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March 2020 Reading Round Up

March has been a month, hasn’t it! We’re just into our second week of lockdown here and my house has been in self-isolation for almost three. I like being indoors during winter as I’m not a cold weather person at all, but I do miss being able to go out and about as spring arrives. We had one day without the internet working and that was difficult; being able to be online really helps. The initial poor response by our government led, the day after they essentially announced they weren’t going to do anything, to a massive number of people deciding they would stay home, so the lockdown, when it came, was more relief than anything. And now here we are.

I haven’t read all that much; I’ve been reading for podcasts but I’ve still some to finish – anyone else finding it difficult to concentrate? My guess is it’ll be easier as lockdown becomes more and more normal. Given the number of good things that have happened during this awful time – wages paid by the government; lots of kindness; a more socialist idea of society; the environment! – I do wonder if it would be difficult, especially the more this whole thing continues, to go back to normal life without that ‘old’ normal being changed somehow.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Caroline Lea: When The Sky Fell Apart – A group of residents live through the Nazi occupation of Jersey. A great, if harrowing, book.

Laura Pearson: I Wanted You To Know – A young mother is diagnosed with cancer and as she struggles through the changes to her world and future she writes letters to her daughter for the girl to read after she is gone, making preparations and healing relationships beforehand. An incredibly emotional read; difficult but important.

Weike Wang: Chemistry – The unnamed narrator has been proposed to by her boyfriend twice and can’t find it within herself to say yes; there’s a lot of confusion – she’s struggling with her PhD and is unconsciously still suffering from the neglect of her parents. A search for identity where the reader is more privy than the character, this is an excellent book full of vignettes, humour, and boasts an interesting writing style.

I haven’t a favourite this month; I appreciated all of them. I’m currently reading Dan Richards’ Outpost, where the author travels the globe to explore isolated stopovers for those walking in the wilderness (accidentally perfect timing), Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar Of Wakefield which is very funny, and Caroline Lea’s second novel The Glass Woman which is set in 1600s Iceland and currently seems to have a woman in the attic thing going on – very intriguing.

What are you reading, how are you, and how are you keeping busy where you are?


Freda Mans-Labianca

April 1, 2020, 4:18 pm

I’m reading more, which is odd cause I’m an essential worker. I look forward to the end of it all.
Happy April, stay safe!


April 1, 2020, 6:11 pm

The first of these appeals to me the most, though I’m sure it’s a difficult read in places.

I managed to read a fair amount this month, but find it more difficult to concentrate. I don’t do well with this kind of uncertainly.


April 2, 2020, 8:20 pm

Charlie, you are certainly not the only one, I have found it hard to concentrate on my reading, too. I have managed to escape it to a couple of great books though: The Poison Bed by E. C. Fremantle and The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale. Happy reading in April. :-)

Andrew Blackman

April 16, 2020, 8:47 pm

Here’s to more socialism, kindness and environmental protection! The rich and powerful, however, have a way of twisting things around to suit them and convincing the rest of us to agree, so we’ll have to be vigilant. It’s astonishing to me that the UK government’s slow response has cost thousands of lives, but Johnson still has broad support. Can you imagine the headlines if Corbyn had presided over the same mess? Anyway, glad you’re doing OK, Charlie. I am too, and I’ve had the opposite reaction – I’ve been reading like crazy! I felt quite overwhelmed early on, and reading gave me more of a sense of normality.



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