March Book Review

I think you could sum March up by saying that it was a decent reading month and I enjoyed the books I read, but that I’m hesitant to recommend them because the subject matters of these books weren’t necessarily widely appealing – whereas I feel like anyone would be able to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (from January) without feeling particularly uncomfortable…does that make sense?

So anyway, I started March out with The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls for book club. I thought it was a beautifully written memoir and a pretty easy read – considering that it covers some tough years and events in a woman’s upbringing. One woman in my book club mentioned skimming the book frequently – that it was uncomfortable for her, while I thought the book did a pretty decent job of glossing over what were most likely pretty gruesome events and wasn’t bothered by them. So there’s that – I really enjoyed the read, but it’s not a universally appealing book.

And I followed The Glass Castle with Faith by Jennifer Haigh. Another good book that I really enjoyed. It centers around the typical scandal that has plagued the Catholic church. But the book is about far more than a sexual abuse scandal – I viewed it as being more about family and relationships. I will say that I grew up in, married in and am actively raising my family in the Catholic Church – a few reviews I read said that readers were lost in the history of the Church and its traditions, but I had background knowledge of that going in, which might have helped my enjoyment, but again, I’d be hesitant to recommend it to anyone but my sister.  

And to follow up the heavy subject matter of the first two books, I ended the month with a fluffy, beach read. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews. It was enjoyable enough, but even as Mary Kay Andrews beach reads go, not her best. My mom found this author when searching for a good beach read two years ago, and we love the Southern settings and slightly home decor related books. But this one lost it’s touch – combining voices, regressing to middle school girl talk, and later in the book incorporating a slew of typos and grammatical errors. So while it definitely fit the bill of fluff I was looking for, it wasn’t the best fluff I’ve ever read.

So 2 for 3 for me this month in terms of good books – but I have no idea how other people would feel about them.  You’re going to run right out and read all three of these, now, aren’t you? 🙂 Any good reads on your list lately?

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  1. After three failed starting attempts, I’m now almost through The Forgotten Garden, and I’m really liking it!

  2. I enjoyed Glass Castle, but it was hard to get through. I just finished Half Broken Horses about her grandmother, which was a much lighter read!

  3. I read The Glass Castle a few years ago and really liked it.

  4. i’m glad you liked the glass castle. our book club, the host chooses the book so we don’t get stuck in a happy fluffy rut so much. we know that one person always chooses dystopian young adult books, but we can always count on another to choose heavier topic books. it keeps it more balanced and i also have read a bunch of books i never ever would have otherwise!

    i have heard half broken horses is good as well.

  5. I think I need a book club. Any openings in yours? We meet in your side yard with margaritas right? So anyway, I don’t have any new recs for you. I finished both J. Courtney Sullivan books I mentioned a while back and liked them both a lot. I had read The Glass Castle a while ago too and enjoyed that, but memoirs involving strange (sometimes heartbreaking) childhoods are my favorite. For example, Augusten Burroughs is my lifelong fave. So thats that. Ha.

  6. I’ve started about 20 books over the past few months and the only one I’ve actually enjoyed was Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

    I, too, was disappointed with Summer Rental, which was sad, because I could hardly stand the wait for it! Can we just get back to the tales of thrifting for gorgeous heart pine furniture? 😉

    I started reading The Glass Castle, but it was too sad for me, so I stopped reading after the first few chapters. I just wanted to scoop her up and give her a better childhood.

  7. I thought “Glass Castle” was excellent. I don’t tend to read only happy books though. I want to read about real life and sometimes it is gritty. Great reviews.