Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Show Us Your Books March 2022

Happy March, friends. One of my favorite months - end of calendar winter, beginning of calendar spring, daylight saving, BIRTHDAY MONTH. Just like Black History Month is every month, Black History is everyone's history, and every month is the month to read Black authors, rinse and repeat but for Women's History and women authors. 

And of course we're reading through a war, although aren't we always? Some are just more visible. Whiter. 

March is also the birthday month of two of the strong women figures in my life, and today is my Mom Mom's actual birthday. My outlook on life was shaped very much by her and I'll share a gem with you: it's okay to live a life other people don't understand. 

Here's what I've been reading since the February 2022 linkup:

Engrossing Reads

The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf - Welp I started this in a trickle of like 20 pages Sunday, then decided to crack it open at 11 pm for a few minutes of reading and was up until 1:50 am. That includes the 45 or so minutes when I closed it and turned the light off because I was afraid even though it is fiction and I was surrounded by a snoring man and three dogs who bark at the slightest provocation. So, recommend? Also, my nails unpainted overnight- a true rare find. OCNJ library hard cover

Hideout (Alice Vega #3) by Louisa Luna - An excellent installment of the Vega series. She's a little more vulnerable in this one but still tough as hell, and I like it. Bring on the next! Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. Publishes today

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen - This is my favorite by this writing duo thus far. There was a part close to the end where I was legitimately stressed TF out in a good way for this type of read. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. Publishes today

Femme in Public by Alok Vaid-Menon - A collection of poetry celebrating transfemininity and I am here for it. Short by length standards, but deep and beautiful and moving. If you grew up not thinking or knowing trans people were out there and are unpacking all of that in the year 2022, check this out. Even if you're not that person, check this out. Paper bound, own

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor - I am surprised at how much I loved this. If you are a Gatsby fan but not an obsessive/purist, you might also. OCNJ library hardcover

What Kind of Woman by Kate Baer - I consumed this super slowly, over a month or more? That's how I usually do poetry - Femme in Public above was an exception. I really liked this. paperback, own

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith - I'm pretty sure I requested this book on title alone, and went in knowing nothing about it aside from wanting to get it read before its publish date. What a lovely surprise to love it. Heavy and light, fleeting, a glimpse into these lives with an interesting backdrop. I wish it went on forever type of reading experience, which we all know does not mean it is a perfect piece of lit just that it hit you just right. Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle - The internet does not like this book in general but especially in comparison to In Five Years. For me, I had a no good very bad day where the world was pressing down on my shoulders. I started this, read in a few hours, and didn't think about jack shit outside of this book for those few hours. Katy was difficult and some of the story was absolutely annoying but it took me out of myself and I really needed that at the time. Did I recognize its flaws? Sure. Did I care? No. An example of how frame of mind can really impact my perception of a book. Netgalley ARC

This is the Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelves in 50 Books by Joan Anim-Addo, Deirdre Osborne, Kadija Sesay - This was great - a true labor of love by the creators. It is appreciated. Recommend to everyone. I got an advance copy of this from Netgalley and purchased it from Bookshop.org as well after finishing to have on hand.

City of the Dead (Alex Delaware #37) by Jonathan Kellerman - Lots more dialogue than usual, but a good story even if most of the action came later. 37 books in, forever favorite. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Passed the Time Just Fine

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson - Layers on layers in this story. Writing was more telling, less showing through development. I could have done with about three less threads to follow and more emphasis on one of them throughout. Benny and Byron were both hard to like, and it took me a while to realize that was a little of the point. OCNJ library hardcover

The Girls in the Fire (Detective Harlow Durant #2) by Dea Poirier - A solid sophomore effort although it did take me a little to re-orient myself to the characters and story despite having read #1 very recently. Old people probs? Will continue with the series. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange got an honest review
The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs - I'm an outlier on this book, thinking it was just fine -  probably due to my preference for anything that is not nonfiction. The lack of first hand info about these women (lack of journals, first hand interviews, etc)  - which is sort of the author's point - makes a lot of this feel speculative and if it's going to be that I prefer it be shorter. I like how Tubbs wove in commentary on Black women in America and social justice, and I think it's more of a commentary on why these women matter versus about them per se, and if I was clearer on that going in I think I would have received it differently. OCNJ library hardcover

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay - Strongly liked but there was a little pacing issue in the middle of the book for me - it felt like I was between 40-55% for five days. Overall I liked the story but more movement in the middle instead of the end would have been good. Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review

Not Worth It

The Wedding Murders by Sarah Linley - This was tough to finish. The flashbacks drug on and on. Would not do it again. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month and will happen as long as we post about reading books. All are welcome to join us! The next linkup is Tuesday, April 12, 2022
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

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