March Reading Wrap Up and April TBR

March Reading Wrap Up -- The Riverside Library

So this reading wrap up is actually on time. I don’t know who I am anymore either. But rather than work through an existential crisis, I’m just going to tell you what I read in the month of March, and what I’m planning to read (but probably won’t get to) in April.

March

 

This month has been one hell of a long one for me. It feels like I read nothing, but I managed to get through eight books. I read some I loved, some I wasn’t fan of and some in between, with an average star rating of 4 stars. So, let’s get into it!

(Pssssst… some of these links are affiliate links, this means I earn a small commission from purchases made with these links, at no extra cost to you, of course, because I am all about saving money).

Books I Read

In order of completion, here are the books I finished in March:

  1. Obsidio – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  2. The Crowns Game – Evelyn Skye
  3. The Library of Fates – Aditi Khorana
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
  5. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  6. Persepolis 1 – Marjane Satrapi
  7. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  8. Persepolis 2 – Marjane Satrapi

Books I Loved

As usual with my wrap-ups, I’ll link the Goodreads page to the book’s title so you can have a look at the blurb over there (it’ll open in a new tab), and I will share my thoughts without talking over what it was about.

Obsidio

I was kindly sent an early copy of this by Allen and Unwin NZ and I stayed up until 1am until I finished it because I needed to know what happened. Obsidio was my most anticipated release of 2018, and it most certainly did not disappoint. Obsidio had everything I was hoping for (let’s be honest I just wanted AIDAN), and although it didn’t have as much of the surprise twists and turns as the previous two books, I liked it just as much as I liked Iluminae (the first book in the series, my favourite). I ended up giving Obsidio a five out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Why I chose to reread the fourth book in the Harry Potter series in isolation, I have no idea. I just felt like a good Triwizard tournament. The Goblet of Fire isn’t my favourite in the series (a privilage that is reserved for The Half Blood Prince) but I would say that it’s definitely near the top of my favourites (aren’t they all). I powered through the Goblet of Fire, I actually surprised myself, I read most of it in one lazy morning, bundled up in bed (inarguably one of the best times to read), and I loved every single minute of it. I love how I always seem to find something new in these books, even though I’ve read them 42,000 times in my life, something new always pops out. Ah, to live in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Of course, I gave this five out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

 

Fangirl

I think I should read Fangirl once a month. That should be my thing. Like I once watched Pitch Perfect every day for a month. This will be like that except slightly less obsessive. Fangirl is my favourite contemporary novel, and probably one of my favourite novels of all time. I love Fangirl so much that I’ll probably end up including it in so many monthly wrap-up’s I’ll just write a review for it and link it to each wrap up – so watch this space. I gave it five out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

Books I Liked

The Crowns Game

I really enjoyed the Crowns Game, but there were parts that felt very confused to me. There were even parts that felt like the book wasn’t taking itself seriously. It was like Romeo and Juliet, meets The Night Circus, meets Cinderella. This is not a bad thing, I found the plot interesting and I was curious throughout the entire book to see the outcome of The Crowns Game. I can’t say it took me by surprise, but I see how it may have been surprising to some. All in all, I gave The Crowns Game four out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

Persepolis 1

I’m not a graphic novel person, I wish I appreciated the art in graphic novels more than I do, but I’m too much of a word person. I think I lost some of the charm of Persepolis because I didn’t pay attention to the illustrations, but I still enjoyed it very much. The story was engaging and addictive, emotional and eye opening. I was very glad to have the second part sitting by my side when I finished this one. I gave Persepolis 1 four out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

Persepolis 2

I began reading this right after finishing Persepolis 1, and I found it to be equally emotional and engaging as the first. Again, I didn’t pay much attention to the illustrations. I enjoyed learning about the unbelievably difficult times that befell the Iranian people during the time that the book is set in. I enjoyed Persepolis 2  just as much as its predecessor, so I gave four out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here or get vol 1 and 2 together and save! 

Books I Have Mixed Feelings About

 

The Library of Fates

I find it hard to form an opinion on this book. On one hand, I found myself emotionally connected to most of the characters and intrigued as to where the story would go, but on the other hand I really didn’t connect with it as a whole. Although an interesting story, I found it lacked some depth which prevented me from connecting with it fully and therefore decreased my enjoyment of it. I ended up giving it a three out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

 

 

The Bell Jar

Ah, The Bell Jar. I was certainly quite hesitant going into this book because of the subject matter, but I’d always wanted to read it. I buddy read this with two of my friends over on bookstagram @fabookishlife and @bookeudaimonia_ (I was the last one to finish, because they are awesome and I was feeling very disoriented with it). Overall, I have definite mixed feelings, and I still struggle to put them into words. My problem with The Bell Jar was that it was so disorienting, and because of that, I found it very difficult to truly connect with the main character. I understand that the disorientation may have very well been intentional, however it was not something I enjoyed. In the end, I gave The Bell Jar three out of five stars.

You can grab a copy here

Around the World in Eighty Books Check-in

 

Although I may be on track to complete reading eighty books this year, I am definitely not on track to reading eighty books by eighty different authors from eighty different countries. I’ve managed to read ten books toward my goal, so I’m nine books short. I have a few books I’m nearly finished, so I’m aiming to catch up a little on my goal in April.

 

April

 

Currently Reading

Although I have about a bajillion (apparently that’s an actual word) books on loan from the library, I’m really only currently reading two books. Which probably surprised me more than it surprises you.

 

Madness, Rack and Honey

Mary Ruefle

This book. This book. I have so much love for Madness, Rack and Honey I’m at a loss as to how to express it. Mary Ruefle is a poet and a lecturer, and her book Madness, Rack and Honey is a series of lectures about poetry. By now you’ll understand why I love it so. I’m planning on writing a whole review of this one, so keep an eye out for that.

 

I Have More Souls Than One

Fernando Pessoa

One of my five little Penguin Moderns, this poetry book caught my eye as I was scrolling through the collection on my local independent bookstore’s website. I was itching to get my hands on Clarice Lispector’s Daydream and Drunkenness of a Young Lady but I couldn’t just buy one! The book is divided up into three sections, I’m currently on the third, and I’m really enjoying the collection so far, especially the way Pessoa speaks of nature.

Book Club Picks

Did you know I recently started my own book club? It’s focussing on introducing non-fiction to people who primarily read fiction novels. You can join our Goodreads group to read with us! April will be our very first reading month, and I’m still getting used to the Goodreads group format, so bear with me while I work that one out, but this is sure to be heaps of fun!

Now, our very first book is:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’ve been meaning to read this since it’s release. You all know I’m an absolute science nerd, but physics was the only science subject I didn’t study at university, because of that I’ve harboured a deep curiosity and love for it. One of my favourite books in existence is Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli, so I’m hoping Tyson’s Astrophysics can hold its own against that.

Here. have a blurb:

The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

 

Head down to your local library, or online to their eBook collection, or even better, grab a copy here to join in!

Books I Want to Read

Psssssssst… click the title of the book to be redirected to Goodreads where you can find a blurb of the book and add it to your shelves. While you’re at it, you can always add me.

 

Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin

I have loaned this from the library countless times, and started it each and every time, intending to finish it, but I just can’t seem to get into it. Game of Thrones is a cornerstone of the fantasy genre, so I feel an obligation as a fantasy lover to read it, but something about the weird sounding names really stops me from getting past the prologue. Yep, I am stuck on the prologue. But I’m nothing if not stubborn, determined and tenacious so I will get past the prologue. Just watch me.

 

The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

I’m planning a trip over to Hokitika this month, where The Luminaries is set. Eleanor Catton is a Canadian born New Zealand author, and I’m intrigued to read this Booker prize novel set in my birth country (yes, I was born in New Zealand *plot twist*).

 

 

The Summer Book

Tove Jansson

Representing Finland in my Around the World in Eighty Books challenge is The Summer Book recommended to me by one of my lovely friends over on bookstagram. I began this book back in February (or January? Months are so hard to remember), but I ran out of time on my loan so I had to return it to the library. I fully intend to re-issue it to myself when I return the mountain of books I have out at the moment (quite literally a small mountain. Okay, maybe more like a hill. A small hill. A hillock. A knoll. One of those).

 

Many Lives

Kurkrit Pramoj

I love this book. Really, I’m over halfway through it and I really enjoyed it while I was reading it. You may wonder why I put it down if I was enjoying it so much, but I had so many library loans due at the time that I really had to take a break from it, and I haven’t picked it up since. I think April will be the month I get to it. I really do.

 

Children of Blood and Bone

Tomi Adeyemi

This book is really big in the YA book world at the moment, and I wasn’t paling on reading it, but I did find it available in my library’s eBook collection, so I loaned it, and now I’m rather excited to see what all the hype is about. I have no idea what the book is actually about, and I’m happy with it that way, I want the book to take me by surprise. Hopefully I can get to it before my loan expires.

 

Daydream and Drunkenness of a Young Lady

Clarice Lispector

I have been meaning to read Lispector for such a long time, but I struggle to find her books in my library or my local bookstore! I know I can find them on the Book Depository, however I’m yet to purchase one. I found this in the Penguin Moderns collection and just knew I had to get myself a copy. I am very excited to read this one!

 

Notes on Camp

Susan Sontag

Sontag is another author I’ve been meaning to read for what seems like a short eternity. I love how these small Penguin Moderns give a little taster for an authors style, I feel like I’ll be able to judge if I’ll like their work or not, and then if I do, I’ll be able to delve deeper into their body of work.

 

The Breakthrough

Daphne du Maurier

I’ve seen a lot of books by Daphne du Maurier in my life (really pretty ones too) and yet I’ve never actually read anything by her, I didn’t even know anything about her, but when I was in my local independent bookstore the other day I found about five little Penguin Moderns (which I am obsessed with can you tell?), and The Breakthrough  was one of them. So, when I went online to find if the store stocked a bigger variety (rejoice, it did) I couldn’t resist picking up The Breakthrough as well. I mean, it’s about a scientist. That was all I needed.

 

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sure we’ve all heard a lot about Martin Luther King Jr., even those of us who aren’t American. I feel like his Letter from Birmingham Jail will be an incredibly interesting piece, and an important read too. I’m very excited to delve into this one (like all my Penguin Moderns because I love them).

 

 

The Order of Time

Carlo Rovelli

I AM SO EXCITED FOR CARLO ROVELLI’S NEW BOOK I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY CONVEY MY EXCITEMENT. I LOVE HIS BOOKS SO MUCH. I LOVE THIS ONE ALREADY EVEN THOUGH I HAVEN’T READ IT YET.

Non-Bookish Things I Loved

On TV, I really enjoyed The Resident, and my marathon rewatch of Once Upon a Time. I’ve spent a lot of time coding my new website theme and I’m loving that beyond words, I’ve also been writing my WIP (work in progress) more, although I am behind on my word count goals. I travelled to Arthurs Pass this month, and I loved loved loved seeing the beautiful scenery and the fresh mountainous air. Oh, also cinnamon buns, chocolate pudding, rum balls, all those things I loved this month but you probably don’t care about so…. YEP! That’s that! Once again, thanks for reading, hope you all had a great March!

 

Let me know what you loved during March in the comments section below!

 

Penny for your thoughts? (I'm kidding, I don't have pennies but I'd love your thoughts)

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