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10 books to add to your March reading list

Books to end the first quarter of 2019 on.

1. Show Them A Good Time by Nicole Flattery 

STAGT-front-cover-hi-res Source: The Stinging Fly

 The debut collection from an exciting new Irish voice. A returned immigrant struggles to get her life back on track in the grim little town she previously couldn’t wait to leave; two beleaguered students take to the stage in a desperate bid to assert their autonomy; a school teacher gamely keeps on searching for love or distraction as the world teeters towards ruin. Hailed as a ‘masterclass in the short story’ by Sally Rooney, this new book is well worth a read. 

2. Sugar Run: A Novel by Mesha Maren

81jvAFHPAsL Source: Amazon

In 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison. When she’s released eighteen years later, she finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom but determined to chart a better course for herself. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a fresh start. But what do you do with your past — and with a town and a family that refuses to forget, or change? 

3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

GUEST_7e9e8e6b-0d74-411e-87b3-7bbca71ac63c Source: Penguin Random House

The New York Times said that Where the Crawdads Sing is ‘a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature’. Focusing on Kya Clark, the so-called ‘Marsh Girl’, who keeps to herself in the marshes of a quiet town on the coast of North Carolina. After a young, handsome man named Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately point their fingers at Clark. As the novel goes on, it becomes clear that Clark is nothing like what the locals say she is. Intelligent and sensitive, she has managed to survive for years alone in the marsh that she calls home. Everything changes for Kya when two men become intrigued by what they view as her ‘wild beauty’. 

4. My Coney Island Baby by Billy O’Callaghan 

9781787330917 Source: Penguin Books

On a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon, Michael and Caitlin escape their unhappy marriages to keep an illicit rendez-vous. Once a month, for the past quarter of a century, they’ve met at Coney Island as lovers. In these precious, hidden hours, they both experience their only nourishment. 

Amid the howling of an angry snowstorm, the shut-down, out-of-season resort feels like the edge of the world. Suddenly, their lives are on the bring – with the news of serious illness on one side, and a move to the Midwest on the other. And so, after half a lifetime spent in secret, certain long-avoided facts need to be faced, consequences examined, decisions made, and – perhaps – chances finally taken. 

The book was lauded by Edna O’Brien, who said that O’Callaghan is “a welcome voice to the pantheon of new Irish writing.” 

5. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

40597810 Source: Amazon

Released on the 5th of March, this is a highly anticipated novel following the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.

Daisy is busy coming of age in L.A. during the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock-stars and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go, when her voice begins to get noticed just as she crosses paths with a producer who decides to merge her with a band called The Six, with explosive results. 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who read this book and wasn’t thoroughly impressed by the story and the voice that Jenkins Reid gives to Daisy Jones. Worth reading before the TV deal comes to fruition. 

6. The Wych Elm by Tana French

image Source: Penguin

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins. But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden. 

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past and himself. 

7. Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson 

x400 Source: Harper Collins

This book is set to release on the 5th of March. Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen is an illustrator and works out of a nearby studio. After a struggle with bipolar disorder, she finally found medication that’s offering her some stability and peace. 

When she meets her new neighbours, the calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years prior. Hen knows, because she has been fixated on his unsolved murder ever since. Could her neighbour be a killer? She begins to doubt herself, and worries that another psychotic episode is creeping in, like the one she suffered in college when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student’s guilt that she ended up hurting a classmate. 

8. The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell 

9781101907146 Source: Penguin Random House

Released on the 26th of March, Serpell’s debut novel is set in Zambia. 

In 1904, in a smoky room at the hotel across the Zambezi River, an resident of The Old Drift colonial settlement named Percy M.Clark is foggy with fever. He makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy, setting off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond. As the generations pass, their lives – their triumphs, errors, losses and hopes- form a symphony about what it means to be human. 

9. The Lost Man by Jane Harper

9781743549100 Source: Dubray

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that nobody can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron.

The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects… 

10. The Silent Patient by Alex Michealides 

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Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter, married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening, her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. 

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander: a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Then, Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia finally gets to meet her, and amazingly, his determination pulls an explanation from the woman. Things only become more complicated from this point onward. 

Don’t see anything you fancy? Check out our previous recommendations > 

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Kelly Earley

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