Can you believe another month is over already? I definitely can’t. It’s also now been over a year since the UK went into lockdown for the first time, which doesn’t seem like it can be real! Fingers crossed that the vaccine will mean our lives can return to something like normal soon. In the meantime, being inside so much gives me more time to read! So on that note, let’s talk about my recent reads. Smooth transition, right?
Book on March TBR: 5
Books read in March: 6
Books left on the TBR: 0
- The Wedding of Zein – Tayeb Salih. 4 stars.
Funny, engaging and well-written, Tayeb Salih’s short story is a really good time. It’s definitely weird, but something I really liked. Zein is a great character, told mostly through everyone else’s perspectives of him. The other characters that drive this story are also really well-developed and interesting. Read my full review here.
- The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett. 4 stars.
This was a really enjoyable read! I’d seen it a lot on twitter, and I’m so glad I decided to buy it. It’s an emotional tale of family, love, race, and identity. The main characters are twins, but are super distinct from one another. Both twins are really well-developed, as are the secondary characters. Read my full review here.
- The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera. 3 stars.
This one I had very mixed feelings on. I went for a 3-star rating because I really enjoyed the first few parts of this book (it’s split into parts, which are almost stand-alone short stories, though tied in to the rest of the book via recurring characters and themes). The second half, however, used some methods of exploring themes that just made me uncomfortable and failed to actually deepen the thematic exploration. You can find a full review here.
- Keeping on Keeping On – Alan Bennett. 3.5 stars.
Not quite a memoir or autobiography but a collection of Bennett’s diaries from 2005-2015 and some of his other writings, Keeping On Keeping On offers a great insight into the life of the playwright Alan Bennett. It’s almost unbelievable, the amount of things that have happened to him, and the amount of people he knows, but I suppose that comes along with a long career in playwriting, and being very involved in the production of his plays. As it’s literally his diary entries for the most part, I did find it a bit tricky to get properly engaged with this book, and I do wish I’d read it in shorter bursts rather than reading it in big chunks.
- Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro. 4.5 stars.
Ishiguro’s latest speculative fiction release was a big success in my opinion. In this book, we follow Klara, an Artificial Friend, and her teenager, the sickly Josie. The world explored in this book mirrors our own in many ways, but also varies in important ways as well. It’s a great read, and anyone who enjoys speculative fiction should absolutely be trying to get their hands on a copy. Not to mention the cover is gorgeous! My review is here.
- The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett. 4 stars.
It’s a product of its time, so there’s rather a lot of racist attitudes towards Indians, and also a fair amount of classism, so I probably wouldn’t recommend this for impressionable young children. However, for children old enough to have a conversation about what has changed since this book was written and understand that these attitudes are wrong, this is a great story of friendship, of bettering oneself, and of childhood. My review is here.
- [AD – PR product] Fifty Sounds – Polly Barton
- Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
- Soho – Richard Scott
- Missing – Alison Moore
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
- Republic – Plato