I was on a reading roll in March! Probably because the weather was rotten this month. For the alleged start of spring, it has been cold as a politician’s heart. Oh well, it gave me an excuse for staying bundled up at home with a good book and cups of tea.
Not only that, but I had more variety this month. From classics to non-fiction to graphic novels. Not too bad if you ask me. Thanks to this stack of books I can check off my To Be Read list, I’m ahead in my reading schedule for the year. This means I can afford to read some dense long books in the coming months.
Remina by Junji Ito
Sharing a name can cause a bit of confusion at times, but at least your name isn’t associated with the end times.
After finding a new planetary body, a scientist dubs it after his beloved daughter, Remina. This skyrockets Remina into the public eye, all but forcing her to become a rising star. Unfortunately, things take a drastic turn when the discovery’s true nature begins to reveal itself. People become convinced that if they sacrifice Remina and her father, the earth will be saved.
It only gets worse from there.
As is always the case with Junji Ito’s work, the art is beautiful and grotesque. It is Lovecraftian in all the best ways.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged that this book has stood the test of time and is a must-read.
I will confess that it took me a while to get into this classic, but I finally finished it! Once I finally got into it and used to the style, I couldn’t put it down. I love how sarcastic Lizzie is and how she doesn’t allow herself to be pushed around no matter who is trying to exert their authority. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it this much. After all, I read this for my mum as it is one of her favourite books of all time. As it turns out, she has pretty good taste in literature.
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple’s first novel, the origin of a legend.
When someone gets murdered sometimes it’s hard to name anyone with a motive. Unfortunately, the victim in this situation was so loathed it was almost impossible to find someone who didn’t want him dead!
But when the body of Colonel Lucius Protheroe is found lying dead in the Vicarage, it is up to Reverend Leonard Clement, the vicar of St Mary Mead, to work with the police and catch the killer. Thankfully for him, his neighbour may be an old lady but is sharp as a blade. With her insight, perhaps this will be solved before the killer gets away.
All in all, a solid showing from Christie. Cosy crime at its finest.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
A good book is like a good cup of coffee as it warms you up and makes everything feel better for a little while.
Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree is a fantasy novel about Viv, leaving behind her adventurous life to start a coffee shop. As you know, start-up culture can be ruthless enough, but try adding magic and foes who lurk in the shadows. Thankfully, Viv soon starts to meet some unique folk who lend their skills to the cafe. Cal, the hob with impressive carpentry, the charming succubus Tandri as her assistant and Thimble, the cutest little baker ever.
I swear, if Animal Crossing and D&D had a lovechild, without a shadow of a doubt, it would be Legends & Lattes. Maybe I’m just buzzed from how much coffee I had while reading this book, but I loved it! It is cosy, heartwarming and funny.
Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice is the story of a young girl whose life falls apart due to drugs.
Before you ask for the author’s name, it is subject to debate. Hell, some claim this novel is a proper diary. Do I believe that to be the case? No, but mostly because I hope no one went through what Alice did. My god, the thought of it possibly being genuine makes me sick.
A stomach-turning read.
Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky
This is quite a unique non-fiction, rather lyrical in its style.
It tells you about 50 remote islands and a short story about them and the people who lived there. Some stories are fascinating, some distressing, but all are engaging.
Amphibian by Christina Neuwirth
Amphibian might be the weirdest novel I read this month, and that is why I loved it so much.
In an attempt to increase productivity, Rose’s CEO orders that their office be flooded. Each day productivity fails to improve, the water levels rise.
I’ll be honest while reading this novel I couldn’t help but think that “Yeah, I can see this happening in real life.” Considering how toxic workplace culture can be, it’s not hard to assume that out-of-touch higher-ups have floated this idea.
Bonus points, it is set in Scotland.
A cracking kooky book, one everyone should read.
The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun by J. R. R. Tolkien
A mythical tragedy.
Two nobles are desperate for an heir, so desperate that Aotrou turns to supernatural means, a potion brewed by a malevolent fae. It works, but when dealing with the fae, remember that everything comes with a price. This time, the price is steep.
This edition also includes discussions about Tolkien’s use of language, the origins of these tales and other similar poems.
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Two sisters, one staying awake at a chain cafe late into the night, the other one being in a very deep sleep for months now. Things take an odd turn when one is pulled into a violent situation and the other shows the first signs of movement. The bizarre events that follow only get worse from there.
Mental magical realism, Murakami’s speciality. Not my favourite of his, but still a brilliant bonkers read.
You might want to stream the movie, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”
“Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks, was supposedly inspired by a rock supersong by Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit.” The song also goes by the title “Go Ask Alice.”
The book and the movie were supposed to frighten young people from doing drugs, but most young people just laughed at it. Propaganda from when America was fully embroiled in a bitter War on Drugs. Middle-aged and older adults were properly shocked.
The song was about drug use but not intended to frighten anyone away from anything; just a heads-up on what to expect. This was Jefferson Airplane, after all.
This was all late 60s and early 70s when I was just a kid.
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