Friday, 4 April 2014

Reading round-up: March

March 2014 books

14. The Farm by Tom Rob Smith - 6/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
15. A Lovely Way To Burn by Louise Welsh - 9/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
16. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt - 10/10. Review to come / Buy the ebook
17. The Face at the Window: Three Stories by Louise Welsh - 7/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
18. Blackout by Emily Barr - 3/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook
19. The Ties That Bind by Erin Kelly - 8/10. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
20. Before You Die by Samantha Hayes - 5/10. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
21. The Three by Sarah Lotz - 9/10. Read my full review / Pre-order the ebook
22. The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan - 7/10. Read my full review / Buy the ebook

I read quite a lot in March but have been less successful with actually managing to write reviews. I think this is a combination of an incredibly hectic few weeks at work and a bad case of writer's block (reviewer's block?) Anyway, in terms of book-enjoyment it was a mixed month, not as unequivocally successful as February, but certainly not without its successes.

My favourite book of March was Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World. I still haven't written up my review because I'm worried I can't do it justice. It combines the best of Hustvedt's What I Loved (which, btw, is one of my favourite books EVER) and The Summer Without Men in an intelligent, intense and philosophical novel about identity, sexism and the art world.

Close runners-up were A Lovely Way To Burn, the first of a dystopian crime trilogy by Louise Welsh, and Sarah Lotz's The Three, a horror-sci-fi-thriller which comes out in May. The books have some similarities, notably the fact that they both depict a near-future alternate reality, but the main thing uniting them is that both are incredibly enjoyable and hard to put down. I also really liked The Ties That Bind, another forthcoming release, this one from new queen of crime Erin Kelly.

Two volumes of short stories - The Face at the Window by Louise Welsh and The Rental Heart by Kirsty Logan - were good fun and inspiring, if perhaps a little too short to be fully satisfying. I found the much-hyped The Farm by Tom Rob Smith to be a bit pedestrian, and Before You Die, Samantha Hayes' second novel to feature DI Lorraine Fisher, was disappointing after the unexpected reading pleasure that was Until You're Mine.

My reading plans for April are... confused. I have so many books I want to read but I've started a few and none are really grabbing me as I feel they should - I'm on a bit of a comedown after The Three and really want to find something similarly gripping, and my to-read list is giving me a headache. I guess I'll just have to see what grabs me first! (And PS: I promise some reviews will be up soon.

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