Month in Review: March 2024

Before looking back on last month’s reading, I want to point to this month’s giveaway of my book, When Fragments Make a Whole: Click here to learn more and enter.

Literature

In March, I enjoyed books by two new favorite authors. Abraham Verghese is a doctor-turned-novelist who writes long but gripping stories. And after working my way through all of Dani Shapiro’s memoirs, I’ve now sampled some of her fiction. (So far, I prefer the memoirs, but I’d try another novel.)

Revisiting old favorite authors is always lovely as well, of course … such as Willa Cather and Diana Wynne Jones, two of the best. Thanks to Calmgrove for keeping the March Magics event going — I was glad to see more bloggers are reading DWJ for the first time, to revisit one book I’d only read once myself, and even to link to an interview by my son.

Books read in March:

Other bookish posts this month:

Language

I’ve added a couple of English students to my schedule and enjoy reading books with them. One advanced student allowed me to press My Antonia on her, even though it was not her usual kind of thing. (She prefers Poe, Lovecraft, and such.) But she did enjoy it, to her surprise. I reread it myself and found that we responded to the same things: the characters, the sense of place, and the beautiful language.

My student wondered why she’d never heard of Cather, and I agree it’s a shame she’s not better known. I try to do my small part by encouraging English learners to give her a try. I’d rather read her than Hemingway any day, myself.

Life

There’s still snow in the higher reaches of the Alps here, and my husband wanted to take advantage of our spring vacation to go skiing. We drove to Grindelwald and from there took a super-speedy gondola that whisked us to the slopes near the north face of the Eiger. It was a lovely day! I even ventured to do some walking on the groomed hiking paths.

Maybe I had too much time on my hands in vacation, because I decided to start a new Substack newsletter, Healing Stories and Sacred Songs. I enjoy recommending some of my favorite writing to be found on the internet, as well as quotes from my reading. I hope to add more resources for contemplative reading and writing in the future. Check it out if you’d like!

Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Sunday Salon at Readerbuzz, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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19 thoughts on “Month in Review: March 2024

  1. What an action-packed month in language, literature and life! (Love the headings, by the way.) I’m glad you joined in with March Magics, of course, but impressed you’ve got your book published. Good luck with its success! šŸ™‚

    Skiing is something I still miss ā€“ we haven’t been for over a decade, certainly not after the disastrous ‘debates’ and subsequent debacle of Brexit, but I still hanker after the cool freshness of air and snow combined with the near blinding sunshine you get at higher altitudes. And the feeling of flying down the slopes…

    1. It’s a special experience, for sure. I never learned to ski and decided not to try to start at my age, so I can only enjoy that landscape as a walker. Although at Grindelwald they also had paths for sledding, and I might give that a try sometime.

  2. A wonderful month, Lory; Glad to see your thoughts on Verghese an author I’ve heard of but not read–the medical stuff will probably make me squeamish. I’ve also not read enough Cather. Looking forward to Reading the Theatre!

    1. They are probably the most medically explicit books I’ve ever read. So not for the squeamish, but incredibly informative.

  3. I’m glad you liked the Abraham Verghese books. I remember enjoying Cutting for Stone a few years ago, so I really should read The Covenant of Water!

  4. Congratulations on the publication of your book – it’s always a special time:)). And I’m so impressed at your intrepid mountain walking! I also love a lot of Diana Wynne Jones’ books:)). Have a great week, Lory.

    1. Thanks, those are some of my favorite things so it’s nice that we have those interests in common.

  5. Skiing in the Alps sounds marvelous, even if I haven’t skied in decades. I’m glad you enjoyed rereading Enchanted Class; I read it 15 years ago (or thereabouts) and enjoyed it very much.

    1. I liked it but found it a bit sketchy. I wanted to know more about the glass, in particular… however, it’s always a joy to read DWJ.

  6. You had a fantastic month. I don’t know how I missed March Magics, but it is an event I’d like to participate in some time in the future. I’m curious about Circle of Hope. I will look to see if I can find out more about it.

    1. Circle of Hope was interesting though not a very uplifting read. It’s sad that such idealistic people could not work together.

  7. My book group is reading The Covenant of Water this month. I have read one page and am not sure I can stomach this child’s marriage and whatever follows. However, I have two plane trips next week so I am planning to bring it with me.

    1. The child marriage turns out not to be the most difficult part to stomach — her husband is a good man, though one is not quite sure of that at first. I hope the book captures you as it did me.

  8. I’ve been wondering about whether or not to invest time in The Covenant of Water. I’m currently reading The Latecomer which is 437 pages. Part of me loves the thickness and mystery of a long novel. But another part of me wants to make sure ahead of time that it’s going to be good! šŸ™‚ Thanks for linking to your review. It sounds like it’s safe to add it to my to-read list.

    1. I found it absorbing! Not an easy read, because there are plenty of bad things that happen. But the family survives through it all, and that gives one a sense of human resilience as well as the evil that happens through human agency.

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