It has been a whole month since I posted ANYTHING, and that’s mostly because March has been a really challenging month — for all of us, I’m sure. So before we dive in, I want to say that I hope you’re all doing well, staying in as much as possible, and staying connected to the people in your life that mean the most to you. I also want to say, to anyone working on the front lines of the pandemic — health care workers, grocery store staff, delivery staff, everyone! — thank you. And lastly, I hope every one of us is currently reading a really good book.
Ok, on to my March picks. As usual, I’ll showcase, 3 books I loved, 1 that was not for me (NFM), and what I’m currently reading. Let’s jump in.
Three Books I Loved
1. Exit West by Moshin Hamid
“The apocalypse appeared to have arrived, and yet it was not apocalyptic… and life went on.”
I picked this one up on a whim, because it was available on audio from my library, and even though it was dealing with a lot of difficult topics — war, violence, refuge, immigration — it was rather short. Using magical realism, the story follows a man and woman whose relationship blossoms just as militant groups begin to take over their country. Having heard rumours of secret doors that will take you anywhere, the pair decide to escape, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This is a slow burn, and a story that is both sad and hopeful. It packs a big punch in a small space.
2. The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz
“They were getting too far out of town. A hungry darkness lay on both sides of the road.”
You may have heard the recent claims that this 1981 book predicted COVID-19. It does not. The images circulating are from two different sources, doctored to seem like one. That said, there is a disease in this book that plays a small role, and it’s called Wuhan-400. The similarities begin and end there. Still, my mom and I were interested enough to pick up this book that we otherwise never would have, and it turned out to be an EXCELLENT thriller. A great, twisty-turny, buddy read while in isolation.
3. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
“Most people had trouble accepting the fact that Chloe was ill. Fibromyalgia and chronic pain were invisible afflictions, so they were easy to dismiss.”
I don’t read a lot of romance, but I had heard so many good things about this one that I wanted to give it a try (especially when I happened across it on sale). Admittedly, I did find it a little boring that the story revolved around a relationship, BUT I think it did a really good job of properly developing both characters. I also think it’s a really important book as far as representation goes. I liked that Chloe was living with chronic pain and wanted to push herself, but also knew her limits, and that Red always respected that. Side note: this was much steamier than I expected given the cover — I know, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that.
One Book NFM
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I really thought I’d love this one, but I definitely had the wrong impression of it. Given that the main character is a professor who discovers an ancient book about the history of witches, I thought the bulk of the book would be centered on her research, and explore her reconnecting with her witchcraft roots and her family. What I didn’t expect was for her to almost immediately fall in love with a vampire who is basically stalking her and for it to turn into a desperate, over-the-top, love story. It’s just not my thing. I felt like I had been bamboozled into reading Twilight and I AM NOT JUDGING anyone who loves both or either, I’m just not into it.
What I’m Currently Reading
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
I’m listening to the audio alongside my mom, and we are both gripping the edges of our seats! Trigger warnings for disturbing descriptions of violence and rape.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
This is really fun so far. The experience is akin to throwing on a B-horror, and then realizing it’s actually kind of creepy! Great popcorn book.