I know, I know, March isn’t over yet. The reason I am wriring this post now is that I started reading Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris last night, and being a big 600-page book there’s no way I’m gonna finish it before Sunday. So here we are 🙂
March was a great month for reading. I don’t think I have ever read these many books in just a month, and the reason why it happened is… I discovered the incredible world of audiobooks. One day I decided to start my free trial period on Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service, and I literally fell in love. I will write a different post on why audiobooks are the best thing ever and why you should definitely give them a go, but for now let’s just say they gave me the opportunity to be almost constantly reading or listening to stories, even while I was busy doing other things. And it’s just so good and relaxing.
But now, let’s move onto the books I have actually ticked off my TBR list. I won’t spoil anything of the plot, and I will only give a brief opinion as I hope to write proper reviews on them soon!
[Note: I listen to audiobooks in Italian, my native language. The quality of audiobooks depends a lot on how good the narrator is, so when I mention I loved a certain audiobook, please keep in mind it might be different in another language]
1. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor: as I mentioned in my previous posts, I read Strange the dreamer in February and absolutely loved it, so I bought the sequel straight away. To be honest, I struggled a bit more to get through Muse of Nightmares, but probably only because the two books together count up to 1050 pages, and after 800 I started feeling like the story would never end peacefully 😅 nonetheless, this saga is magnificent, and it has made me find interest again in a genre – fantasy – I don’t normally dive into.
2. White nights by Fedor Dostoevskij: do I need to say anything about this? Yes, one thing: why did I only pick it up now?! Dostoevskij needs no introduction, but this short novel is such a gem and I would definitely recommend it to everyone, especially if you’ve never read XIX century Russian literature and would like to start from something relatively easy. Also, the first chapter is… one of the best first chapters I have ever read. This will sound weird, but it’s true: I kept smiling while reading it. God bless the Russians 🙈
3. Seven brief lessons on physics by Carlo Rovelli: this is something I never thought I’d read, but I’m glad I did! I listened to the audiobook (in italian, it’s read by Carlo Rovelli himself) and it was extremely interesting. I am hopeless at science, but this little book gave a nice insight on some of the most famous topics of physics (what are black holes? what’s Einstein’s theory of relativity?) while making them very easy to understand. Of course, it won’t make you an expert, but better than nothing, right?
4. Lid of the sea by Banana Yoshimoto: to be completely honest, I think this was my favourite book among the ones I read this month. And it’s funny, brcause the story is so… simple, almost plain, and nothing really happens. I think this was actually what I loved about it, and the audiobook probably played a big role: the narrator is exceptional, her voice so warm and relaxing that listening to the story felt like a cosy hug.
5. Il piccolo libraio di Arkhangelsk by Georges Simenon: I wanted to read something by Simenon for a while, and when I saw there was an audiobook for this I decided to download it. It was… okay, I suppose. It was good, but not enough to give me an idea on how much I like his writing. The story was actually completely different than what I expected (which is not a bad thing, of course!). I will definitely check out more of his novels in the future.
6. Andromeda Heights by Banana Yoshimoto: I think I am going to download all the Banana Yoshimoto audiobooks, both because I like her novels and because I love the narrator 😅 Andromeda Heights was also super relaxing to listen to, although I think plot-wise I liked Lid of the sea better!
7. The country of last things by Paul Auster: I can’t believe it took me so long to read my very first Paul Auster novel, but wow. This was brutal, cruel, and it felt like being punched in the stomach at every page. But it was incredibly well written, and incredibly… good. Definitely not something you’d read as a goodnight story, but something you need to read to think about life, society, people. Who we are and what we believe in and what’s really important.
March was overall a really good month, where not only I read books I was wanting to read for a long time, but also books I never thought I would. Hopefully April will be just as productive and full of stories!