Required Reading: March 2014

Oh, February. You came and went, in a blur of red cardboard cutouts of hearts and winged babies poised to maim you with their arrows. But I am happy to report that I came out of February, unscathed. It was a good month and before I blabber more nonsense, onto business...     

February 2014 Required Reading Report:

1. What We talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver - (4/5 stars) It takes little getting used to, but I ultimately found the stories to carry much weight even in their simplicity. Plus, I really enjoyed the online discussion questions and activities we had over at TFG Group, in honor of it being the club's book of the month.

2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - (4/5 stars) Verbal sparring at it's funniest and finest, with a plot that's outrageous and properly theatrical.    

3. Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano - (4/5 stars) Light and sweet. Quick and easy. 

March 2014 Required Reads:
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March will be about making more progress with the self-imposed reading challenges I set myself up for at the start of the year. The challenge, in general, is to try and read more books outside one's wheelhouse. Short stories and non-fiction, to be specific. I threw in a psychological thriller into the mix because it's TFG's book of the month, besides I hardly ever read those as well.   

Read more Non-Fiction:
1. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed - This is a collection of the letters and their corresponding answers, taken from the Dear Sugar Advice column of the literary magazine, The So it's real people and real troubles. I haven't tried anything like this before, but I have heard a lot of good things about it.  

Read more Short Stories:
2. We Live In Water by Jess Walter - This short story collection came to my attention because included here is this one story about a homeless man who has to beg in the streets in order to raise money to buy his son the seventh Harry Potter book. I mean, how can I resist that premise? 

TFG Book of the Month:
3. The Alienist by Caleb Carr - I haven't really ventured into psychological thriller territory since Gone Girl last year, although this one seems entirely different. Bloodier, they say. But, I'm excited. It sounds badass.

Carry Over last February
4. A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin - I have about 16-17 chapters left and I have gotten myself to the confusing point of wanting to consume them with much haste because of eagerness as to how the story will proceed, but at the same time fighting said urge because that would mean  the beginning of my pining for the 6th book, which I figured, is still a long way away.

That's it. That sums up what I'll be reading this March. What's yours? 


  1. I first heard of Tiny Beautiful Things from Honey, and she has good things to say about it. I'm not into that kind of books though, so I'm not eager to put it on my shelf soon. That short story collection, though, sounds interesting. I'll check back here to see how you like that one.

    Oh and you're nearly done with ADwD! Congratulations in advance! ;)

    1. Hello Monique! Yeah, I saw it on Coffeespoons. Honey included it on her "best of list" and it sounded interesting, and well worth a shot. The short story collection, I'm excited because the the HP reference thingy. Hee.

      I know right? Things are starting to heat up (pun intended) in ADWD! :D

  2. Hi Tin!

    How are you finding The Alienist? I read a couple of years back and I found it not so gory as I expected it to be. Or maybe I've read A LOT of crime aka gory novels that this is mellow-er at some extent? Haha. Still, I hope you'll like considering that, if I remember correctly, you aren't a fan of thrillers. :)

    1. Hello Lynai! I am really enjoying it. I read a couple of chapters yesterday. It has that Sherlock (more the tv show than the book) feel to it, and John Moore, makes me think of John Watson. I like the way that it's written too, the formal sort of language structure, and that it has a bit of humor in it. And yes, I am not really big on thrillers, and this is perhaps my first crime thriller. It's not so gory for you? Lol! In my case, it's the opposite, I did not expect it to be very detailed in it's description of how the dead bodies looked. Haha. I had the misfortune of eating a snack, as I was reading the part where they first discovered the Santorelli boy's body. Lol! :D

    2. You want gory, try to read a John Sanford novel haha! And I agree with you on the Sherlock feels of The Alienist. Try not to eat while reading the book, okay? Haha!

  3. I just finished reading Tiny Beautiful Things, and I loved it. Really, really good. :) I hope you enjoy reading it, too! :D

    1. Hello Tina! Saw your updates on Goodreads pertaining to TBT! I hope I'll like it too. It does sound like an emotionally charged read so I am readying myself up for it. :D


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