The beginning of Spring was a good period for reading. From mid-February to mid-March I read 4 books – from dystopia to historical fiction, from classic Toni Morrison to contemporary Yaa Gyasi and Elif Shafak. This month was also rich in terms of geographical locations: Ghana, England, and Turkey, among others.

Currently reading

I am reading The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Darรฉ. It tells the story of a young girl from Nigeria called Adunni and her journey to escape poverty and get educated. That’s all I know about the story. I read only 30-ish pages and it’s a captivating read so far.

I heard about this book from Lisa from ANZ Lit Lovers – check out her amazing blog for lovers of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction.

In parallel I am also reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It is a journey into the long history of the disease, an inquiry from multiple points of view: medical, biological, historical, and societal. The book was awarded the Non-Fiction Pulitzer Prize in 2011.

I do not plan to read this book from cover to cover. I became interested in this topic through an unfortunate event, and I find it fascinating that, despite the enormous breakthroughs, our understanding of cancer is still not strong enough to significantly increase the chances for the cure.

Finished reading

First I finished Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (my review). It tells the story of Gifty, a young neuroscientist who studies reward-seeking behaviour. She has Ghanian heritage, but was born after her family relocated from Ghana to the USA. The story of Gifty and her family is heartbreaking, illustrating how mental health issues take a toll on the whole family.

The next read was Beloved by Toni Morrisson. I picked up this book driven by curiosity, with no expectations. It is a daunting story of a family of former slaves whose home is haunted by a ghost … and it was inspired by a newspaper article called “A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed Her Child” from 1850s. While I enjoyed the story, it was a difficult book to read from the narrative and language perspectives.

For the #ReadChristie2021 challenge I started reading Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie. It is a collection of short stories featuring Mr Parker Pyne – a witty man who makes people happy ๐Ÿ™‚ I read about 25% of it and I liked it, only that I was not in the mood for short stories at that time. So I put it back on the shelf and picked a more challenging book …

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (my review). It is a frightening dystopian story about an island controlled by the Memory Police. They are in charge of what people remember, what objects are burnt and forgotten … a thought-provoking story that reminded me of 1984 by George Orwell and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (my review).

The next book was The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. I started reading this book with no prior information … and I’m happy I did that, because I was so pleasantly surprised! Two stories are told in parallel – a (historical fiction) story of mystic friendship from the 13th century, and an unusual love story from the 21st century. I can imagine reading this book during a relaxing holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

Reading next

I hope to pick up The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie – my choice for the March theme of #ReadChristie2021: “a story starring a society figure”. I first heard about this story from fellow blogger Vijayashree.

I am also planning to read 2 e-ARCs that will be published in April: Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur and The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip William. These are 2 books I requested via NetGalley and I am so very curious to read them!

What are you reading in March? Please share your excitement about your current reads, I’m sure you’re reading amazing books!

‘Till next time … happy reading!


Cover photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “What I’m reading in March 2021: from classic Toni Morrison to contemporary Yaa Gyasi and Elif Shafak

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