Hi everyone. Well, spring is finally here, though given the state of the weather in the UK at the moment, you’d never know it. Snow, wind, rain and its sooooo cold all the time! I can’t help remembering the (unexpected) lovely weather we had at Easter last year when I was going to barbecues and spending lots of time planting things in the garden…. only to lose all my precious seedlings with the unexpected frosts that emerged in April and May again. Bah. Here’s hoping that things warm up here soon and STAY warm! My carefully nurtured vegetable seeds are all snug in their cold frame and potted up on my windowsills right now but it would be lovely to think I could plant them outside soon. There have been some blue skies over Derbyshire this bank holiday weekend, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
So, onto books! I had a pretty great reading month in March, though given that I was still on holiday at the start of it; it all seems a VERY long time ago to me now; so much has happened since then! I do think I’m on a roll at the moment with the books I’ve picked up actually- I don’t seem to have picked up what I would call a ‘poor’ book for ages (though that’s probably tempting fate….!). I read 26 books in the month, which was a pretty great total and about average for me compared to last years monthly totals too.
It’s been a bit of a mixed bag of genres I’ve encountered as well in recent weeks: zombies, chicklit, sci-fi, family dramas, serial killers and a lot of Kindle editions rather than paperbacks, simply for ease of transporting them around. I’ve read a few non-fiction books as well, including some travel, nature/animal-related books and also an expose about Scientology, which I found genuinely fascinating. I’ve also been reading Stephen King’s The Stand for what feels like forever! I started it at the beginning of the month and regularly read a few chapters a night, but at 1000+ pages, this doorstop of a book is certainly not one I can lug around with me on my daily commute to work. Suffice to say, I like the fact that I can take my time with it, though I’m not sure it is going to be my favourite King novel.
I’ve had a few books to review for Netgalley this month too, all of which you can find the links to on my 2013 reading list as I’ve not posted all their reviews directly all on here. My favourite of those Netgalley books was without a doubt The Night Rainbow by Claire King of which I wrote a rather gushy review for last week. I loved this beautifully family drama, narrated through the eyes of a little girl and set in France.
My other favourite fictions were Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith, which I finally got around to reading and can now be removed from my To Be Read Shelf. I adore the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series; they’re always such uplifting reads and make me eager to visit Botswana someday- this was number 13 in the set.
In terms of non-fiction, my favourite in March by far was ‘On the Trail of the Whale’ by Mark Cawardine, a man responsible for our whale-watching trip to Baja in the first place. Though I unfortunately didn’t get around to reviewing it as time has been so pressing, the book chronicles Cawardine’s various encounters with ten species of whales around the globe, with one chapter set in the Baja Peninsula. It was appropriate holiday reading for me and I love the man’s dry sense of humour. If you have any interest in whales, it is definitely worth a look. Close second was Peter Allison’s How to Walk a Puma… which I finished only yesterday and was an eye-opening look at his travels in South America.
I’ve been really good and haven’t bought too many books in March (only a couple of Kindle and paperback purchases…!), though I do have an absolutely massive backlog to get through (including some left over from my birthday and Christmas), which is probably why I’ve mostly avoided the temptation. As per my To Be Read Shelf, I also have the first three books in the TimeRiders series by Alex Scarrow sat patiently waiting for me to pick up, which I’m keen to make inroads to come April. I’ve also made it my mission to finally get around to reading the next Deborah Harkness book in the Witches series, which I borrowed from a friend MONTHS ago and no doubt she is eager to get back. It’s another hefty hardback I’m reluctant to carry it around with me, so I’m planning on calling this my next bedtime reading book once I’ve finished The Stand. It’s a bit shorter than The Stand so might take me less time to get through- here’s hoping!
Lastly, the good news is that I can’t think of a disappointing book for March at all. There were a couple I had to read for review that were admittedly only so-so, but I’m not irritated that I had to pick them up in the first place. It’s always nice when there are absolutely no books in my monthly reading list that I regret reading whatsoever. Have a great reading month everyone- I will be back with more reviews soon 🙂