March was a thing that happened. It had nowhere near the pizazz of the February baby shower or Vegas trip, but it happened.
There were a few sunny days that allowed for some porching and drinking of drinks. And, thanks to Fall Shannon, there are about 50 tulips (and lots of daffs) coming up this month. No blooms yet. You know I’ll keep you posted.
That is my somewhat boring life update. Chugging along. Nothing new.
To the books!
I read 10 books this month, including one reread and four—count ’em four!—books that count toward my 2022 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. Whoop! Here are some thoughts.
The Secret Wisdom of Nature
Peter Wohlleben’s books are bound to end up classics of nature writing. I loved listening to the audiobook version of this. Lots of fascinating stories about plants and animals.
This is my entry for the 2022 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge category “adventure book by a BIPOC author.” It’s fantastic and heartbreaking and deserves all the hype it gets.
The Genius of Birds
More wonderful nature writing. This book lulled me to sleep each night for a week as I listened to interesting stories of robins, jays, corvids, and so much more.
Boy of the Painted Cave
I ordered this via interlibrary loan from my library because I’m pretty sure it’s the book my sixth grade teacher (oh hey, Mrs. Czynowski) read to my social studies class. I fell in love with it as an 11-year-old and found it just as good as a 41-year-old. Was it written for children? Absolutely. Did I get absorbed in the hunting and cave painting adventures of a prehistoric boy just as much as I did when I was a child? Absolutely.
The Bookshop on the Corner
I can’t help myself. I love Jenny Colgan. Her books are comfort reads for me. This one, which fits the Read Harder Challenge category “Read a book set in a bookshop,” was no exception. After being let go from her library job, a woman moves to Scotland, fixes up an old van and turns it into a roaming bookshop, and falls in love. This may read like a Hallmark movie, but it couldn’t be more on brand for me.
Maybe I’m being unfair though. Colgan is a talented writer who does more than scratch a character’s surface (as in a Hallmark movie). There is depth to her characters if not to her plots. Regardless, I love them as they are.
This is my entry for the Read Harder Challenge’s category “Read a queer retelling of a classic of the canon, fairytale, folklore, or myth.” I don’t like retellings. Fairy tales and related fantasy stories are not my jam. But I boldly searched through many of the selection at my library (I tried to start five other books that would fit this category) and eventually settled into this one. I’m glad I did. I think I liked it because it was a realistic retelling with no elements of magic or magical realism in sight. I liked that.
If you like YA and themes of identity around sexuality and just in general, you may like this one too.
The Fire Never Goes Out
This is my choice for the Read Harder Challenge category “Read a nonfiction YA comic.” It’s a wonderful memoir in graphic format which explores issues of gender identity, creativity, and young-adulthood.
Elizabeth von Arnim has quickly become one of my favorite authors. After I first read Elizabeth and Her German Garden about two years ago, it became one of my favorite books of all time, and then I snagged her complete novels on Amazon.
The Benefactress explores that relatable topic of a woman’s lack of options back in the days when women were raised solely to become wives and mothers. What happens when a woman doesn’t become a wife or mother? What happens if she doesn’t become either and also has no money?
Here is one option according to the story of a woman with a generous uncle and peculiar ideas about helping others like her. It was fascinating.
The Way Home: Tales from a Life Without Technology
I very much enjoy reading books about alternative ways of living and this one was excellent.
This book is home to one of my favorite kinds of protagonists: undeniably quirky and a flauter of social conventions. There is a good mystery too.
And that’s that! I had the pleasure of reading some great books this month and I look forward to an equally fun April, after which I also hope to report the arrival of a grandchild! Woo!