We are doing our reading round-up for the month once again, but this time we wanted to include some non-book finds that have helped keep us and our kids sane, occupied, and comfortable. If you click the pictures below, you’ll find our favorites broken down by person as well as the round-up of my newly design Den. I’ve been spending A LOT of time in there this month. You’ll also find the usual quick book reviews below also separated by reader. We were both having trouble reading in recent weeks, so there aren’t as many book reviews as usual. We know you understand. Please share with us anything you’ve found to keep your kids occupied. We need all the help we can get! Enjoy novel ideas March 2020.
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March 2020 Novel Ideas Finds
Kirsten’s Novel Ideas March 2020 Stack
Thanks to Sourcebooks for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. Like everyone out there, I’ve been struggling with the day-to-day at the moment. I felt like I needed to project a sunny, upbeat, can-do attitude because I don’t have a family that is sick or on the front lines fighting this virus. I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry, and kids that have adjusted well for the most part. But putting on the happy face was killing me a little bit. I decided to share my struggle over on Instagram because it felt authentic to who I was at that moment. This book helped me ask for help. In doing so, I got the encouragement I needed and I was able to let others know it was ok to admit when they feel low too. 4 stars.
Don’t let the gorgeous cover fo this book fool you. Darling Rose Gold is. a dark and sinister look at a dysfunctional and abusive mother-daughter relationship. I couldn’t put it down, but it is a trigger for child abuse. I can’t give much about the story away without ruining it. If you are a thriller lover, this one is for you. 4 stars.
I’d been meaning to tackle this final book in the Red Queen series for quite some time. It wasn’t my favorite book in the series but it wrapped everything up nicely. Because it was mostly short stories, I was able to concentrate on it fairly easily too.
Thanks to Doubleday for my free review copy. All opinions are my own. The Body Double is a dark character study of an unidentified female hired to impersonate a high-profile celebrity. The majority of the book is her inner dialogue as she studies tapes, interviews, and home videos of Rosanna. As she begins to feel as if she is Rosanna, she starts stepping out in public, going to restaurants and doing interviews. The slow-building tension of this book had me enthralled. 3.5 stars
The Roxy Letters got me through an intense bout of spring cleaning at the onset of our state’s closure. It’s cheerful and upbeat looks at a millennial struggling to find herself in Austin, TX. I was rolling my eyes at Roxy and also laughing the whole time. This would be a wonderful beach read should we ever be allowed out of our houses again. 😬 4 stars.
I tackled this memoir for our March reading challenge prompt. Dick Van Dyke is an American icon. I’ve loved him since Mary Poppins. I loved listening to his narration of his own memoir because it brought it to life. I had no idea about so much of the darker parts of his life, including his struggle with alcohol. 3 stars.
Thanks to Libro.Fm for my review copy. All opinions are my own. I can’t tell you a thing about this book. It’s about ghosts and lies and initially, I was really engaged in the story, but then Covid-19 happened midway through my listening and I have zero idea about what happened in the end. I know it was a celebrity book club pick recently, I’m sure it is good. I just can’t remember. Star count N/A
Man, I tackled some heavy books earlier this month. This one was a look inside an in-patient treatment facility for those suffering from an eating disorder. This fictional account, had me rooting for all the women suffering as I prayed they would be able to help themselves enough to be released. I had no idea just how complicated and hard to overcome an eating disorder could be or how easy it is to trigger it again. Still, this story ends on an uplifting note. 4 stars.
This memoir was enthralling from the first line. Lily takes us into her mind as her OCD develops from girlhood through to the present. Her raw portrayal of mental illness was difficult to read at times but helped me to understand more about OCD. I was connected to her thoughts in a way I’ve never experienced before. A must-read for anyone with a loved one who has this disorder. 4 stars
This was an interesting look at the subversive tactics the CIA took during the Cold War. I had no idea that they engaged in cultural espionage.
As always, it’s fascinating to see the role that females play within a spy network. It’s crazy to me that after WWII many former female spies were sent to the typing pool while their male counterparts got to remain active in the spy community. The book dragged a little towards the middle, but I’d still recommend it to lovers of historical fiction. 3 stars.
With the Friends reunion the only thing people could talk about earlier in the month (my how things have changed,) I decided to read this book after it had been on my TBR for a long time. I didn’t know the history behind how the show got started, how it became successful, and ultimately why it ended. A total must for Friends fans. 3 stars.
Before Anyone Else was a charming romance about the restaurant industry and I found myself craving good food and a glass of wine the entire time I read it. I was utterly charmed by this tale of one woman’s struggle to find herself. Bailey grew up the daughter of a famous chef and the sister of a Michelin star restauranteur. She wants to be known for her own talents as a restaurant designer. Her search for independence leads her to NYC, away from her family and her first love. 3 stars.
Why did it take me so long to read the follow-up to Backman’s famed Beartown? The story was as engrossing as the first and I actually loved it more than the first because it was about redemption. Picking up a few weeks after the end of Beartown, the town and its hockey team need to rebuild. A wonderful, wonderful story. 4 stars.
Jackie’s Novel Ideas March 2020 Reads
Camille is an orphan who must use magic to transform pieces of metal into money in order to buy food for her sister. But when the magic starts to fail, Camille must use dark magic to transform herself into a baroness in the court of Louis the 16th. Soon, the dark magic takes its toll and Camille must make a choice. I had been waiting to read this book for a while and I wanted to love it. I liked it and I enjoyed it but, it took me a while to get into it. It was a fun read but, there spark I was looking for eluded me. 3 stars
This is one of my favorite romances I have read in a while. This LGBTQ+ romance is so much fun and had all the romance musts. Great characters- check, royals with a steamy romance- check, check, funny sidekicks- check. I read this in two days and loved every minute. 4 stars
When I started this book, I was unsure how I felt about the writing. The prose is lyrical and poetic but I wasn’t sure where the story was going. I felt it winding a lot rather than developing. As the story progressed, I became invested in Hiram and wanted to see where the story went. But then the story went flat for me. I wanted to see the other characters developed more. I wanted to feel more emotionally at the end of the book.
Instead, it felt like the momentum fizzled out. The element of magic reminded me a little bit of the Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead but that book was off the charts for me in the writing, story and characters. There were some parts that had me feeling like this was a 5 star read but in the end, I found it was “good” 3 stars
I love Wendy Walker’s Books and this one was no exception. Walker provides the backdrop and characters for perfect suspense. When Molly Clarke disappears, the authorities call it a walk away. Everyone except her daughter believes that she had given up on her loveless marriage and children and left. But, in reality, Molly finds herself trapped in a house and at the mercy of a man and a nine-year-old girl. She tries to figure out how she can escape and know, she might never see her family again. With her brilliant storytelling along with twists and turns, Walker has another book that kept me on my toes from the first page to the last. Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book, 4.0 stars
This is one of the best mystery thrillers that I have read in a long time. I loved this book from beginning to end. Years ago, Malcolm, a bookseller, wrote a blog post that included books with the most unsolvable murders. One day, an FBI agent comes to his store to ask him about that post. She believes that someone is using it as a recipe for committing murders. The book has twists and turns and is so well-written!!! 4.5 stars
Jenny Colgan has become one of my go-to for fluff reads. I love her books that are centered around food. This most recent book is a departure from this ad her bookshop centered books as well. Sophie Chesterton is the “it” girl with her clothes, diamonds, and money. She is shocked when she finds out that she has to start earning a living for herself. There was more character development than I thought there would be. 3.5 stars
Thank you so much to BookSparks for my copy of this book. As soon as I saw the description, I knew that this was a book for me and it did not disappoint at all. The story is about 3 friends who have one thing in common- Molly. When Molly dies, she requests, in her will, that her three best friends meet for Sunday brunch once a month for a year. I fell in love with each of these characters who are flawed in their own ways. This book made me feel good. It is a perfect book to remind you of the importance of friendship. In these times, I can’t think of a more perfect book, 4 stars
It took me a few pages to get into the story about a would-be queen who needs to earn her right to rule. But, once I did, i zipped through it in only a few days. Considering that I am having a hard time finding the time to read and concentrating, that is big praise for this YA fantasy. Filled with magic and love, mermaids and monsters, this was a perfect getaway from reality. 3.5 stars
While I am usually not a huge fan of memoirs, this book was definitely the exception to that rule. I could not put the book down. The story is remarkable, the writing is beautiful and I was so captivated by the way the author was able to tell the story. She tells this story without anger which, under the circumstances, is unreal to me. 4.5 Stars
I love Jennifer Weiner. Her writing is always fun and completely engaging. This story was no exception. It added a twist that I did not see coming but, loved. The story has a little “more” than some of her other books and it adds to the story. In a world of Instagram and influencers, mean girls and over the top weddings this book asks the question: Can people really change? This book is coming out in May and is perfect to read on the beach or a virtual beach with some ocean sounds in the background! Thank you so much to Atria for my copy of this book, 4 stars