Reads and reviews March 2023

      Comments Off on Reads and reviews March 2023

Before we go into May, let me catch up a bit with my March reads.

I’ve read 9 books in March, which is (again) a little bit more than previous months. If I’m going by this rate, I might still accomplish my goal of reading 100 books in 2023! theStorygraph is still telling me I am 3 or 4 books behind, but there’s no stress, it will either happen or not and if not nobody dies from that. *shrug*

But yes, 9 books, sadly not all of them were great. I went down to an average rating of 3,44 stars. There was a nice surprise in the stack though, I would have never have chosen to read that if it wasn’t for another Dutch Fanatic Readers Challenge. There was also a read I should have just DNF-ed, and that’s why my average rating this month got so low.

But let’s dive into the books shall we? So what have I read in March?

#14 Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus (Dutch, 4 stars)
I was a bit reluctant to read this, because of the hype, but also very much intrigued by it’s plot. And then I found a real good copy in one of the second hand book stores I like to visit… Yay! It wasn’t all that long ago either, usually new books stay a lot longer on my shelves. Luckily, the story didn’t disappoint, but I am also not sure if I would like to reread this. The book reads like a sort of biography, all the while knowing everything about it is fiction. And that kind of spoiled it for me. Does that make sense?

#15 Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett (English, 3 stars)
The fifth in the Discworld series, one I haven’t read before now that I am reading the Discworld in publication order. Despite the lower rating, I did enjoy this Rincewind book, but again, it’s one of Pratchett’s earlier Discworld novels and the characters and world aren’t as developed yet. I’m glad I read it though, because there are plenty of references throughout the series I can now understand better.

#16 Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1: 1970s-1981 (English, 3 stars)
I needed to read a graphic novel for a challenge, and luckily could find this series at the library. This first graphic novel of the Hiphop Family Tree series packs about 10 years in only a few pages. It’s a lot of information and a lot of names, but the artwork is very fitting to the theme. It was interesting, but I do wish they focused a bit more on the early culture instead of only on a lot of the names.

#17 Slade House, by David Mitchell (Dutch, 4.5 stars)
Well, this was an interesting surprise, not what I expected! Both the story itself as the way it was told was very captivating. I might even reread it someday. There were some annoying issues with a couple of characters though, a bit too much of a cliche. And in the first two parts, I had no idea how it would be going, and for a moment believed I was reading a short-story book… but the stories started to connect after that, and it god adventurous, tense and dark, just how I like it. So much so, I read it in one go after the first chapter.

#18 The Green Roasting Tin, by Rukmini Iyer (Dutch, 2 stars)
Bit disappointing. I don’t often find a cook ook that’s up my alley, because of my strict gluten free diet. So I got a bit excited when I noticed the library had this available. Oven veggies! Lazy healthy meals! But no, a lot of them were basic combinations, but instead of making them in a pan you now put them in the oven. And furthermore, A LOT, wasn’t gluten free at all… There was only one recipe I would actually like to try, accompanying a bbq. Glad I didn’t buy this book!

#19 The Scholar, by Dervla McTiernan (English, 3 stars)
Finally read this second one of the series which was recommended to me a long time ago. And again, it was a bit slow and also very predictable. It’s nice on a relaxing or sick day, but not thrilling, no tension, no mystery. I’m not going to continue this series, which is a shame because the setting of Galway Ireland is a nice one.

#20 The Thirty Names of Night, by Zeyn Joukhadar (English, 3.75 stars)
I love Zeyn Joukhadar’s writing, and any book will be on my TBR automatically. The Middle Eastern art of telling tales intertwined with mythology is so strong and beautiful in his works. This time however, it took me a while to “get” the story. I should have known it were two stories, as previous books were, but I didn’t see that at first which made it harder to connect to the characters. When I did though, things fell into place fast. And even when I didn’t, this story was hard to put down. In the end I still didn’t connect fully, which only saved me from the many tears and the hangover I expected from this read, because every other bit was completely worth my time.

#21 The Institute, by Stephen King (English, 3.75 stars)
Funnily enough, I didn’t write a review about this right after I’ve read it. And I must admit, it is already going on the pile of “well-written boy characters having strange adventures” Stephen King more often writes about. It was entertaining, also because you know, things like this could maybe actually happen? Not the more paranormal activities we encounter, but the rest of it, sure!

#22 Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny (English, 4 stars)
Another one I didn’t properly review after reading, but this time because I had no words. I devoured it! It was everything again. And I am already plotting when I can read the next one. This was number 14 in a series which currently holds 18 books, I don’t want to go too fast, but I also miss these characters when they haven’t been around for a while. Sometimes I really long for this found-family of a village, I find myself genuinely wanting to know how they are.

As you can see from my moods, there’s been a bit of a shift again. I don’t know what’s happening, but my reading is all over the place and maybe that’s also the reason my rating is so low this year? Everything feels mediocre, with sometimes a really big dud and sometimes a nice surprise. But meh, I sure do hope things will improve a bit!