Ancient Ruins & an Unexpected Book: The March Wrap Up!

Posted April 1, 2019 by Amber in Checking In / 8 Comments

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Y’all, I want to apologize in advance for the March and April wrap ups – Matt and I picked up the keys to our new apartment on Wednesday, so now we are 100% about moving, packing, unpacking, the works.  Nearly all my other posts for the next two months have been pre-scheduled, but the wrap ups I usually do the weekend before, because I think it’s important they’re fresh.

The March and April wrap up are going to be missing some bits and pieces that take me a little while longer to go through and talk about, but I promise to bring them back in May when things settle.  That means this month should be pretty quick and easy – huzzah!

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The Book Ban is just NOT happening.  It needs to – it isn’t.  Sometimes I feel like if I stopped buying books and my husband and I stopped eating out or ordering in, we could probably take another vacation every year.

Five of these books came because there was a 50% off sale at Barnes & Noble and it pulled me right in.  And you know what?  I already had a copy of Tuck Everlasting? This is what happens when my physical library is a mess *sigh*.

The one book I’m most excited about in this haul is Marilla of Green Gables.  I actually won this book in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program back in AUGUST and it never arrived, so I’d just given up on in.  I LOVE Anne of Green Gables and everything I’ve heard about this spinoff book and the way the author worked with the L.M. Montgomery estate (even though it’s technically in public domain!) had me so pumped.  I was disappointed when the review copy never arrived.  So imagine my surprise when, six months later, I have a package from HarperCollins sitting on my doorstep.

Better late than never!  This one’s going on my immediate TBR, after the deadline ARCs.  So excited.

Other new ARCs this month are: Solving for M (which I’ve seen good reviews of on Goodreads already) and The Lost Coast.  I’m actually really excited for The Lost Coast as well, as I adored Amy Rose Capetta’s Echo After Echo and the aesthetic and setting of this one already remind me of The Wicked Deep and The Price Guide to the Occult, both of which I enjoyed.

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As reading goes, this month has been pretty successful.  There was only one book I didn’t enjoy, and that was The Waking Forest.  Even then, I very much enjoyed the first half of the book!  My subject matter was all over the place this month, which I think was good because I was feeling a bit of a slump after February and this has shaken things up.  I read everything from non-fiction to classics to humor to paranormal fantasy.

ALSO.  The widget’s being a little wonky this month and I lost patience trying to fix it so apologies in advance for slice book covers!

Highlights:

Born a Crime / ★★★★★ – This memoir was both shorter than I expected, and much different than I expected.  All the memoirs I’ve read discuss, in some part, the author’s rise to fame.  Born a Crime lays out hard truths about growing up in South Africa without any amount of self-importance or boasting.  It was an unexpectedly powerful read and I recommend it to everyone.

Lamb / ★★★★ While I hesitate a bit to recommend Lamb because I’m worried it will offend some people, I laughed so hard while reading this book.  It’s my first foray into Christopher Moore’s work, and I hear it’s his best.  I usually hesitate to read anything with Christianity (I hate being preached to) but this was just… delightful.  The only book that’s ever made me laugh harder is Hyperbole and a Half.

The Secret Life of Bees / ★★★★★ – In recent years, I feel like The Secret Life of Bees has fallen out of conversation when it comes to historical fiction, but this one is incredible.  It’s a sweet, powerful story about a young white girl in the ’60s who runs away from her abusive father and finds a new family in the home of three smart, kind black women.  If your racism alarms are going off, they needn’t be – this book is sensitively written and beautifully done.  I read this one in high school and it’s an old favorite I come back to from time to time.

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Favorite Post: Should You Try Audiobooks? Survey Says…

Researching this post was very eye-opening for me, because I expected far more nay-sayers!  If you’re interesting in trying audiobooks, or if you already use them as a reading resource and you feel the stigma or feel alone, know that there are LOADS of other people out there in the community who are listening too and find your tribe! <3

Favorite Review:  Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling

Goodness gracious y’all.  I really thought everyone had already read this 400-ish word short scene by J.K. Rowling?  In fact, it sort of felt like cheating to even post it.  Both on my blog AND on Instagram, this review blew UP!  If you haven’t read it yet and you’re a Potter fan, make sure to click through.  It’s a tease of a scene starring Sirius Black and James Potter, and will only take about four minutes to read.

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This month has been the calm before the storm.  Last Wednesday, Matt and I got the keys to the new apartment, so we’re in a moving, painting, cleaning, and packing frenzy now.  Next month, I’m going to do my best to keep up with comments and I’ve been writing as much as I can to try and get ahead post-wise, but I don’t think I’ll be reading very much.

Still, March has been nice.  We went on a Caribbean cruise at the beginning of the month that was a lot of fun.  I’ve never been to the Caribbean, so this was a new experience for me.  My heart is still in Europe, but I’m glad we went.  The islands are breathtaking.

Otherwise, work is getting busy at the same time as home is getting busy.  I feel like there’s no escape wherever I go, but I know I just have to grit my teeth and by the end of April at least some of my anxiety will die down, and things will settle down.

March is sort of a big month for my husband and I every year.  On a small scale, it’s my work anniversary (five years this year on St. Patrick’s Day!).  On a much more important scale, my husband finished his last round of chemotherapy on March 17th, 2014.  That makes 2019 a BIG year, because I don’t know how many of you have cancer-related experience (hopefully none of you) but five years is IMPORTANT.  It’s the milestone where one can say “my cancer is very unlikely to return”.  We are celebrating hardcore in this house.  Life is good!

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How was your March?  Did you read anything good or go somewhere fun?  Tell me all your favorite moments in the comments!

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8 responses to “Ancient Ruins & an Unexpected Book: The March Wrap Up!

  1. Kathy Martin

    Congrats on your husband being 5 years cancer free. Moving is such a chore. I hope you are quickly settled in your new place. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  2. I’m so happy to hear about your husband hitting the five years milestone! Congratulations! That picture is so pretty, btw.

    Spinning Silver a beautiful read. So I hope you enjoy it! I think, I bought The Secret Life of Bees recently and will make sure to read it soon. I have a review e-copy of Descendant of the Crane but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it. Descendant feels like one of those stories I need to enjoy from a physical book.

    • Amber

      Thank you so much! We are so, so excited and grateful!

      If you’re looking for a physical book … 😉 … Descendant of the Crane is Illumicrate’s April Book (they haven’t officially said it, but the art matches. Illumicrate isn’t subtle). I hope you like The Secret Life of Bees. I’m looking forward Spinning Silver – I’ve heard such lovely things!