Rearview Mirror // March 2016

March was a super busy, but good, month.  I quit my job of four years and started something new – working at the greenhouse is fantastic.  I love being outside, in the sunshine, in the dirt, transplanting tiny little seedlings and then watching them grow towards the sun!  It is super happy work, and even though it is only a seasonal gig, I am really glad that I made the jump, even if it does mean I’m actually working full-time (like a real adult) – lame!

In the reading world, I actually am still reading tons because I have an official lunch break (at my old job, I just took fifteen minutes to scarf a sandwich) and of course I’m going to spend that time relaxing in my favorite way: with a book!  I did get somewhat caught up on reviewing this month, but there are still five books in the to-be-reviewed pile.  All in good time!

Favorite March Read

Tale-of-Two-Cities-1859I think I’m going to go with A Tale of Two Cities here.  I had forgotten how readable this book actually is.  Despite the sometimes archaic language, I was really into this story.  It was inspiring and thought-provoking, and even made me get all teared up on more than one occasion.  Even beyond the main story line, I really appreciated Dickens’s descriptions of France and her people leading into the Revolution, and the way that he showed the hopelessness and desperation of the French people – the justification for their outrage and the horror of the extreme mob mentality that swung too far in other direction.  A Tale of Two Cities is a book that deserves every inch of its place as a Classic.

Most Disappointing March Read

51TSEG8UdkL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Even though Charlie, Presumed Dead was definitely the most annoying book I read this month, I think that Giant’s Bread wins the most disappointing slot, just because I had higher expectations.  I was really hoping that Christie/Westmacott was going to break through my overall dislike for A Novel, but Giant’s Bread was just as depressing as most, which was super sad for me.  I’m giving another of her Westmacott novels a shot, but unless it’s a little more uplifting than this one, I’ll probably give the rest a pass.

Other March Reads:

  • Beastly Bones by William Ritter – 4/5 – a solid sequel to Jackaby. Even though the story was a little scattered at times, it only suffered from moderate second-book syndrome.
  • In the Garden Trilogy by Nora Roberts – Blue Dahlia (3/5), Black Rose (3/5), and Red Lily (2/5) – 2/5 for the series as a whole, because even though the characters and setting were great, the crazy ghost story was just waaaaayyyy too much for me, especially in the last book.
  • The MasterHarper of Pern by Anne McCaffrey – 4/5 – a fun addition to the series about a character I really liked in the other books, and liked even more when he was the focus of the story.
  • The Way of a Dog by Albert Payson Terhune – 3/5 – not my favorite Terhune, but still an overall enjoyable collection of short stories, mostly about collies – one of those books that I probably love more for nostalgia than because of the actual book!
  • The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon – a hesitant 4/5 – a book that I really enjoyed but that was also almost trying to do/say too much.  For me, it was just shy of being pretentious, but barely.  There was a lot of good story, but I sometimes felt like I had to hunt for it.
  • The Skies of Pern by Anne McCaffrey – 3/5 – an alright addition to the series, but overall not as strong as many of her other books.  I’m a little sad that this somewhat-disappointing book will be my last read if I ever go back to hit the series in chronological (rather than published) order.
  • Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel – 1/5 – even though this book was super obnoxious, it was weirdly addictive.  I totally would have given this a higher rating if the ending hadn’t been the biggest cop-out of all time.  ::shakes fist in rage::
  • The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie – 3/5 – a decent mystery, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Fairly average Christie.

Added to the TBR

So I’m still behind on reading reviews, and the TBR is sitting at a solid 778, plus around 500 books that I already own (mostly physical books… I don’t think you all can realize how many bookshelves are in my house… the 500ish don’t count series and nonfiction…).  There have been some fantastic reviews lately – keep them coming!!!

Here’s to a happy April – and an early spring!!