Saturday, April 23, 2011

March Reads in Review, 2011

If you look real hard, you can see why I used a firetruck for my March Reads in Review post. Unfortunately, the print is tinier than expected. For those who can't see the itty-bitty print, I took the sign at the bottom of the truck that says "STAY BACK 500 FT." and changed it to "LOOK BACK 1 MONTH". I didn't want to use another cat or rear-view mirror photo, you see. I know . . . silly. But, fun. I never have managed to outgrow my love of firetrucks.

My March Reads (with links to my reviews):

March was a super month! While I only read a dozen books, I liked or loved every single one of them. This is my goal in 2011 -- to at least like every book I read and love the rest. I've had several Did Not Finish books (recently, not just in March) that I'll describe in another post.

My absolute favorite read in March was Home to Woefield. An ebullient, likable heroine combined with an uplifting theme and a bunch of wacky characters, a compelling storyline, lots of laughs . . . an all-around terrific combination, in my opinion, made the book an easy favorite. I absolutely loved Home to Woefield.

Staying at Daisy's and It Happened One Bite were also delightful, happy reads, as is the children's book, The Butt Book. Christian the Lion was also full of smiles, a tender story about the lion of YouTube fame for the middle-reader crowd.

Besides Christian, The Mental Floss History of the United States was my only other nonfiction read. Massively entertaining and easily digestible, I enjoyed it so much that I spaced the reading out over about 3 months before deciding I probably ought to wrap it up.

I enjoyed the companion YA titles If I Stay and Where She Went. I'd heard If I Stay is "tragic" but I was pleased that it had an uplifting ending and liked the fact that it wasn't intended to spawn a second book so it was nicely wrapped up. Where She Went is similarly emotional and uplifting.

Between Shades of Gray is even more heart-rending, a YA about Lithuanians who were transported to Siberia by Stalin. Harsh as it is, the book is a great addition to WWII fiction and I especially loved the strength and grace of the young heroine's mother. Another very emotional read is The Mountains Bow Down, a mystery set on a cruise ship to Alaska. I'm not a big fan of mysteries, but I love this particular series for its very human heroine and endings that I have not yet come even vaguely close to figuring out before I get to them.

My two most surprising reads of the month were Strangers and Cutting for Stone. I avoided Cutting for Stone for quite some time and was stunned how much I enjoyed it and how engrossing it was. Strangers was fascinating because I've never read an Asian ghost story and was surprised by the cultural difference between Asian and Western tales about apparitions.

Since April is in its final week, I need to crank out a few reviews, this week, and try to get myself caught up. So far, I think I've tied March at a dozen reads, but I'm on the verge of finishing The Winter Ghosts and I'm sure I'll squeeze something else in before the month ends. How is your reading going, this month?

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Well, I'm glad to see Home to Woefield was your favorite read because I've added it to my TBR list.

  2. So my bestest bookish friend in real life just read Cutting for Stone and is pushing me to read it AT ONCE because she loved it so. But I told her I might get to it in July!
    I like the fire truck and I did notice the MONTH word and was wondering about it before I even read what you altered.

  3. Jenny,

    Home to Woefield is such a fun read. I would never have thought about the concept of a sequel, myself, but several people have mentioned wishing for one and I can easily imagine where the author could take it. It would truly be fun to revisit that wacky cast. I hope you love it as much as I do, when you get to it!


    The only thing that I disliked about Cutting for Stone was that some of the medical scenes were really graphic. It's an excellent story, beautifully told, IMHO. I know what you mean about having to tell a friend, "I might get to it in July." There are always so many books in line!!!

    Cool that you saw the word "month"! I thought it would show up better than that!!

  4. Anonymous6:42 PM

    What a great reading month! My March isn't anywhere near that impressive. I'm looking now for a copy of Cutting the Stone (with little luck, :/) because your review made it sounds like a must read for me. Thanks for another great update!

  5. Only a dozen? You slacker! ;)

    I started Cutting for Stone, but set it aside since it's a book club selection and I don't want to read it too early. Hope I don't wait too long and run out of time. I'm banking on it being a fairly quick read in spite of the size.

  6. Wereadtoknow,

    Thanks! I really liked Cutting for Stone. That still strikes me as funny, since I'd decided I was absolutely not interested in it. I'm so glad my F2F group leader talked me into reading it!! Hope you love it, too!


    Yes, that's me . . . Sad, Slacker Bookfool. LOL I don't remember how long it took me to read Cutting for Stone, but I was pretty surprised how thoroughly I became immersed in the story, especially given the fact that I didn't even want to read it. Boy, that's one for the "Never say never" files! It's a chunkster, all right. I wouldn't wait too late, if I were you.

  7. Wow, with everything else in your life you were still a reading machine. I will NOT compare myself to you, I will not, I will not....
    But let's just say that I need to go to the Evelyn Wood's Speed Reading School to catch up!

    I'm anxious to read Cutting for Stone someday too.

    Happy Monday!

  8. Gaye,

    I need to take a speed reading course, too. I'm not a fast reader, unfortunately. I'm merely sleep-deprived. :)

    Cutting for Stone seems to be the book everyone's latched onto. It's excellent but definitely not for the squeamish.

    And, now it's Tuesday. Happy Tuesday! :)

  9. Wow! You did get a lot read this month! My reading is picking back up too, but I am not sure if I managed 12 books this month or not! Here's hoping that you do just as well next month!

  10. Congrats on all of the reading you got done in March! Out of all of the books that you read I've only read one (If I Stay). It looks like you had some good reading!

  11. Zibilee,

    Well, not a lot compared with some people but 12 books (around 4,000 pages, I think, in March) is excellent for me! I'm glad your reading is picking up. It's really frustrating when you can't seem to get into reading, isn't it? I guess you know I was having that trouble, for a while. I just kept trying until I found something that grabbed me and kept repeating the process until I got past my slump. I can't bear to not read at all. It makes me crazy. I've actually finished 13 books but I think I've read fewer pages, this month, since several have been children's books. I'm fine with that. As long as I'm reading good books, I'm happy! :)


    Thank you! Ooooh, you need to read Where She Went if you liked If I Stay. I found it very satisfying. Yep, March was a fabulous reading month. My reading has been much, much more enjoyable since I decided to say goodbye to guilt and only read what grabs me. :)


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