Books I Read in March

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Looking for some good books to read? Here are the books I read in March. Check out this month’s book reviews and share what you’ve been reading.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

This month I read a ton. I’ve been focusing on taking more down time and now that there are no cookbooks to write, I have time to read! Yay! Some days when I’ve been lazy, reading a book, and all, I have to pinch myself that I’m not really shirking some deadline or other. It’s been amazing….

I hope that you’ve got some good books to share because I got several of these book recommendations from you all! Thanks for your suggestions. I found some books I never would have tried.

Here’s what I read this month:

Books I Read in March

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

My boys read the entire Percy Jackson series years ago. It wasn’t something I was interested in until we watched the movie as a family as part of our Ancient Greek study. It was a fun ride, so I checked out the kindle book for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief from the library to read to the littles. Seeing as we were in the middle of two other read alouds by the time the book came, I read ahead. Gasp.

I enjoyed it, reading through it in a couple days. Creative, and full of Greek mythology references, it’s a fun read. Again, it feels like another mimic of the Harry Potter series, but maybe that’s how all YA fiction is. I dunno.

Percy Jackson finds out that his dad is actually a Greek god, which one is unknown to all until his power over water makes it clear that Poseidon was the one who fell in love with his mom. He is accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt and must clear his name and free his mom from the clutches of Hades, all the while learning more and more about his strange family lineage — and the fact that the myths are actually true.

I enjoyed it, though. Two thumbs up.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

Still Life with Bread Crumbs

by Anna Quindlen

Based on a recommendation by Melissa in last month’s Booking It, I checked out Still Life with Bread Crumbs on library kindle. This is the first book I’ve read in recent memory in which the protagonist was quite a bit older than me.

It’s a romance so that kinda threw me off because romance at 60 seems so foreign to me. I don’t have friends in that season, so it shook up some presuppositions of mine. And if I’m totally honest: that 60 seems old. Since I’m not THAT far from 60, I better stop thinking of 60 as “old”!

This book was fascinating. Rebecca is a famous photographer who feels she’s lost her touch. She’s certainly lost her fortune. She moves to the country to save money and hopefully find fresh inspiration. She finds more than she expected.

There’s enough mystery and misunderstanding in the book to keep you wondering how it will all end. And it ends well.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

Dear Mr Knightley

by Katherine Reay

I’ve had my eye on this book, Dear Mr. Knightley for awhile, but since it was not available at the library, I crossed it off my list — until Amazon put it on sale for $1.99 this month. I can do two dollars.

This proved to be the best book I’ve read in a long long time. In fact, I read it twice, three times, savoring the conversations between the two main characters over and over again. Needless to say, it’s my new favorite book!

Sam Moore grew up in the foster care system, coping with abuse and neglect by escaping into classic literature. She isolates herself from the real world by learning character dialogue instead of how to be herself in front of others. This prevents her from establishing real connection with those who truly care about her.

She’s given a great opportunity through a grant from a foundation whose benefactor only requires that she write him letters, telling him about things that really matter.

That’s all I’m gonna say, except that it’s an amazing look at the human desire to be known in all our faults and to be loved despite them.

A must read, particularly if you are familiar with Jane Austen’s work.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

Assault and Pepper

by Leslie Budewitz

Assault and Pepper was another reader recommendation, with several of you chiming in last month recommending this series. Like Still Life with Bread Crumbs, it features another protagonist who was so different from me.

Divorced Pepper Reese is the child of hippies and a native of Seattle. After her job at a law firm disintegrates due to the firm’s demise, she buys a spice shop in the Pike Place Market.

One day she finds a homeless man dead on the shops doorstep. One of her employees is accused of his murder. Pepper sets out to prove Tory’s innocence and finds herself in big trouble.

This is a fun read with great descriptions of Seattle as well as all kinds of culinary adventures. It will make you hungry and ready for travel to the PNW. I’ve already put the second book in the series on hold.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

A Paris Apartment

by Michelle Grable

I almost didn’t want to share about reading A Paris Apartment. Honestly? I was a little embarrassed as I read it. Without giving away any spoilers, I was disappointed in some of the main character’s decisions and ashamed of her for making them. I suppose there are two main characters, and I guess I feel that way about both of them.

That said, from art, history, and francophile levels, the book is super fascinating. A Paris apartment is opened after being abandoned for 70 years. This part is true. The apartment is filled with artifacts, history, letters, furniture, and antiques worth millions. Seriously. It holds history within its walls.

Part fiction, part historically based, the book tells the stories of two women: one in the past, one in the present, and the choices they make to live and love, for better and for worse.

I love Paris, so I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the tale. Despite my disappointment at some parts, it ends well.

Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

The Railway Children

by Edith Nesbit

The girls and I read The Railway Children this month. They missed the original reading I did with the boys years ago. My how fast three years goes by. I was sure the girls would remember it, but they didn’t.

I enjoyed it as much the second time as I did the first, perhaps moreso now that we’ve actually been to England. It helped that FishBoy11 is a lot like Peter and my girls are JUST LIKE Bobbie and Phil. What a hoot!

If you’re looking for a good read aloud, I’d say this is a pretty sweet tale, about kids learning to do the right thing when life doesn’t go the way they would wish it.

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Books I Read in March | Book reviews from Life as Mom

Looking for more book recommendations?

Here are some other good books I’ve read this year so far.

So, what good books did YOU read this month?

Share your recent reads in the comments so we can get the 411 on good books to check out next!

P.S. I’ve linked up over at Chatting at the Sky today for Share What You’ve Learned.

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  1. I read through the Percy Jackson series a couple of years ago after my niece recommended it….multiple times 🙂 I enjoyed it, and intend to read through the other series he has written though I haven’t found the time just yet.

    I LOVED Dear Mr. Knightly (along with Lizzy and Jane). I think I need to read it again!

    Some of the books I’ve read in March are:

    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – great, great book about slavery, abolition in Charleston in the early 19th century. I loved that this book, which is based on a true story, was set several decades before the civil war. It was interesting to see how things were headed that way even though it would be years before war breaks out.

    Winter by Marissa Meyer – the final book in the Lunar Chronicles. Loved the whole series. It is a crazy mix of dystopian, cyborg, and retold fairy tales.

    My Life in France by Julia Child – I loved the movie Julie and Julia (though I have to admit I liked the “Julia” parts far more than the “Julie” parts). It was great to hear more from Julia Child about her time in France, what she loved, what she didn’t love so much, and how she became a cookbook author and cooking show star.

    Never Broken by Jewel – great memoir by a singer I used to love…and it has made me want to buy all of her albums I’ve missed over the years! The audiobook is especially good. She does the narration herself and sings a capella from time to time 🙂

    Currently I am reading Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Lithuanian family displaced by the Soviets during WWII.

    1. I tried to read the Julie and Julia book. Whoa. Her language. Couldn’t do it. I keep meaning to give the movie another try — and to get that Julia book again. I started it and never finished.

      1. I think I had the same reaction to the Julie and Julia book. Not sure I finished it. I’d revise my statement that I loved the “Julia” parts of the movie. The “Julie” parts were meh. I do love Amy Adams, but I think she needs to play a happier, more optimistic character!

    2. I had forgotten that Jewel has book out! Just popped over to audible and used one of my credits to get it! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Oh, I don’t have my March Reads post completed, but have to join you in saying that Dear Mr Knightly is a wonderful book. I read it last year (listened on audible) and enjoyed it again with my 16 year old during a road trip last week. Best book I’ve read in quite a while!

  3. I’ve been a total slacker in the reading department, and I am half way through The Witch of Blackbird Pond (great read, btw…in reading ahead to assign my daughter some books for the next 18 months).
    I loved Percy Jackson and actually read a few more in that series.
    I love, love, loved Dear Mr Knightly. Went out and put another one by the same author on hold immediately (blanking on the name) but, I just couldn’t get into it. That said, if you have read other books by this author, and didn’t love them, give her another chance. This one is phenomenal.

    1. The reason I didn’t enjoy Lizzy and Jane as much, I think, is because I listened to them back to back. DMN and LAJ have the same reader on the audible version.

    2. Dear Mr. Knightly was definitely my favorite by Katherine Reay. I did like Lizzy and Jane (which I had read first), but The Bronte Plot wasn’t quite as good. In my opinion of course 🙂

  4. I read Rage by Wilbur Smith. It is by Wilbur Smith and is part of a series. This series takes place in South Africa (as a number of his books do since he is South African). We have really loved his writing style. It does have a few “ahem” moments but I will often kind of skim through those parts. It was around 900 pages so it took a good part of the month. I also read A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva. It is 4th in a series about an undercover Israeli agent.

    I checked out Dear Mr. Knightly from the library on my Kindle. I am not even liking it let alone love it. I don’t like the style of writing. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    1. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t think I could handle 900 pages at this season of life, no matter the topic. Haha. Glad that there is a world of books and so much choice for us!

  5. I just finished Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn, and I absolutely loved it! Books and food…it doesn’t get any better. This month I’be also laughed my way through For the Love by Jen Hatmaker and read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. Not sure what’s on my list next!

  6. I love this series of yours and am amazed at all your reading! I have a ton of books on my nightstand most of which aren’t even started yet, and the others are half way done- none finished for the month…errrg! I am reading the second of the Allen Eskens, books and am sort of liking it, but it is a bit grizzly for my usual murder threshold. I loved his, “The life we bury” so I am still giving this one a try until the finish!

  7. Oh how I love to look at people’s reading lists! Thanks for sharing yours – I’m definantly going to read Dear Mr. Knightley, I’m a Jane Austen fan, big time! I myself have delved into “The Hobbit” this month – not my usual genre, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised and captivated by the wee guy. I, also, read a Dick Francis mystery – which is always a treat. Thanks – I’m visiting from Emily’s ChattingattheSky.

  8. Fun list of books. I’ll have to add them to my ever growing book list. Blessed to be your neighbor at Emily’s this week.

  9. I was planning on doing lots of reading each month, instead I ‘ve been dealing with nose issues that resulted in surgery and STILL (sigh) can’t handle wearing my glasses or reading any length of time. Can’t even sew which is a bummer also. AM recovering, so it’s a blessing but really let me realize how much I do read.

  10. I finished Breaking Busy this month – and I loved it! I also read Dear Mr. Knightly – definitely a fun, interesting read.

    Thanks for sharing! I have been trying to read more, but still struggle to make the time for it. I sure do enjoy it!

      1. I read on the treadmill too – I just need to be more consistent with my treadmill time. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. My son loved the Percy Jackson books, but I can’t keep up with his reading pace anymore. Sigh.

    I did get through a few books in March:

    Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden–This was quoted in Guilty as Cinnamon, so I had to check it out. I go off on rabbit trails like that. It’s interesting and has some beautiful photos, but sometimes it’s physically difficult to read. (The text often overlays grayed-out pictures and my middle-aged eyes don’t like that. Ha!)

    Assault & Pepper (Budewitz)–The first spice shop mystery (Jessica reviewed it above). I read them out of order, and I actually preferred the second one (Guilty as Cinnamon). I’m not sure why, though. It will be interesting to see what Jessica thinks of the second book.

    In Defense of Food (Pollan)–I wanted to like this book, but mostly it just drove me crazy. (There were too many unsupported statements of “fact” among other things.) Still, his recommendations–“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”–are easy to remember and align well with the advice my oncologists gave me (“Eat a rainbow. If you eat meat, make sure it looks like meat. Limit red meat. Avoid soy.) I like easy-to-remember, easy-to-implement advice like that. 🙂

    Yogurt Culture (Rule)–This is a gorgeous cookbook featuring–yep–yogurt. Who knew yogurt could be used in so many ways? I actually bought a yogurt maker after reading this. I’m such a geek. :0

    Of course, reading about all of these herbs, spices, and other foods made me hungry, and when I stepped on the scale the other day I’d gained 5 lbs. Uggh. Now I really need to read other things (and step up the exercise routine a bit).

    1. Ooh. I’m curious about the Brother Cadfael’s. I liked Guilty as Cinnamon, too! (Just finished it last week) Did you know there is a third book in the series coming out in the fall. Also, she’s written another series, set in Montana.

      1. I had to use the interlibrary loan system to get Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden, but since I’d read the original Cadfael mysteries I figured it was worth it (a whole buck; I’m such a big spender–ha!).

        I’ll keep an eye out for the next Spice Shop mystery, and will probably get her other series as well. They’re fun.

        BTW, I think the other spice shop Budewitz mentions is an actual place. Rule lists it in Yogurt Culture as a resource. (I think it’s the same place, but I’d already returned the Budewitz books so couldn’t verify. But it is in the Market. Of course, I had to bookmark the website:

  12. Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. This is a modern retelling of Emma, and AMS really gets Jane Austen in her humor. His update of Mr. Woodhouse is very, very funny and totally believable as a real person, possibly even more so than the original Mr. Woodhouse. This book was a stretch for me after a series of Jane Austen genre flops (Longbourne by Jo Baker being the most recent…some not clean moments and she managed to make me not care at all about Pride and Prejudice), but this one was totally delightful and a welcome distraction as I wait for this baby to come (I’m at 40+2!).

    I also picked up American Fried by Calvin Trillin. I love reading good food writing books, and his are legendary, though I’ve never gotten around to reading them. His prose is a little folksy and highly quotable. A bit like listening to a good yarn spun by your Grandpa along with a side of pie.

    1. I read American Fried when we first moved to Kansas City years ago. It was so disappointing not to enjoy those local places as much as he obviously had. BUT, Arthur Bryant’s BBQ IS really good. 😉

      I need to read that Emma book. Checked it out awhile ago, but it expired before I got to it.

      And congrats! That baby must be here by now….?

  13. My preteen loves anything by Rick riordan. Percy Jackson is quite popular at our house. I will look for dear mr knightly at the library. I read the secret garden last month. I read it as a girl and it was a different story this time around. Love how books can be enjoyed again and again. Thanks for the ideas. These are my favorite posts of yours!