Book Chat

Reading Life: March 2020

Well, March sure took a sudden turn; it’s hard to believe that it was less than a month ago that everything seemed normal, and then our lives shifted seemingly overnight as the Covid-19 pandemic escalated around the world. We’ve been hunkered down at home since mid-March, trying to stay safe and isolated as much as possible. In some ways, not much has changed for me personally: I was already home with the kids full-time, and Sam was working from home a few days a week; but now we are all home all the time. No errands or school, work, play dates, etc. Staying home doesn’t necessarily equal more free time, since both the kids need a lot of attention all day long, but reading helps keep me sane.

Hope you are staying safe (& sane) during these challenging times!

This year I’m continuing to keep a physical journal chronicling my reads, and you can check out more photos on my Instagram account @ladykatiestitchery


March 2020 Thoughts


Snow and Rose, by Emily Winfield Martin

Start date: 2/21/2020
Finish date: 3/8/2020

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Source: Buy Olympia
5 stars

I love Emily Winfield Martin’s children’s lit and her retelling of Grimm’s “Snow White and Rose Red” is just as enchanting as I’d hoped.  I’m unfamiliar with the original fairy tale but I loved these two resourceful sisters exploring the mysteries of a magical forest.All the details were so charming, and the beautiful illustrations made it feel so special. I also loved that complex emotions like grief were explored, no easy feat for middle grade fiction. I can’t wait to read this aloud to Amelia and Jon in a few years!

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make Room for Happiness, by Gretchen Rubin

Start date: 3/9/2020
Finish date: 3/11/2020

Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Library
3 stars

“It’s deeply calming to see outer order emerge … the tangible sense of control, the relief from visual noise, the release from guilt and frustration … Creating order – even with things as mundane as socks or supplies – gives a disproportionate boost of energy and cheer. There’s so much we can’t control, but we can control our stuff.”

Gretchen Rubin is always reliable for practical advice and this is a nice collection of tips, if you need a burst of motivation to tackle clutter. There’s nothing groundbreaking, but you never know when a nugget that you’ve heard a million times before will spark an “aha” moment.

Writers and Lovers, by Lily King

Start date: 3/11/2020
Finish date: 3/20/2020

Genre: Fiction
Source: BOTM
5 stars

This is one of those novels where nothing really happens plot-wise, yet somehow it’s riveting and drops wisdom bombs every few pages, and by the end I knew and loved the main character even if I’ve never been a struggling writer dealing with grief and dating in 1997. The relationships and observations of life rang true, just the solid story I didn’t know I needed. I don’t know what else to say, other than: I need to read all of Lily King’s backlist pronto!

Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey

Start date: 3/21/2020
Finish date: 3/29/2020

Genre: Fiction
Source: Library
3 stars

Checks a lot of boxes that I love to read about: lady PI investigates a murder at a magical school teeming with adolescent angst. But I saw a lot of the twists coming a mile away and the ending left me ambivalent. It was still a compulsively readable genre-bending mystery, but I’m not sure how memorable.

Currently Reading:

Open Book, by Jessica Simpson

Start date: 3/1/2020
Genre: Memoir
Source: Instagram @eholmes and @kerrywinfrey

I love a good celebrity memoir, especially in times of stress such as these, and this one was recommended all over the internet.

The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

Start date: 3/30/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: New Release

l’ve had this one waiting in the wings since picking it up in a bookstore. I love a good family saga, and Patchett is one of the best.

A new addition for 2020:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has an amazing program that sends a free book to every child in Tennessee every month from birth to five years old. It’s such an incredible concept, and we’ve been enjoying Amelia’s books for three years. So many of our new favorite stories have come from this program, and now that Jon has joined too, I want to highlight the books we receive this year so I can remember the new books added to our library. Three cheers for Dolly Parton!

For Jon:

The Pudgy Where is Your Nose? Book, by Laura Rader

A sweet book that Amelia enjoyed reading along with Jon, pointing to all his body parts.

For Amelia:

Milo’s Hat Trick by Jon Agee

A silly story about a magician and a bear whose magic trick doesn’t go as planned. A bit over Amelia’s head at this point, but we’ll keep trying.

Books read in March: 4
Books read in 2020: 10
Currently reading: 2

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the third month of 2020!


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3 thoughts on “Reading Life: March 2020

  1. I agree with your thoughts about Outer Order, Inner Calm — and I loved it even without anything groundbreaking. It’s so nice to feel like I’m not the only one who goes crazy around clutter!


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