What I Read In March 2024

April is coming in like a (snowy and rainy) lion here in New England, so it is time for a reading recap of last month’s (March) reads. March was another good reading month- three fiction books and two nonfiction that I listened to on audio. I mainly do non-fiction for audio- I have this weird emotional connection to looking at the physical words for fiction reads- not sure why! Overall I thought the books I read this month were really good and I enjoyed all of them! I feel like a bit of a broken record because I think I say this every month, but I honestly try to pick books I am interested in or that people with similar taste recommend so I usually am happy with what I read. If you loved Crazy Rich Asians, keep an eye out for Kevin Kwan’s latest coming out just in time for summer, Lies And Weddings which I was excited to get an advanced reader copy of. I also loved The Rachel Incident and will share some trigger warnings on that below, but it was such a good book! Here is everything I read in March with mini-summaries of each! I’d love to hear what you read recently and any recommendations.

Lies And Weddings (publishing on 5/21)- The upcoming release from Crazy Rich Asians author, Kevin Kwan is another delightful read and will be a perfect summer reading list book! The Gresham family is headed up by their father, the Earl of Greshambury and their mother, a former Hong Kong supermodel who is the one who has taken on the responsibility of positioning her family for the future. Unfortunately for the Greshams, while they are British aristocracy, their funds have been completely depleted.  Rufus, the son and future Earl, is feeling the heat from his mother to marry and marry well. Rufus turns to his long time best friend and literal girl next door, Eden. The book is all the fun and luxury of Crazy Rich Asians with the cars, clothes, travel combined with British country homes and aristocracy. If you loved Crazy Rich Asians, put this on your list!

Pineapple Street– A fantastic family drama with a bit of satire- Pineapple Street is about a generationally wealthy, WASPy Brooklyn Heights family and told from three points of view. Darley, the oldest sister, gave up her inheritance for love and her job for motherhood is questioning her choices. Georgiana, the youngest sister and tennis lover (she seems to interact most on a tennis court) has fallen in love with someone she shouldn’t have. Sasha is the sister in law from a middle class New England family who constantly feels on the outside. The book is not really plot driven, it is more character driven so something to keep in mind!

The Rachel Incident– I feel like I had been hearing about this book a few places on Instagram so I was excited when I saw it on the new releases shelf at my library. Rachel is a college student living in her hometown of Cork and working part time at a bookstore when she meets James. James is extroverted, fun and insists he is heterosexual (though Rachel has her suspicions he isn’t) when they strike up a friendship and he asks her to be his roommate. Rachel moves out of her parents’ home and in with James and begins an amazing (but somewhat all consuming for Rachel) friendship. At school, Rachel develops a crush on her married professor, Dr. Fred Byrne so she arranges for a book release party for him at the bookstore where her and James work. Though James is insistent Rachel seduce the professor at the party, the night goes a different way and intertwines James, Rachel, Dr. Byrnes and his wife. This book was really great and I absolutely loved the ending- it totally left me satisfied! Trigger warning for miscarriage and abortion in this book.

What I Listened To- Audiobooks of the month:

 If You Would Have Told Me– I grew up with Full House and Uncle Jesse and given my love for listening to celebrity memoirs, I decided to give John Stamos’ memoir a try. I love hearing books like these in the authors own voice. I truly didn’t know much about John outside of Uncle Jesse so I enjoyed hearing about his time on Broadway- I had no idea he was such a dedicated stage actor! I find with a lot of memoirs like this so much comes back to the person’s relationships with their parents namely their mother (I’m thinking of Pamela Anderson and Selma Blair’s memoirs) and John’s mother sounded like an amazing, loving mom and parts of it made me tear up over their relationship as a fellow boy mom.

Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas– This one had been on my “to be read” list since I went to the Sargent’s Fashion exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in December. Sargent’s Women explores the lives of four of the women painted by Sargent in his famous portrait style. The book is definitely more about the women and much less about Sargent, so if you are hoping for details into his life, this isn’t the one. The book was a great look into Gilded Age life and so interesting- I truly appreciated the immense amount of research done by the author. As part of her research, she spent time reading letters written and I chatted about this on my stories, but it is interesting to think about how forms of communication have changed and how someone would research a person in the future that has lived in the digital age versus that time period. One of the women spoken about for a good chunk of the book is Isabella Stewart Gardner, quite famous here in the Boston area. If you are interested in the Gilded Age and art history, I think you’d enjoy this!

Have you read any of these books? Would love to hear your thoughts if you have! And be sure to send me your book recommendations- I always love that!

xoxo, Jenna

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