What I Read in March

Monday, April 1, 2019

Another good reading month! I was hot in the beginning of March, flying through books, & then slowed down significantly toward the middle - but I still got plenty of reading in. Did I read any of my Book of the Month picks? Ummm... not yet. That TBR list keeps growing!

A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson
Rawson was in her mid-twenties when she learned that her beloved father, Dennis Rader, was the serial killer known as BTK ("Bind, Torture, Kill," a reference to his heinous methodology). In this brave & emotional memoir, Rawson shares her family's story - including what her dad was like as they knew him, & how they coped with learning about his horrible crimes. (A note: Rawson became deeply religious while dealing with the knowledge of her father's identity. Though the evangelical element of the book did not appeal to me, it did not bother me, as it was important to her personal story. Just a heads up in case this may negatively impact your reading experience.) ★★★★☆

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance 
It took me ages to read this one, but now that I'm in the habit of listening to nonfiction audiobooks that feel like long podcasts, well, this felt like a perfect choice - & it was. Vance, who is my age, grew up in rural Ohio & Kentucky in a family of self-proclaimed Appalachian hillbillies. Vance, who went on to serve in the Marines & then receive his law degree from Yale, write poignantly about hillbilly culture, unknown & misunderstood to so many of us. ★★★★★

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
I really like Haddish, but her book didn’t do it for me. Co-written by the world’s biggest misogynist d-bag, Tucker Max, I felt like it was more Max than Haddish, at least when it came to some of the most NSFW stories. Listen, I swear like a sailor, but this particular breed of vulgarity is not quite my jam - & I especially disliked the way she talked about fat people & people with disabilities. I will continue to enjoy Haddish’s comedy, just perhaps not in written form. ★★☆☆☆

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
I've read a lot of celebrity memoirs but am not usually a big fan - until now. Busy Philipps - best known for shows like Freaks & GeeksDawson's Creek, & Cougar Town - is quiiiite the personality, & she's recently acquired new fame through her down-to-earth Instagram Stories, her podcast, & her late-night show Busy Tonight. In telling her stories - from acting to abortion, post-partum depression to potential divorce - she's real & funny & genuine & sometimes deeply unlikable in the way that actual human beings are - which, frankly, makes me like her all the more. ★★★★★

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
After my last Kinsella read, I knew I wanted more from her, so my best friend recommended this one, from the early 2000s. Emma is a low-level marketing employee who spills all her life's secrets to her seatmate on a scarily turbulent airplane ride airplane ride; of course, he turns out to be the CEO of her company! Emma was kiiiind of an insufferable idiot, but if I suspended reality on that particular point, I found her & the story really likable. ★★★★☆

The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner 
Yes, Caitlyn Jenner is a Republican & a two-time reality TV star. No, I do not necessarily agree with her politics or views. Yes, I still believe that her story, as the most visible celebrity to ever transition in the public eye, is important to hear & understand. As Bruce (which Jenner allows others to use when speaking about her past & especially her athletic accomplishments), Jenner-the-Olympian was once considered the height of masculinity & athleticism - yet struggled the whole time with debilitating gender dysphoria that impacted literally every part of his life. Caitlyn's story is powerful, eloquent, & well-crafted, whether you agree with her politics or like the Kardashians or not. ★★★★☆

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
I loved McManus's thriller debut, One of Us is Lying, so I was excited to read her second, in the same genre. It didn't disappoint! This YA read tells the story of twins Ezra & Ellery who move back to their mother's hometown... when beauty queens keep disappearing. What does their opioid-addicted mom know about it - & who's next? A lot of Goodreads reviews peg this YA read as predictable, eye-rolly, etc., but I thought it was a lot of fun - & while the ending wasn't a huge, crazy twist, I definitely hadn't predicted it. ★★★★☆

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
I loved this book. Yes, the plot is totally implausible, but to me, it reads like a modern-day heroine story, what we wish we could all do or enact or create in this #MeToo era. Three friends, the school weirdos - devout Christian Grace, Mexican lesbian Rosina, & autistic Erin - anonymously form a group called The Nowhere Girls, meant to take on the three boys in their school who raped another girl the year before & got away with it. As their movement grows, the girls find friends, allies, love, & support - & ultimately, at least some form of justice. Awesome read. ★★★★★

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Another book down in my HP re-read, & what a delight it was! I love this one, from our first views of The Burrow to our first interactions with Dobby to all the weird ghosts who feature prominently in this story. I'd like to give it a million stars, of course, but I'll settle for five. ★★★★★

Tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account!

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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