March Summary and Plans for April

I read 16 books in March and managed to get a fair way through a few more. A combination of miserable weather and my family suffering from colds and flu meant that I spent a lot longer than normal in the house. It isn’t nice looking after people who aren’t well, but it did mean that I had a lot of spare time to read while they slept. 

As usual I read a range of book in terms of both in enjoyment and subject matter. I especially recommend When I Was Five I Killed Myself which I am considering promoting to 5 stars! 

Books reviewed in March

When I Was Five I Killed Myself – Howard Buten 

The Blasphemer – Nigel Farndale 

Bonk – Mary Roach stars4

The Woman in the Dunes – Kobo Abe stars4

Buddha Da – Anne Donovan stars4

This is How – M.J. Hyland stars4

Small Island – Andrea Levy stars4

Pocket Notebook – Mike Thomas stars4

Thaw – Fiona Robyn stars3h

Red Dog, Red Dog – Patrick Lane stars3h

The Solitude of Prime Numbers – Paolo Giordano stars3h

My Driver – Maggie Gee stars3h

Black Mamba Boy – Nadifa Mohamed stars3

The Native Hurricane – Chigozie John Obioma stars3

July’s People – Nadine Gordimer stars3

So Much For That – Lionel Shriver stars3

Plans for April

I am going to finish and write reviews for:

Small Wars – Sadie Jones

The Great Perhaps – Joe Meno

The Kindly Ones – Jonathan Littell

Solar – Ian McEwan

Hurting Distance – Sophie Hannah

My Father’s Paradise – Ariel Sabar

The Weight of a Mustard Seed – Wendell Steavenson

Seeing – Jose Saramago

Due to the vast amount of reading I did in March I have actually finished/nearly finished all of the above. I haven’t quite managed to keep up the 50 page a day pace I set on The Kindly Ones, but I have now read 300 pages and hope to finish it this month.

I have a lot of books that I plan to read in April. It wasn’t until I wrote them all down that I realised I had far too many! I’m not sure which ones I’ll get round to reading, but here is my over ambitious plan!

Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter for Claire’s Angela Carter month

The Hiding Place – Trezza Azzopardi

The Love We Share Without Knowing – Christopher Barzak

Marcelo in the Real World – Francisco Stork

Angelology – Danielle Trussoni

The Rehearsal – Eleanor Catton

Good to a Fault – Marina Endicott

The City & The City – China Mieville

The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

A Life Apart – Neel Murkherjee

I Do Not Come to You by Chance – Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

The Temple-goers – Aatish Taseer

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley

The Long Song – Andrea Levy

Even the Dogs – Jon McGregor

Our Tragic Universe – Scarlett Thomas

Which books from my list should I ensure I read?

Do you plan to read any of the same ones?

I hope you have a fantastic April!

32 replies on “March Summary and Plans for April”

I’ll be intigued to see what you thought of Small Wars.

Out of your plans for April, bizarrely I also have A hiding place on my list – it was a previously orange longlisted title. Even the dogs is meant to be especially wonderful too.

I shall also be joining in with Angela Carter month but will be reading Fireworks and Several Perceptions.

Verity, I picked A Hiding Place as it was Booker short listed! I have actually started it already and think you will love it.

I have seen so many posts raving about Even the Dogs that I had to get a copy. I have just had an email saying it is in at the library, so will go and pick it up later today. I am really looking forward to it.

I obviously hope you read Good to a Fault, since I loved it so much (but not everyone feels the same about it). Would also be interested to see your thoughts on A Life Apart and Nights at the Circus, both books I’m considering reading!

Lija, I haven’t read any Angela Carter, so am looking forward to seeing her writing. Claire raves about it, so I am hoping I will love it. I will try to get to the other two, but they are slightly further down my mental list!

I feel guilty because I missed some of these reviews due to my nutty March. But 16 books? Girl you rocked this month! As far as your April opportunities, I am VERY anxious to hear about Angelology, which Swapna has named one of the best reads so far this year. Also, The Sound and the Fury was a gift to me from The Bumbles, and is on my TBR Challenge list, so I’d love a peek into that one!

Sandy, Don’t feel guilty – everyone needs a break! I have a feeling Angelology will be top of a lot of “best reads” lists this year – I am really looking forward to it, but it is a big, heavy hardback so might take me a while to read.

Oh, I had meant to tell you earlier when I read your review, but you’ve made me add kobo abe to my wishlist! The version w/ Mitchell’s intro that is 😉 Hope everyone is alright again? No more colds etc. ?

Gnoe, I have a problem with buying books David Mitchell recommends – he is very bad for my bank balance! I hope that you enjoy it!

My family is all well now – thanks for asking!

I’m excited to hear what you think of Seeing since you love Saramago as much as I do. I’m still hoping to read it in the next few weeks, but other priorities keep pushing it aside.

On your April list, I’ve read Even the Dogs, which I liked quite a lot. It’s very meditative and without much plot, so I’ll be interested to hear what you think. And I read The Sound and the Fury in college and found it utterly incomprehensible. I keep meaning to revisit Faulkner, but not that book. It was probably my least favorite read in all my literature studies in school.

Teresa, I’m afraid that Seeing is not in the same league as Blindness – I hope that you decide to read it soon as I would love to discuss it with someone.

I have heard that The Sound and the Fury is written in dialect, but I’m hoping I will be able to manage it – I’ll let you know soon!

Stujallen, I haven’t heard a bad word said about the Bradley book – it sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to finding out why everyone loves it.

It interests me how Saramago wrote Seeing, as I’ve only read Blindness by him. I wonder how they compare…

You got a lot read in March! We’ve had a terrible bout of colds and flu here, too, but not much sleeping due to all the coughing!

In April, I think all I’ll be able to complete is The Brothers Karamazov for the read aong I’m hosting. I’ll get back to you on that. 😉

Bellezza, I’m afraid that Seeing doesn’t compare very well with Blindness – I think that might be the reason it isn’t talked about much!

We have all been coughing too, but the poor things have been coughing in their sleep, so I have still been able to read.

Good luck with The Brothers Karamazov!

Wow – you’ve done a lot of great reading!

I LOVED Even the Dogs and am looking forward to hearinig what you think of it. I thought Good to a Fault was so-so and it will be interestin gto read your thoughts.

Question: How many books do you usually read at once? I myself and a one at a time reader. I tried having three on the go at once but found that I preferred sticking with one.

Tricia, I normally read about three books at a time. I often have one long slower book. One older, damaged book that I can read in the bath and another normal book. I used to only read one book at once, but I never used to read hardbacks. I prefer to stick to one, but find I need a different book for each reading environment (sitting – heavy hardback, in bed – light paperback, travelling/in bath – old damaged book that I don’t mind ruining!) I hope that explains things!

I’d like to eventually read When I was five I killed myself.

As for your plans for April, I can honestly say I haven’t heard of ANY of them. Are you going to participate in the 24 hour readathon?

Callista, I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t heard of any of them as I do try to get a mix of older/newer books.

I’m afraid that I wont be taking part in the readathon – I already read as much as I possibly can and know I can’t concentrate if I try to read for more than a few hours at any one stretch. I’ll try to cheerlead a bit though!

I checked The Kindly Ones out from the library, and had to bring it back because I was so daunted by the chunkiness!

I am interested to hear what you have to say about Seeing.

She, The Kindly Ones is chunky, but it is quite easy to read. It is shocking and contraversial, but I am glad I’m reading it. I hope you decide to check it out again some time!

I have had The love we share without knowing for a year and I keep meaning to read it. It looks wonderful so I don’t know why I keep putting it off! I will put it on the top of my stack- I even put a book marker in it so I must have been super serious about reading it. Thanks for the reminder:)

Heidi, Snap! I have had The Love We Share Without Knowing for a long time too. I really want to read it and it is short so I have no idea why I keep ignoring it. I hope I get to it this month.

Definitely read the Alan Bradley and the Angela Carter as they are both great in very different ways (although I have to admit that it has been a very long time since I read the latter!). I really want to read Even The Dogs as I read one of his earlier books and found him fascinating and I nearly bought The Kindly Ones yesterday as part of a 3 for 2, but ended up being unselfish and getting a book for my daughter in law instead! I forsee a trip to the bookshop coming up on Saturday!
I got the Eleanor Catton from the library but took it back after reading three chapters – far too self-consciously ‘clever’ for my taste I’m afraid.
I cannot say how envious I am that you have managed to get through so many books although I am sorry that it was at the price of household illness! With working full time and granddaughter minding at the weekend, my reading rate has dropped alarmingly!

Liz, I have read about 60 pages of The Rehearsal and can see why you’d think it was trying to be too clever. I am enjoying it so far, but will be interested to see if I find it oversteps the mark later on.

It was nice of you to buy your sister-in-law a book – I hope she enjoys it. The Kindly Ones is very disturbing so you might be better avoiding it (depending on how tolerant of horrible scenes you are)

I am lucky that I don’t work much (apart from looking after my little boys) so do have more time to read than most – I hope you find more time to read next month.

You had a wonderful March, Jackie! I had a poor month and, in fact, I’ve had a poor reading year so far (in respects of quantity and quality, really); I’m hoping April will change that… I have high expectations as I’ll mainly be reading Angela Carter , of course, as well as some Orange longlisted titles, some French books and maybe a graphic novel or two.

I hope that you love Nights at the Circus even half as much as I do! I’m really glad that you are giving her a try. My main reason for hosting the Angela Carter month is to raise her profile a little across the blogosphere (she’s popular but amongst a niche group) and a review from you (positive or negative) will contribute a lot to that so thank you :).

Claire, I’m not sure I have that much influence on the blogosphere, but I am looking forward to trying Angela Carter. I hope that a lot of people join you in reading her books.

I hope that you find some wonderful books in April!

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