March reading challenge update

I know it’s almost a week into the month, but I’m finally here with my update on the reading challenge.

Making up for lost time

I made the most of the shortest month of the year – 47 books in 28 days. To be fair, some were ridiculously short and in my defense these were mostly because I signed up for a one month free trial of Audible Premium. It offers a selection of books you can borrow like from a library. If you sign up for Audible Premium Plus you also get the monthly credit to buy a book. Premium is about half the price of Premium Plus. For me, Premium is more than enough. I can get a bunch of the Audible Originals and for the newest releases I can often get my fix from my friends at Penguin Random House.

So, what have I read according to the challenge.

  1. A book with more than 500 pages (audiobook of more than 8 hours)
  2. A classic romance
  3. A book that was made into a movie/TV series (sometimes books are created from the movie/series; we’ll allow that too)
  4. A book published this year
  5. A book with a number in the title
  6. A book you can finish in a day
  7. A book set in a location you’ve always wanted to visit
  8. A book that was first published in the year you were born
  9. A book with bad reviews (I usually say life is too short to waste on bad books, but if you select one specifically for this challenge you should finish it and tell me why you think it got bad reviews, do you agree, etc.)
  10. A book from your childhood
  11. A series – two or more books. Starting a series that you can’t read more of one book of because only one’s been published doesn’t count.
  12. A mystery
  13. A thriller
  14. A non-fiction
  15. A book with a colour in the title
  16. A book that made you cry
  17. A book you chose based on its cover
  18. A book a friend recommended
  19. A book your mom/dad loves
  20. A memoir
  21. A book from a genre you usually avoid.

The books

The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz – this was the book everyone was talking about when COVID-19 first went mainstream. It wasn’t a bad book, but the mention of Wuhan and the lab-manufactured virus was in the last part of the book and utterly disappointing.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy – a solid number 16 that gives hope in a terrible time. I read the hardcover a friend gave me for my birthday and then listened to the audiobook, read by the author.
Autopsy by Ryan Blumenthal – it was OK, I guess. Rated two stars.
A Woman of the World by Rebecca Gilman – an average three stars.
Beauty Slain in Bath by Harold Schechter – I like this author’s true crime books. And it’s because of that that I managed to get through quite a few books in a single day.
Rampage, The Brick Slayer, The Pied Piper, The Pirate, Panic, Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie – all by Harold Schechter and all number 6.
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa – enjoyable but not my favourite read of the month.
Exit Interview with My Grandmother by Lily Meyersohn – two stars from me.
The Getaway by Greer Hendricks – a quick thriller; not too bad.
Herbie by Rich Cohen – don’t really have anything to say about this.

The Flying Flamingo Sisters by Carrie Seim – a fun comedy I probably enjoyed way too much. It is fantastically fabulous.
You by Caroline Kepnes – yes, the TV show You with creepy Joe. It wasn’t better or worse than the show. I have the second book lined up but not rushing to get to it.
Henrietta & Eleanor by Libby Spurrier – an adaptation of Rober Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde scored two stars.
Connections by Mike Hedrick – a surprising and real glimpse int schizophrenia.
The Other Animals by various authors – very entertaining Audible Original. A four-star recommendation.
A Dog Year by Allison Hilborn-Tatro – didn’t think I’d enjoy this, but man, I got a little misty-eyed towards the end.
Medical Mysteries Across History by Roy Benarock – very interesting and a fun listen.
County by David A. Ansell – mostly chosen for its narrator, Bronson Pinchot who always does an outstanding job.
Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Meade – a glimpse into the lives of some of the female writers from the twenties. It sounds like it was wonderful and terrible.
Five by Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald – picked in the back of Bobbed Hair and another Bronson Pinchot narrator.
A Vineyard Valentine by Nina Bocci – one of my favourite Audible Originals. Fun, flirty, four stars.
John Wayne Gacy by Sam L. Amirante and Danny Broderick – the story told by his own defence attorneys. A chilling true crime.
Sisters by Daisy Johnson – a gift from Penguin Random House and a bit of a mission to get through. Not a bad book, but not really my vibe. Three stars.
What do you care what other people think? by Richard P. Feynman and Ralph Leighton – I think that sentiment was the reason I decided to listen to this and I was pleasantly surprised.
Daisy Chains by Lynne Vande Stouwe – disturbing and controversial.
The Five-Year Hitch by Melisa de la Cruz – touching love story. Can recommend.
Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman – because I was curious after the first book. Still funny.
The Meaning of it All by Richard P. Feynman – of the three the one I’m least enamoured with.
History of Bourbon by Ken Albala – not a huge fan of bourbon but it was interesting.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – glad I finally got to this. It’s fascinating and tragic.
Map to the Unknown by Isabella Huffington – I gave this a five-star rating. I just want to hug Isabella (gently) and cover her with a soft blanket. She’s gone through so much and still keeps going.
Secrets of a Webcam Girl by Annabelle T. Baxter – this was interesting and mildly entertaining. Three stars.
Unf*ck Your Boundaries by Faith G. Harper – this book felt like it was just an excuse to publish gratuitous swearing. I realised I may have a problem with boundaries, but this was just one huge disappointment.
Certain Woman of an Age by Maragert Trudau – I think this was supposed to be an entertaining tale of the former wife of Canada’s 15th Prime Minister (and mother of the very attractive current Prime Minister), but it felt like she was bragging about her looks and the celebrities she met and mixed with.
Four ways to stop self sabotage by Dr Judy Ho – did not deliver on expectations.
How to Decrease Burnout and Increase Joy by Bruce Daisley – didn’t really teach me anything new.
A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain – an enjoyable Audible Original about the early life of Marie Sklodowska, better known as Marie Curie.
Call Me Maybe by Cara Bastone – loved this rom-com and highly recommend.
The Chopin Manuscript by Jeffery Deaver and others – 15 thriller authors writing a single book, very cool.
Escape from Virtual Island by John Lutz – I didn’t think I’d enjoy this as much as I did. Initially, I was a bit put off by the all-star cast but it was such a good remedy for a low mood. Listen to this if you get a chance.
Alexa, Why can’t you love me? by David Rossmer – cute concept.

What’s next?

I took a break from my audiobooks to catch up on my podcasts. But as I’m writing this, I’m already listening to one of my new favourite horror/humour author. Discovered his work last year. I adore it and I think he captures women’s feelings and perspectives very well. If you want to know who this is, check back next month!

What are you reading or listening to?

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