My Wonderful Reading Year – March 2022 – The Journey Continues.

Well, the plan to beat the backlog of my to be read pile of books continues at pace, admittedly a slow one, but still I am making headway and remembering that I bought those books for a reason! I am enjoying the pleasure of simply reading a book, without the pressure of reviewing. Then again I still love reviewing books to, just now I think I have a better balance between the two. My twin loves of fiction and non fiction continue to be indulged and there are some crackers in this months selection!

The Old Man and The Sand Eel by Will Millard is another non fiction book that has sat on my bookshelf for years and though I have no interest in fishing, I loved it themes of family, finding ones place in the world and the importance of recognizing our strengths and weaknesses.

The Five- The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed by Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold is without doubt one of the best social history books I have read and believe me, I have read a lot. Her aim was to give these women their lives back, to remind us that they were not just ‘victims’, but mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts. She does this with great sensitivity and a remarkable insight into the world these women lived in. Thanks to #BeatTheBacklog I picked it up off my shelf and thank god I did, because is compelling, moving and an important work.

Next came a novel from a writer that has become a firm favorite, Faceless by Vanda Symon. Tense, exciting and deeply moving, Faceless is a story about evil and where it hides, but it is also about friendship, loyalty and compassion. Vanda Symon once again showing that thrillers to be great, have to have at their heart, complex characters and a story of human complexity.

I have always loved fantasy novels and so delving into the books that have sat on my kindle for a while, I picked out The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix. I loved it! The story is magical, the characters fabulous and I will certainly be reading more from this author.

The Madness of Grief – A Memoir of Love and Loss by The Reverend Richard Coles is a stunning story about the loss of the man he shared his life with, the husband who was the love of his life and the crippling grief of his loss. It is honest, painful and deeply moving and a book I feel we should all read.

The book club choice for March was Rose Tremain’s Sacred Country. This a superb example of how to manage a group of characters to tell a beautifully told story about the journey to find their true self. It is full of loss, pain and grief, yet it also tells a story about hope, friendship, finding acceptance and forgiveness.

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn is a very enjoyable historical thriller set during the Second World War. In it a young Russian women fights to protect her world from the Natzi regime. It is full of twists, explores her life and paints a picture of a very brave women.

The Fledgling by Hannah Bourne-Taylor is a beautifully told story of the author’s journey of self discovery and the healing properties in the natural world around her. I loved it and felt myself caught up in and identifying with her need to center herself in a world that could nourish her physical and mental health.

When I’m feeling stressed or out of sorts I find it easier to read non-fiction than fiction. March for a tough month, not just for me, but people I care about and as a result I read more books about peoples lives, nature and social history. All the books I read were enjoyable, but my mind simply found it difficult to focus on fiction.

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