Since September last year, I had read probably a grand total of five books but in March, I wanted to pick up the speed and start falling in love with reading again. It may have not been my best ever reading month but it was definitely an improvement and I also found a new favourite. So it may be a week late, but here is my March reading wrap-up!
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers
The fourth instalment in the Wayfarer series (a series that will forever be a favourite) and the saga ended as brilliantly as it started. These books set in space show that not every story needs a fast-action plot or twists and turns but can merely focus on the characters and their relationships. Becky is incredible at writing diverse characters (a whole book series where not assuming people’s pronouns is the norm for example!) who are fully fleshed out and each have their own histories and stories. My trope weakness will always be found-family and these books fill that void. I won’t talk much about the story itself as I fully recommend reading them all but I will say every instalment is worth it!
Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes
Since reading The Children of Jocasta by this author a few years ago, she has remained firmly on my radar and when her newest book was released last year, I knew it would be worth the wait. Natalie is amazing at retelling Greek myth stories from the forgotten women’s perspective and giving them alternative stories to what we’re used to. In Pandora’s Jar, she highlights of the stories of well-known figures such as Hera and Aphrodite as well as Clytemnestra and Medea and many more. As a huge lover of Greek myth for many years, I still find it interesting to hear various author’s perspectives on these characters, allowing you to delve deeper into how their stories have changed, or even been erased over time. Would definitely recommend this book along with Natalie’s previous retellings.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
After being recommended this book since its release, I finally picked it up last month and what proceeded was me kicking myself for not getting to it sooner. This sci-fi/fantasy novel is everything I’ve wanted in that genre – it’s dark (please check trigger warnings) but hilariously funny, informative but not info-dumpy and may or may not include a sapphic romance (spoiler-alert, it does). It also features one of my favourite kind of stories where a big group of people are living together and they start getting killed off and mistrust and accusations follow. Our main character, Gideon is a breath of fresh air – she’s the kind of character who has huge biceps but will melt at the sight of any cute girl. Seriously, don’t be silly like me and go and pick this one up!
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
Because I can’t get enough of Becky Chamber’s writing, I finally picked up her novella last month and despite it being just over 100 pages, I was still blown away. This story follows the story of a space crew who have adapted their bodies in order to travel to planets that have never been explored. Our protagonist, Ariadne is telling the story of their explorations to send to the humans on Earth who sent them. We hear about her crew (my little queer found-family), their findings and most importantly, we hear their exploration in what it actually means to be human and what our purpose actually is. There’s one scene in this book that I won’t spoil but it just hit me, how small we really are in the grand scheme of things. Just, go read it.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
When I sat down to read this book one night, I thought I was just picking up a light-hearted contemporary romance but when I looked at the clock at 2am and realised I’d read it all in one sitting, I discovered it was so much more. I wrote a full review that you can find here but to sum it up, this story explores the pressure that comes with being a lesbian, Black woman in the STEM field, it explores mental health and it deals with hitting a moment in your life when you just don’t know what to do. It was profound, funny and so full of love. It explores the relationships between family, friends and partners. It highlights the importance of family you’ve made for yourself and it’s just a book that I’d recommend to anybody, especially those like me who are in your 20s and a little bit lost.
You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
I was granted access to read this novel on Netgalley but it in no way affects my review. This young-adult contemporary tells the story of Julie who sadly loses her boyfriend in a tragic car accident. What follows is the grief she battles with, especially as one night when she calls Sam’s phone, he answers and the two begin a communication that cannot be explained. Going into this book, I expected a sob-fest but unfortunately for me, it fell a bit flat. As the book begins after Sam’s death, I wasn’t able to connect to the character and so couldn’t emphasise as much as I could have done. It’s hard to judge a book that features a character battling grief but I wish there had been more emphasis on the other characters and I feel if the book had been a bit shorter, it would have packed more of a punch. However, I do feel like my experience reflects me more so than the book itself so I’d definitely recommend picking this up yourself.
Venus and Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes
And finally, I managed to squeeze in this Greek-myth exploration into Venus/Aphrodite before the month ended. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. As with a lot of non-fiction, it can be hit or miss as to whether it offers you more information than you already know and although I learned some new things, I feel like the concepts weren’t explored to their full potential. The book itself is very short and a lot of the pages are taken up with images so I wish we were given more information and certain points weren’t just touched upon. Saying that, if you’re new to Greek-myth and more specifically, the story of Venus/Aphrodite, I’d maybe pick this one up.
What was your favourite book in March?
Lots of love,