01 April 2011

Last Month in Review: March 2011

Wowsers--if it weren't for audio books, my average would be way down this month.  It's been busy at work, and between getting sick and taking a train trip down to Chadds Ford, PA (can't read on a train, sadly), I simply did not read as much in March.

1. Lost Voices by Sarah Porter--a forthcoming YA novel about girls who become sirens/mermaids after something tragic happens to them. Holly Ruck, my sales rep from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, gave me the ARC.  

2. The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse.  Picked this up in a second hand store, but I had read it about twenty years ago when I was a teenager. Now I picture Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as I'm reading it, which only adds to the pleasure.

3. Hector and the Secrets of Love by Francois LeLord.  My Penguin paperback rep, Ann Wachur,  gave me the ARC of this book, but I'm sorry to say that it disappoints compared to his first book.  The magic just isn't there. 

4. These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan.  This was also a re-read.  Gosh, but when I'm sick, forget comfort food.  Bring on the comfort books!  This is part three of an astonishingly well done trilogy that tells Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view.  Most Austen fanfiction is pure dee crap, but this one stands out for how good it is.

5. The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer, the ARC of which I received from my Viking sales rep, Karl Krueger.  My review is here

6. Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson (audio).  Great, as always.  Listened to this one on one road trip to Boston and back. 

7. Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante.  Got the ARC from my Perseus/PGW sales rep, Mike Katz.  Literary thriller about a former surgeon with dementia who is accused of murdering her best friend--but of course, she can't recall a thing about it, and what's more, her heart breaks every day she learns anew that her best friend is dead. Review forthcoming.

8. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (audio).  Listened to this one on another roadtrip to Boston and back.  I'd read the book before but this was my first listen. 

9. Games to Play After Dark by Sarah Gardner Borden.  The agent for this book sent me an ARC to read.  It's a novel forthcoming from Vintage about a young couple who grow apart as they grow older.

10. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.  National Book Critics Circle award winner for 2010.  Review is here

11. I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (audio).  This one I read in book form a few years ago and it's one case where I preferred the book to the audio.  Bryson is funny, certainly, but these short vignettes worked better for me as a reader rather than a listener.  This one kept my company on my daily commute to work for about a week. 

12. Red Glove by Holly Black.  This YA ARC came to me from our Simon & Schuster rep, John Muse, via Marika McCooler, the store's children's buyer.  Highly enjoyable.  I like the way Black's individual books in a trilogy stand well on their own, too.  I abhor cliffhangers and she doesn't do that to her audience.  She'll be reading at our store in April along with Cassie Clare.

13. Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson.  I picked this Other Press ARC up at Winter Institute and only recently got around to it.  It is my favorite book that I read this month, about a Nigerian girl named Blessing who finds out the hard way that her family members, and even she herself, are not what they seem.  Great companion read to Little Bee or The Secret Lives of the Four Wives, giving more political background to the Nigerian oil crisis.  Review forthcoming. 


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  1. We seem to be reading about the same amount of books. I read 14 or 15 last month. It's always nice to find similar spirits. I mean, there are lots of people that read 15-20 YA books, but that's a different story. To me.

    I haven't read any of these but probably will like to pick up Visits from the Goon squad sometime.

    Hope April will be a good reading month for you.

  2. I should be receiving A Visit from the Good Squad sometime soon for BlogCritics review. I can't wait. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Egan's writing and want to see it for myself. I wish I'd get more audiobook arc's, because I'm simply not able to read as much as I want to. Housework is a must, and then when the kids get home from school, all my time is focused on them. *sigh*

  3. Jennifer, I wish I'd receive more audio ARCs, too. I spend about an hour each day in my car driving to & from work, which would be a great time to work another book into my life. I look forward to your review of Goon Squad once you post it.

  4. I'm about to start "Tiny Sunbirds" - I'm even more excited to read it now, given your praise.

    -- Ellen

  5. Emily, thanks for the recs, I am an avid audiobook listener, my favorite narrator is Tom Stechschulte - that guy could read the phone book and I would listen.
    Enjoying your blog,

  6. Hello, nice site. Posted by myself in bookmarks


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