An Open Book: What I Read in March

March’s reading list was a delicious mix of non-fiction and fiction, commentary and scientific research, soul searching and light lifting, YA-focused and academic.

I have go-to authors I fall back on and genres I prefer, and sometimes I wonder if my reading habits are well-rounded. But then I look at this array of books and realize two things: 1) It really doesn’t matter what I or anyone reads, and 2) I think I’ve done a-ok with expanding my comfortable reading habits.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield (5/5 stars)

Three-line review: Allow me to geek out for a moment and say I love fonts and typography, and I love it even more when a fun, accessible book celebrates them. I frequently found myself laughing out loud at commentary about things like the IKEA “fontroversy” and why Comic Sans needs to exit stage left. Books like this can quickly derail into stodgy drivel, but this one is a winner.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (5/5 stars)

Three-line review: Moxie girls fight back! I loved everything about this book: the young women fighting the patriarchy, the amazing guys who stand by them, the awesome feminism messaging, and the well-depicted reality that unfortunately takes places in American high schools every single day. This YA novel should be required reading for everyone.

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall (3/5 stars)

Three-line review: I was way out of my comfort zone reading this book about astrophysics, but it’s good to stretch into unknown places at times, and that’s certainly what the universe is! I understood perhaps half of this book because the terminology and concepts were all new to me, but I got the overall gist and feel like I learned something new. Randall is a good writer and this book proceeds in a manner that makes sense, which made the foreignness of the topic more accessible to me.

book reviews

The Complete Handbook Of Novel Writing: Everything You Need To Know About Creating & Selling Your Work edited by Writer’s Digest Books (3/5 stars)

Three-line review: The longer I write and the more advice I read about writing, the more I’m convinced there’s no “right” way to do it. There’s some good, practical advice packed into the essays that make up this book, but it’s important to realize that even a “complete handbook” doesn’t contain a magic solution for creating the next best seller. My favorite essays were the interviews with successful novelists; I enjoy reading about other people’s processes and inspiration.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (3/5 stars)

Three-line review: If there’s a genre of realistic dark humor tragedy, this book fits the bill. It felt like such a common and possible story line, it was almost like spying on someone else’s life that they’ve tried to conceal from the world. My emotions bounced all over with this one — feeling repulsed, embarrassed, laughing … all while feeling like it’s a story that could happen to anyone.

Me and White Supremacist Workbook by Layla Saad (4/5 stars)

Three-line review: I spent lots of time over the past 28 days working through a myriad of journal prompts that helped me understand my own racism and white supremacy in my life. This workbook should be required work for every white person as it walks through all the ways whiteness in general (and the reader’s whiteness, in particular) harms BIPOC. I’m giving it four stars because, though I have a better grasp on the work I need to do, I still don’t feel fully equipped with the tools I need to address white supremacy; I wish I had a handful of resources to use to move forward from this point.

One Response to “An Open Book: What I Read in March”

  1. Jill

    Our book group read The Corrections when it first came out years ago. It was a good discussion book….but I also remember Franzen being described, in the media, as personally uninterested in promoting his work….he didn’t do a lot of book signings or interviews. It was a major best seller though.

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