Favourites and Disappointments | March 2021

It’s that time again where I look at all the books I read in a month and decide which ones I actually have enough to say about to include in this post!

Okay, truly, I have been struggling with these posts lately. Sometimes because I’m not reading enough, and other times like this month when I’ve already made plans to talk about most of the books I read in other posts. I’m really trying my best not to double up with those books, but sometimes you’ve just got to talk about the ones you want to talk about! So with that being said, let’s get into my favourites and disappointments for March.

Favourites

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

I really wasn’t surprised that this one ended up on my favourites for this month. Last year, I read Carmen Maria Machado’s non-fiction book, In The Dream House, which left me in complete awe of her. That very much continued into this one. I’ve said it countless times before—I am not a short story fan, they just don’t work for me, and yet collections like this always make me question that. I never really know how to talk about short story collections because usually there’s so much scope in the stories that anything I’d usually talk about feels like a spoiler, but here we go anyway. The thing about Machado’s work is that she is so good at creating this atmosphere, this world that makes you forget about everything else. Most of the time it makes you feel extremely uncomfortable or kind of freaked out—it honestly incredible how she manages to do that and sometimes you don’t even realised how sucked in you are until it’s over. There’s just something about the way Machado crafts a story that blows me away every single time. I’m kind of sad now because I’ve read both of Machado’s published books and there’s no news of any upcoming ones right now. Isn’t it always so sad when you find a new favourite author only to finish all of their books super quickly and just have to wait? I guess I’m just going to have to scream about both of them to everyone until she puts out something else…

Women and Leadership by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

For those of you who don’t know, Julia Gillard was the first and only (so far!) female Prime Minister here in Australia. A couple of years back, she made an incredible speech about misogyny—I tried to link it here but WordPress is just not behaving today, but you can easily find it on YouTube by searching ‘Julia Gillard misogyny speech’. Anyway, as soon as it was revealed she would be writing a book building on some of the things she spoke about in that speech, I knew I would have to read it. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant I didn’t get my library hold for four months but I finally got to it in March. This is quite a different book to what it sounds like. Gillard and Okonjo-Iweala interviewed a whole bunch of female leaders (Jacinda Arden, Hillary Clinton, Theresa May etc.), but this book is more of a discussion of wider topics whether those women’s opinions scatter through than just here’s all the questions we asked this person and here are their answers. Honestly, I thought that made this book a million times better than if it had been set out like that. It was so interesting to see how different women across the world with such different experiences could also have a lot of similarities in the way they were elected or in their background or treatment from the media and so on. It’s a fascinating book for that, but it’s also just a really lovely book celebrating women and helping to empower future generations.

Disappointments

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

This is one of those books I’ll be discussing in another post towards the end of the month, so I hope that it doesn’t end up feeling too repetitive. But I was truly disappointed in this one and I wanted to include it in this post. I’ll start by admitting that I performed a cardinal sin—I watched the movie before reading the book. Honestly, I just didn’t have high hopes for it so I thought a movie would be easier to digest than an entire series. However, then I ended up loving the movie—honestly, it bought me a lot of joy last year. And then suddenly, here I was wanting to read the book. I bought it back in January and then finally got around to reading it this month. It makes me really sad but I ended up really disappointed in it. It felt very different from the movie and I actually found it really boring. It’s like a 200-page book and reading it felt like a slog, which is never a good sign. I think the major issue I had with this one was the difference in the relationship between Enola and her mother in this versus the movie. The movie felt like it gave that relationship more heart and realism and I was sad that book lacked that emotion for me. With that, I think Enola was missing that sass and charm that she has in the movie—maybe that’s the script, or maybe it’s all Millie Bobby Brown, but either way, I don’t think book Enola has it. In summary, big disappointment here and I won’t be continuing this series, at least with the books.

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jeffries

A Sabrina Jeffries in the disappointment section? Cue the gasps! Okay, if you don’t religiously follow along with every historical romance book I read and post I do, you might not know that I consider Sabrina Jeffries to be my favourite historical romance author. But let me tell you, this ain’t it. I genuinely thought this would be my favourite book in this series for a number of reasons—firstly, that cover *fans self*. Also, the title—I love a fun title and I immensely enjoy saying this one out loud. (Seriously, such fun!) Also, I was loving Charlotte throughout the whole series and I was beyond excited to discover who her cousin Michael was. I liked the reveal honestly, it made sense who the guy was but it also wasn’t obvious from the get-go, at least not to me. It was just everything after that that was disappointing to me. Maybe that’s not fair because I don’t really know why I didn’t enjoy it, just that after the reveal I suddenly was bored by the rest of the story. I guess I was just expecting more from this, but I don’t know why it didn’t live up to it. Does anyone understand what I mean there? Anyway, it won’t dampen my love for Sabrina Jeffries for too long—I’m already awaiting my copies of her next series, The Hellions of Halstead Hall, to arrive so that I can marathon that one next.

And that’s March over and done with! What books were your favourites and/or disappointments for the month?


13 thoughts on “Favourites and Disappointments | March 2021

  1. Hmm interesting. Perhaps I’ll just stick with watching and loving the Enola Holmes movie!
    P.S. Are you planning to read Hunger by Roxane Gay at any point? I’ve got it ready to go on my Kindle so happy to do a buddy read whenever you’ve got some time! x

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  2. It looks like the two that ended up on your favorites list were really powerful books, which is excellent. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the other two. I actually had no clue Enola Holmes was a book until about a month after watching the movie – oops. But I’ve heard a lot of people felt the same as you: the movie was better and the book was rather boring. That’s too bad!

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  3. I also relate to waiting a while for books to be available. This hadn’t really been the case before the pandemic.

    Women and Leadership by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala sounds like a good read! I’ll definitely search for the speech on Youtube. Was there a figure that you particularly liked reading about in the book?

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  4. The two on your favourites list sound like excellent books! I didn’t read much in March tbh. I read The Woman Who Upped and Left which I had heard good things about but it just soooo wasn’t my cup of tea and I found it so disappointing and boring, sadly!

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