4 min read
This month I have finished reading three books. I didn’t hit my goal of four books and read a lot less than in the first two months of the year but that is okay! I started quite a few books but abandoned some, which slowed me down a bit. Also, a lot of my free time was spend writing rather than reading. (In case you didn’t know, I am currently in the midst of a 100-day-daily-blogging-challenge. Today is day 37!) But let’s talk about the books I read in March!
Everything I read in March
“My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Even though “My Dark Vanessa” gets 5 stars from me, I am not sure I would neccessarily recommend reading it.
The story is about a girl who gets groomed by her teacher. The narration flicks between Vanessa at age 15, student at a boarding school and her at the age of 32, still suffering from the trauma of her entaglement with her teacher Jacob Strane. She struggles to come to terms with the fact that this relationship was abusive. Realising that so much of the story she told herself was a lie is almost impossible for her. The book is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching.
The author writes incredibly well, drawing complex characters and scenarios so vivid, you feel like you are right in the middle of the plot. The story asks interesting and difficult questions about consent, agency, victimhood and empowerment.
It left me feeling sad and confused and full of fear for my child. But also a lot more aware and educated about the nature of abusive relationships, that people in them aren’t necessarily helped when we call them survivors of victims, as it diminishes their story.
So yes, five stars. A worthwhile read, but do so at your own risk.
“Circe” by Madeline Miller
This was probably the most enjoyable book I read in March. “Circe” is an adaptation of greek myths centring around and told from the viewpoint of the witch Circe. The plot spans multiple millenia and a lot of things happen, so it’s kind of difficult to summarise. It was a gripping read however.
I didn’t really know anything about Greek mythology beforehand so it was quite cool to learn about. Madeline Miller does such a great job at introducing the various characters and storylines and to explain the connections between them without it feeling like a school lesson.
I found it super interesting that the gods of Greek mythology aren’t anything like the Christian God. They basically are immortal humans that have powers. They are extremely immoral, very much led by their fancies and desires and have no compassion or interest in others. It made me wonder how this impacted people who believed in those gods and felt like they were at their mercy. Sounds like such a bleak outlook on life. Anyway. Back to the book!
Circe is a very likeable character and I loved following her evolution from a naïve nymph to a powerful but kindhearted witch. The book is full of female power, there is suspense, romance and history. Would highly recommend!
“Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” by Matthew Perry
I listened to the audio version of “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing” which was read by Matthew Perry himself. In this memoir he talks about his path to becoming an actor, how he got the role as Chandler in the TV show Friends, his relationships and a lot about his struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol (the big terrible thing).
The book is extremely honest and vulnerable about his many attempts at sobriety and subsequent relapses. He details the health issues the years of drinking, smoking and substance abuse have led to. It’s all really sad to be honest. Addiction is such a terrible disease.
However, even though I appreciated his candour I didn’t overly enjoy the book. He jumps back and forth in the timeline which makes it rather difficult to follow, I found. Also, he spends a bit too much time in my opinon criticising other people. He puts a lot of blame for his addiction on his parents, he swears at his dentist and makes jokes about it being a pity that Keanu Reeves is still alive.
On the whole it is a worthwhile read, especially if you are a Matthew Perry (or Chandler) fan. I give it 3 stars.
And that is everything I read in March!
After “My Dark Vanessa” I needed a bit of time to process the book before being able to move on to another story. I picked up “School for Good Mothers” but abandoned it, realising I needed something lighter! I might come back to it, but didn’t overly enjoy the first 100 pages or so, so I might leave it at that.
What have you read this month? I would love to hear some of your recommendations!
This is Day 37 of my 100 Day Project. You can learn more about my 100 day project by reading this post. If you want to do your own 100 day Project, I would recommend checking out the 100 Day Project website.