March 2024 Reads

Books I read in March 2024.

A month of discovering new authors and catching up on modern classics.

1. Prophet Song

— Paul Lynch
Winner of the Booker Prize. It lives up to the hype. A timely novel and my book of the month.

Book cover: I Who Have never Known Men

2. Moby-Dick

— Herman Melville
The introductory chapters are hilarious, and I loved the blossoming friendship between unlikely bedfellows Ishmael and Queequeg. However, the middle of this 620-page book really drags with scores of unnecessarily dull chapters that do nothing to drive the plot. If only Melville had had a good editor, this might have been the great book so many claim it to be.

3. Dracula

— Bram Stoker
It was a nice surprise and not at all what I expected. I loved the intimacy of the narrative, the cameraderie of Dracula’s antagonists — a great story well told.

4. All Quiet on the Western Front

— Erich Maria Remarque
The horrors of war beautifully told. Once I’ve caught my breath, I’ll read the sequel, The Road Back.

5. The Gambler

— Fyodor Dostoevsky
An entertaining read. Dostoevsky at his yarn-spinning best.

6. A Very Easy Death

— Simone de Beauvoir
The author’s reflections on her mother’s final days.

7. The Fountains of Paradise

— Arthur C. Clarke
This lands at number three in my favorite Arthur C. Clarke novels, after Childhood’s End and The City And The Stars.

8. La Bête Humaine

— Émile Zola
A contemporary critic complained that Zola’s novel was little more than trains and murder. And although both feature a lot, Zola here is at his best.

9. The Lathe of Heaven

— Ursula K Le Guin
I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed the first chapters of a Le Guin book. Same with this one. But loved the story and its ending, and the character development in the latter half.

10. Hour of the Star

— Clarice Lispector
Not like anything I’ve read before. A tale of a naive and good soul eaten up by a world too cruel for her existence. Will be reading more Lispector.

11. The Warden

— Anthony Trollope
A quiet little book. No doubt Trollope’s contemporaries were more moved by the ‘scandal’. Will try one more Trollope before leaving him be.

12. The Science of Storytelling

— Will Storr
More ‘Psychology 101’ and how to leverage that knowledge for storytelling rather than a practical guide to writing.

13. Notes from Underground

— Fyodor Dostoevsky
It’s a long rant, sometimes redeemed by great lines and dry good humor. I had supposed it was all a lengthy prelude to a story. Alas no! Had it been longer than its 120 pages, I wouldn’t have finished it.

Do you have any reading recommendations for me? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

March 2024 reading stats




the books I read in March 2024