Each month I round up the best things I have read. In March, we enjoyed some nice weather and biked home once a week. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the tourists were out in full force! Jeff thought up a mystery date for us (more on that later), we had fun with friends and celebrated Jeff’s brother Kevin’s birthday. I settled into my new job and we generally had a good time!
- Standalone sci-fi novels you might want to read [Book Riot]
- A collection of pancake recipes [Pioneer Woman]
Books – I read 9 books in March.
- Railsea by China Mieville – 4 out of 5 stars. Really interesting! It is less… unsavory? perhaps than some of his other books. It’s certainly odd but not disturbing like some of his novels. More positive. I liked it.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall by Joss Whedon – 3 out of 5 stars. I don’t really remember what happened in the Buffy Season 8 comics (I read them a few years ago – I know it was the first year I read 100 books in one year). So I was sort of confused and overall, not that interested. I probably am done reading these.
- Morning Star by Pierce Brown – 2 out of 5 stars. The conclusion of the Red Rising series. Again, Jeff and I read it out loud to each other. The dialogue in this book was hilariously bad. Much of the book was boring and we got really tired of Darrow’s plans being repeatedly destroyed in similar ways. Not into it, but it’s over so that’s good.
- The Mare by Mary Gaitskill – 3 out of 5 stars. I started out really enjoying this, and in the end was starting to get a little uncomfortable and annoyed at the ways everyone was misunderstanding each other, taking advantage of each other, or being out-and-out racist. I mean, I think that was sort of the point, and it was well written. So I felt mixed.
- The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson – 5 out of 5 stars. After barely making it through the last in this series, I was so happy to find this one was back to form. My theory is that the problem with Shadows of Self is it’s technically the first in a trilogy – except Sanderson already published one book (Alloy of Law) with the same characters. But since Alloy of Law was apart from the trilogy, he decided to keep everyone exactly the same, character wise, in Shadows of Self, so they could develop from there. But ugh! In Shadows of Self the characters sort of felt like caricatures. But in Bands of Mourning we finally see growth and development, and it was great. I loved it.
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t recall how this book made it to my to-read list, as historical fiction about Biblical characters is pretty far outside my usual comfort zone (maybe that’s why?). When I realized what it was about, I did not expect to like it. But I kept being drawn to it, and it ended up being really good! A fascinating take on women’s lives from that era.
- Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson – 4 out of 5 stars. Kelsier is a fun character and this was a neat novella. It’s also really the first one that was truly about the Cosmere, and revealed some interesting things (for the uninitiated, most of Sanderson’s works are in one universe called the Cosmere and there have been hints at its formation, at people who can travel between worlds, and other stuff like that). It’s been hard for me to care about the Cosmere stuff in earlier books (even though Jeff and our friend Greg liked to talk about it) because I was annoyed that you either had to be super observant and good at remembering tiny details to notice it in other books, or spend time on the 17th Shard forums. Since neither appealed to me, it seemed sort of annoying. But now that I understand a bit of it, I’m starting to be interested!
- Room by Emma Donoghue – 3 out of 5 stars. I read this because it was hyped and the movie came out recently. It was pretty unique, but I don’t think she captures the voice of a five-year old perfectly (not that I could do any better) and it was hard to digest some of the subject matter. Still, a good book.
- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg – 4 out of 5 stars. This is a novel told in various vignettes and in newspaper articles. It’s about a lesbian relationship in the 1920’s and beyond… but it’s also, and maybe more so, about women and how they are expected from the twenties to the eighties. And it’s also about race relations in the south and how they affected individuals. It was really good.
What did you read in March?