Coffee and … A Bookish March

I feel like I say this every month but I genuinely can’t believe it’s the end of another month already and time to share a wrap up! Join me in a coffee (or tea this month – shock I know) whilst I look at the books that I read in March.

The Coffee:

Okay, I’m cheating on coffee today. Sorry, not sorry. I am poorly at the moment (it’s just a cold but my chest is vile) and I’m off my coffee, so I’m drinking tea. English breakfast tea: weak, black, with a teaspoon of honey.

The Books:

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March has been a bit of an odd month; I feel like I’ve been super busy all the time, but not really done anything. Work has definitely been busy, S has been back to school and had very mixed feelings about that. Then he got poorly, had to be Covid tested (thankfully negative) and then passed his germs around us all just in time for our two weeks off. We’ve been doing a bit of baking (we are loving the Becky Excell gluten free recipe book), and we have plans to tidy up a decent chunk of our garden to start growing vegetables. Hoping also to get out for some nice walks now that we are allowed to venture a little further.

This month Louise chose my TBR for me, and she chose me a great selection of books. They have been really dark, some great new dystopia and fantasy, and I’ve loved them all. I am still working my way through The Bone Shard Daughter as I write this, but I am hoping to finish it before the end of the month.

reading stats

Number of books read: 14 Pages Read: 4262

StoryGraph Stats: This month I mostly read fast-paced fantasy fiction books that were adventurous, emotional and dark. Most were between 300 and 499 pages long.

  • Life of Riley by Simon James Green: S and I read this together, and we really loved it. I genuinely enjoyed it as much as he did; one for adults and kids alike. I really hope we get to see more of Riley and Brad in the future. Our full review is here.
  • A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison: I absolutely loved being back with the Widdershins sisters on their adventures. The inclusion of the hagstone folklore was brilliant, I loved their adventure and the new characters that were introduced in this book. I’m excited for the next book. 
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow: This is everything I could ever want from a witch book and more. It was so brilliant I’ve just downloaded the audiobook so I can experience it all over again. 
  • This Winter by Alice Oseman: It’ll be no surprise to anyone that I’m a huge fan of Nick and Charlie. I adored this insight into Charlie’s family and the different perspectives of his siblings, especially Tori. 
  • Ultraviolet by R.J.Anderson: This book kept me on my toes all the way through. Nothing at all like I expected but I loved watching Alison’s story unfold. 
  • Vulture by Bex Hogan: Devoured this in one sitting and I am a broken husk of the woman I was when I started. I have had emotions, facial expressions and emotional whiplash. My heart has been ripped from my chest…but I loved it. It is worth the wait.
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn: An intriguing fantasy with a clever magic system built around the legend of King Arthur. I loved the way it explored grief and trauma, and how Bree learned about her mother and her ancestry. 
  • My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak: I absolutely loved this. It’s a gorgeous story about friendship, family, kindness and finding your place and your people. Leonard and Olive’s friendship is beautiful. 
  • SkySong by Abi Elphinstone: This was a reread by audiobook. I loved it just as much as when I first read it. One of my favourite middle grade books. 
  • The Girl in Red by Christina Henry: My favourite Christina Henry book so far. It’s a dark, apocalyptic take on the Red Riding Hood story. Red is an amazing character; her story sucked me in and I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. 
  • Bold Lies by Rachel Lynch: This is the 5th book in one of my favourite crime series. I loved seeing Kelly revisiting her old life in London. The crime kept me guessing until the end. 
  • The Loop by Ben Oliver: The Loop is everything I love about dystopian fiction. I was drawn straight into these characters and their lives. I loved the friendships that developed and I am intrigued to see where this series goes next. 
  • The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum: A gorgeously written dystopian middle grade novel. I loved the characters, the friendships, the secrets and the twists, and the important messages to be kind and to stand up for what you believe in. 
  • Blood Rites by Rachel Lynch: Another brilliant book in the DI Kelly Porter series. It has such a tense and brilliant plot. I loved the return of The Teacher, and the setting of this one was part of the Lakes I know well and could easily picture whilst reading. I also loved the way Paganism was explored through the book and the developments in Kelly’s personal life. 

challenge updates
My 2021 resolutions are going well. I am loving having moved to StoryGraph, so much so that I’ve now imported my Goodreads library into StoryGraph (mainly because my recommendations were books I have already read and loved and it was driving me mad). I’m still enjoying not giving star ratings and forcing myself to review every book, which is handy given that this year’s reviewing is not going amazingly so far!

Storygraph: 33/100, which puts me 7 books ahead of my goal. I also set up a page goal this month of 50,000 for the year and am currently 1459 pages behind that.

I have made good progress on my all of my reading challenges. The BIPOC Alphabet Challenge I was taking part in has been removed from StoryGraph (I do not know why), so I might look for another challenge to join formally, or I might just continue my commitment to reading book by BIPOC authors without tracking it here. I do not know.

Read Diversely Challenge: 6/20 Diverse Reading Challenge: 7/38

Unread Shelf: 6/24 Beat the Backlist: 19/52

TBR: was 129 is now 131. I think we can all see that this hasn’t reduced at all. I have added 6 new Netgalley books, received 2 of my pre-orders in the post, and added a book to my shelf from my son’s shelves. I’m not even sorry. I didn’t set any hard rules regarding Netgalley requests and how they would fit into a buying ban, so I’m giving myself a free pass here. From now on, they will count in my “must read 5 books AND have cleared all my proofs off my shelves” rule before I can request any more.

Copy of Coffee and.... (3)

Books I have pre-ordered that I am really excited for next month are:

  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Edge of the Ocean by L.D. Lapinski
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  • Dragon Legend by Katie and Kevin Tsang
  • Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard
  • Vulture by Bex Hogan

What books are you looking forward to this April?

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