March Books

Happy April! It is, I think, so far, a happy April — we here are finally seeing evidence of spring. Almost all of the snow is gone, and though things aren’t really growing much yet, there is a lot of mud, which is a good sign.

Over the past month, I seem to have read 17 books, which I think is not too shabby. That’s just about one book every two days — which seems wrong to me, I think mostly because I’ve been reading lots of these concurrently rather than consecutively, and so I don’t remember finishing books as often as every two days. But, that’s what the math says . . . and so I suppose I must believe it.

Here’s the breakdown:

17 books total
6 read for school
11 read for personal pleasure
2 plays
11 novels
2 short-story collections
2 non-fiction texts

I would have to say that everything I read in March was good. Some was excellent. To whet your appetites, I have appended a list of March’s books to this post, in the following format:

Title, by Author. First sentence.

– – – – – – – – – –

Who Do You Think You Are?, by Alice Munro. Royal beating. That was Flo’s promise. You are going to get one Royal Beating.

The Roaring Girl, by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker. A play expected long makes the audience look / For wonders, that each scene should be a book, / Composed to all perfection.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scant and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. (reviewed)

Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett. This is a story about memory.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy. On an evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged man was walking homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor.

If Only They Could Talk, by James Herriott. They didn’t say anything about this in the books, I thought, as the snow blew in through the gaping doorway and settled on my naked back.

Whitethorn, by Bryce Courtenay. True love came to me one crisp late autumn morning when the sky had lost the faded blue of a long hot summer and taken on the deeper colour of winter yet to come.

Swimming Pool Sunday, by Madeleine Wickham. It was only May, and it was only ten o’clock in the morning.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, by Daniel Pool. [returned to the library before I remembered to write down the first sentence]

Ellis Island and Other Stories, by Mark Helprin. In Munich are many men who look like weasels.

Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett. It was a warm spring night when a fist knocked at the door so hard that the hinges bent.

Jingo, by Terry Pratchett. It was a moonless night, which was good for the purposes of Solid Jackson.

The King’s Daughter, by Suzanne Martel. “A king’s daughter! I’m a king’s daughter!”

Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars, by Mabel Armstrong. Women have always studied the night sky.

Four Letter Word, by Joshua Knelman and Rosalind Porter (eds.). Dear E(arth), I am writing to tell you to give up.

Red Rabbit, by Tom Clancy. The scary part, Jack decided, was going to be driving.

Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett. There was a man and he had eight sons.

Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, by Lording Barry. Home-bred mirth our Muse doth sing; / The satyr’s tooth and waspish sting, /Which most do hurt, when least suspected, / By this play are not affected.

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