My March reading - features a lot of strong women characters

Author: Anne

Date Published: Apr 3rd 2018, 4:35pm

March included a week’s holiday from work and a few days off because of the snow. The holiday was good but the snow days less so. I did think that I might have read more in the month because of these two factors but, in fact, I read a round 30 books this month which is more or less average for me.

I read nearly twice as many on my Kindle as I did in print form which is almost certainly because we went abroad for the holiday. Print books are heavy and so I don’t take many away with me although, of course, I always need a couple for reading on take-off and landing as the airlines still think that my puny Kindle is going to destroy the whole plane as its evil words infiltrate the electronics.

I read two audiobooks for the month which is the same as usual – they were both pretty long ones which is also usual.

Apart from the audio books (“Genghis Khan” by Jack Weatherford and “The Nuremburg Trials” by John and Ann Tusa) I read three very long books during the month. These were “Outlander” and “Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon which each had over 900 pages, and “Cold Days” by Jim Butcher which had over 600. The first two of these are time slip romances where Claire travels back in time to the Scotland of the Jacobite rebellion and falls in love with Jamie. I really enjoyed them and I have the rest of the books to read now – yes, they all seem to be as long. The Jim Butcher is one of his Harry Dresden series which have been getting longer with each volume. I highly recommend this series but do think that you ought to start with the first book “Storm Front”.

To balance these exceptionally long books I read a number of light romances this month. I am particularly enjoying Regency romances at present as they are feel good and easy to read after you ignore a few historical inaccuracies. They usually feature strong heroines. If you fancy having a go at this genre then I recommend Sarah Maclean, Elizabeth Hoyt, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Leonora Bell, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas and Courtney Milan.

Other feel good books I read this month and which also feature strong women characters included :

• “The Liar’s Daughter” by Laurie Graham – set in London in and around the Crimean War and with a woman who thinks that she is a natural daughter of Nelson. It is great fun but has lots of good social history too,

• “Dreamers of the Day” by Mary Doria Russell – set in Egypt immediately after WW1 around the treaties which set up the Middle East countries almost, but not quite, as we know them today. It is mostly, however, about a woman finding herself and refusing to be dictated to by others.

• “Stolen” by Kelley Armstrong – a reread of this instalment in her werewolf series which I enjoyed a lot

• “The House of Hopes and Dreams” by Trisha Ashley - a contemporary romance including an old house and stained glass making.

• “Nora Webster” by Colm Toibain – a story of a woman finding herself after the death of her husband and set in Ireland

• “Burn Bright” by Patricia Briggs – one of her werewolf books which I also loved

I mostly read novels and romances this month with many fewer crime novels, fantasy or non-fiction than I normally read.

The quirkiest book of the month for me was “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield which is a novel about books and authors with a gothic feel to it. I didn’t really enjoy it and I did reflect on how rarely I do enjoy books about books, bookshops and writing – I didn’t enjoy “Shadows of the Wind” or “The Book Thief” as much as others have, for example, although of course there is always a great favourite “84 Charing Cross Road” to balance that dislike !