March is coming to an end, so it’s time to do my March 2023 wrap up. I read one physical book this month, and the rest were audiobooks. And I enjoyed most of them. So, let’s wrap up March.
In Cold Blood
With the publication of this book, Capote permanently ripped through the barrier separating crime reportage from serious literature. As he reconstructs the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, Capote generates suspense and empathy.
My Rating: 4/5
My Thoughts: I enjoyed In Cold Blood. There were a few times that the story felt a little enhanced, but overall, it was a solid true crime story.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Armed with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre, Caitlin Doughty took a job at a crematory and turned morbid curiosity into her life’s work. She cared for bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, and became an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. In this best-selling memoir, brimming with gallows humor and vivid characters, she marvels at the gruesome history of undertaking and relates her unique coming-of-age story with bold curiosity and mordant wit.
My Rating: 5/5
My Thoughts: I can’t believe how much I enjoyed Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. I was a little worried that it would be too depressing, but somehow it wasn’t. It had poignant moments that were broken up by her unique sense of humor. Plus, there were some really great life discussions thrown in.
Escape from Camp 14
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence–he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
My Rating: 3/5
My Thoughts: I feel bad rating someone’s life story, especially when there has been a lot of hardship. But the reason I’m rating it is because of the authors technique and the audiobook quality. The audiobook absolutely drove me crazy. It would be in the middle of a sentence and the audio quality would change. And there were several times that it sounded like it switched narrators mid-sentence. Half of the book was like this, and it was so distracting. And I wasn’t a fan of the authors writing. The way he wrote, plus the audio blunders, made it almost impossible to connect with this story.
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic
The most terrifying events in history are brought vividly to life in this New York Times-bestselling series Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck — he and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.
My Rating: 5/5
My Thoughts: Sometimes it’s nice to read a children’s book. And I absolutely loved this one. It was well researched, but there were enough elements in it to keep a kid interested. This was a great read.
A Night to Remember
A Night to Remember remains a completely riveting account of the Titanic’s fatal collision and the behavior of the passengers and crew, both noble and ignominious. Some sacrificed their lives, while others fought like animals for their own survival. Wives beseeched husbands to join them in lifeboats; gentlemen went taut-lipped to their deaths in full evening dress; and hundreds of steerage passengers, trapped below decks, sought help in vain.
Available for the first time in trade paperback and with a new introduction for the 50th anniversary edition by Nathaniel Phil-brick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Sea of Glory, Walter Lord’s classic minute-by-minute re-creation is as vivid now as it was upon first publication fifty years ago. From the initial distress flares to the struggles of those left adrift for hours in freezing waters, this semicentennial edition brings that moonlit night in 1912 to life for a new generation of readers.
My Rating: 5/5
My Thoughts: Since I enjoyed I Survived the Titanic so much, I decided to listen to more books about the Titanic. And I’m so glad I stumbled across this one. There was a lot of information that I hadn’t heard before, and it was presented in an interesting way.
The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants–rather than the BFG–she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her.
My Rating: 5/5
My Thoughts: I loved The BFG. I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. Roald Dahl’s writing continues to impress me. He has some of the most whimsical stories. There’s a reason that they’re classics. They really hold up to the test of time.
Dalinar and the Alethi forces take refuge in the legendary tower city of Urithiru, once home to the lost Knights Radiant. There, he and the newly raised Radiants must explore the mysteries of the legendary city to understand and train their powers. In doing so they must also face long-lost truths that could upend everything they think they know.
Humanity faces a new Desolation, and with the return of the Voidbringers, an enemy as great in number as in their thirst for vengeance, the world of Roshar will never be the same. Unless the nations unite behind Dalinar, putting aside his blood-soaked past, even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.
My Rating: 4/5
My Thoughts: Coming Soon
So that’s my March 2023 wrap up. What did you read this month?