March was a prolific reading month; it's evident how I'm coping with COVID-19. I can't recall any other period in my life when I've consumed 14 books in 4 weeks. (We'll see what April looks like!?) I definitely went for "comfort" selections, leaning heavy on two specific genres: romance and cozy mystery.
This month, I dove deep into the Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jaqueline Winspear and couldn't get enough of them. The research and writing are outstanding - the books are set in London, post World War I - and I really enjoy Maisie as a protagonist. She's smarter and more empathic than I'll ever be, that's for sure. The stories are multi-layered and so satisfying, but what I love most is that Maisie is such a dimensional character, with flaws and issues that fold into every mystery she solves in new and fulfilling ways. For example, Maisie struggles to balance a desire for companionship and the lifestyle society says she should want with maintaining agency as a woman with a career - relatable.
From the romance side, I really enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. It took me a few tries to get into the novel, because I didn't click with one half of the romantic duo: First Son, Alex Claremont-Diaz. So glad I stuck with it, though, because I came to appreciate him more - and his depths were revealed - as the romantic foil to England's Prince Henry. Reading the book placed me right back into how it feels to discover new love - the highs, the lows, the vulnerability of giving your heart to someone and asking for theirs in return. (Sigh) The story was exactly what I needed - I laughed; I flipped pages, goofy grin on my face, heart melting as the relationship developed between the two men. The pace was excellent, the writing style smart and fun, without falling into the trap of being tedious and "too cool."
Of everything I read in March, there was only one selection that was not for me: In the Woods, by Tana French. I'll revisit French as an author sometime down the road, because I appreciated her writing style and ability to weave a complex story. But In the Woods was too dark, and offered too little resolution at the end for where I am in life right now. At this particular moment, I need massive doses of hope and happiness tied up in nice little bows by the time I get to the end of a book.
What I Read in March
Have you read anything from my March list? If so, what did you think? What's on your nightstand right now? And do you find that your reading preferences have shifted over the past few weeks, or are they unchanged? (So many questions!)
This is a place to celebrate all the parts of yourself that come with age and experience. I'm here to share with you what I know and to explore with you the many (many) things I don't.