It’s the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!
What’s the best book you read in March 2023 and why did you love it?
It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.
Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.
And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.
One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose one of these prizes:
- a FanLit T-shirt (we have sizes M, L, XL)
- a book from our stacks.
- a $5 Amazon gift card (this is the only option for non-USA addresses).
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The Maidens by Alex Michaelides – Here’s what I thought:
This one has been on my tbr for a while. I really liked it. I enjoyed the elements of Greece and Greek tragedy, something I’ve always been fascinated with. I loved the twist at the end. Not sure why some people don’t like twists in stories (what’s up with dissing M. Night Shyamalan for his penchant for twists?) because I always enjoy them…or let me phrase that differently. I can’t remember ever reading a story where I didn’t like the twist.
I enjoyed two fantasy books in March: “Keeper of Enchanted Rooms” by Charlie Holmberg was an understated but surprisingly enjoyable story of a haunted house in a time when magic was an accepted part of normal life, and “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir which I’m so glad I finally got to — classic fantasy in a desert setting where Elias is on the Emperor track at Blackcliff, a martial school that turns out killing machines, and Laia, a lowly Scholar, is set on rescue and revenge — lots of action and a good sendoff for the next in the series.
I read a bunch of Arden Powell’s Flos Magicae books including The Bachelor’s Valet and A Novel Arrangeent. Non-genre books that were interesting to me because of the characters or plot points–
Adrienne Wilder’s Wild and sequel 63 days later is about a model who survives a crash landing in Alaska. He’s found by man who walked away from a very bad man years earlier. Also her In the Absence of Light/By the Light of Dawn duology about Grant who was a transporter of mostly fine objects, art, cars. He’s now gone to ground ni a tiny town while things cool off before he decamps for a tropical island somewhere. There he meets Morgan who’s on the spectrum with some serious limitations but also significant gifts. Morgan’s a hoot, particularly when someone thinks he’s stupid or incapable.
Anita Kelly’s Something Wild and Wonderful is about two people who keep running into each other on the Pacific Crest Trail. Somewhat coincidentally, a friend from university just retired/quit and is now walking the Appalachian Trail.
I haven’t finished it yet, but Oliver Darkshire’s Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller is quite amusing. He randomly took a job at a storied rare bookstore in London, became famous (within certain circles) doing their twitter account. At one point he characterizes collectors as draculas–who desire objects from a focused area–and smaugs–who are willing to collector multiple different areas.
Ashes of Man, book 5 of the Sun Eater series by Christopher Ruocchio. This science fiction epic spans centuries with the same protagonist, Hadrian Marlowe, a palatine of the Sollan Empire. Palatines are genetically engineered to live very long lives – lives that are extended by the often decades spent in stasis traveling between systems. Marlowe is a conflicted “hero” who many believe to be the Chosen One, the one who will save mankind from the seemingly unstoppable Ceilcin who are ravaging the known universe. Being the Chosen One comes with a lot of pain, betrayal and death but also love, loyalty and sacrifice. The pace of all five books has been unrelenting, the unfolding story intriguing and the personalities rich and engaging. A very good series that I am sorry has not gotten more notice.
My March best read was White Cat Black Dog by Kelly Link
I enjoyed “Guys Read: Terrifying Tales,” edited by Jon Scieszka. The story I liked best was “Don’t Eat the Baby” by Kelly Barnhill, where a kid makes a wish for a brother at a wishing well at a toxic Superfund site, and gets more than he bargained for, possibly involving ancient demonic evil.
“Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler.
“The Overnight Guest” by Heather Gudenkauf.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch! It was absolutely incredible. The concept was so unique and really made me think. I was so invested in the story.
Isaac Asimov’s first novel, “Pebble in the Sky”, which is the third of his books set during the time of the Galactic Empire (between the Robot novels and the Foundation series) by in-universe chronology. Earth is radioactive and the setting is quite grim but ends on a hopeful note. Asimov was apparently particularly fond of a scene where all the characters’ chess moves are recounted.
For my birthday, a couple who are good friends of mine sent me Mary Robinette Kowal’s “The Spare Man”, which has all the ingredients I could ask for for an exciting read, being a Christie-esque murder mystery set on a space cruiseliner.
Recently I learned that Martha Hall Kelly followed up her bestselling Lilac Girls and Lost Roses with Sunflower Sisters, a prequel featuring Caroline Ferriday’s ancestress Georgeanne Woolsey, who enlists as a Union nurse. The narrative focuses on a wide range of women in both heroic and villainous roles during the American Civil War and remains as engaging as its predecessors.
_None of Your Business,if you live in the USA, you win a Fan Lit T-shirt (please specify 1st and 2nd preferred sizes) OR a book of your choice from our stacks, OR a $5 Amazon gift card. If your address is outside of the USA, you will get a $5 Amazon gift card.