Reading Wrap-up: March, 2019

Despite being so busy this month, I read a total of 24 books and 2 short stories. This is probably because I’m reading every moment I have free. I find it so relaxing when I’m stressing about moving to just sit in the silence and read. Plus, it helps that ten of those books are manga, and they go so fast! As you are reading this post, I am driving from Minnesota to Ohio to search for houses! Thus, I’m pre-writing this.

But before we get into the books, let’s look at my New Year’s Resolutions.

Reading Resolutions:

(my original post of my resolutions)

  1. Read 1 Indie book a month: I did do this.
  2. Read 2 short stories: I did do this.
  3. Read more challenging books: I did some of this, but not as much as I wanted.
  4. Reread some books: I did do this. I reread the Kate and Cecelia series!

Reading Challenges:

(my original post on my challenges)

  1. The Year of Asian Reading Challenge: I read a total of 23 of my 51+ books. This is incredible, meaning I’m almost halfway there. It’s mostly because I read most of the Death Note this month, and manga goes so much faster than regular books! If I just read manga, I’d be done with this challenge so quickly!
  2. Back to the Classics Challenge: I read a total of 6 of 13 books, since I read 3 books within the categories this month.
  3. Pages Read 2019: I read a total of 6,764 words this month (I need to read about 4,000 a month), making my total words 14,832 out of my 48,000 words. So that’s going along nicely!

Right, now unto my reviews!

1 Star

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (released 2017)

2 Stars

  • Orphan X (Orphan X #1) by Greg Hurwitz (released 2016)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan (released 2013)
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (released 1899)
    • It’s rare that I don’t like a classic, but this book was extremely boring! The narrator is insufferable at the best of times, always judging people with a cruel misunderstanding. He is dramatic about the smallest things. But the main failing of this book, for me, was the sheer snail’s pace of the plot. Nothing happens until there are twenty pages left, and even the payout is not worth the excruciatingly slow build-up. I could understand if the characters were interesting, but even they are pretty average and underdeveloped. Saying that, the only thing which made me give this a two star and not a one star is the brilliant descriptions. I can really feel as if I saw the scene as the narrator saw it. But that was the only part of the book I enjoyed. I understand that this book is a product of its time, but that doesn’t mean it has aged well.
  • Murder by Misrule (Francis Bacon Mystery #1) by Anna Castle (released 2014)

3 Stars

  • Popol Vuh by Anonymous (released circa. 1550)
  • Death Note (Vol. 1-10) by Tsugumi Ohba (released 2003-2006)
    • There are twelve volumes (ten of which I read this month), and I gave them anywhere between 4 to 2 stars. Thus, I’m sticking this manga series here in the middle. There will be a full review for this series up sometime next week, after I get back from Ohio.

4 Stars

  • “The Tree” by H. P. Lovecraft (short story) (released 1921)
    • This short story surprised me, mostly because I expect terrifying horror from Lovecraft, and instead I got a bittersweet tale of friendship. The story is set in ancient Greek, and surrounds the origin of an old olive tree and two artists who were close friends. I was not expecting such a sweet and haunting tale from Lovecraft, and I was not disappointed. Besides, it’s an extremely quick read.
  • The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (released 1906)
    • While this book does delve into the traditions of Japanese tea ceremonies, most of it actually examines the philosophy behind how many Asian societies work. It’s a beautiful and short book to read, more akin to reading Tao Te Ching or The Book of Chuang Tzu as opposed to a book listing off exact tea traditions. If you are interested in Asian philosophy or just love tea (both of which I do), then I highly recommend this book.
  • “The Cats of Ulthar” by H. P. Lovecraft (released 1920)
    • …And this is why you shouldn’t kill a cat. The whole point of this story is that those who do horrible acts will get their karma. Being a fan of cats myself (though I do prefer dogs), I enjoyed the story. It is creepy, but has a surprisingly happy ending for a Lovecraft tale…at least, for the cats.
  • Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate #1) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermor (released 1988)
  • The Grand Tour (Cecelia and Kate #2) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermor (released 2004)
  • The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate #3) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermor (released 2006)
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (released 1935)

5 Stars

  • Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis (released 1955)
  • Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945 by Michihiko Hachiya (released 1955)
  • Thief of Time (Discworld #26) by Terry Pratchett (released 2001)
    • I have enjoyed every book I have read by Terry Pratchett, but my favorite within the Discworld series are those featuring Death and his granddaughter Susan. And this one is no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It is very similar in many ways to Hogfather, and yet Lu-Tze is such a great character I may like this book better. It’s a fun adventure about those who would try to steal time. And, of course, Death and Susan are both amazing, as always!

There you have it! I’m amazed how many books I managed to read this month, considering how busy I was (maybe it’s all in my head?). You know how some people stress-eat. Well, I’m pretty sure I stress-read…I may have a problem.

Anyway, what did you read this month? Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

5 thoughts on “Reading Wrap-up: March, 2019

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