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March Monthly Recap

pile-of-books

Time for our March recap. Find out which books were favorites, which were duds, and which ones we are most looking forward to in 2016. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out in April and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading next month.

We are taking a brief hiatus from awarding gift cards since last month someone attempted to steal the card from the true winner (by creating a fake email account with that person’s name and emailing me to request the gift card to that fake account). We will restructure this make it more difficult for this to happen and should be up and running again next month.  

Jen: I had a really slow reading month due to life and work getting in the way. I did put up a Little Free Library and that took a lot of my free time. I am really excited to share some of our photos (coming soon).

One thing I’d like to do here is keep track of the diversity of my books (something I track on a personal spreadsheet). I finished 6 books in March but three of those books were books I had started reading before March. Two books (33%) were written by women, three (50%) were written by authors born outside the U.S. (Afghanistan, Germany, Ukraine), and three (50%) were set outside the U.S. One was a translated book. All 6 books were written by White authors.

Favorite book read in March: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Kaled Hosseini. I was “assigned” this for a book swap in one of my reading groups. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up without the recommendation since I find his books emotionally very draining although important and beautifully written.

Least favorite book read in March: I didn’t dislike any book I read in March. Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell was probably my least favorite, but I didn’t dislike it. You can read my review here.

Future Goals: So below were my new year’s resolutions and here’s how I’ve done so far. They remain my goals for April.

  • Slow down my reading pace. Once again, I did this unintentionally. I read more slowly but not necessarily more deeply. My goodreads progress bar keeps reminding me that I am 7 books behind schedule for my 2016 reading challenge.
  • Read more books published in 2016: meh. Only 1 book I read was published in 2016 but another was published in 2015.
  • Clearing out my physical TBR before buying new books: I did terribly with this goal. Two of the books were netgalley books so at least I didn’t pay for them but I requested them as opposed to focusing on books already in my possession. The other four I bought.

Book Worm: 

Favorite book read in March: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Least favorite book read in March: Like Jen, I didn’t actually have a book I really didn’t like. My least favourite book was The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth. It wasn’t was a bad book, just an average one.

New Year’s Resolution (& April goals): I managed to read 9 books in March so I am bang on target for my aim of 110 books this year, sadly I failed miserably in clearing my TBR pile. In fact I broke my “no more buying books” rule as I had to buy House of Leaves for a reading group — giving me a net gain of physical books of 1.

My goals for April are to finish The Crab Flower Club (which I managed to start in March), read The Holder of the World (which I have had to buy), and to reduce my physical TBR pile by at least 3 books — giving me a net total of -1 books. I am hoping A God in Ruins will arrive at the library soon as April is a light month on challenge books and that would tie in well.

What can you look forward to on our blog in April? In addition to our regular posts, we’ll be featuring our first reader-book match. We hope you help us out! Our March Madness Challenge continues through June. All the brackets are a disaster so who will put it out for the win? For more on upcoming content you can always check out our event calendar — featured on our sidebar.

April 2016 book releases & Book events:
Our Young Man by Edmund White. Release date: April 5
Now and Again by Charlotte Rogan. Release date: April 5
Hystopia by David Means. Release date: April 19
My Struggle: Book five by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Release date: April 19

We want to hear from you. So what are your plans for March? Which books were your favorites and least favorites in February? Are you sticking to your New Year’s reading resolutions? 

 

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lynsey #

    I follow your blog and participate in some of the challenges for the fun of it, not for the prizes. I appreciate both yours and Book Worm’s reviews! That being said it bothers me that there is always someone out to ruin a good thing for others. What kind of pathetic loser spends their time stalking the web for potential gift cards? I refuse to believe that this was actually done by a follower/contributer of your blog. My guess is by someone who will turn around and resell the gift card. Grrrrrrr!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2016
    • It definitely wasn’t one of our followers. I think it was likely someone who was searching on the web. From Algeria.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 31, 2016
    • And thank you for your kind words!

      Like

      March 31, 2016
    • Tessa #

      Absolutely agree … whoever did this is pathetic. So glad you caught on.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 31, 2016
      • Luckily the person who had won was someone who is very active here and I happened to have her real email address. She is also very intelligent and eloquent so it was fishy when I got an email from a different account from someone who appeared to speak English as a second language and they never acknowledged that we have had conversed many times.

        Like

        March 31, 2016
  2. Agree that the Hosseini is a truly magnificent (and harrowing) read. Agree wholeheartedly too about the frustration of work getting in the way of reading…!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2016
  3. I’m excited about your Little Free Library, Jen! I was so inspired by the one I visited. I need to make time to join my local community group, which is trying to make the suburb of Manchester where I live more of a community. They plant flowers in tree pits, clear up after other people’s dogs, have worked with a street artist to beautify some telephone exchange boxes, among other things. I think a Little Free Library might work.

    I read 6 books this month. I can’t choose between Cranford and The Miniaturist as my favourite read, I loved them both. The Fishermen was a little disappointing, but still a good book.

    I might possibly finish the biography of Bukowski tonight, which will put me onto the March Madness board at last!

    Next month I have The Martian lined up and I’m going to try D H Lawrence again with Sons and Lovers, both picked up from the library today. I also have a couple of review copies of books, my very first! And I aim to read Love in a Cold Climate as well.

    Today at work we had a very determined 4 year old drag her mum into the archive because she wanted to look at the books in our research library. That child will go far!

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2016
    • I agree about the Fishermen. I was disappointed but do think it will be a book that many people find wonderful. I’ve seen people make little free libraries out of all kinds of boxes (cabinets, newspapers bins, etc). It would be nice if you get one in your neighborhood. You could be the one to put it up! Lots of nice goals for next month. I hope I can be half as productive as you

      Like

      March 31, 2016
  4. Tracy S #

    My favorites this month were The Tsar of Love and Techno and The Sellout- both were rare 5 star reads- and I read them back to back. I am also trying to reduce my physical book pile, and I think this month I actually read more books than I bought! For April, I’m going to try to read as many of the novels getting Pulitzer buzz as I can. Not that the predictions are ever right…

    Liked by 1 person

    March 31, 2016
    • I’m so glad you loved the Marra book. I plan to read Sellout very soon. I’m not sure I will love that one. I don’t typically love satirical novels but I hope to be wrong for this one.

      Like

      March 31, 2016
      • Tracy S #

        I’m curious to hear your opinion on it. This may be one you like!

        Like

        March 31, 2016
  5. Ooooh, I spent hours last month figuring out how and where I could start up a Little Free Library and finally decided to shelve it (ha, see what I did there?) for now. Good for you! Also, I love the diversity tracking. Cool beans.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 1, 2016
    • Little free libraries are the best! It had been a lot of fun even though we live in a very quiet area with not much traffic. Book riot gets credit for diversity tracking. I read one of their articles and thought it was a good idea. It has shown me that even though I thought I was reading diversely, most of my books read in the past were written by white, straight men. Now it allows me to really pay attention to reading much more broadly.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 1, 2016

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