Reading in March

13 April 2024


Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club - J. Ryan Stradel

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradel is a book I've thought about so many times since I read it last year. Quirky books about food is one of my favorite niche genres. I've been dying to read more from Stradel to see how he has grown as a writer since his debut, so when I found Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club at the library, I was very eager to start it. While the writing in this book was good, I unfortunately felt like it was lacking the charm that was so present in Kitchens of the Great Midwest. It focuses on heavier topics, which is fine, just not what I was prepared for going into this book. I was also hoping for more reflection on food and cooking, but there really wasn't a huge focus on food or the Supper Club despite the title. It's a perfectly good book on the complexities of mother/daughter relationships. It just fell a bit flat for me based on what I was expecting going into it.


Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert

I am a huge Dune fan! I love both movies and I loved reading the first book a couple years ago. With all the excitement around the release of the second movie last month I had to ride the Dune hype and pick up the sequel novel. I am always in awe of the incredible world building and themes Frank Herbert created in these books. The characters and their motivations are so complex and interesting. The sci-fi elements are so well explained that they feel so real. This installment was very different than the first book. It was way more retrospective than full of action. The characters spend a lot of time reflecting on consequences and manipulating politics, and a lot of the action seems to take place off the page. It's also much shorter than the first book, yet Herbert is still able to set up many new situations that will carry on through the rest of the series. It leans heavily into science fiction, embracing all the weird aspects Dune is known for. I didn't love this installment as much, but it satisfied the itch I had for more content in this world.


The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante

I have been waiting to read the second book in the Neapolitan Novels series for a vacation. This book seemed to practically be begging to be read on the beach, so that's exactly what I did. I packed this book with me when we went to Cancun. I read it on the plane. I read it sitting under the sun, listening to the waves. It was 100% worth it! The Neapolitan Novels feel like a hot, summer day in a book with the atmospheric, Italian setting, the beautiful writing of Elena Ferrante, and the drama of the character relationships. It was so good! I truly hate all the characters, but their situations are not black and white so it's still easy to root for them. It's like a train wreck you can't look away from, and by watching the characters grow since childhood you do become attached to them in a way. Of course, the ending is another huge cliff hanger, but I don't know if I'll be able to wait for my next vacation to pick up the next one.



What did you read in March? 

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