March 2019 Reading List
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
I’ve been a little ambitious with my March 2019 reading list. There are a lot of new releases coming this spring that I’m anticipating, so I’m hoping to squeeze them in this month.
All of the books I plan to read this month are April 2019 new releases and I’m anticipating all of them–it’s hard to choose where to start!
A few of these are a bit of risk; the style or the topic don’t necessarily seem like a usual read for me.
I do like trying new things and branching out in new directions in my reading, though, so I’m going to give them a shot.
I’ve definitely been trying to get better about putting down books that aren’t working for me and moving on to find something better, so I won’t hesitate to DNF if necessary.
Nonetheless, I have high hopes that at least a few of these will be winners, and hopefully I’ll find some great new authors and maybe some candidates for my best books of 2019.
Here’s what I’m planning to read this month–reviews to come ASAP so you can decide which of these April releases you want to read.
March 2019 Reading List
Boy Swallows Universe: A Novel
A coming-of-age story set in 1980s Australia, this book follows 12-year-old Eli as he encounters drug dealers, works toward a journalism career, and tries to save his imprisoned mother. With comparisons to John Boyne and Fredrik Backman, this is a debut novel I had to check out.
If it lives up to the comparisons, it promises to be full of heart and memorable characters. Ratings on Goodreads are extremely high (4.5), with a lot of ratings since this was already released in Australia, so I have high hopes for a 5-star read.
Update: I LOVED Boy Swallows Universe. Read my full review and more March 2019 book reviews.
Lights All Night Long: A Novel
Another debut novel, with similar themes of family, drugs, and prison, Lights All Night Long follows 15-year-old Ilya on his year abroad in America. But when his older brother, Vladimir, left behind in Russia, falls into addiction and is accused of three murders, Ilya embarks on a mission to prove his innocence.
This has been blurbed by some heavy-hitters, including Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master’s Son–one of my favorites), which isn’t always a reliable indicator of how well I’ll like it, but is still attention-getting. I have high hopes for this one as well, but with its similar themes to Boy Swallows Universe, I’ll definitely have to read them separately.
A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: A Novel
I’ve never read Ann Beattie, but this is her 21st novel and she has a storied literary career. Normally, I might try an established author’s previous offerings, but with the boarding school setting and charismatic teacher whose presence unnerves a former student later in life, this had echoes of other books I’ve loved (including The Secret History).
I haven’t heard much about this book yet, but I’m eager to find out if Ann Beattie’s style works for me. If it does, I could be in for some excellent backlist reading.
Feast Your Eyes: A Novel
This book about a young female photographer in 1950s New York promises to be a unique read. Lillian causes a stir when partially nude photos of herself with her daughter are shown in an exhibit.
Framed as the catalogue notes from a show at the MOMA, snippets of memories from her daughter, as well as interviews, letters, and journals piece together a portrait of an artist struggling to balance her ambition and motherhood with critical eyes upon her. The premise is intriguing, but I’ll be interested to see if the structure works for me.
Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World
Wayfinding isn’t a typical nonfiction read for me–I tend to prefer memoir–but the description caught my attention with its overlapping topics of navigation, memory, storytelling, and the importance of place to our humanity. This is an exploration of the origins of navigation and the ways the cognitive mapping skills affect our brains.
I am hopeful the few reviews I’ve seen hold true and that the author manages to turn what could be a dry topic into a compelling narrative.
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters: A Novel
I missed this author’s 2017 release Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (a Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection) but have several reader friends who enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give this family drama a look.
The three British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters–very different from one another, and not very close–promise their dying mother to journey to India to perform her last rites. What follows promises to be a funny and uplifting journey of discovery and sisterhood.
Park Avenue Summer
I am here for more historical fiction books about strong, interesting women, and this book, hailed as “Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada,” takes us into the back rooms at Cosmopolitan as a brazen new editorial voice pushes against the mores of the 1960s.
We follow fictional assistant Alice in her work for real-life Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown–the magazine’s first female editor-in-chief–who pushes boundaries to bring the magazine back to life.
What are you reading in March? And what April new releases are you anticipating?
You Might Also Like:
Mini Reviews of Recent Reads: March 2019
March 2019 book reviews, including The Altruists, Tomorrow There Will Be Sun, On the Come Up, Once Upon a River, and Boy Swallows Universe, plus adult and middle grade audiobooks.
Mini Reviews of Recent Reads: February 2019
February 2019 Book Reviews, including The Familiars, The Suspect, Becoming, My Flag Grew Stars, How to Be Loved, This Messy Magnificent Life, My Sister the Serial Killer, Winter Storms, and Winter Solstice.
February 2019 Reading List
The books on my February 2019 reading list, including The Altruists, Tomorrow There Will Be Sun, The Suspect, Once Upon a River, and Calypso.
Oooh – Park Avenue Summer sounds like it could be good – will be interested to hear your thoughts!
And – curious about Boy Swallows Universe…any John Boyne comparison gets me immediately!
Yes, it sounds fun! I hope it’s good.
So far so good on Boy Swallows Universe, though the style is a little different from Boyne. Still reserving judgment!
Boy Swallows Universe…John Boyne comparison? Yes, please!
Right? So far it’s excellent, but I’m only about 60% through. We’ll see how it goes!
I hadn’t even heard of Park Avenue Summer, but it does looks fun. I have Lights All Night Long, too and am sort of nervous about it. I may let you vet it for me.
I kind of wish the Boy Swallows Universe and Lights All Night long weren’t released at the same time–that puts them right next to one another in my reading, and the themes are so similar. I usually try not to read similar books back-to-back.
I’m looking forward to Park Avenue Summer!
I haven’t heard of ANY of these, so I’m excited to see what you think! Did you get ARCs of them, then? (Because if I understood correctly, these are all books coming out in April?)
My reading has been all over the place lately, but I’ve been heavy into nonfiction, though just because it’s the only kind of book I prefer to read on a tablet (which is what I read on while nursing the baby). Because I haven’t been sleeping well at night (or, better said, my baby doesn’t sleep well…), I feel like my erratic schedule makes it super hard to read like I’m used to. But I’m excited to hopefully get back into my old groove in a few months! (Because surely my son has GOT to start sleeping better soon…right?!)
Yes, these are all ARCs coming out in April–unusual for me to have so many in one month.
Oh no on baby not sleeping! I’ve been there. If you don’t already have one, an e-reader or tablet cover that folds out to an easel is a lifesaver. I read SO much while nursing babies and the hands-free aspect was a big part of it 🙂 He will sleep someday, but I know how hard it is when he’s not. Hang in there!
I’m most curious what you’ll think of Wayfinding. It does sound like a rather dull topic, but if there are already great reviews out there it could be an unlikely gem!
I really hope so! I’m not very good with nonfiction, but the topic does intrigue me. I have a pretty bad sense of direction, but I relate to the concept of strong connections to place. We’ll see how it goes 🙂
Wow, you have some really awesome reads lined up! I hadn’t heard of Boys Swallows Universe, but it sounds interesting and the good ratings are promising! Can’t wait to hear what you think. Park Avenue Summer is on my radar, and it sounds like it might be similar to Feast Your Eyes – I’ll have to check them both out.
So far I’m loving Boy Swallows Universe, though it’s very different. I hope the ending holds up.
I’m actually wondering if Feast Your Eyes might be like Daisy Jones and the Six. I think they are both told through snippets of interviews, letters, etc.
Oooh! I haven’t heard of any of these. I’ll have to look into them! Happy reading!