March 2016 Monthly Round-Up

As most of you know, February was an incredibly slumpy reading month for me. And March started off much the same way. But, thankfully, the tide started to turn towards the back half of the month! While I didn’t have any 5 star books this month, I did have three solid reads in a row…something I hadn’t had in quite awhile. And the general feeling of not being able to settle into books has more or less dissipated.

March Reading

Throwback Special, Secret Wisdom of Earth, Association of Small Bombs, Never Open Desert Diner, Girls and Sex, The Nest
I’ll get the so-so news out of the way first. I enjoyed both The Secret Wisdom of the Earth and The Association of Small Bombs…but, with reservations. And, The Never Open Desert Diner‘s ending was just preposterous. On to the better news: The Throwback Special pleasantly surprised me with its spot-on social commentary and excellent writing, Girls & Sex opened my eyes to new ways to think about today’s sexual landscape (and scared the daylights out of me as a parent!), and I capped off my month with The Nest, which will for sure make my 2016 Summer Reading List (coming in May).

Best Book of the Month

The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder (March 14, 2016)
Fiction, 224 Pages

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

April Releases I’m Excited About

Tuesday Nights in 1980, Sunset City, Regional Office is Under Attack

Tuesday Nights in 1980
by Molly Prentiss (April 5)

Sunset City by Melissa Ginsburg (April 12)
The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales (April 12)

Top Backlist Books on my “To Be Read” List

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Mudbound by Hillary Jordon
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

Most Popular March Posts

Five Recent Books I’d Love to Get More Attention
Ten Books Featuring Dysfunctional Families

Ten Books to Watch for This Spring (2016)
The Dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish)

Favorite Posts by Fellow Bloggers

  • Ann at Books on the Table‘s reflection on what Pat Conroy (now deceased author of The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, etc) meant to her reading life tugged at my heartstrings and reminded me that I have one more Conroy book left to read (My Reading Life, which is at the top of my Nonfiction November list).
  • I love how Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness paired 15 Great Nonfiction Books By Women with the best times in life to read them.
  • I love Shannon at River City Reading‘s Recommendation Breakdown feature…and this time around she featured one of my favorite books from last year, Did You Ever Have A Family, which then caused me to immediately download the sample for Shelter by Jung Yun.
  • Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm took an unique approach to a book club recommendation with Great Book Club Books to Read Instead of Defending Jacob.
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  1. I’ve officially added The Throwback Special to my wish list.

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
  2. Glad things started to turn around for you this month.
    Mudbound is excellent… you’re in for a treat!

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
  3. Rachel wrote:

    After reading this I immediately went back to your previous post to see what The Throwback Special was about, and I remembered why I disregarded your review the first time. I did add it to my library list though.

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
  4. I’m glad you had a good reading month. I hope April is better for you.

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
  5. Wow, Sarah! Tuesday Nights sounds like a great possibility; could this be our redemption for City on Fire? 🙂 I’m going to keep this one in mind, and I’ve already added The Throwback Special to my list; I’m excited to read that one, thanks to your recommendation!

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Oh God, we SO deserve redemption for that monstrosity! I’m still mad about it! Pls read Throwback Special – I really think you out of anyone would really love it!

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  6. Judy wrote:

    Salvage the Bones is mostly great, certainly an incredible debut. Look forward to your thoughts on it. Due to the Tournament of Books I have decided to read The Tsar of Love and Techno. I loved his first book! I was going to give The Nest a pass because I am not into family sagas right now but so many are raving, maybe I will try it. Sounds like a good reading group discussion selection.

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      TOB was what got me to read Love & Techno! That and looking to the backlist b/c I’m finding little success with new releases this year!

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  7. Mudbound is indeed an excellent read. I hope you enjoy it!

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I’ve heard such amazing things about it!

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  8. I just came out of the library queue for The Nest (thought I’d taken that one off my holds list), so I guess I’ll listen to the audio next week. I’m hoping it’s as great as I originally anticipated. I’m glad you’re reading Our Souls. I would love to get a chance/time to read Tsar.

    Posted 3.31.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Haha – if only we had more time, right! I thought The Nest was a solid beach read…hit the spot on that front, but don’t expect blow you away literary fiction 🙂

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  9. The cover (I know, I know) for The Regional Office Is Under Attack! jumped out at me and I read some more about it… sounds really interesting! I want to read it! Thanks for the recs, great post.

    Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  10. Glad things are looking up a bit! I think The Nest is a little too light for me, but it does seem to be winning a bunch of people over. Really looking forward to seeing what you think about Our Souls at Night and Love and Techno!

    Posted 4.1.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Yep, it’s def light, but I like something light every once in awhile…and it hit the spot in that category. Really enjoying Love & Techno so far…hope to finish this weekend!

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  11. I am curious about The Nest too. I’m glad you had a good month. Hope you enjoy April.

    Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  12. I kind of feel the same way about movies. There hasn’t been anything to recommend..except for Brooklyn. I loved it! I didn’t read the book–did you?

    Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  13. Catherine wrote:

    I guess we’ve changed places because I feel as if March sapped my reading strength. Too many books that weren’t bad enough to quit or good enough to finish. I’ve not had such a terrible time in a long time. I feel a commitment post coming on! 😉

    I am so excited for your backlist reading- 3 5 star favorites of mine. Even if they don’t trun out to be adoration from you, I’m confident you will really really like them!

    Posted 4.1.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      OMG – you just nailed it with “books that weren’t bad enough to quit or good enough to finish”!! That is the story of my entire year (mostly)! I’m enjoying Tsar…probably won’t be 5 star for me (I wasn’t as big of a fan of the 2 stories focusing on the Chechnya war), but a very solid 4 for sure. And, wow, that writing! I’m about 75% through now.

      Posted 4.1.16 Reply
  14. Girls & Sex was such an interesting read… so scary though. Makes me glad I grew up in a time before social media and the peer pressure that comes through that.

    Posted 4.2.16 Reply
  15. I am so glad things are looking up! I almost hit a slump a week ago, but luckily The Fireman diverted it. I hope April continues to look up for you!

    I just started The Regional Office is Under Attack. I think it’ll help too!

    Posted 4.3.16 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I’m so curious about The Fireman…been hearing good things! And also Regional Office!

      Posted 4.6.16 Reply

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