What I’ve Been Reading Lately: March

Jane Eyre

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

-Haruki Murakami

Reading in 2020.

As promised, I’m sharing what I’ve been reading during the month of March. I’ve just finished a book, so it’s unlikely I’ll finish another before month-end. Plus, I typically post on Tuesdays…so here we are.

Following my original format, I will be sharing a quote from each book and if I check off a category from the reading challenge, Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge, I will share which category it fulfills.

Since this is a running list for the year, each month will start with the number that follows where the prior month ended.

If you missed my first “What I’ve Been Reading” post, you can find the Jan/Feb reads in this post. Originally, I was going to share my reading posts every other month, but as I shared in my last post, due to being housebound, I’ve moved it to monthly for the foreseeable future.

Normally, I have a good balance between fiction and non-fiction. However, the non-fiction books on display at the library looked appealing. The fiction kept getting relegated to the back burner since new releases have a shorter checkout period.

So, let’s get into the reading for March!

Reading List.

18. The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century – Adam Davidson

“A truthful brand, built on passion and real value, tells a story even if the person who created it is shy and generally lousy at storytelling.”

Quite an interesting read, especially given that I started it well before the reality of our current economic situation.

19. Invisible Americans: The tragic cost of child poverty – Jeff Madrick

“About one in six children in America are not sure where their next meal will come from.”

I had just put a hold request on my book #20 when I saw this on the new release shelf. I took it as a sign to read this one as well.

20. Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope – Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

“I’m a work in progress…it’s a tightrope that I’m walking. And sometimes it seem to be made of fishing line.” -(Drew Goff)

I saw the authors of this book interviewed on Marie Forleo’s MarieTV and was curious about what more they had to say.

21. Keep Going: 10 Ways to stay creative in good times & bad – Austin Kleon

“Your attention is one of the most valuable things you possess, which is why everyone wants to steal it from you.”

Steal Like An Artist, his bestseller, was checked out. So, I put in a hold request for it and checked out two of his other books. There were quite a few gems in this one.

22. Make Noise: A Creator’s Guide to Podcasting and Great Storytelling – Eric Nuzum.

“Doing something original? That shit’s hard. But it doesn’t need to be as hard as most people make it.”

Podcasting is something I’ve considered here and there and when this book showed up in my perusal of the new releases, I snagged it.

23. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

“Being swept away by a combination of great story and great writing – of being flattened, in fact – is part of every writer’s necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”

I was an avid reader of Stephen King during my teen years. I have vivid dreams and in my early 20’s, I went through a phase where too many were nightmares and so I gave up reading horror.

I think I’m ready to dip my toe back into it though.

Do you read horror books?

Obviously, this is not a horror book.

It’s about writing.

As evidenced in the title.

And I took away so many nuggets of wisdom from it.

24. The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

“I wanted to write a different kind of story, something I could crawl into if only I believed hard enough.”

This quote!!

I’ve talked before about wishing that I could just crawl between the notes of some music and just live there (Gratitude + Music). I feel the same way about words in a story.

This book was for the category: Debut Novel.

And what a wonderful debut it was!

More Thoughts on Words.

I also talk about cadence in the above post on Gratitude and Music That was the only word I could think of to describe the way that words flow through my head and onto paper. My way of hoping to have you crawl inside the words and journey along inside the story. And in case you’re short on time and don’t read the post, here is what I say in that section.

Cadence is defined as a rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words.

I think about how I would speak the words in a way that would have you journey along with me in the emotions that I am experiencing. Sometimes as the words pour out, they feel like a rushing stream, gliding over rocks and sweeping around bends. At other times, I can’t find the exact words to sweep you along the journey and I recognize that there are spots where the stream is broken, only to pick up again. I think of these moments like the skipping of a rock. Each splash creating a ripple and yet there is a space before the next.

Each concept beautiful in its own way.

Ways that I can’t do justice in trying to describe.

Perhaps this is how I express my music.

With this flowing of words, this spilling of thoughts…

Writing and reading. I love them both. There is something quite magical about the way words flow and shift and spin our thoughts and imaginations into being. Entire worlds that are created by letters strung into words and words woven into sentences. Each one changing us, imperceptibly, possibly, but changed nonetheless.

Now Over to You.

Finally, it’s your turn.

Have you read any good books lately? I’m always looking for recommendations!

Is your favorite reading fiction, non-fiction or an eclectic mix of both?

And what about words?

Who was the last author that just left you flattened by their words?

What tale made you want to crawl inside the story and be swept along with the characters?

In the end we'll all become stories. -Margaret Atwood

Let your light shine!

Amy

24 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Lately: March

  1. You’ve sure read a great variety of books Amy. Must admit I used to love a good horror book and I devoured Dean Koontz and Stephen King books. Not so much these days. Have a great month ahead, keep well and happy reading. xx

    1. I’m still not sure how I’ll feel about horror, but since I used to love it so much, I may see what I think. I hope that you have a great month ahead as well, Miriam! xx

      1. Must admit at the moment my preference is romance! Light and escapist with some great characters. Just finished reading Sandra Brown’s Outfoxed. xx 🥰

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the Austin Kleon quote. And I agree with the Margaret Atwood quote. In fact seeing them here I realize they may be the subtext of my blogging life.

    Answering your questions: I haven’t been reading much this year, but when I do read a book it can be from any genre. I love words and would say that the last time an author flattened me with her words in the sense of keeping me glued to the story, it was Kate Quinn in The Alice Network.

  3. I haven’t read a page! Though I keep ensuring my kindle is charged. I need to take time for a long, hot bath. That will kickstart reading. There is a book I read a long time ago. Called “the science of fear”. Thinking about digging this one back up. “From terror attacks to the war on terror, real estate bubbles to the price of oil, sexual predators to poisoned food from China, our list of fears is ever-growing. And yet, we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Irrational fear seems to be taking over, often with tragic results.”

    Here is a Link to a more detailed synopsis:

    https://www.bookbrowse.com/bb_briefs/detail/index.cfm/ezine_preview_number/2871/the-science-of-fear

    May be a perfect read for these times.

    1. A long hot bath sounds wonderful. Not to kickstart reading per se, but for some nice relaxation! 🙂 That does sound like an interesting book. It reminds me of some of the things mentioned in Hivemind.

  4. I finished the Sci-Fi novel and series I was reading yesterday and was scrolling though the books I have on my Kindle and was uninspired. A good mystery is what I’m craving now, so I’m heading over to the online book store and look for something. My Mom recommended a series by Ted Bell I’m going to check out.

    Stay well, Amy!

    1. My mother-in-law swears by Anne Perry. I think it’s detective, but I’m guessing there’s some mystery and suspense. I have a non-fiction going that’s checking off one of my categories, but I’m also reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. 🙂 Stay well, Deborah!

  5. I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I thought I would be in this period of confinement. Instead I’ve been directing my energy to art. Not surprisingly, the books I’ve been gravitating to are related to creativity. Currently I’m about halfway through Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis.

    I think we tend towards books that meet our needs at a point in time. Sometimes it’s all about escapism for me, but right now it seems to be all about ‘sharpening the blade’.

    1. I’m working on decluttering to make space for some art. My oldest is working on another painting for his bedroom. I looked at that book. It’s going to need to go on my reading list. 🙂 Gravitating toward reading about creativity is what had me reading that Stephen King book on writing and the Austin Kleon book for that matter.

      I do tend to move back and forth between meeting needs and escapism. I’m currently reading a non-fiction that marks off one of my categories (not really a “need” from a sharpening category, but informational) and also am escaping into a Nicholas Sparks novel. 🙂

      1. I used to read fiction exclusively. It’s only been the past couple of years that I’ve started to include non-fiction. I enjoy the mix now. Stephen King’s book on writing has been on my radar for a while. His writing has always fascinated me, although like you, horror is just not something I care to read anymore. Lately there has been enough horror in the real world.

  6. Hi Amy, A great, eclectic list of books. I am intrigued by #21 and the concept of attention. What was your opinion on this book? Then I read more and realized same author as “Steal Like an Artist” – an excellent book. Many good books take quite awhile on elibrary wait lists. I also read a huge variety of books and leaning towards non-fiction which is often creative non-fiction. I book that resonated with me all of last year was “Embers” Richard Wagamese, many gems, and gems on writing. I am presently reading “One Drum” also Richard Wagamese, an unfinished book before he died. Remarkable to me is how he could be living in these times. Take care, Amy. 💕

    1. Hi, Erica!
      There were quite a few good concepts in #21. I like how his books are quick reads packed with lots of tiny digestible things that you can ponder on for quite some time. I had not heard of Richard Wagamese and just looked up the “Embers” book. It looks like one that I definitely need to add to my reading list. The description of “One Drum” sounds like it’s very fitting for these times. Stay well, Erica! xx

  7. I love Stephen King. I did read a lot of his books, as in, I was caught up on them — UNTIL Gerald’s Game. I was so afraid the dog would eat her, I couldn’t read anymore. Then I read a Koontz book that was too close to home and that’s the day I stopped the horror genre altogether.
    Honestly, Margaret Atwood and Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan and Toni Morrison and Alice Hoffman take me into their worlds, new worlds, over and over. Those are my top five.

    1. The more I think about, the more I’m not sure I can even dip back into the horror genre. I do not love nightmares and while they are a lot less frequent, they still occasionally show up and I’m not sure I want to egg them on.
      I can’t believe that even though I’ve heard of all those authors, I’ve only read Margaret Atwood. I still have to read the final Oryx and Crake book in the trilogy. I’ve had Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible on my radar for a bit, but still haven’t picked it up. The other three appear to be prolific writers so if I enjoy them, at least there’d be tons to choose from!

  8. I’m still studiously avoiding my “to read” pile of books. I’ve read a lot of words written by others about the Stephen King book. The gist I have taken is that he essentially says “writing is hard work – have no illusions”…

    1. I’m enjoying giving myself permission to read, although I am doing a little less of it currently.
      I would say that probably is an accurate summation. Interestingly, he talks about how a good writer reads a lot and writes a lot and it made me also think of Ira Glass and his commentary on the gap between where our work is when we start and what we know it could be and that it is the praticing of the craft that fills the gap.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Share them here.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.