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Four new books to read in March
From a taught thriller to a ray-of-sunshine novel, here are four great new reads this month.
This time of year always brings back the same memory for me: the night before World Book Day, circa 2003. I’d insisted I wanted to go to school as Goldilocks. My mum had reluctantly agreed to let me use a wash in, wash out hair dye to turn my dark brown hair blonde. It did not go to plan.
No, my hair didn’t go green, but as I dried it hoping to see that glint of yellow, my excitement dwindled. The dye had, unsurprisingly, not made the slightest bit of difference and I remember the feeling of crushing disappointment like it was yesterday.
I’m sure my mum knew this would happen as she had come armed with a back up plan, and spent the following morning tying yellow ribbons throughout my hair. I went to school feeling golden.
Anyway, all of this is to say: Happy March. There are a lot of awful things happening in the world right now but at the very least, the daffodils are out, the trees are beginning to blossom and there are some lovely new books to read. I hope they bring you some sort of comfort, solace or enjoyment.
Four great new reads for March
Careering by Daisy Buchanan
Anyone who has ever had their dream job go sour will find this novel painfully relatable. It’s about two women who both work on the same magazine: Imogen is the intern who will do anything to ‘make it’ (although right now she can barely afford her own toast), while Harri is the deputy editor who pours her entire life into her work - only to be screwed over by the big bosses upstairs anyway.
Careering is a book about passion, friendship, burnout and what happens when your self-worth gets tangled up with your work. It goes to some dark places, but it’s also got a heap of laugh-out-loud moments - which was unideal for the train journey I spent tearing through most of the novel.
Read it if you like: books by Emma Jane Unsworth, Lucy Vine, Holly Bourne - or The Bold Type on Netflix.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Following the success of The Hunting Party and The Guest List, Lucy Foley, queen of the thriller, returns with the excellent, suspenseful The Paris Apartment this month. Jess is very much running away from her life in the UK when she turns up in the French capital to stay with her brother, Ben. Except when she arrives at his apartment, Ben is missing.
As the days pass, and she desperately searches for her brother, she starts to realise that there’s something sinister about the other residents in the block. Even the people she thought were helping her might have ulterior motives in this brilliantly twisty book.
Read it if you like: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena or The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
OK, this one isn’t published until right at the end of the month, but it’s worth the pre-order. Our eponymous hero is in her thirties and while her younger sister is married and pregnant, Yinka is yet to find The One - and her mother, and her aunties, and her cousins all want to know: why not?
It’s one of those books with a brilliant cast of characters; from the loveable Yinka herself (although she makes some bad choices, I really rooted for her throughout), to her best friend Nana, who is the kind of friend we all need in our life. This is a joyful, tonic of a book, and if Netflix don’t make it into a feel-good movie, I’ll be writing someone a letter of complaint.
Read it if you like: books by Helen Fielding, Beth O’Leary or Jasmine Guillory.
The Red of My Blood by Clover Stroud
When it comes to non-fiction, I have quite a high bar, but I will read just about anything the journalist and author Clover Stroud writes. True to form, her new memoir is a beautifully written masterpiece.
Clover lost her 46-year-old sister Nell to cancer in 2019, and The Red of My Blood tells the story of Clover’s year that followed. It’s a book about the grisly reality of grief, but also about finding light among loss. Raw, moving, and hopeful, it has changed the way I think about life and death.
Read it if you like: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion or I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell.
I wanted to shout out two lovely book-related initiatives I’ve seen this week. The first is Book Aid for Ukraine, an auction fundraiser with everything from signed novels to author one-on-ones on offer. Bidding will take place from 7th March to 20th March and all money raised will go to British-Ukranian Aid.
Secondly, Packed with Hope has been set up by two independent publishers who are sending out backpacks to displaced children. Each one will be filled with story books - among other items like torches, notepads, colouring pencils, toothbrushes and hot water bottles - with the aim of providing a little comfort and escape.