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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Hodgson

March reflections


March has zipped by in a blur of busyness and spring is now officially underway. (I very much follow the astronomical seasons so always count the spring equinox as the official start of the season.) 


At the start of the month I hosted a panel discussion at my local bookshop as part of the town’s literary festival and had an absolutely wonderful time; all three of the authors were fantastic to talk with. 


I find these things simultaneously exhilarating and nerve-wracking. As a self-confessed introvert, it may be a little odd that I find public speaking far less daunting than many other social situations. It’s another thing that I should really thank reading for. I was a fairly confident reader as a 4 year old starting primary school which meant that I was less concerned with reading aloud than many of my classmates. Whenever an event called for a narrator, I was usually top of the list of volunteers and so standing in front of an audience became a semi-regular occurrence throughout those years. March has also seen World Book Day celebrated and, when I consider this and the myriad of other ways that reading has positively impacted my life, it makes me even more passionate about the aims of that day. 



What I’ve been reading 


Verge by Nadia Attia

An extraordinary debut that blends horror, folklore and magical realism with a sprinkle of dystopia. We go on this journey with our protagonists and the atmosphere is delightfully fraught throughout. 


Lies we Sing to the Sea by Sarah Underwood 

This debut novel has been described as a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey but it’s more like Odyssey: The Sequel!  as it looks at what happens after Odysseus returns to Ithaca and has his wife’s handmaidens hanged for treason. Some really difficult themes are handled with care and consideration and the ending was perfect for a tale in the Greek tradition. 


Bride by Ali Hazelwood 

It’s not really too like me to pick up a hyped book purely based on the hype; this author’s usual science-themed books aren’t my thing but vampire and werewolf stories definitely are! The world-building was solid and I liked that the approach was more scientific than supernatural. Slightly unhinged but it absolutely worked.


The No-Show by Beth O’Leary 

A surprisingly emotional read from a heavyweight of the romcom genre. I think this story has more heart, but fewer laughs, than the previous couple of books I’ve read from this author. This was an audiobook and the voice cast were superb. 


Done and Dusted by Lyla Sage 

I think this was my first cowboy romance! If you know me at all, then I know I have a longstanding love affair with the American West so it was probably a foregone conclusion that I’d pick one of these up. Other than a couple of eye roll tropes, this was a quick, fun and spicy read.


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir 

Another dose of sci-fi perfection from Andy Weir. The science is well-grounded yet easy to understand for us non science-types, the narrative voice is conversational and entertaining and the story line is, quite literally, out of this world. It really made me want to reread The Martian


Flawless by Elsie Silver 

Apparently now I’m a bit basic for cowboy romances as I raced through this one in record time! Set in Canada, the small town vibes were strong and I did quite enjoy the wider storylines for both of our central characters. It’s an easy book to pick up and put down as and when you need to as it’s an easy read, I will no doubt be making my way through the other books in the series for some light reading! 


What I’ve been listening to

This is Taylor’s world and we’re all just living in it. Yes, I am still in the grips of Swift-fever as we hit the 100 days mark to the Eras tour coming to Europe. We were originally going to see her Dublin, but then I got tickets for Wembley which will be much easier and much, much cheaper to get to. More money for the merchandise! 


What I’ve been watching

As you might have gathered from my previous posts, I’m very into re-watching shows I love rather than anything brand new! This month is no exception and we have been revisiting White Collar. This is such a fun and slick police procedural and I am enjoying it just as much the second time around. 


I also popped to the theatre at the start of the month to see the production of The Picture of Dorian Gray that’s currently on at the Haymarket Theatre. I had no idea what to expect but it was absolutely fantastic. It's showing until 11th May and, if you can grab a ticket, then you will not regret it.


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