What I read in March

So, here’s my attempt to throw in some regular content that I usually post on this blog. I’d hate to look back and see a whole chunk of time blank from any regular posting, just because of COVID-19 (let’s not give it that much power!).

I only finished one book in March. I wish I was one of those people that could just dive into books when the world goes to hell in a handbasket, but alas, I am not. I started a second book, a book that came highly recommended, but I can’t tell you how often I picked it up, just to read a page or two and put it down again. I just couldn’t focus. I spent a lot of time in March just “staring” into space (or sleeping, because T-I-R-E-D).  (Let’s hope April will be better.)

Can you escape into books or do you have a hard time focusing also?

All the flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio (★★★★☆)

This is yet-another WWII story, which can be very heavy at times (and this one was no different), but Jio wraps the war story into a present-day mystery, which makes for an interesting story line.

Present-day Caroline wakes up with no memory after a bike accident and tries to piece her life back together. Celine is a single mother living in Paris during WWII. The lives of these two women are connected through a series of letters that Celine wrote and that Caroline discovers in her Paris apartment. I leave you to read this book to find out the rest. 

I loved that this book is historical fiction (which is my favorite genre), but that the WWII-part revolved around an ordinary person, not around soldiers or spies, and that the present-day part of the book was not about someone in search of an ancestral story but in search of their own.

Jio definitely has a way with words. Her stories (this is the second book by her that I’ve read) are alive and vivid. My only criticism would be that her romantic plot lines can be a little “over the top” for me at times (I felt the same way in the other book I read by her, “Good Night June” (my review here)) and her characters often come off as very privileged (here: Caroline). However, her writing and the way she wove together two separate stories into one more than makes up for it, and I will definitely pick out more of her books to read.

What did you read in March? Anything you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. This book sounds familiar. And I know that feeling all too well. I tried to read The Children’s Crusade and just couldn’t get into it, even though I made it through more than 100 pages. I am now reading the Glass Castle which I really enjoy but between new baby and just overall exhaustion it’s been hard to concentrate. Oh yea. And covid. It’s a good thing you are focusing on other things for your blog/ I’m having a hard time of that. I think I’m just feeling a lot of emotions associated with this stupid pandemic but trying to remind myself every day that this too shall pass ❤️

    Hope you are staying well and safe, San! Xoxo

  2. The best book that I read in March was Long Bright River by Liz Moore. I am struggling a bit in the reading department, I usually read a chapter or two right before bed but we’ve been staying up a bit later in our more relaxed shelter in place lifestyle so that’s cut into my reading time.

  3. I usually read more too, but I got hooked on the Netflix series Ozark, which I wish I hadn’t started.
    I read “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. His book provided a glimpse in how it is to grow up as “neither black, neither white, neither coloured” in South Africa. I learned a lot about townships, poverty and racism. Incidentally, his father is Swiss.

  4. This sounds interesting. I love a good historic novel but the WWII are always a bit heavy. This might be a good mix. Already put it on my list. Thanks.

  5. My reading has really taken a dive as well. I just have a hard time concentrating and I feel way more tired than usual. I’ve felt more pulled to lighter content because I just can’t handle much heaviness in a book on top of everything else that is going on!

    I haven’t read a Jio book in so long. I used to be a big fan of her but then her books started to feel a little too formulaic so I took a break. I should try one again because I do remember them being a really quick read.

  6. I also read one book in March. I thought with extra time on my hands I’d read loads and it just didn’t happen.

    I must add this to my TBR list. It reminds me a little of The House of Secrets by Sarra Manning where the main characters are linked by a property they have both lived in but decades apart. If you enjoy historical fiction I’d suggest “After the Last Dance” also by Sarra Manning (I preferred it more to The House of Secrets) and the character Rose was just my favourite.

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