As we continue to hurtle through the year at frightening speed, it’s time for another reading wrap up. Throughout March I finished a total of 12 books (5 novels, a poetry collection, a short story collection, a short story anthology, 2 non-fiction books, a graphic novel and one of the Penguin Little Black Classics). This took me up to a total of 32 for the year so far, and therefore keeps me on track to hopefully hit my 100 book target.
It was a strong month overall, with lots of highlights. Chief amongst them however was probably Blythe Baird’s beautiful collection of accessible, hard-hitting poetry, Give Me a God I Can Relate To, which focusses primarily on issues such as gender, sexuality, eating disorders and sexual abuse. They were incredibly poignant, relevant and relatable. It seems every now and then you find a writer whose work just speaks to you, and I found myself finishing nearly every one of Baird’s poems thinking, ‘Yes, Blythe. You’re so right.’
My other favourite reads this month were The Doll by Daphne du Maurier, a collection of wonderfully atmospheric and richly written short stories, many of which have really stayed with me, and Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence, a classic crime novel centred around a years-old murder within a family, and the ripple effect on all those who fall under suspicion after new evidence proves that the wrong person had been imprisoned all along, and that the real killer still lives amongst them. The characters were well developed, the possible motives built masterfully, and the old-school charm made it another wonderful read.
Malala Yousafzai’s memoir was a very interesting read, which delved into the political and social history of Pakistan far more than I had expected, in addition to her retelling of the awful attack by the Taliban in which she was shot in the head for speaking out in favour of girls’ rights. The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss was a quiet yet impactful story that followed the unique perspective of a stay-at-home father following an incident in which his teenage daughter’s heart stops for unknown reasons. Though she is revived, she and her family have to readjust their lives to live with the constant fear that she could collapse again at any moment.
I also enjoyed The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, another unsettling sci-fi tale from the master of the genre, in which a disgraced scientist has been conducting horrific experiments on a desolate island in attempts to create a super-race, with predictably terrible results; and Volume 1 of Postal, the first in a graphic novel series that centres around a community inhabited by former convicts that is rocked by its first major crime in years, leading to secrets and lies catching up with several characters.
Other than that, the rest were all fine reads, with only a couple of slight dips in an otherwise excellent reading month. As such, I’m excited to see what April has in store for me in terms of books.
What was your favourite read in March?