hold my attention.
  • 📖 The Simple Wild (Wild, #1) by: K.A. Tucker
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It took a loooong time to get into this one and I was so close to DNFing it. The story did eventually pick up and I ended up enjoying it, though I’m not sure I care enough to continue the series (if you’ve read both, is the second better than the first?). I did love the romance between Jonah and Calla and I absolutely loved the Alaskan setting. Overall, it was a great, easy read considering what’s going on IRL right now.

I tried, but wasn’t feeling:

  • 📱 *** America Was Hard to Find by: Kathleen Alcott
    • It’s probably my state of mind, but I read the first few chapters and had no idea what I had read. I gave up pretty quickly.
  • 📖 Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) by: Neal Schusterman
    • DNF – I know many people LOVE this series, and it has a super high rating on Goodreads, but I just couldn’t get into it. Could it be because a global pandemic is happening right now IRL? Possibly. Probably. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t working for me.
(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (***) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)

Unread Shelf Update:

I’m still working on only accepting books I truly want to read. I also went through my shelves again and culled out books that I was convincing myself I wanted to read. I took 80 books to my library (I’m sure they were happy!) I felt like the biggest weight was lifted off my chest…so win/win!

I acquired 33 books in February (no purchases for me!! 🙌🏼)

I donated/unloaded 86 books!

My new total of books on my bookshelves is 389 books on my shelves!

(I started with 417, so I’ve gotten rid of 28 books so far. I wish it were more, but at least I’m heading in the right direction!)

This challenge is still proving to be so valuable to me and I’m excited to continue! Head over to Whitney’s blog for more information if you’d like to participate!

3 thoughts on “March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

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