Everything I Read In March 2020

April 2, 2020 / Books

Circe

Fiction / Fantasy / Mythology

This has been my favorite book of 2020, and possibly my favorite book I’ve read over the past 12 months! If you pick any book from this list to read, this would be the one I recommend.

Circe, the daughter of Helios (Titan God of the Sun) is unlike her father and mother and turns to the companionship of mortals for most of her life. She eventually discovers she and her siblings have a special power — the power of witchcraft. This book follows the years after this discovery, when Zeus has banished Circe to a deserted island, fearing her power. The Minotaur, Icarus, Odysseus and Medea all make appearances throughout this story, that chronicles Circe’s struggle between the Titan/Olympian world she came from, and her kinship for the mortal world she has come to love.

Coming in at almost 400 pages, this is a longer read, but one I couldn’t put down. The writing is beautiful and so intelligent. There are several storylines that keep you engaged and while it is based on mythology, there are a lot of themes that are very relatable. 100% a must read!

Final Score: 5/5 or A

Lilac Girls

Fiction / Historical Fiction / WWII Fiction

There is a wide variety of WWII Historical Fiction novels on the market, but this was one of my firsts. And it was worth the wait! Inspired by real WWII events, this novel is written in three perspective’s: a German doctor, a Polish teenager in a concentration camp, and a New York socialite. Sometimes with alternating perspectives I lose interest in one of the characters, but all three of these storylines was engaging and ultimately made sense together.

Heartbreaking and tragic and truly an unforgettable book. Gorgeous writing and such an impressive intertwining of stories. This novel brings a light to the “rabbits” — the female victims of experimentation in the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. Their story is not one I had previously heard and is often forgotten to history. This book is a also a must read, in my opinion!

Final Score: 4/5 or A-

Followers

Fiction / Dystopia / Contemporary

Wow, this book is interesting! And very unique (really unlike anything I have read) and such a wild ride. It alternates between current day and 35 years in the future and is so relevant to our current times and where social media might/could be headed.

The story follows three women, Orla, Floss and Marlow. Orla and Floss are two friends, determined to achieve Internet fame, no matter the cost. Marlow’s story takes place in the future, in a governement-run community for media stars and influencers. Her entire life takes place on camera, for her followers to see. Eventually Marlow snaps and makes some big changes and we learn a lot about the dynamic between Orla, Floss and Marlow!

This book really makes you consider the age of social media, its dangers and flaws and where it might be headed. It is definitely a social commentary on the modern age of influence and very thought-provoking. While it wasn’t my top read of March, it was a fun and enjoyable read.

Final Score: 3/5 or B

The Self-Care Solution

Non-Fiction / Self-Help / Health

I’ll admit, I always buy into books that follow the month-to-month challenge theme, and this is one of those. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best one I’ve read. Jennifer Ashton, an Ob-Gyn, and TV medical correspondent spent a year becoming happier, healtier and fitter — and then wrote a book about the experience. Sounds promising (to me anyway) but it really fell flat and was weirdly unrelatable and sometimes unbelievable.

Each chapter is a 30-day challenge: drink more water, do push-ups and planks daily, cut out red meat, etc. Basic health challenges, that over time can have big effects for the average person. However, I wouldn’t say Dr. Ashton is the average person, health-wise. She started this challenge already happy, healthy and fit and therfore the “challenges” were not actually challenging for her. The book seemed very self-indulgent, rather than helpful. And, honestly, like so many self-help books, it should have just been a blog post.

Final Score: 2/5 or C-

Open Book

Non-Fiction / Memoir

Okay, I am a 90s baby, who grew up in the age of Newlyweds, so I obvioulsy had to read this! This book got a lot of hype in the media, and a lot of the stories are told during interviews Jessica has been doing to promote the book, but it is still a juicy read. If you enjoy pop culture or celebrity gossip, this book does not dissapoint!

Jessica opens up about her childhood abuse, her marriage to Nick, as well as several relationships following that (John Mayer, Tony Romo, her current husband), her struggle  with alcohol and the dynamic she has with her parents. It is very relatable and endearing, and she really doesn’t hold back. While I wouldn’t say it’s super well written, and there are some slow chapters, it was a light read that I found entertaining. But again, I am a 90s baby!

Final Score: 3/5 or B- 

The Bell Jar

Fiction / Classic / Mental Health

One of my reading goals is to spend more time reading classic novels, and since I own this one, this was my next one. This is Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel about a young womens desent into insanity. I previously read The Catcher in the Rye, and I can see why people make comparisons between the two, not because of the story, but the writing and progression are similar.

For me, the first 100 pages of the story were very good (5/5), but the second half was difficult for me, although, I do think that was the authors intent. The last 100 pages follow the main characters breakdown and you can feel the insanity through the writing style. It is tragic and beautiful and immersive and depressing and certainly lives up to its classic label. As far as classics go, I do believe this is a worthwhile read.

Final Score: 3/5 or B