What I’m Reading: March 2017 Book Recommendations

One of my favorite podcasts is What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel, the blogger behind Modern Mrs. Darcy. I’ve gotten so many wonderful book recommendations from Anne’s blog and her podcast does not disappoint. The only problem now is the length of my to-be-read list, but in my opinion, that’s a good problem to have 🙂

Four great book recommendations.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawlon

In 1930, New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater disappeared, never to be seen again. Each year on the anniversary of his disappearance, his widow, Stella, would raise a toast to him at a bar he frequented. Lawlon drew from the facts surrounding true events to create a fictionalized account of Crater’s mysterious disappearance. The story centers around the involvement of three women in Judge Crater’s life: his wife, Stella; their maid, Maria; and Crater’s showgirl mistress, Ritzy. Lawlon’s version of the events seem completely plausible and keep the reader guessing until the end about which of these women was actually involved in Crater’s disappearance. It moves at just the right speed, and I recommend it if you’re looking for a good who-dun-it.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

On the same night that famed actor Arthur Leander dies on stage, a flu pandemic begins to sweep through the world with terrifying speed. Twenty years later, a small group known as the Traveling Symphony moves from one small town to the next, performing Shakespeare and classical music for those who remain after the collapse of civilization. The story jumps around through time, weaving together the stories of several characters and providing glimpses of life before, during and after the pandemic. It’s a bit like the movie Crash meets The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Incidentally, I didn’t really enjoy either of those, but I liked this book. While the premise is unnerving, the narrative is hopeful rather than bleak and far more realistic than many other novels in the post-apocalypse genre.

On my nightstand

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I grabbed this book at a used bookstore, and I’m slowly wading through it. It’s been some time since a work of fiction challenged me as much as this one. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, and has just one job to perform: to provide children for the Commander to whom she has been assigned. Women are no longer allowed to read, to dress as they choose or to veer from the specific role which they have been given. Offred remembers her old life, her marriage, her child and the way it used to be. Atwood’s writing style is unique, and while I’m not far enough along to be completely gripped by the narrative, I’m so curious to learn more about how this extreme cultural shift took place.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

If you’ve read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, then you’re familiar with Semple’s wry sense of humor. I’ve laughed out loud multiple times since starting this book. The story follows Eleanor Flood, who vows that today will be the day she ceases to be such a hot mess. Her plan of action includes simple steps like showering, dressing nicely, and not swearing. But real life intervenes, as it always does amidst our best-laid plans. Hilariously honest and self-deprecating, Eleanor is a character that is simultaneously relatable and horrifying. I definitely recommend this one so far.

What are you reading this month?

*This post contains affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure statement here.

{Linking to Modern Mrs. Darcy}

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