March 2023 reading wrap-up

After giving my TBR a thorough purging in February, I was very excited to dive into as many unread books as I could in March. This month was a great mix of new and old books, as well as taking advantage of my library and listening to several audiobooks. With every book I read, my large TBR shrinks. Of course, each month has the potential to increase my TBR as I often buy new books, though this month was fairly light in that respect. This March 2023 reading wrap-up goes over all the books I read during the month and my thoughts on them.

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March 2023 reading wrap-up

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

I picked this book up on a whim after seeing someone on Twitter talk about it. The cover drew me in and then the synopsis sealed the deal for me. I haven’t read a ton of books set in World War II but knowing this one revolved around a bookstore had me intrigued. I listened to the audiobook version and must say that Saskia Maarleveld, the narrator, did a wonderful job of bringing the book and characters to life. Experiencing the characters suffering through the hardships of the war, finding small joys, making friends and rivals, and of course, enjoying the bookshop and its book made for a wonderful story. I feel like this is a book I could easily revisit several times and enjoy just as much as the first time. I will be posting a full review of this book soon.

A Galaxy Next Door Vol. 2 by Gido Amagakure

The awkward relationship between Ichiro and Shiori continues! These two are so cute and yet they stumble through so many different experiences, allowing them to learn and grow together. Mix in Ichiro’s younger siblings and the struggles of being a manga artist and this story is so fun to read. I will admit, it is slow at times, however, this early in a series, the plot, characters, and worldbuilding are still being developed so there will be those bits that don’t flow as quickly as others. Even so, I think this is going to turn into a fantastic series.

Clara’s Kitchen by Clara and Christopher Cannucciari

I loved watching Clara’s YouTube channel years ago and was so excited to see that she and her grandson had written a book. This book is a combination of a recipe book and a memoir. Clara goes over the various struggles of her family living through the depression, along with tricks on how to stretch ingredients and money, tips to keep the house running, and of course, plenty of recipes that are cheap to make but filling. I really enjoy reading stories from those who survived the Great Depression and Clara does a great job of bringing that time to life, sharing the good and the bad. I plan to try quite a few of the recipes she shared and remember her sage advice for the future.

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

I picked up this book because it was mentioned in a YouTube video I was watching and thought it would be an interesting read. Salt is such a huge part of our lives, yet it can be easily overlooked especially its historical importance. From different harvesting techniques to paying soldiers with salt, to wars being fought over it, there is so much to learn about salt. I think my favorite part is seeing the significance of salt in preserving meat and other foods for so many years. Such as during colonial America, where salt pork played a vital role in feeding the colonies. Without that, they would have had very little meat at times. Of course, this led to blockades of salt important during the fight between the British and American soldiers.

The book does become repetitive, as a lot of the history itself repeats, simply in a different region at a different time. However, it was somewhat interesting to see how a process that had been developed hundreds of years prior in one area was then only just discovered in a new area and they thought it was such a huge leap in the industry at the time. That being said, I do feel like the book could have been condensed a bit to avoid dragging out the repetition of hearing about the same process over and over again.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Vol. 17 by Kore Yamazaki

I know I said I would be taking a break from this series last month. However, I forgot I had this volume pre-ordered, so when it arrived I decided to give it a go. I loved this volume. While the previous few felt slow and didn’t really seem to add much to the overall story, this one pulled me in from page one. Finally, we are getting somewhere with the events that have been slowly, very slowly, progressing for a while. Some questions were answered, while new questions were posed. This volume reminds me of why I have, for the most part, enjoyed this series.

Mao Vol. 6-9 by Rumiko Takahashi

These 4 volumes have so much happening in them. I can’t really go into much detail without spoiling them. However, learning so much more about Mao, Nanako, Byoki, Natsuno, and the other characters was fantastic. The action scenes interspersed with the quieter scenes really helped the book flow quickly and I was absorbed from start to finish with each volume. I eagerly look forward to the next volume.

Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss

I picked this book up on a whim, partially because it came up when I was searching for Salt: A World History and partially because the title left me curious. If you have ever been curious how all those processed food came to be, to taste a certain way, and why so many of them have addictive properties, then this is the book to read. It breaks down how the three big ingredients – salt, sugar, and fat – are the key players in making food as tasty as possible, while also being cheap to produce. It also shows how our tastes have changed over the years to crave these processed foods over fresh foods by chasing the bliss point of the human palette.

I highly recommend everyone read this one. It will really make you have a hard look at the “food” you are eating.

Snow White With the Red Hair Vol 21 & 22 by Sorata Akiduki

So much has happened in this series that it’s difficult to talk about the current volumes without potentially spoiling the earlier story. These two volumes were great, a little slower than some of the previous ones but add so much world and character-building. I really enjoy watching Sirayuki, Obi, and Ryu navigating the new tasks set before them, especially when it puts them in situations they aren’t familiar with and working out what to do and not to do. Of course, we can’t forget about Zen, Yuki, and Mitsuhide, as they work through their own adventures and problems, regularly running into the other trio but rarely getting to spend much time with them. I love seeing when all 6 of these characters are together, as they have such great chemistry between them, however, seeing them going their own ways really adds to the story, as they aren’t always dependent upon one another for all scenarios. I can’t wait to read the next volume and see where they go next.

Shut Up & Write The Book by Jenna Moreci

I am always on the lookout for a new writing craft book to read. Some are helpful, others aren’t. I have watched Jenna Morecci’s YouTube channel for a while now and decided to give her book a try. I liked that the content was formatted a lot like her videos, where she gives advice and then tosses in “But Jenna, what if I…” and answers that question. I can’t say there was a lot of new advice that couldn’t be found within her videos or within other writing craft books, but sometimes seeing information in a different format can make it click. If you are looking for a serious book that focuses on all the nitty gritty bits of writing, then this book isn’t for you. However, if you are looking for advice given in a light and humorous way, then this one is worth picking up.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

I can’t even tell you how many years I have been meaning to read this book but I finally did it! Honestly, I should have read it when I first got my hands on it but better late than never. I loved this one. You may think a book about rabbits would be dull but the story is rich, the characters are well developed and grow throughout, and watching them tackle so many challenges kept me turning the page. I was glad that Adams included a glossary of rabbit terms because sometimes it wasn’t always clear what the rabbits were referring to. I have a feeling I will reread this book in the future because it’s so good it deserves another read. I will be posting a full review of this book in the near future.

March 2023 reading wrap-up stats

  • Books read: 14
  • Books purchased: 2
  • Books purged: 1
  • Books DNF’d: 1

I hope you enjoyed my March 2023 reading wrap-up. What books did you read in March?

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