Monthly TBRs

March Madness: Upcoming Reads

As March draws closer, I wonder to myself “where the hell did February go?!” I guess I can’t complain too much since this means that we are one step closer to spring.  The older I get, the harder winters in Ohio are becoming.  Yesterday was actually a beautiful, 60 degree, and sunny day, which is uncommon for Ohio in February.  I took advantage of the nice weather, and took the kids outside to play while I enjoyed a good book in the sunshine.

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Speaking of March, I have big plans for this month.  I have 6 books on the lineup…

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Click here to purchase Red Queen

 Book Synopsis for Red Queen (via amazon.com)

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard–a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

I am interested to see what the hype is all about with this book.  I don’t typically read YA or fantasy, but am curious to see if this ends up being another Twilight craze…


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Click here to purchase Rebel Queen

Book Synopsis for Rebel Queen (via amazon.com)

From the internationally bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter comes the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi—India’s Joan of Arc—who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male and one female—and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the unexpected perspective of Sita—Queen Lakshmi’s most favored companion and most trusted soldier in the all-female army—Rebel Queen shines a light on a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction. In the tradition of her bestselling novel, Nefertiti, and through her strong, independent heroines fighting to make their way in a male dominated world, Michelle Moran brings nineteenth-century India to rich, vibrant life.

I really hope this book will live up to my expectations.  A queen who raises an army of women AND rides into battle alongside them?  Yes, please!


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Click here to purchase The Queen of the Night

Book Synopsis for The Queen of the Night (via amazon.com)

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all. 

As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.  

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves ever closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation — or destroy her with the secrets it reveals. 
For one of my Goodreads book clubs, the March theme was “Making Music: Music and Musicians.”  I had come across this book on Goodreads and it intrigued me, so I nominated it as our March read.  Much to my surprise, it actually won in the group poll.  It is 576 pages, so hopefully it won’t end up being a flop… if so I may have a few hundred group members out for blood for wasting their time 🙂

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Book Synopsis for Dollbaby (via amazon.com)

A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets

When Ibby Bell’s father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throw

s in her father’s urn for good measure. Fannie’s New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been—and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum—is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie’s black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

For Fannie’s own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibby’s arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbaby’s hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places.

For fans of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The Help, Dollbaby brings to life the charm and unrest of 1960s New Orleans through the eyes of a young girl learning to understand race for the first time.

By turns uplifting and funny, poignant and full of verve, Dollbaby is a novel readers will take to their hearts.

I have heard good things about this book, so when a Goodreads partner for a March buddy read suggested it, I was game.

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Book Synopsis for Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History (via amazon.com)

The heist of the century!

Ten years before the recent Brussels diamond theft, daring diamond thieves made off with gems worth almost twice as much. On February 15, 2003, thieves broke into an allegedly airtight vault in Antwerp, never tripping an alarm, and made off with over $108 million worth of diamonds and other valuables.

Although the crime was perfect, the getaway was not. The police zeroed in on a band of professional thieves fronted by Leonardo Notarbartolo, a dapper Italian who had rented an office in the Diamond Center and clandestinely cased its vault for over two years.  The “who” of the crime had been answered, but the “how” remained a mystery.

Scott Andrew Selby, a Harvard Law grad and diamond expert, and Greg Campbell, author of Blood Diamonds, embarked on a global chase to uncover the true story behind the stunning heist. Tracking the threads of the crime throughout Europe—from Belgium to Italy, in seedy cafés and sleek diamond offices—the authors sorted through an array of conflicting details, divergent opinions and incongruous theories to put together the puzzle of what actually happened that Valentine’s Day weekend.

This real-life Ocean’s Eleven—a combination of diamond history, journalistic reportage, and riveting true-crime story—provides a thrilling in-depth study detailing the better-than-fiction heist of the century.

When my sister-in-law asked if I wanted to join her friend’s book club with her, I said “Absolutely!”  I have always wanted to be a part of a book club!  Sure, I belong to online book clubs via Goodreads, but it’s not the same.  When she told me this was the March read, my heart sank.  This book is WAY outside my comfort zone.  I never read non-fiction…. like ever.  I am going to have an open mind, and hope that my first official book club book will not bore me to tears…

What is on your to-read list for March?  Comment with your upcoming reads!

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14 thoughts on “March Madness: Upcoming Reads”

  1. Looks like a busy month of reading! Give your book club read a try – i find that my book club helps me to read things that i might not normally choose and often i end up liking them!! For March I am starting off by finishing the 2016 Canada Reads selections: Bone&Bread, Minister without a Portfolio and The Hero’s Walk (our book club for March is to pick one of these reads but I feel motivated to read them all – also included The Illegal and Birdie which I have finished) and need to read Yann Martel’s The High Mountains of Portugal and finish re-reading the Life of Pi before I meet the author. I also want to read Why I Jump which was recommended by my son who is a bit of a reluctant reader.

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    1. You are meeting Yann Martel?! How exciting!!! The Life of Pi is on my to read list, unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I have not heard of the other books on your list before… You will have to screen them for me and let me know which ones are worthy of the to-read list 🙂

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      1. yes – i am excited to meet him and think it will be very interesting discussion. most of the books are by Canadian authors this month so i am not sure how widely they are spread – The Illegal is by Lawrence Hill who also wrote the Book of Negroes which was made into a TV special (i have been very lucky with author events and met him recently also)

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      2. yes – i live about an hour west of Toronto where there are often great book events (Judy Blume was probably my most exciting one this year). Check out the publisher websites, they often add their events (and sometimes give free books at some events) or libraries which may host events also.

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    1. Wow! I am extremely impressed! I am currently reading The Painted Girls by Kathy Marie Buchanan. I would have loved to go to that event. Also, Jodi Picoult is a favorite author of mine… I’m very jealous right now!

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