Books I Read March 2020

by - Monday, April 13, 2020

Like I said in my March running recap, March was a weird month for me -- the first half dominated by moving stress, the second half dominated by quarantine stress.

Quarantine stress made it especially hard to focus, so my time spent sitting down and reading took a hit in March. But March was also the month I really started embracing audio books to keep me company on my quarantine walks. The addition of the audio books helped bolster what would otherwise have been a pretty sad month of reading for me.

Aside from the two more serious books I read at the start of the month, a lot of my March reads were intentionally lighter, easier reads that would take my mind off everything going on the in world.

March 2020 books

Here's a look at what I read/listened to in March:

Five Stars

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
Growing up in an Irish Catholic family, I heard stories about the Troubles and how it wasn't safe to visit Northern Ireland when my parents were growing up. When I visited Belfast a few years ago, it was eye opening to see what had changed and what hadn't since the cease-fire. This book added a level of depth and color to my understanding of the Troubles that I never had before. It tackles the subject of people who were "disappeared," the hunger strikes by famous IRA prisoners, the rise of Sinn Féin, and leaves you wondering about how things ended. The Troubles wasn't a "war" so the crimes committed during it are not considered war crimes. The book leaves you wondering who should be held accountable, how do families get any sort of justice, and since Northern Ireland is still part of the UK, was it even worth it?

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Five stars! What a great, creative, twisty-turny book. I listened to this book on all my social distancing walks around the neighborhood and every time I got back home, I hated turning it off because I just wanted to know what happens next. Aiden Bishop arrives at Blackheath for a celebration, but he finds himself continuing to live the same day over and over as he tries to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. The catch is, each time Aidan wakes up, he's in the body of a different person at the party. Seeing the same events play out over and over from different people's perspectives make it very unclear who you can and can't trust and hard to know what is true. A fun mystery that I highly recommend.

Four Stars

American Royals by Katharine McGee
This was a fun book to read. Like the title says, it tells the story of the American Royal family. But we don't have royalty here you might say. Well this book assumes that we do -- that when Washington beat the British he become a monarch instead of a president and his blood line has ruled ever since. This follows the story of the modern-day royal family and their non-royal friends and the antics they get up to trying to cope with their fame and responsibilities. If you need a light-hearted read for tough times, I highly recommend this.

Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
This was the book I didn't know I needed during the first weekend stuck at home during the coronavirus lockdown. It was light and fun and took my mind off all the nonsense going on in the world.

Anna K by Jenny Lee
I listened to this as an audio book on my long walks at the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak. It was the perfect audio book to take my mind off everything going on in the world and whisk me away to the troubles of high schoolers struggling with their relationship problems. This book is an updated take on Anna Karenina and I enjoyed it for it's fast paced take on modern high school drama.

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
I've been having a hard time concentrating on books lately, and this was the light and easy book I needed during all this social distancing. It follows the story of a mother, who enters an essay contest to win a luxury vacation, in an attempt to reunite her adult children. The children all have their own challenges and baggage and when trapped together on a cruise for a week, it all comes bubbling to the surface. I enjoyed this book immensely because it didn't make me think too hard.

Three Stars

A Woman Like Her: The Story Behind the Honor Killing of a Social Media Star by Sanam Maher
I learned a lot while I read this book about honor killings and how prevalent they still are in Pakistan. I found the parts of the book that focused on Qandeel and her life really interesting and also incredibly tragic. I didn't so much love some of the other parts of the book that I felt wandered too much away from her story. I found some of those chapters harder to get through. Overall a good book, but wish there had been more time spent on Qandeel's story.

Are you reading (or listening to) any good books during quarantine?

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