What I Read – March 2021

Read:

Wuhan Diary – Fang Fang (HarperVia, 2020) (translated from Chinese by Michael Berry)

Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2021)

Butter Honey Pig Bread – Francesca Ekwuyasi (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020)

Tom Jones – Henry Fielding (Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004)

White Ivy – Susie Yang (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

The Push – Ashley Audrain (Viking, 2021)

Satellite Love – Genki Ferguson (McClelland & Stewart, 2021)

Did Not Finish:

Trust Exercise – Susan Choi

I’ve heard there is a twist in the second part of this novel but I didn’t get that far. I couldn’t care about the characters, the teacher was a creep, and there was way too much description of how everybody smelled.

Currently Reading:

A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry edited by Czeslaw Milosz

The Dogs are Eating Them Now – Graeme Smith

Salt Fat Acid Heat – Samin Nosrat

My Heart – Semezdin Mehmedinovic

Shuggie Bain – Douglas Stuart

I’ve come to the realization in the last year or so that 3 is the perfect number of books for me to read at a time. Usually two fiction, one non-fiction. One lighter fiction, one heavier. So I was surprised to realize that I am currently reading 5 books. Let me explain. A Book of Luminous Things is poetry, a book I am slowly working through by reading a poem or two as I have spare moments throughout the day. I expect I’ll be reading it for a few more months. (I’m about halfway through.) Salt Fat Acid Heat is technically a cookbook which I wouldn’t normally count in my reading numbers but this one has a lot of reading to it and is more about the science of food than about recipes. And I’m hoping to review it when I’m finished. The Dogs are Eating Them Now is my non-fiction, a book by a Canadian journalist about his experiences in Afghanistan. Shuggie Bain is the heavy fiction book. I actually cannot read more than a chapter or two at a time. My Heart, which is about a refugee from the former Yugoslavia, might not seem like it fits the mold of “lighter reading” but it’s much lighter than Shuggie Bain and easier to read overall.

2021 Goals:

Books Read: 17/100

Books Reviewed: 15/17

Asian-Canadian Literature Challenge: 2

A Virtuous Reading Challenge: 1

Current TBR: 215 (previously 211)

Thoughts:

7 books total in March which makes it my best month so far in 2021, though still a little less than I’d hoped. Hopefully that means I’m on an upward trajectory! The TBR is growing like crazy but I never worry about that too much. Lots of highlights this month too. Wuhan Diary, Klara and the Sun, Butter Honey Pig Bread and Satellite Love were all excellent reads. White Ivy and The Push were two much hyped, suspense-style books that were engaging but I didn’t love either of them. Fun Fact: Tom Jones is, so far, the only book by a white male author I’ve read so far this year.

What’s Next:

I’ve delayed my turn in the library queue for Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell since I wanted to pay some attention to the e-ARCS I have. (I really can only read one e-book at a time and right now it’s My Heart.) My next book for the Virtue Challenge is The Great Gatsby, which will be a re-read for me. Guess I’m catching up on white male authors in April. I’ll try and balance that out by reading some more for the Asian-Canadian Literature Challenge. I had a copy of Floating City by Kerri Sakomoto out of the library but ended up returning it unread because I ran out of time over spring break. Working from my own TBR, I also hope to read Mark Sakomoto’s non-fiction book Forgiveness.

I don’t have a particularly cohesive reading plan for April but I also am not lacking in things to read.

Other Reading:

My Bible reading for March saw me finish Colossians, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I’m currently reading Joshua and Luke.

Our bedtime chapter book with the kids is The Hobbit and we’ve been reading it all month. One of my very favourite childhood books, it’s a little beyond a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old but they are enjoying it.

How was March as a reading month for you? Best book of the month? Worst? Is it spring now where you are?

7 thoughts on “What I Read – March 2021”

  1. It’s spring here and the daffodils came up, but then it snowed last night, so I’m not sure if they are much longer for this world. Lately, I’ve had quite a few books going at the same time, but they all have a different purpose. 1) The book I read to Nick each night. 2) My “regular” book. 3) An audiobook for the commute 4) A fun/lighter book to read during my 20 minute break at work. 5) The book I’m reading with my mom for book club.

    I wondered about that book The Push, but it doesn’t sound like you’re thrilled with it. The synopsis makes it sound intense.

    1. Sometimes lots of books at once works, especially when they’re different or serve different purposes in your day.

      I didn’t love The Push. I found it very derivative of We Need to Talk About Kevin but with less that actually happens. It’s trying really hard to be intense but everything is “Maybe she did this, maybe she didn’t.” And it’s written as an address to the narrator’s former husband which I found annoying to read.

  2. I’m sort of overwhelmed by how much you have going on but at the same time it seems like you have a good system! My March reading fell by the wayside but I am currently reading one physical book and listening to an audiobook, both fiction. I’m surprised by how little non-fiction I’ve read this year so maybe I should add in a non-fiction eARC that I have!

    1. It seemed like a lot even to me when I wrote it out like this! Usually I would not be reading this many books at once but it kind of works out right now. I’m now back down to 3 and it does feel more manageable though. I like to mix in some non-fiction so my brain can switch things up!

  3. Ah, bummer you didn’t make it to the twist of Trust Exercise, that was what completely turned the novel around for me after feeling completely flabbergasted through the first half that this had somehow won awards! Fair choice putting it down though of course, asking a reader to sit through half a novel of unpleasantness to get to the point is a bold move on Choi’s part that was destined not to work for everyone. But congrats on making it through Tom Jones, and it sounds like you had a pretty great reading month anyway!

    1. I know, I really wanted to make it through Trust Exercise but it just seemed silly to force myself to read something I wasn’t enjoying. It felt like no twist would justify that so I gave it up.

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