March at a Glance

As I summed up before, I used March to get into books by diverse authors. I read a couple urban fantasy books that were just released as well that I’d been waiting for, but the rest were by PoC. The majority were by women of color or about women of color as it was also Women’s History Month. I didn’t get to as many as I thought. I recently discovered an interest in cross stitch and that sewed up my time. (What? Stop groaning. It wasn’t that bad.)

Here is what I read in March.

  • The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan. Both were about Empress Nur Jahan and Emperor Jahangir. The first is about them before their marriage and the latter is during their marriage. There is one more in the trilogy that I want to get to as well.
  • A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. Told by a Chinese woman who goes to England to learn English and finds herself in a relationship with an Englishman, this was amazing to read. I already have a few of her other novels on my list.
  • Come Together, Fall Apart by Cristina Henriquez. I read The Book of Unknown Americans last year and it made me sob. This collection of short stories didn’t do that, but it did give me a case of the feels. I generally don’t seek out short stories, but it is stories like these that start convincing me to.
  • Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. I started reading PotS for the new speculative fiction by ladies book club I am in. My very first Octavia Butler and I see what all the fuss was about. I read it in probably a day and then immediately sought out the sequel, read that in a day then went out and bought Kindred which I hope to get to this month.
  • Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler. I had heard of Aisha Tyler and read raves about this book, so when I found it on Scribd as an audiobook I decided it was time. I swapped between the audio and ebook, mostly because of the fact the audio wasn’t one for my kids to listen to, but I totally recommend the audio if you can. Tyler narrates and pushes her own humor into her stories. Since then I’ve seen her on an episode of Table Top playing Cards Against Humanity and then started listening to her podcast Girl on Guy. I think she’d be a blast to hang out with.
  • Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older. I had bought HRB on ebook when it came out, but never got around to it, then I started following him on Twitter, found out he was going to be at Book Riot Live, and got a paperback copy of HRB in my Quarterly box. The stars aligned. I read a lot of urban fantasy and it’s hard to impress me these days. This book did. The storyline was fresh. The hero was intriguing. There was a wide cast of supporting characters who were diverse and fleshed out. I want book 2 in my hands right now! Until then I have a collection of his short stories Salsa Nocturna to keep me busy.
  • The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I have a weird relationship with Ishiguro novels. I’ve read Never Let me Go and An Artist of the Floating World. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them either. They’re not bad books. I want to stress that. I keep reading them though, and I’m never sad that I do. TBG is another I didn’t hate, didn’t love, but I’m glad read it.
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. For a debut novel, Bulawayo did amazing. I really felt like I was seeing the world through her protanist’s eyes to see how it might feel to live in Zimbabwe and then move to America. I definitely look forward to anything else she will write.
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. I saw Issa Rae on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. As I have an affection for fellow geeks, picking up her book seemed like a no brainer. I’ve yet to watch her show after the similar name, but reading her book moved me closer to doing so (I generally don’t get into a lot of the youtube content). She shared pieces of her life that were hilarious at times as well as poignant.

I’m definitely not going to stop reading so diversely, but I am going to be less strict about the other books I want to read. I still have a few books on my To Be Read Sooner Rather Than Later (RBRSRTL doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?). I still want to read China Dolls by Lisa See, A Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, and Sula by Toni Morrison in April. And I’m sure there will be others that I decide to add in.

How was your reading in March?

Month of Reading Diverse meet Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. I love reading about women and the things they have accomplished, the lives they lived, and shade they may have thrown. Why am I going on about this? Welp, remember when I said I was going to read only authors of color this month? It seems I forgot about Women’s History Month. To fix this, I decided try and make sure all the authors I read are not only of color, but women of color. Also I’m making an effort to read about women of color in history. This makes things a bit tougher because we all know how the publishing world has been supporting their ladies of color…and that’s to say not at all.

Coincidently I finished The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan which is a historical fiction about Mehrunnisa who becomes the 20th and last wife of Emperor Jahangir who is the father of Shan Janan who built the Taj Mahal when his wife died (who also happened to be Mehrunnisa’s niece. I just moved onto The Feast of Roses the second book in the trilogy which follows Mehrunnisa, now called Nur Jahan, through her marriage to the Emperor. I’m having a fantastic time reading about the royal family and probably will try to dig up some non fiction about them.

I also have Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand on my reader as well that I plan to get to. Any other recommendations?