03 April 2012

Last Month in Review: March 2012

March sped by in a blur.  Partly because work was so busy (think: preparing for Rachel Maddow event and conducting interviews for two job openings at the store), partly because both my husband and I contracted whatever gastrointestinal nastiness that was going around.  Let me put it this way...if I didn't have access Goodreads, I'd never be able to come up with a list of what I read last month!

1. Frances & Bernard by Carlene Bauer.  This was a manuscript that a buddy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt asked me to read, and it impressed me.  It's an epistolary novel involving two writers and it's serious and heartbreaking and lovely. I believe it is slated for publication this fall.

2. The Innocents by Francesca Segal.  Review here.

3. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. Review here.

4. The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier.  I didn't expect to be caught up in this story, but I was.  I hope to review it one of these days.

5. The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger.  I expected to love this one, but I didn't.  I did like it, however.  It's a quiet domestic story of a young woman from Bangladesh and a man from upstate New York.  They meet online, then in person, and rush into a marriage that is almost impossible for any outsider (including the reader) to understand or be sympathetic to.

6. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Holy cow, but this just might be the best narrative non-fiction that I've ever read.  I know I'm late jumping on this particular bandwagon, and I probably never would have picked it up if my husband hadn't asked me to read it for Christmas (we do that each year as a gift: read a book of the other's choosing).

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Technically this was a re-read.  Comments here.

8. The Collective by Don Lee.  Very good novel, forthcoming from Norton.  Hopefully a review will also be forthcoming.

9. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese.  I started this book back in December because my Book Blogger Secret Santa sent it to me, but I only read a chapter or so at a time.  I didn't love it, but I loved many things about it.  Verghese's novel, Cutting for Stone, is the best novel I've read in years and thus I wanted to be a Verghese completist.  It's also unusual in that it makes the second work of nonfiction I finished this month.

10. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Review here.  This was one of two audio books I completed in March.

11. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling.  This was the second audio book I put away this month. This was a re-listen.  Musings here.

12. Love Story by Eric Segal.  Love means never having to say you're sorry you read this book.   As hard as it is to imagine, this book did NOT live up to my memories of it when I was a teenager.

13. Silver Swan by Jacynthe.  This is a Harry Potter fanfiction story of novel-length, narrated by Padma Patil and therefore unlike any other fanfiction I've read.  It features Cho/Ginny and has a bleaker than average ending, but it's fairly well written and I just wanted a pure escape at the end of the month during all of the Rachel Maddow madness.  If you want to read it, you can find it here.

Also-rans: I started but did not finish a collection of stories called Aerogrammes by Tania James.  I like short stories but I did not like these.


  1. You had quite a good reading month yourself! I'm so glad you liked Unbroken. It surprised me, how good it was. My book club discussed Cutting For Stone last night (we all loved it) and the bits of interviews w/the author that I read beforehand had me really liking him...although I don't know if I'd be up for reading his whole story.

  2. "Love Story by Eric Segal. Love means never having to say you're sorry you read this book."

    Ha ha, I read this in high school and loved it. I don't think I could get through now. Was it as dreary and teary and contrived as I remember?


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