March Info 2021
Hello! Did you see how many posts I put up in February? I actually put up one every week! Go me! And on top of that, I posted the two book reviews I said I would. In case you missed it, they will be linked at the bottom on this post. Both are spoiler free! In today's post I will be sharing my TBR, what I'm currently reading, highlight another online bookclub, share my BOTM, share some books to read for women's history month, blog posts coming soon, and highlight some of my favorite bookstagrams.
This month's TBR is a mix of things. I was in a big reading slump in February so I am focusing my March reading on stuff I want to read. I am also going to be reading a lot of Netgalley books because I really need to increase my ratio. Because I am trying to get myself to read, I don't want to make a set list of books I want to read. However, I do have one that I would like to read for a bookclub/author event I want to participate in.
Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi
This is a bookclub pick for Momma Leighellen's book club (more a little further down). I have heard amazing things about it and although it is outside my comfort zone, I have really wanted to start reading heavier and character driven books. This one is about Sitara Zamani who is growing up in privilege in Afghanistan's capitol. However, one day, one terrible day, her entire family is killed and she is the only one left. I have heard nonstop praise so I am very excited to read it!
Right now I am reading two books! The two books I am currently reading are Once Upon an Eid and Honey Girl.
Once Upon an Eid edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed and written by Randa Abdel-Fattah,
Huda Al-Marashi, Sara Alfageeh, Hanna Alkaf, Ashley Franklin, Asmaa Hussein, Hena Khan, Rukhsana Khan, Ayesha Mattu, Candice Montgomery, N.H. Senzai, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, and G. Willow Wilson is a middle grade novel that is a collection of short stories about the Muslim celebration Eid from Muslim voices. I really like having the anthology to read during my commute or when I have little time because I can knock out an entire story during each reading session.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers was my BOTM pick for February. It is about Grace who has just gotten spontaneously married in Vegas after getting her PhD in astronomy. She is just trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life while having her father's expectations looming over her. This one is a really fun one and I am loving the writing. I don't want to jinx it but it may be a 5 star read!!
Momma Leighellen's Bookclub
Genre: Historical fiction and literary fiction
Where: Discord and Zoom (NOTE! you must DM Leighellen on her Instagram (mommaleighellensbooknook) to be added to the discussion on Discord)
A SUPER COOL thing about this book club is there are multiple picks each month AND some of the discussions involve opportunities to meet the author!!! Also note that these do not run the entire month and the discussions will take place in the middle of the month.
Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (chat will be 3/14 with the author)
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (chat will be 3/21)
The Song Book of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon (author interview on 3/31 & on 3/28 there will be a general Zoom discussion)
Book of the Month is a book subscription where the club picks five new release titles and you can pick one to get sent to you. If you aren't into any of the picks, you can skip with no penalty. If you want to try it for yourself you can use my referral code. By using my code you get your first book for only $5! (This post is not sponsored in any way. The code is just from having a BOTM account.)
This month I became a BFF!!! If you don't know, BOTM has a rewards program called BFF where you get some fun perks. You can become a BFF when you have gotten 12 boxes. I seriously can't believe I have had this subscription for a whole year! It feels like yesterday when I got my first box.
Anyway, the book I chose this month is The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner which is actually a debut. This was the first time I didn't read the synopsis before I picked it. I just saw it has a murder, puzzle elements and an apothecary and I was hooked. It actually showed up really fast and I really can't wait to read it but unfortunately I have other books I need to read first.
Books to Read for Women's History Month
Here I just want to highlight a few great books written by women and/or that have strong female protagonists. I also have links to more book lists if none I have listed catch your eye, organized by target age.
The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
I read this one last year and wow. I can fully see why it is so heavily loved and praised. It is a very beautiful and moving story about two sisters living during World War II. If you haven't read it yet, now is a great time and if you have, make sure to check out Kristen Hannah's new book, The Four Winds. I still have to get to this one but from the reviews I have seen, I think it will definitely be a 5 star!
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
This is a middle grade title about a young Chinese girl whose parents are immigrants and she is helping them work in a motel for money. But their boss is super mean and is making their lives impossible. I have a full review of this book with a parents' guide that you can check out here. I want to put this book on this list because the main character, Mia Tang, is super determined to help her parents and become a writer. Her strong personality is something that can be really inspiring to read about, especially for kids. Also, if you like(d) this book there are more of them!
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
This book, to me, seems very feminist because it is mostly women characters. The main character is trying to find her superpower/inner talents and there is a mystery element which was interesting. It is hard to describe this book because it's just so good, both the plot and writing. I have a whole article about Katrina Leno books, including this one, which you can check it out here!
The Penelopiad by Margret Attwood
This is an obvious choice because this is literally a feminist retelling of The Odyssey. In it you follow Penelope while Oddsseus is away. I gave this one three stars, but I am not really into Greek mythology to start with, and I think it is a solid read with lots of interesting commentary on the matriarchal-patriarchal struggle.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
This is a YA fantasy story that was really good. It takes place in a world where 8 girls are chosen each year to be a paper girl who will serve the king. The main character Lei starts to fall in love with one of the other girls and is also determined to take down the abusive king. Her actions are true actions of someone who will take matters in her own hands.
A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber
Like The Nightingale, this book has a strong sister relationship. Although this book is a romance and the cover looks really fun, it is actually a deep book as the younger sister, Harper, battles cancer. This is a really warm book with many beautiful and moving moments.
More book lists!
Middle Grade: https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/middle-grade-books-for-womens-history-month/
Young Adult: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/womens-history-month-books/
Blog Posts Coming Soon
So, I have been trying to get my Netgalley ratio up recently so I have been reading a lot of picture books from there. It you don't know, Netgalley is a site where bloggers, reviewers, booktubers and other bookish influencers can request ARCs (advance reader copies) from publishers to read and review early for promotional reasons. I joined when I started this blog and I haven't read too much on there, but in an effort to change that I am trying to use it more this year.
I have read three really great picture books from the site and I will be highlighting all three in a post coming soon! So be on the lookout for it. They will all be great additions to any home library.
Favorite Bookstagrammers (+ a bonus account too!)
I follow a lot of book influencers on Instagram so that it's hard to keep track of them all. However, I do have a few people I follow that stand out and I love all their posts and content. I want to share those people with you here so you can check them out too! This isn't a definitive list by any means and will always be changing, but right now I am loving these people's posts.
This has to be my favorite Instagram account. She has two cats Hazel and Harriet who are just the cutest cats ever and super quirky. They are in every picture and I will just say that I have no idea how she gets them to pose in the pictures. They always look great and although the books we read are different, I have still gotten many recommendations, especially for books outside my comfort zone.
kelseymarie.reads This is a little bit of a cheat, but I love her account because her pictures are really nice and simple, but also because I really like her YouTube channel. We also read pretty similarly so I can often get recommendations from her as well. Also her child, Penny, who is featured in a few of the posts, is just so adorable!
mommaleighellensbooknook Momma Leighellen is actually a photographer so her pictures always look clean, crisp and professional. She is always doing giveaways so you may have a chance to win a free book. She also has created many Instagram Reels which are always fun and have great book recommendations.
Lastly I just want to highlight an Instagrammer who doesn't post book related content but she is a digital artist who I always love seeing posts from because they are always super nice looking and they all have positive messages. If you follow the blog on Instagram (@riversofbooksblog) I am almost positive you have seen me repost at least one of her posts in my stories!
That account is simplysophiedesigns. She has a small business where she sells stickers, prints, cards, and more. You can find that here.