March 2020 Book Recap & Ratings {Reading Wrap-Up}

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Thinking back to the beginning of last month and knowing it was only a little over four weeks ago feels almost unbelievable. So much has changed and continues to change and it is a scary time for everyone. I have also felt a little vulnerable to share, even on this relatively small public platform because many of my feelings seem(are?) trivial in the larger scheme of things. 

How It’s Going…

global crisis{image via Liz & Mollie}

Physically we are all doing fine right now and I am grateful for that. Mentally, this has proven to be more difficult. There is more “time” now, yet my days are filled with a constant heaviness and by the end of the day, I feel emotionally exhausted. I struggle with anxiety in general and right now I am noticing that because there is so much unknown I almost feel numb to it all.

While my worries normally overpower my sense of feeling down, lately the sadness had felt a lot heavier. We are really fumbling our way through having the kids learning at home. I am missing my work which is such a huge part of my life and identity. I miss my friends and my community that has really become my second family. We are okay, I am okay but this is also really hard for so many of us and I think it is important to name that.

I know a lot of people flew through SO many books during the last couple of weeks, but for me, it has been tricky to focus. I have found that reading a couple at a time has helped and my audiobooks have been my self-care time when I need a break.

inspirational quotes{Art & Text by Morgan Harper Nichols}

I read far fewer books during our first couple of weeks of “quarantine” than I initially imagined. I am trying to be as positive and present with the kids as much as possible and also prioritize the necessary tasks that still pile up each day.

When I read at night, I have been falling asleep almost immediately. I am trying to be kind to myself and also to other people, as we all have different challenges and reactions to these current circumstances. If you haven’t read this article yet, That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is GriefI highly recommend it.

inspirational quotes{Artwork by Positively Present}

I don’t know what April will look like but I am hoping as we settled into more of our new routines, things will feel a little better. How are you doing? I would love to hear. <3

March Book Recap!

2020 books

Alright, on to the monthly book recap because I know that is why you really are here…I haven’t had a chance to do full book reviews for all of these books yet but for the ones I have, I will link to it below.

March Reading Highs:

favorite booksMy 5-star reads in March were all quite unexpected…

Untamed was one I was a little uncertain about beforehand (I didn’t love Glennon Doyle’s last two books) but it ended up blowing me away! I didn’t know how much I need this book and I highly recommend it.

The Authenticity Project was the perfect balance of being escape reading with a heartwarming and relatable plotline. It was the perfect “quarantine reading.”

Everything Here is Under Controwas compelling and I loved the focus on the kind of friendships that shape your life and the complexities of new motherhood.

March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up:

Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Dark Vanessa is compelling, haunting and raw. While this book was not always easy to read, it was powerful and one I will always remember.

“This, I think, is the cost of telling, even in the guise of fiction. Once you do, it’s the only thing about you anyone will ever care about. It defines you whether you want it to or not.”

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Grown Ups

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Keyes always succeeds in sharing complex family dynamics in a light-hearted yet engrossing manner. Grown Ups is no different and shares the daily ups and downs of three brothers and their wives and families. There is a great mix of humor and intrigue (a big family secret gets revealed!) mixed with plenty of hijinx.

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link

Lisa Wingate

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

While this book focused on a very dark time of American history, the beautiful parts of humanity also shined through. Just like with Before We Were Yours, The Book of Lost Friends introduced me to a part of history that I had previously not known a lot about and was such a powerful reminder of the power of strength, perseverance, and connection.

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Tara Schuster

Buy Yourself The F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

I loved Tara Schuster’s perspective so much. While it is funny and a little crass it is also quite wise. It is basically a self-help book by way of a memoir which is basically my dream reading. Schuster and I have a strangely relatable past and I connected with her stories and commentary so much.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Anne Bogel

Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

I listened to this one on audio in small chunks of time and if you have the tendency to overthink things you will probably get a lot out of it too. ⁣

“More than a book about making good decisions, Don’t Overthink It offers you a framework for making choices you’ll be comfortable with, using an appropriate amount of energy, freeing you to focus on all the other stuff that matters in life.”⁣

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Jennifer Weiner Big Summer

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

Jennifer Weiner has been one of my favorite authors for as long as I can remember. Last year’s book Mrs. Everything was a heavier family saga so I was interested to see what she released this year.

When I started it I was thinking she went back to her roots with her body empowerment messages and that this would just be a smart summer read. Then bam, halfway through something major happens and my favorite book genres, contemporary fiction, and domestic thriller totally collide!

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

The Body Politic

The Body Politic by Brian Platzer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Platzer’s writing is nuanced and layered and he shines at having his reader examine the gray of what initially could look like black and white decisions. While there are moments of frustration as the reader, this also led to great reflection.

The Body Politic was one of those books that felt a little out of my comfort zone but ultimately pushed me as a reader. This would make a fascinating and timely book club discussion and I am glad to have read it.

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link| LibroFM Bookstore Link

Jen Gotch

The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

While excelling at normalizing what so many people go through, Gotch also reminds us that you don’t have to “get over” your struggles to have a wonderful and fulfilling life.

She shares relatable stories while also being realistic about the fact that sometimes it takes time to get the proper care you need and that it is okay to not have it all figured out, now, or ever…

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Michelle P. King

The Fix by Michelle P. King

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

The Fix by Michelle P. King is a timely book that focuses on the invisible barriers that are holding women back in the workplace. King is a gender equality expert and has spent a lot of time researching this important and relevant issue.

King discusses the current issues that women are facing in a readable and approachable manner. One highlight of this book was how she presented historical and root causes that have set up today’s workplaces that ultimately were and still are designed for men.

You can read my full review HERE.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Emily Adrian

Everything Here is Under Control by Emily Adrian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

(Publishing 7/31/20 by Blackstone Publishing)

Filled with the complexities of motherhood, trauma, friendship, and womanhood, I was totally swept into this beautifully written novel. There is nothing like finding a new author to love and follow along with and I can’t wait to see what Emily Adrian writes next.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link 

Clare Pooley

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Authencity Project was a surprise hit for me. Author Clare Pooley introduces us to a cast of characters whose lives all being interconnected through the power of authenticity.

Each storyline is unique and sometimes a little quirky and I loved the messages of friendship and personal growth throughout.  This had the perfect mix of being totally charming but also quite relatable and inspiring and I can’t recommend it enough.

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

Untamed

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

(Now a Reese’s Book Club April 2020 Selection) 

Glennon Doyle’s writing has really “grown-up” in her 2020 release and I appreciated the down to earth and unpreachy vibe SO much. This book has been such a deep reminder of trusting ourselves even on very uncertain paths.  Doyle’s short stories and messages about following our hearts while having compassion for the world around us are something I will never forget.

“Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link


What did you read during the month of March? I would love to hear. 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts or feedback below! Please email me at genthebookworm@gmail.com to connect further.