March has been a month of extremes. There was no middle ground to my reading. I had six books four stars and higher, but I also had four books I didn’t finish. This could be due, in part, to the fact that I overcommitted on books to read for March. Where I might normally push through on a book (and sometimes be rewarded with a turnaround) I had to jettison anything that wasn’t working after 20%. Much like the weather here I was unusually cold this month.
A Country You Can Leave by Asale Angel-Ajani
Published by Knopf
Publication date: February 21, 2023
As the child of a Russian mother and an Afro-Cuban father Lara has never fit in. She’s never even met her father and her relationship with her mother Yvegenia is fractious and tenuous at best. A Country You Can Leave takes place in a decrepit trailer park, the latest hopscotch landing spot for Yvegenia. Lara just wants to stay in one place and finish high school. This is a harsh-life novel, but debut author Asale Angel-Ajani’s writing is cutting in its insight into the darker side of human relationships.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati: More Greek mythology retold. Review to follow
Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls
Published by Scribner
Publication date: March 28, 2023
Sadly, Hang the Moon was a complete miss for me. I’ve loved Jeannette Walls’ previous books, but her foray into historical fiction fell flat. A story of a Prohibition era woman in the bootleg hills of Virginia couldn’t hold my interest.
Women are the Fiercest Creatures by Andrea Dunlop: Review to follow
I Know Who You Are: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever by Barbara Rae-Venter
Published by Ballantine
Publication date: February 7, 2023
I Know Who You Are is a true crime book about an amateur genealogist who uses modern day DNA technology and databases to aid in the search for criminals. For some, this is a sensitive topic, and she addresses that, but the bulk of the book is about the various high-profile cases she helped solve. The most important being the golden state killer. Much of this is fascinating reading, but Venter is abrasive in her superiority- as evidenced by the book’s subtitle. Even if warranted, it’s unpleasant. A good book for skimming.
Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal: Review to follow
That’s all for March. On to April with lots of new books and everything blooming here is Seattle!
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*I received free copies of the books from Scribner and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.*