I don’t want to say this, but March was a low reading month for me. I discovered the BBC show Line Of Duty, and I’ve been binge-watching it every night, which is usually when I read. So don’t judge me, but this month I’ve only read six books.
My favourite reads of March
Expectation by Anna Hope
This book made me cry at times, but I loved the writing. It reminded me a bit of Olive by Emma Gannon, which I read in February. Expectation explores the feeling of being trapped in adulthood, in a life you didn’t plan, and it feels like you’ve forgotten yourself, and you’re not who you thought you’d be by now when you were in your 20s. The book tells the story of three best friends living in London and what happens during the course of 10 years. Two are married, one has an unexpected kid, another is struggling with her career, and none are happy.
This book is a coming of age in your 30s, which I had never read before. I liked it, but it also made me more anxious about my future. Who will I be in my 30s? Where will I live? Will I be as miserable as the women from Expectation?
I loved this bit:
They have made mistakes, but they are not fatal. They are no longer young, but they do not feel old. Life is still malleable and full of potential. The openings to the roads not taken have not yet sealed up. They still have time to become who they are going to be.
Cosy: The British Art of Comfort by Laura Weir
I saw this book everywhere in December, and I almost bought it, but I didn’t think I needed someone to explain to me how great it is to be cosy. And yet, I read it this month because Spring is here and I don’t like it.
I needed this book to give me strength for the weather to come, as I am what I call an Autumn person. I spend most of my year asleep, figuratively, until mid-September, when I can start getting my cardigans out of the closet, and I come fully alive in October, my favourite month. The author described this same feeling in her book, which I have never heard anyone tell before.
I loved this book, I read it in just one morning, and I did feel cosy. I realised I think exactly like this author, a strange feeling as I’m used to being the odd one out.
As I stand at the foot of a new season and start to feel the breeze on my skin, the chill in my bones, it feels like I’m alive for the first time in the year. Sunlight soothes, but brisk air and crisp skies bring a jolt of energising chill to life.About autumn
The basic daily routine of going to get milk from the local shop or to a new pub in the evening, doing usual things in an unusual world, is comforting to me.About travelling
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
I didn’t hate this book, but it made me uneasy and uncomfortable. No one told me this book was about a cult, a very creepy and obsessive family cult that gave me so much anxiety I had to stop reading it at night. Would I recommend this book? I’m not sure, the story was good, and if you’re looking for a thriller, this one gave me chills. I won’t even write what it’s about. I want it deleted from my brain.
It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did. We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
I only read this book so I could listen to the Mean Book Club’s podcast episode about it. It didn’t disappoint.
The Couple Next Door, is about a couple that goes next door (to their neighbour’s house) while leaving their baby alone in their home. When they come back, the baby is gone. This is a story about a kidnapping and everyone involved.
I won’t mention any spoilers, but this book took so many twitsts and turns, some predictable, other surprising, and one that still has me in schock. It was a fun read, I’ll probably read more books from Shari Lapena this year, I like her style.
I’m a Therapist: 6 Patient Files That Will Keep You Up At Night by Dr. Harper
I’m embarrassed to say I read this book, but I’m happy I didn’t pay for it. I got it with Kindle Unlimited, and it was just so so bad. It felt like I was reading someone’s fanfiction, which I guess it is in a way? This book was inspired by Reddit threads, and it shows. This book is part of a trilogy, but I won’t be reading the other two.
The Shelf by Helly Acton
I needed something fun this month, and The Shelf seemed like the perfect book, but it was a bit disappointing. It reminded me a bit of One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London, which I read last year, so my hopes were high. Too high, I guess.
This book is about a new reality show called The Shelf, where women get broken up with in front of a live audience, and they need to compete in a set of tasks to see who is the Keeper (aka marriage material). The Shelf was funny at times, written from a feminist perspective that’s supposed to contrast against the sexism of the reality show, but it left me feeling indifferent.
So that’s it for March. I hope to read more than six books in April. I’ve increased my Goodreads challenge to 70 books, and so far I’ve read 23. I’m planning on reading a few thrillers as always and at least one non-fiction.