Friday, April 9, 2021

Wrap Up: March 2021


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💧 March 2021 Wrap Up 🍀

Reviews Of Books I Read In March


I don’t mean to sound like a Negative Nancy, but March was not the best reading month. I rated almost all of the books in this post 2 stars. I don’t know if I just hit a “meh” streak of books or if I was distracted in March and couldn’t concentrate on reading. Probably a mixture of both. These reviews make me sound like a jerk. I promise I don’t hate everything! I do enjoy reading! I swear!

I started March with The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It’s historical fantasy about a couple in 1920s Alaska who can’t have children. They build a child out of snow, and she comes to life. Maybe. Possibly. She’s a very mysterious child. The story is slow-paced and sweet with loveable characters and detailed writing. It’s a very quiet book. It’s just ordinary people (and an extraordinary child) living their lives. For me, it’s a little too quiet. I got bored waiting for something to happen. I need more drama in my books. This one is too safe and soothing for my tastes. That’s a “me” problem, though. I know why this book gets so much hype: Sometimes you just want to read about people who love each other unconditionally. Ultimately, that’s what this novel is about.


Then I read Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. Unfortunately, I got bored with this book too. It’s about a husband and wife whose bondage sex game ends badly. The first half of the book is mostly scenes of the wife being sexually abused in graphic, gratuitous ways. It gets repetitive. I was constantly tempted to skim past the yucky abuse scenes, but I would have missed most of the book if I did that. This is a horror story for sure, but it’s not my kind of horror story. I completely understand why it’s on Goodreads’ “Most Disturbing Books Ever Written” list. I was disturbed!



After a shaky start to my reading month, the books got better. I really like the unusual art style in Everything Is Teeth by Evie Wyld. It’s a graphic novel / memoir about the author’s childhood in Australia. She developed a (possibly unhealthy?) obsession with shark attacks. The art in the book is a mixture of cartoonish humans and ultra-realistic sharks. It’s very effective at showing Evie’s fear without being overly bloody. I didn’t love the story as much as the art. The writing is beautiful, and Evie’s vague sense of impending doom is relatable, but the ending is abrupt. Evie is worried that something bad will happen to her family. (That’s why she’s so worried about shark attacks.) Then something bad does happen to her family. Then the book is over. I wish the ending had come back to the sharks to make the book feel more cohesive. It’s a good book, though! It perfectly captures the powerlessness that children sometimes feel.


Since I enjoyed Everything Is Teeth, I picked up another graphic novel: The Unwanted: Stories Of The Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. This book is exactly what it says on the cover. It’s a basic overview of the civil war in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis. The book is meant for kids, so it doesn’t go into much depth. If you read newspapers, you probably won’t learn anything new from it. The graphics are informative and quick to read. I think it would satisfy a child’s curiosity without overwhelming them with details. Mostly, it made me want to read a memoir about Syria that’s actually written by a Syrian refugee. This graphic novel is journalism. The author did a bunch of research and reported what he discovered. There’s nothing wrong with reporting, but it does create distance between the reader and the refugees he’s writing about. The author is an outsider looking at a crisis. I’d prefer to hear about the crisis from someone who was impacted by it. So, tell me about books written by refugees, please!



Then I went back to Stephen King and his giant novels. It took me two weeks, but I managed to finish Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. Even though Stephen King books are unnecessarily massive, I usually finish them quickly. That was not the case with this one. It’s 702 pages and took me two weeks to read because the pacing is soooo slooooow. The book is about a plague where women’s bodies spin cocoons while they sleep. If someone removes the cocoon, the woman goes on a murder spree. The men are left alone in the world, wondering what to do with all these cocooned women. The book starts off great. The premise is attention-grabbing, and there’s a ton of suspense as the pandemic spreads and people struggle to stay awake. Toward the middle, I got bored. The book has too many characters and not enough world building. The point-of-view switches disrupt the action. Also, if half the world’s population spun itself into cocoons over the course of a few days, life would change drastically for the un-cocooned people. Instead of showing the changes, the authors give the reader a somewhat heavy-handed message about sexism. I would rather see the changes and work out the message for myself. I badly wanted more world building! This isn’t my favorite Stephen King book, but it’s another one I can check off my list. Someday, I’ll get through all his work.


I finished March by quitting a book. (I told you March was a bad reading month.) I read the majority of At The Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino, but it wasn’t holding my attention, so I set it aside for now. The plot is nonexistent, and the characters are kind of bland. I am interested in the book’s topic, though! It’s about a group of young women who work as Hitler’s food tasters. They have to taste the food he’s about to eat and then wait to see if they get poisoned. The book is based on real events, which is cool, but I was struggling to stay invested in the story. That’s a “me” problem, not the book’s problem. I think I need a book that’s plot-driven and less depressing right now.





Best Books Of March

1. Everything Is Teeth by Evie Wyld

2. The Unwanted: Stories Of The Syrian Refugees by Don Brown





Most-Viewed March Blog Posts

1. Top Ten Tuesday: Jobs I’d Have If I Were Fictional

2. Can’t Wait Wednesday: March 2021 Book Releases

3. Top Ten Tuesday: I’m The Worst Book Cover Designer Ever





March Bestsellers


Here are the books that people bought on Amazon or Book Depository last month after seeing me rave about them on this blog. (Don’t worry, the link-tracking robots only tell me which books people are buying, not who is buying them. That would be creepy.)

1. Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

2. A Game Of Fox & Squirrels by Jenn Reese

3. Cairo by G. Willow Wilson





March Life Snapshots


1. Snowmageddon. It snowed in March. Like, A LOT of snow. I guess it was the 4th largest blizzard in Denver history or something. I don’t live in Denver, but we still got a ton of snow. The snowdrifts were taller than me, and it took 2 days to dig out the cars, but Baby Brooklyn had fun.

Brooklyn building a snowman.

The snowman had a carrot nose, but the dog ate it. 😒

2. Another year closer to death. It was my birthday in March! I didn’t do anything fun because of the pandemic, but I did get a smartwatch. I love it. My wrist now controls my whole life. The watch even gives me weather reports. I feel very futuristic.

3. Speaking of death, I’m working full time again! I haven’t worked full time since COVID started. I got my first COVID shot and promptly went back to my job. I work at a state park. Those places are pure chaos when the weather warms up. I live in a constant state of exhaustion during the summer. So, don’t be alarmed if I occasionally disappear from the blogosphere in the next few months. I’m not dead; I’m just sleeping. I’ll be back when it snows again and the tourists stop coming.

4. Random Brooklyn photo. She met a fish. She did not stay socially distant from the fish.



Wayward Googlers


Here are some amusing Google searches that led people to Read All The Things! last month. I’m sorry to the unfortunate souls who ended up here instead of finding what they were Googling for.


“Queen Elizabeth Husband.” Which Elizabeth? Haven’t there been several? The current Queen Elizabeth is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. I’m curious about how many pages of Google search results you had to dig through to find my blog. I can’t imagine my blog is on page 1 for this topic. I admire your dedication to Googling.


“Book Hooman Haul 2021.” Um . . . I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to haul hoomans. If you find a hooman for sale, you should call the police and not buy it. What even is this search?!





All The Things!


Distance I’ve run so far in 2021 = 172.88 miles (278 km)

Number of unread books on my to-be-read shelf = 59 books

I’m currently reading = Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

What did you do in March?


  1. That's a bummer about your March reads! I hope April is better for you! Hooray for getting the vaccine and getting back to work!

  2. Too bad March wasn't successful in the reading realm. I don't have Syrian books by Syrians, but here are some that I thought were worth reading: Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai (MG, YA fiction)
    A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming (YA fiction)
    Refugee by Alan Gratz (middle grade fiction)
    Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden (adult graphic novel)
    The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland (adult historical fiction based on a real doctor)

  3. Look at Brooklyn! She's a little person now. Love the snowman! My vacation consisted of visits to many state parks, and they were all hopping. Good luck with the crowds! I am not a fan of any type of BDSM stuff. That Stephen King book would have never worked for me, but I am sorry you had so many duds last month.

  4. Ahhh reading slumps... at least you finished the books. I seriously tried to read 10 books in march and DNF'd all of them. Becky Chamber's book was the first one that capture my attention.

    With that same blizzard, we only got like 5-6 inches of snow! It was such a let down here:D

  5. I saw Gerald's Game on Netflix and I can definitely see how that would be really repetitive and boring as a book. Why are so many of his books so slow?? Happy late birthday and congrats on your first vaccine dose! I'm patiently waiting for number two. Hooman haul!

  6. Good luck with the job. Full time dealing with crowds & people all day can be tough. You'll need the wine after. But you'll like the payday. Have a great week.

  7. Sorry you weren't too excited about your March reads. And I hope you survive work---sounds crazy!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. I am sorry that you had a string of books that didn't really work out too well for you. I want to read all of King's books but I am not in a rush to read either of these. Happy Belated Birthday, AJ! It looks like Brooklyn had a great month :)

  9. I can see how Snow Child would come off as boring. I struggled a bit with reading it but that's because I didn't like the protag (if I recall correctly). I ended up giving it 5 stars because I love the writing.

  10. Shame about the titles that didn't work, I hope April brings much better books for you! Hope you're enjoying being back at work despite the chaos :)

    Anika |

  11. Happy belated birthday! Sorry your March reading wasn't great, here's hoping April will have some better reads. I do love that your dog ate the snowman's nose, that's hilarious :) Good luck going back to work full-time, I'm sure it'll take some adjusting to again after this year.

  12. I need to get back into graphic novels! It's been so long, but I really enjoy reading them.~

    "Sleeping Beauties" is about the only Stephen King novel I want to read sooo bad because the premise appeals to me. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  13. Ugh, sorry to hear that March was such a bad reading month for you. I hope April is a better one and that work doesn't get too crazy at least until you have some time to readjust to working fulltime.

  14. "book hooman haul." LOL

    Sorry you didn't read a lot of good books in March. Hopefully April will be a bit better. Good luck working full time again. I'd be exhausted too.


  15. Aww that poor snowman left without a nose, hope the dog enjoyed the treat. Sorry you didn't enjoy your books, I hate it when that happens, especially with more books in a row. Hope everything's ok going back to the job.