March Reads 2022

selective focus photo of pile of assorted title books
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Can you say FIFTEEN BOOKS IN ONE MONTH? Because that’s how many I read in March. Pretty amazing. That puts me at 40 for the year so far (and my goal was only 75) and I’ve marked several off my reading lists. I still can’t read as fast as I discover books, but I’m working on it. Let’s get right to it.

The Return of the Dancing Master by Henning Mankill
I wasn’t completely enthralled by this one. I picked it up for the style similarities of Jo Nesbo’s series, but it didn’t quite measure up. The plot was slow moving and a few of the character relationships felt flat.
The story itself was interesting and kept me coming back. It was the writing that left me feeling meh.

Bless Your Heart by Kimbra Swain
This was a fun supernatural book with some silly and likeable characters. The writing was well done and pulled me along to the end.
I didn’t quite buy Grace as an ‘ice queen’ or heartless in any way, but I can appreciate it as a front she tries to play off to keep people at arm’s length.
The story was fast-paced, had its funny bits, and lots of interesting characters. I’ll be continuing this series.

Ten Day Outline by Lewis Jorstad
Craft book one – This book had a lot of great tips and I’ll be putting them to good use.
I really like the easy to follow steps for each day and I think it will help me focus when outlining instead of trying to do too many things at once.

Verity by Colleen Hoover
I still can’t wrap my mind around the insanity that is this book. Even when I suspected what was really happening, I was wrong. The truth was way more messed up than I could have imagined. And I loved it. I went into this book with low expectations – usually over hyped books let me down – but I was pleasantly surprised.
The child danger really gutted me though, so be warned about that. Might have to read more of her books now.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Another good twisty book. I felt like the pacing was a little slow, though. Didn’t get me amped until the last few chapters. The ending wasn’t what I was expecting, which was awesome.
But I wish Rachel had been a little more likeable. Yes, she was her reasons for being the way she is, but sometimes I just wanted to smack her. I also know not all characters need to be likeable – but it went back and forth with her so much that it felt like the author didn’t know which way to commit to.
More child danger that made me want to skip ahead, but a good read overall.

American Girl by Wendy Walker
A great find. An audile original (no e-book). I loved this story all the way up to the big reveal. Great pacing, fantastic twists, lovely and realistic characters. It really had it all.
The killer, the motive, the side characters – all great surprises. The only problem I had was the realistic (or lack of) way the aftermath panned out. I’m not sure it really would have worked out for everyone in the end. But that’s fiction and I still really liked it.

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
I watched a few seasons of the TV series and found it entertaining. I thought I’d try out the book.
The book is way less scandalous than the show – but sex sells on TV, so i get it.
Piper in real life is also a lot less hot headed and impulsive. The book was very well written. She expressed herself in great detail and made it very real for the reader.
I’m glad I took the time to read it.

The Sentence Louise Edrich
I didn’t finish this book. I was a little over halfway and I didn’t feel like forcing myself to read the rest. It wasn’t bad, I just didn’t get into it.
The story was interesting in places and very well written. I just didn’t care enough to find out how it ended.
I’ll consider coming back to it at a later time, but now wasn’t it.

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
Craft book two – A great followup to the last craft book. More tips on each part of the story plan and an in-depth description of what each part of the story needs.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I picked this on a whim. It was pretty enjoyable. Not amazing by any means and I’m not sure if I’m goin got finish the series, but I didn’t hate it.
Characters weren’t all that well fleshed out. I find it hard to believe 80-year-olds stuck in children’s bodies would have behaved like children.
The creature things were pretty neat though, and the fight/chase scene kept me glued to the page. So the book did its job overall.

American Gangster and Other Tales of New York by Mark Jacobson
Not sure why this was on my TBR, but it was a quick read, so I powered through it.
It had some fairly interesting bits and painted New York in a different light.
Some stories were a little meh, and if I was reading an ebook instead of audio, I might have skipped ahead.
The taxi driver part was probably my favorite. It was a nice change of pace.

Both Ways is the Only Way I want it by Maile Meloy
Every one of the stories pulled on my heartstrings. The emotional tension was palpable.
As the characters struggled with what they wanted and what they need, we were given an insight into the inner workings of a variety of people.
I tore through this book and I might need to revisit it to enjoy the threads one more time. Very good read.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
I was okay.
I read The Secret years ago, and this book felt like an edgy retelling.
I’m all in for putting positive vibes out into the universe, but I was hoping for a new take with another point of view.
Reading this was the embodiment of ‘I’m not mad, just disappointed.’

Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kroger
A great backstory to several amazing women authors. I will probably go find a few dedicated reads on individual writers because the short entry was so fascinating.
I added way too many books to my TBR, but there’s nothing wrong with that, ha.

Writing Away by Lavinia Spalding
I really enjoyed this read. The final craft book for the first quarter of my learning plan. I took it a little lighter and wanted something for the joy of writing, and this was it.
I’ve always loved journaling, and this book was full of helpful tips to inspire and keep memories.

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Thank you for reading. I compiled the books into a reading list for anyone interested in checking them out. All except for American Girl (only on audible)

I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment or message. 

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