What I Read: March 2019

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I can’t believe another reading month is behind us. Here are the seven books I read in March 2019:

Family Trust by Kathy Wang–Stanley Huang is dying. The question now is who is going to inherit his fortune? His second wife or his children from his first marriage? Complications ensue when Stanley’s family begins to suspect he doesn’t have any money at all. Good family saga, set in Silicon Valley, about a Chinese-American family coming to terms with their own mortality.

My Pitch: If your rich dad is dying, hurry up and visit. 

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The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman–I think Lolita is a masterpiece, but I’m conflicted about that opinion because it’s a book about a grown man who assaults a child. Can I love a book about something so horrific? I haven’t found a satisfactory answer yet, but I am glad I read this nonfiction book about Nabokov and the true story that inspired Lolita. Sally Horner deserves to be remembered in her own right.

My Pitch: Sally Horner deserves her own crime podcast.

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The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar–Jonah Hancock is an unhappy widower and merchant who has come into possession of a mermaid corpse. That coveted mermaid leads him to the lauded courtesan Angelica Neal, a woman he dearly wants to make his wife. Set in the late eighteenth century, this historical novel is excellent from beginning to end.

My Pitch: Mermaids are always bad luck.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones–Adam and Emily are the perfect couple, but Adam’s mother Pammie is the mother-in-law from hell. I guessed the twist ending–and it’s a bit contrived–but it’s still fun to read about all the ways Pammie inserts her monstrous self into her son’s marriage. I read this over Spring Break, and it was perfect for vacation. It didn’t tax my brain in the slightest–and that’s a compliment!

My Pitch: Don’t forget: You are marrying his mother too.

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The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump by Michiko Kakutani–I’ve read enough of Kakutani’s New York Times book reviews to know that she’s cranky. Rightfully so, given the era we’re living in. I agreed with almost everything she says here about truth (and the lack of it in civic discourse), but it felt more like reading a blog post that summarized the state of world affairs. The writing is elegant, and I do hope she writes more books.

My Pitch: The death of critical thinking is the death of reason is the death of truth. Good luck, us.

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As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney–Matt and Marie are happily married with two grown daughters. While on a mountain hike, Marie falls off a cliff while taking a selfie. Matt looks increasingly suspicious, especially after police discover his first wife died under mysterious circumstances. I guessed the twist on this one too, and while the plot is pretty unrealistic, I appreciated the author’s attempt to make the characters believable. Enjoyable read.

My Pitch: Never marry a guy who is a sandwich shop salesman.

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Come With Me by Helen Schulman–Amy Reed works for a Bay Area start-up. Her boss is a Stanford whiz-kid who has figured out how to explore multiverses. With this software, Amy can finally see how her life would be different if she’d made different choices. I liked the book just fine, but I was deeply disappointed by how little of it is about the multiverses. It’s really just a book about a marriage on the rocks. I think it’s been pitched wrong.

My Pitch: You’ll mess your life up in every iteration of the multiverse, so just chill out. 

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My favorite book of March was The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar.

Happy reading in April!