Not only am I very late writing this post, I also still haven’t read a single book in March. February was such a productive reading month that I seem to have hit a slump since. Hopefully rounding up these great titles will inspire me to get back to it, so here are all the books I read last month.
The Situation and The Story – Vivian Gornick
Gornick has some invaluable wisdom to share, but to find it you’ll have to wade through page after page of other people’s words and thoughts. This book relied too heavily on half hearted observations of other writer’s work, literal pages after pages of quotes, when the chances are you picked up this book to read Gornick’s thoughts. That said, Gornick’s simple lesson of the situation and the story is an imperative one for any writer to learn and will surely benefit both fiction & creative non fiction writers. One for writers to skim read.
Tales From The Hinterland – Melissa Albert
A deliciously creepy collection of twisted fairy tales. A.S. Byatt once said fairy tales were “not invented for children, and deal ferociously with the grim and the bad and the dangerous” and that certainly rings true here. You won’t find any happy endings or sweet bed time tales in this book, but you will find fairy tales and fables that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Whether you’ve read Melissa Albert’s previous works or not, any lovers of fairy tales should dip into this dark collection.
How We Met – Huma Qureshi
Huma’s memoir has the same effect on the brain as spending an afternoon with an old friend. It’s the literary equivalent of a conversation shared over a pot of tea that lasts long after the tea is poured. It’s touted as a romantic memoir but really How We Met reads to me more like a coming of age tome. Huma’s journey to accepting herself, accepting her culture, finding confidence and love, muddling through grief, it’s all poignant and thoughtful and at times heartbreaking, but above all relatable.
Huma herself describes her story as ‘ordinary’ and that is where the magic lies. She brings to life the ordinary human experience in a way that leaves you under her spell. Above all it’s her descriptions of living with grief that stay with me.
The Mask Falling – Samantha Shannon
If dystopian fantasy novels are your bag, I can’t recommend The Bone Season series highly enough. After waiting literal years for this instalment I can finally confirm it was worth the wait. I love how Shannon builds the world of Scion so viscerally, that reading these books almost feels like a breathless fight for the revolution itself. I shan’t give any more away, but dear god please read this series so we can talk about it (if you’ve read it send me an insta DM asap!)
Among The Beasts and Briars – Ashley Poston
A true to form fairy tale, taking inspiration from the classics but pulling on modern themes. This book isn’t necessarily one to write home about, it’s not doing anything groundbreaking, it’s a little predictable and fairly tame, but it’s a good example of a well formed YA Standalone that’s true to the classic fairy tale vibe. If you like friend to lovers slow burn romances, quests in cursed forests and lots of magic, then I’d recommend escaping into this for a while.
Get A Life Chloe Brown & Take a Hint Dani Brown – Talia Hibbert
I haven’t read an unputdownable romance in a long time, and I POWERED through these two reads. I picked up Get a Life Chloe Brown because wow, chronic illness rep in romance?! Sign me up! They’re fast paced, wonderfully diverse and honestly just very enjoyable reads and the third book in the series arrived today, I can’t wait for a long soak in the bath to read it!
A Court of Silver Flames – Sarah J Maas
A divisive one I know, love or hate Sarah J Maas you can’t deny her following. I choose to enjoy these books at surface value, the wonderful escapism that they are, and ignore some of the more questionable writing. We’ve waited a long time for another instalment in this series and I really enjoyed getting back to this world. If you’ve read it, you can check out my very spoilery review here.
The Prison Healer – Lynette Noni
Ending on a high here, I received an ARC of this book and wow did it suck me in. Finding a YA Fantasy with a unique setting is rare these days, but the complex prison that Noni has created really drew me in. This book should come with every possible trigger warning, but I found myself unable to put this book down!
Let’s hope I pick up the pace and read at least one book in March!
Have you read any good books recently?