The Connected Reader March Reading Recap

Published by The Connected Reader on

The Connected Reader Reading Recap

How are we doing out there, friends?

By March, my reading has usually taken a nosedive. It feels like the time between Spring Break (mid-march in Texas) and the end of the school year is a blur of performances, awards ceremonies, field days, and planning for summer. 

But this year, I’m still feeling reading momentum somehow. And it doesn’t feel forced; I’m enjoying it. I think a big reason is that I’ve been planning my reading more intentionally, so I always have something to read to meet my mood in print copy and audiobook. This has really helped me as I’ve navigated personal challenges and my feelings after the school shooting in Nashville this month.

These are the books I read in March. Let me know in the comments if you have read any of them and what you thought. Hopefully you find something from the book list to add to your TBR!

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed 

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

This is a YA novel set in LA in 1992 as the reaction to the Rodney King police brutality verdict unfolds. I read this for my YA book club and I was so glad to have the space to process this. The headline here is that it is an important story to tell, and the author is trying to pack in so many storylines that it gets a bit muddled.

Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton

Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton  

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

This was on my list of nonfiction books I wanted to read this year. I have started re-reading the Harry Potter series with my daughter and I was curious about it. If you are a fan, it might be worth checking out. Otherwise, I was left wanting Felton (who played Draco Malfoy in the movies) to go a little bit deeper; perhaps he just didn’t have enough distance from the events, particularly related to his post-Potter movie life, to share in that way.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi  

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

I have had this on my TBR years and it was on my list of literary fiction I wanted to read this year, yet I went into it without really understanding what it was about. I’ve seen it described as “genre-defying” and I agree. The story is set in a community that has eradicated all monsters, but the main character, Jam, discovers something is wrong when a monster-hunter comes to her and tells her there is a monster in her friend’s house. This one is heavy, y’all, and suspenseful, as you come to realize what a “monster” is and what it means for the community and the families at the center of the story. (Content warnings for sensitive readers here.) It also reminded me, in concept, of a book I read a couple years ago, A Monster Calls, which I also loved.

Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume   

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

I picked this up on a whim while browsing the spinning book racks in the children’s section of the library. Side note: every time I browse there, I am transported to 1993 where I am doing the same thing in my hometown library. There are some gender stereotypes here because it was written in the 1970s – mom stays home, dad is busy with his career, dad takes care of the kids for the weekend and chaos ensues, the “bossy” female friend who is a nag – so I revised some language. Overall, I appreciated having an elementary school narrator in a book to read aloud with my own elementary-schooler, there were some sweet parent-child moments, and the dynamic of an older brother and younger brother with a larger age gap was relatable for our family.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey  

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

This book made me realize a trend in my rom com reading habits: I really enjoy the trope of one partner being a “normal” person and one partner being a celebrity. I thought this one was delightful and if you love the romantic comedy movies of the 1980s and 90s, you will enjoy all of the shout outs here.

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Bookshop.org    Librofm

I have to preface this one: I read Little Women a couple of years ago for the first time, and I have only seen the latest movie adaptation. So I don’t have a deeply nostalgic attachment that I’ve been harboring for decades. If you do, this book may not be for you. It is a re-imagining of the year between when Jo March wrote the first and second parts of Little Women, and focuses on how she decided the fates of the characters in the book, as well as how she navigates her relationship with Laurie in her real life. I loved it and found the conclusion really satisfying. That is all I will say. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling  

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

I forgot how much more complicated the story gets in this one. It has been a joy to read these with my seven-year-old. She literally was screaming at so many of the reveals here. And, I think we will be pausing for a year or two because the books are getting a bit too scary for us. We are continuing to revise the anti-fatness and talk about the harm of the anti-fatness pervasive in this series.

"You Just Need to Lose Weight": And 19 Other Myths about Fat People by Aubrey Gordon

“You Just Need to Lose Weight”: And 19 Other Myths about Fat People by Aubrey Gordon

Bookshop.org    Libro.fm

This was my last book of the month and I’m still processing it, especially my own internalized anti-fatness as a “small” fat person. My biggest takeaways? The science of body weight is complicated, the science of weight loss is a mess, and as a society,  we’ve chosen anti-fatness over the more nuanced truth that weight is not the only, or most important, indicator of health. This book is heavily researched, with 35 pages of end notes, and focuses intentionally on the language we use to talk about this topic; it was really helpful in educating myself, and my brain is spinning as I navigate incorporating this new learning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Even if you don’t use the links, I highly recommend checking out Bookshop.org and Libro.fm for access to tons of titles while still supporting an indie bookstore.


1 Comment

Kaitlyn · April 8, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Thank you for these reviews! I sometimes miss them on your instastories, so this is really fun to see the whole run-down. “Waiting for Tom Hanks” sounds like one I may need right now after all of the heaviness of the last few weeks in Tennessee. I wonder if you will read the next book in the series or if you didn’t love it enough to continue?

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