Sunday, April 7, 2019

What I Read: March

I read some awesome books this month and got a few more in than usual, thanks to spring break! It was a good month for reading.

  • Unmarriageable: Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan by Soniah Kamal- When I first saw this book I was super excited to read it. I love retellings of Austen's books, especially Pride and Prejudice, so I put it on hold right away. It took a really long time for me to get it because there were lots of holds on it. When it came in I was about 100 pages into The Poisonwood Bible and was loving it. Since I owned that book it made more sense to stop reading it to get through this one before it was due at the library. I was really enjoying The Poisonwood Bible so I had a hard time transitioning and it took me a little bit to get into this book, but once I did I loved it! I liked the way Kamal took subtleties from Pride and Prejudice and made them more obvious. It was also interesting how social concepts that are now outdated in other areas of the world were still pretty current in Pakistan.
    The pretty cover helps too!
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover- It took me a while to get through this one because I was interrupted by a hold coming in at the library and then by an ebook I couldn't stop reading. It was such a good book though and it was hard to stop reading it. It brought up some questions for me and now I'm really interested in reading about Eisenhower to see if his foreign policy in the Congo is even discussed in his biographies.
  • An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina- This was a book club read. It is the story of the man who's life inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda. Reading about the genocide was just sickening. It was hard to imagine how life could go on in a country that had endured that kind of massacre. I was so amazed by Rusesabagina's character and his ability to negotiate with terrible people. I was impressed with his ability to let people walk away from a conversation feeling like they had won even though he had gotten what he wanted. He is an inspiration. I imagine he is the kind of person you can tell is amazing just from being in the same room as him, one of those magnetic personalities that shines through.
  • The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder- This was also a book club choice. I had a hard time getting into it. It didn't help that I was reading it at the same time as After Anna which was so much better and more suspenseful. It was interesting that I ended up reading these books at the same time because in both stories the mom had a child with a husband in Europe and the marriage didn't work out. I got a little mixed up with the characters when I was reading them both at the same time. This wasn't exactly my kind of book. All the characters were semi-terrible and hard to like. But the overall message was about family and was good. I wouldn't say I disliked the book but I wouldn't recommend it to someone else. I have a hard time with characters who you just want to slap and tell them to snap out of it!  
  • There There by Tommy Orange- I'd been intrigued each time I saw this book on a list or on a special shelf on the library. I asked our librarian if she'd read it and she said she had. She said it was good but sad. Her overall reaction was kind of meh. I felt pretty similarly after I read it. It was so well written and it was really interesting to find out how the characters were all connected toward the end of the book, but man was it depressing. Which was the whole point, but it was still hard to read sometimes. I was glad I read it as an ebook because I'd have chucks of time where I didn't read it for a while and that was for the best. Otherwise it would have made my mood gloomy.
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware- My mom mentioned that she read this book and it was really good. When I finished There There I couldn't decide what ebook to download next. But I knew I wanted something more "fun" than that had been. I came across this one and decided to read it. It was so good and was the kind of book that you just have to keep reading to find out what happens next. I stayed up past bedtime reading for the first time since I read Little Bee. Usually I'm able to ask myself, "In the morning when you're alarm goes off would you rather have read one more chapter or have gone to bed earlier," and that helps me stop. But this was just so good and so suspenseful I couldn't! Usually my ebooks play 2nd fiddle to my regular books. I just read them when I'm somewhere without my book or if it's too dark to read my book and I don't want to use a flashlight (like naptime at school). I was reading this at the same time as The Poisonwood Bible which was an awesome book but not super suspenseful so I ended up reading this one in place of it. Once I started it I couldn't stop and I think I finished it in 2-3 days. It was so good!
  • Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan- I saw this highly recommended on Modern Mrs. Darcy so I thought I'd give it a try. I figured with the kind of nonfiction it was, an ebook would be perfect and it was. I was surprised by how much I loved this book! It was so well written and really insightful. I think saying, "Tell me more," during a conversation is such great advice. Rather than jumping in to solve the problem, you allow the speaker to feel heard and valued. Now I want to find more books written by Corrigan because she had such a way with words. She could make any story beautiful!
  • After Anna by Lisa Scottoline- My friend Sara recommended this book to me. At first it worked out great as an ebook since the sections were short but it quickly took over and I stopped reading my regular book to finish this one. It was so good, I couldn't put it down. I loved that it kept throwing me off. I'd think maybe I'd figured something out and then I'd turn out to be totally wrong. If you want to read this book, do not read past this sentence, skip the rest of my critique! I hated to see a storyline where someone is falsely accused of sexual abuse because I think stories like that cause people to question accusations even though false accusations are so, so rare. But she definitely made up for that with the inclusion of a sex trafficking ring in America. I think so often people think of that as an outside problem and don't realize it actually happens here too. That was just my little two cents on it, the book really was amazing!  
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey- I saw this on Hoopla and was hopeful it would be similar to Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows since it was also about Indian widows (very narrow-minded of me, I know). The two books were nothing alike but I also enjoyed this one. It was more of a mystery than the other one, although the other one also had that aspect to it. After the fact I realized it was the first book in a series of Perveen Mistry books. I'd like to read some more of them at some point. I liked it as an audiobook because I love Indian accents.
  • I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron- This was read by Nora Ephron and just as her other 2 books were, it was amazing. I was reading a story that mentioned this book and I was shocked because I hadn't realized she had another book. I was really excited and found it as a downloadable audiobook right away. It was so funny and insightful and I loved her stories. It is crazy to me that I adore her books and think I would have enjoyed her as a person but I'm not a huge fan of her movies. They are a little over the top with the romance for me. Although the comedy in them is on point. I guess I'd just say they are okay, in my opinion. I loved that in one story she shared she almost stopped writing a screenplay she was working on because it was hard and she was sure it wouldn't get made into a movie anyway. Then it was revealed the movie was When Harry Met Sally, the movie that changed her life.
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani- I had this on my list from reading Dear Farenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks. It was read by the author and at first I didn't think I'd be able to get into it due to the way she read. But the story line was so interesting and really hooked me in. It's the first book in a series and I think I'll read the next books instead of listening to the audiobooks since they are all read by the author. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not. This one I was impressed by. I was surprised by how much I loved Joshilyn Jackson reading her books in and audiobook.
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell- I wanted a short audiobook to listen to while I waited to get a book I had on hold. I picked this one because I remembered my mom liking Sarah Vowell and I'd had it on my book list. I absolutely loved this book. I felt a kinship with Vowell over her love of history and nerding out over visiting historical places. I was jealous of her trips to presidential libraries and Salem, Massachusetts. The book was read by Vowell and her goofy voice made the book even better. I loved it. I was disappointed our library doesn't have her other books as audiobooks because I enjoyed listening to her read her work.


  1. I'm glad you liked In A Dark, Dark Wood. It did keep you going, didn't it? And Sarah Vowell is pretty funny. I always enjoy her on a talk show. I really like Lisa Scottoline's essays, but wasn't crazy about the one mystery I'd tried. But I really liked After Anna, too.

    1. Sara said "After Anna" is her favorite Lisa Scottoline book she's read so that doesn't surprise me. I just felt like Sarah Vowell was my friend after I finished listening to that audiobook. It was funny!