March 2021 Reading: The Push; Call Me Mummy; Backstories; Little Bandaged Days; From My Balcony to Yours; Manipulated Lives; The Smash-Up; Bright Burning Things; My Brother the Messiah; What Beauty There Is

March has been a great month of reading. My reading pace seems pretty set at around 10 books a month – I do wish I could read more, just because I have so many amazing-sounding books on my TBR, but one of my intentions for this year was to focus less on numbers and more on quality, and that I have certainly achieved. I began this month with a really strong theme of dark books about motherhood, and that kind of continued throughout the month, interwoven with my usual fairly eclectic mix of books! Here’s a quick round-up of my March reading, with links to my full reviews should you care to read more!

The Push by Ashley Audrain (2021)

This novel is excellent. Compelling, disturbing, and sharp, it is a gripping read that had me holding my breath as I turned the pages. I highly recommend The Push if you like your books intelligently written and tinged with darkness. You can read my full review here.

Call Me Mummy by Tina Baker (2021)

I loved Call Me Mummy. It is so disturbing, but it is also surprisingly funny. The humour is dark, of course, but that’s my favourite type. My full review of this brilliant, terrifying book is here.

Backstories by Simon Van der Velde (2021)

This brilliant collection of short stories offers a unique reading experience. One not to be missed, I can see myself revisiting these stories often. You can read my full review here.

Little Bandaged Days by Kyra Wilder (2020)

The language in this portrait of a descent into madness is exquisite, and though it is not an easy book to read in terms of subject matter, I was completely absorbed by it. My full review of Little Bandaged Days is here.

From My Balcony to Yours by Nino Gugunishvili (2020)

This is the first book I have read which directly references the current pandemic. And yet, it is full of humour, uplifting anecdotes, and hope. It is a slim book, and a total joy. You can read my full review of this lovely book here.

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (2016)

I was on the Damp Pebbles blog tour for this interesting exploration of narcissistic personalities and manipulation. My full review of Manipulated Lives is here.

The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin (2021)

This was my second buddy read with the good people at riverrun books. It is always such a pleasure to chat with like-minded bookish folk, and we had so much fun delving into the complex, highly relevant issues explored in this novel. You can read my full review here.

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding (2021)

My final ‘dark side of motherhood’ book this month, and one that had a really strong emotional impact on me. You can read my full review of Bright Burning Things here.

My Brother the Messiah by Martin Vopenka translated by Anna Gustova Bryson (2021)

This book is a gem, a fascinating, surprisingly tender dystopian novel which places the focus firmly on the characters rather than the dystopia. The premise is incredibly powerful, and it’s executed brilliantly. You can read my full review here.

What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson (2021)

My final read of the month was something of a last-minute surprise – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I absolutely adored this book. It hits so many sweet spots for me as a reader – it is “Cormac McCarthy does YA” (meant as an enormous compliment!) and I can’t stop thinking about it. My review is out today as part of The Write Reads blog tour, and you can check it out here.

It has been another fabulous month for reading, and as always, I am SO grateful to the authors, publishers, publicists and blog tour organisers who have introduced me to such a range of fantastic books. I feel so lucky to be a part of the bookish community. I’d love to hear what you’ve enjoyed this month, so do comment below!

Happy reading!

Ellie x

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