This Month in Adult Books: March 2023

Reading recommendations for adults
March 9, 2023
Featured Title
The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland
In a packed theater in 1811 Richmond, Virginia, where a cross-section of residents eagerly await a holiday performance, a small fire in the rafters caused by human error soon explodes into a raging inferno. Four unforgettable voices tell the story of what happened next in a narrative that combines fact with fiction. Some try to help those who are trapped, others jump at a chance to be free, while others still try to pass on blame. It’s a story that vividly demonstrates the impact of tragedy on a community, but also how individual choices impact the lives of those around us.

New and Upcoming Titles
March titles are bursting forth like spring flowers! Literary Crime readers have quite the bouquet to choose from. Check out Our Best Intentions by Vibhuti Jain, a debut novel focusing on a stabbing at an affluent high school that is a perfect choice for book groups. Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman is about the aftermath of a crime a decade earlier when three friends went on vacation, but only two returned home.
On the nonfiction side, there is Birdgirl, a memoir from Mya-Rose Craig, a birder and environmental activist that shares the importance of birdwatching to her life, not only as a passion but as a means for survival. How Not To Kill Yourself by Clancy Brown offers a deeply intimate and, at times, darkly funny portrait of the suicidal mind. It’s a deep dive into a very difficult subject that is valuable for those who are struggling and those who want to understand and support them.  
Check This Out!
If you have endured and survived "The Last of Us" and come out a huge fan you will want to check out these read-a-likes.  
What We Are Reading
Babel by R.F. Kuang
If you’re a fan of alternate histories such as Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell you’ll definitely want to check this out. It’s an alternative Victorian history in which the power of language translation can create a magical effect using silver. The British Empire has a monopoly on this technology and has used the resources of its empire to strengthen and expand their grasp. Into this comes a young boy named Robin, born in Canton, taken to England and raised to be a student at Babel, the translation institute at Oxford. Through his story we see the devastation that colonialism has wrought and the inevitability of the fight against its hold. This book is not subtle, the oppression of colonialism is front and center and reading it you will frequently encounter micro-aggressions and outright racism against multiple groups. You will also see and feel the very high and painful cost of resistance to power. It’s not a happy story, but it is very, very good.
For More Reading Suggestions:
  • The Best Debut Novels Out This Month from CrimeReads
  • 16 Great International Books for US readers from Kirkus
  • March Earphones Award Winners from Audiofile
  • Best Books of March from Amazon