Food | Travel | Ideas

What I’ve Been Reading in March

What I’ve Been Reading in March

Three out of four books, I’ve been reading in March, were very interesting and engaging to read. For those of you, who are from Brussels and are eager to read them, they are waiting for you in MuntPunt 😉

What is your strategy when selecting books in the library? I guess it’s pretty similar for everyone, but I might be wrong.

I’m usually drawn to the book by its cover since it’s the first thing I see. There are several shelves in my library which display the books so that you can see the whole front cover. The second thing I check is the title because it often tells you whether it’s a romantic kind of book, thriller, or crime. And I can quickly decide if it’s a genre I’m in a mood for. Next, I check the synopsis to have an idea of the story. Sometimes I also leaf through the book, to read a paragraph here and there to see whether the writing style of the author is something I like. And then, if the book passes all these little tests, it goes (temporarily) home with me 🙂

Of course, this process isn’t perfect, and it happens that I end up with a book that’s somewhat difficult to read and my mind wanders out of the story a lot. But you cannot know whether you like a book until you read it, right?

But this past month my selection process went quite smooth and our of these four books I truly enjoyed reading three. And that I consider a pretty good success rate 😉

If you would like to check out what I’ve been reading in January and February, you can click here and here.

The High Places by Fiona McFarlane

The High Places is the second book of Fiona McFarlane and contains a collection of short stories written over ten years period.

It’s difficult to find a common thread connecting the stories, but to me, it seemed that the only collection was the fact that the main characters were from Australia. There were a couple of stories which were terrific, profound, and entertaining. But by most I was disappointed.

Many of the stories didn’t really have an ending and seemed to just stop in the middle of the story. Many I didn’t get at all which was frustrating.

Truth to be told I was attracted by a nice cover of the book. The book is written by an awarded author and its reviews are quite good. I have just expected something more enjoyable.

You can find the book here.

The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald

With some books you know it’s going to be a page-turner which will keep you up at night just by reading the synopsis at the back of the book. And this is exactly who reading this book felt.

The story is tragic. It’s about parents, Joanna and Alistair, whose infant baby got lost. The whole neighborhood and nation are looking for the baby Noah. After some time, the parents became suspects in his disappearance. The book is about loss, partner relationship, manipulation, and betrayal.

The engaging writing style, interesting plot twist, simple language, captivating story, and surprising ending make this book a must-read. If you like psychological thrillers, go for this one.

I cannot wait to read other books by Helen Fitzgerald.

You can find the book here.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

The shock of the fall portraits a man fighting a mental illness. Matthew is nineteen and his brother Simon died in an accident ten years ago. Now, Matt decided to write their story. The ten-years-old story he’s writing is intertwined with everyday minutiae of the life of a mental health center patient.

The book is dark, sad, disturbing in places, drawing a captivating and somber picture of life with mental illness. The grieve, guilt, and anger of the main character fill the pages. The book was compelling.

The author Nathan Filer worked as a researcher in academic unit psychiatry and mental health nurse, and this is his first novel.

Find more about the book here.


The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert

In the Dark Room, Rachel Seiffert portraits three ordinary people who have nothing in common except for the World War II.

The first part depicts a story of a photographer Helmut. Due to his health condition, he cannot join the army and lives in Berlin through the war. The second part is set in 1945 just as the war is ending and Germany is divided into zones. Lore, a young girl, is trying to cross Germany with her four siblings to find and live with their grandmother in Hamburg. The third part is set in late 1990 and tells a story of a teacher Micha. Micha is trying to find out more about his grandfather’s past and trying to find inner peace with the events happening during the war.

The book is beautifully written, depicting everyday lives of ordinary individuals. Their stories aren’t special in any way. At that time, there were many people having very similar experiences, even though the stories are engaging, heartbreaking, and relatable. This book is really exceptional!

Find more about the book here.

What did you read this past month or earlier this year? Anything you would highly recommend? I’m all ears! 😉