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It’s looking like I am going to reach my reading challenge well before the end of 2020. While I didn’t read as many books in March as I did in January and February, I did manage to read six books before the month ended. I enjoyed a wide array of books this month, including a collection of essays, a Greek tragedy, young adult fiction, and an audio book.
The Joys of Travel
I actually started reading this book at the end of February after getting back from Bali. The book started with short essays about the various joys of travel in section one, and section two consists of personal travel essays that corresponded to each of the joys of traveling.
While parts of this book were slow-moving, I enjoyed the story overall. The author lived as an expat for many years, working abroad and traveling before repatriating many years later. While this book may not interest someone who cannot connect to the content personally, I really enjoyed it as a read right after a wonderful trip abroad.
I had to read Antigone for graduate school. While I never read Antigone before, I did have to read Oedipus Rex in 10th grade. I didn’t really vibe with Oedipus when I was 16, but would probably really enjoy it now. Antigone was a great play. I particularly enjoyed the virtual in-class discussions that were held in regard to major themes of the text.
The Last Letter
I wanted to read some historical fiction this month after getting the second book in this series for free. The plot was pretty slow moving, and some really awful things keep happening to this poor family, but it wasn’t a terrible book. I’ll still read the next one, but depending on how much I like that one, I may or may not finish the trilogy. Perhaps frontier isn’t my sub-genre of historical fiction.
All the Bright Places
I bought this book immediately after watching the movie on Netflix. I still love YA fiction, and the movie was a real tearjerker. After finishing the movie, I read online that the book goes into more character detail and their mental illnesses. Because I loved the movie so much, I wanted to know more. There were definitely some things in the movie I liked better, like the opening scene. But for the most part, the book was really wonderful, with a lot more detail. Although the casting didn’t necessarily stay true to the book, I thought the movie cast was brilliant.
If you liked the Netflix movie, I definitely recommend reading this book.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Yes! My favorite book in the Harry Potter series. Order of the Phoenix was my favorite book in the series the first time around, and continues to be today. There’s a lot of conflict in this one, including the day-to-day drama of growing up.
When I was younger, I never realized just how horrible Umbridge was. But this lady is VILE. I can’t even begin to explain just how terrible she is.
Other aspects of this book I love are the way students band together to rebel against Umbridge, Ron’s rise as a Quidditch star, and the development and dissolution of romantic relationships.
Audible has released some free audio books for anyone who wants something to listen to during the pandemic. There’s a great selection of classic novels, as well as a huge selection of children’s books and books for teens. I decided to listen to The Metamorphosis because it was pretty short, and it kept popping up. The story was interesting, and I was expecting some sort of resolution that never really seemed to come. There’s definitely a lot to unpack with this novella. It’s the kind of book I would absolutely love to study in a literature course. But since I listened for fun, I won’t go into textual analysis beyond reading about the major themes.