What I Read in March 2021
March was a difficult month for me, with lots of stressful things going on at once. However, books, as always, were great escapism and I managed to read eight of them this month.
Here is a look at what I read in March 2021. Let me know what you read in the comments below.
I carried on with my desire to read more by Daphne Du Maurier by reading My Cousin Rachel last month. I would say that this is her second most famous book, behind Rebecca. It was a lot slower-paced than I was expecting from the pitch, and also from reading Daphne’s other books. However, the characters are well-drawn and you never know the truth about any of the character’s intention. Is it a psychological thriller or a domestic drama? I’m not sure. But it is a good read.
I love a good celebrity memoir – but I’m particular about the celebrity. For me, the golden age of film and TV is where it is at. This funny memoir is all about the Brat Pack, specifically Rob Lowe’s rise from Ohio teen to film heart-throb in the 1980s alongside many famous household names.
I loved the anecdotes he shared about growing up and casually knocking on Liza Minnelli’s hotel room for advice and being mates with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen growing up. I particularly enjoyed the stories about The Outsiders as this is a recent find for me, and I adored the book in 2020 and really enjoyed the movie. A good celebrity memoir. If ten years old, and slightly outdated for the times.
For anyone in the publishing industry, I highly recommend you pick up Ahead of Her Time when it comes out in April. This is a memoir about Judy Piatkus’ rise in the publishing industry. Judy started her own company out of the attic of her house, with three children – one of whom had severe learning disabilities – and grew it into a publishing brand.
I didn’t know that much about the Piatkus brand. But by the sounds of it, Piatkus did for books physically what Canelo are doing for books digitally. Canelo being the publishing house I worked at before moving to Avon in 2019. A fascinating read and a must for publishing hopefuls.
A few months back I saw that Dead Famous was in a digital deal and I didn’t pick it up. I regretted it. So when I saw that it had dropped to 99p I jumped at the chance to read this non-fiction book about the history of celebrity. What I particularly loved about this book was the fact that it wasn’t talking about celebrities of nowadays but the literal rise of the term ‘celebrity and what it actually means. If someone is renowned or well-known, that doesn’t make them a celebrity. One-hit wonders or C-listers are not celebrities. Celebrity is someone who causes mania and is infamous about the entire country. A lot of the characters he mentioned I knew by name but not by career, and it was great to learn more about the likes of Edmund Kean and Sarah Bernhardt.
I’ve been reading Insatiable since November 2020 and I’ve just finished it. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, but I didn’t find it as gripping as I wanted it to be. It’s very upmarket commercial fiction, bordering on literary and it’s quite linear in some ways. So much happens in the character’s head that isn’t fully explained that the ending feels rushed and a little flat. The premise and scene-setting are great, but the storylines of this sex-group formed of practical strangers who are abusive emotionally, physically, and sometimes even sexually is a bit much for me. A three-star read overall. But I would still read more from Daisy Buchanan for sure.
Cinderella is Dead is my book club pick for the Books before Boys Book Club, a book club that I’m in with friends. My mentee, Namra, is the superbly talented Marketing Assistant who ran the marketing campaign for this book in the UK and I’ve been excited about it for months! I read this in two sittings, utterly engrossed and totally enamored with the storyline and the characters. This is a really strong LGBT young adult fantasy that has so many similarities with The Hunger Games and Dorothy Must Die that it hit the spot perfectly. Great escapist read for fans of fairytales retelling and easy fantasy.
Yes, it is that time of year. I am starting my annual tradition of re-reading the Harry Potter series. They’re great comfort reads, and with all of the drama going on in my life right now I need the comfort! Nothing grand to say on this, beyond the fact I read it in one day.
And finally, I finished the second book in the Harry Potter series by audiobook. This is my least favourite of the series – although I still love it – and I can’t wait to start Book 3 which is usually (it can change!) is my favourite.
And that’s what I read in March 2021. What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments below. I would love a few book recommendations.