March 2020 Books Read

Monthly Book Round-Up-4

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Pandemic. Social distancing. Shelter in place.

Like everyone else, my life has been overtaken with all things coronavirus-related. It’s hard not to focus on anything else, including books.

I haven’t posted to Bookstagram since March 4; my last blog post was about the February books I read; I’m way behind on updating my book journals. You would think staying home would give me time to work on all this stuff, right?

Wrong.

Being an introvert, I enjoy my time alone, and alone time is hard to come by when everyone in the family is home. Because of this, I read more audiobooks than usual this past month.

When I need an escape, I just put my noise-cancelling headphones on to be taken on a literary journey where characters can interact with each other without fear of infection. Such simpler times those were.

I hope you are navigating through this pandemic as safely and sanely as you possibly can. What books are getting you through this difficult time? Let me know in the comments.


American RoyalsAmerican Royals by Katharine McGee

Genre: YA

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I love the concept of this novel. What if George Washington had chosen the path of monarchy instead of democracy? The story is told in present day in the kingdom of George Washington the First’s descendants. It’s most definitely a YA-centered novel. Each of our four protagonists are in the midst of one love-life debacle or another. But it’s a fun, light read that ends on a cliffhanger that makes you yearn to read the next installment (that won’t be available until later this year).


KaramoKaramo by Karamo Brown

Genre: Celebrity Memoir

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m not a diehard fan of Queer Eye on Netflix, so I don’t know why I’m making my way through the Fab Five’s memoirs. After reading Jonathan’s book last month, I decided to tackle Karamo’s next, as he has the most interesting background, in my opinion. (Finding out in his twenties that he fathered a son, even though he’s gay? Say what?) I liked Karamo’s philosophical wonderings and hearing about his background of being a social worker and bringing more of a counseling vibe to his “culture guru” character on the show. My biggest problem is that Karamo never 100% lives up to the actions of his past. He’s constantly apologizing for things he did wrong, which is fine, but he seems to do it in every chapter, and I found myself getting annoyed after awhile. But, overall it’s an interesting glimpse into Karamo’s life up to this point.


Long Bright RiverLong Bright River by Liz Moore

Genre: Literary Mystery

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved, loved, LOVED this book. As of right now, this is my favorite book I’ve read so far this year. It’s a combination of everything I look for while reading: family relationships, mystery, current issues afflicting our society (in this case, opioid use). It was so beautifully written and was a book I couldn’t wait to pick up to see what happened next, a rarity in the books I’ve read lately. A must read for anyone who enjoys literary mysteries (think Miracle Creek), which I have discovered is my new favorite genre.


Dad is FatDad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Genre: Celebrity Memoir/Humor

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I listened to the entirety of this audiobook within a matter of a couple days. It was refreshing to read a comical take on parenthood, especially now that my husband and I are involuntarily holed up with a surly preteen and a crazy 3-year-old. Gaffigan shares stories of raising his five children with his wife in New York City. I found myself LOLing often, and nodding my head in agreement just as much. I definitely recommend this to parents who need a fun escape from what they’re currently enduring.


Such a Fun AgeSuch a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Genre: Literary Fiction

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This book was so hyped up this past winter. It was all over Instagram and was a pick for many a book club (including Reese Witherspoon’s). I had to see what all the fuss was about. I downloaded the audio version, and while I liked the narrator who read it, I just thought it was OK. None of the characters, save 4-year-old Briar, were likable. The story was a bit contrived, though it did go in directions I wasn’t expecting it to go in. It was an interesting take on issues related to race, but I’ve read better (The Hate U Give, The Nickel Boys). I’m not saying you should read it, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it. I just thought it was “meh”.


The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Genre: Romance

Format: Ebook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Talk about contrived. Everything that happened in this book was so inorganic and predictable. BUT, I still found myself enjoying it. It’s the perfect escapism book for the times we’re in at the moment. Though this can be described as “chick lit” or “fluff,” I thought it was really well written, which isn’t always the case with novels in this genre. Let your imagination hop on a plane to Hawaii with Olive and Ethan (the sister and brother of the bride and groom, who have to unexpectedly go on the trip in the newly married couple’s absence), and enjoy the sweepstakes-winning honeymoon suite and the enemies-to-lovers storyline that goes with it.


To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Genre: Classic

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I remember reading this book in high school, and I remember loving it, but 20 years later I couldn’t tell you what the story was about. I decided to revisit this classic novel by listening to the audiobook read by actress Sissy Spacek. Holy. Cow. Can Sissy Spacek narrate every book? She was fantastic and brought the Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama and its inhabitants to life. While the story is excellent for its depiction of racial inequality, its true heart lies in the relationships of the characters, which explains why I loved it then and why I still love it now. Everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime.


UntangledUntangled by Lisa Damour

Genre: Nonfiction

Format: Ebook

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I urge anyone with a teenage daughter, or a daughter of any age really, to read this book. Damour is a psychologist who works with young teenagers, who also has two daughters herself, so she knows what she’s talking about here. My daughter is on the cusp of teenagedom, and I could already relate to so many things presented in this book as a parent, but it also gave me an inside look into what my daughter is going through. It’s an absolutely fascinating read, and I’ve already recommended it to anyone I think can get some great use out of it.


ColumbineColumbine by Dave Cullen

Genre: Nonfiction

Format: Paperback

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Why I decided to pick up this book about the 1999 Columbine school shooting in the midst of the crisis the world is going through, I’ll never know. But I’m glad I did read it, because it clears up a lot of the misconceptions of what happened on, before, and after that fateful day. I was in high school when this event happened, and I can remember the uncertainty surrounding going to school and the potential for disaster. That fear is exactly what co-conspirator Eric Harris hoped to leave behind, and it’s unfortunate to say he got exactly what he wanted. This was an eye-opening book, not only about the killers, but about the media coverage that followed, the botched handling by law enforcement, and how the community handled the aftermath. It’s not a light read, but it’s an important one.


March Reads 2020-2

2 thoughts on “March 2020 Books Read

  1. Cynthia 31 Mar 2020 / 6:29 pm

    Love your reviews, as usual. I’m really not sure when you find the time to read at all. But I do remember reading for at least 10 or 15 minutes before I fell asleep exhausted when my children were young. It was a great way to escape, even just for a little while.

    Like

  2. janetsm 31 Mar 2020 / 10:33 pm

    I was especially interested to read what you thought of Long Bright River. I got on the wait list for it right before the public library system closed. Something for me to look forward to later this year!

    Like

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