10 Best Books You Should Read in March 2024

Explore captivating worlds and enrich your mind with our curated list of the “10 Best Books You Should Read in March.” From gripping novels to thought-provoking non-fiction, this selection promises a diverse literary journey. Immerse yourself in compelling narratives and discover the latest literary gems that will make February a month of literary delight. Don’t miss out on these must-read books that promise to captivate and inspire.

1. Get the Picture, Bianca Bosker:

Get the Picture takes you behind the scenes of the glamorous yet secretive world of contemporary fine art. In her delightful new book, bestselling author and respected journalist Bianca Bosker embeds herself within the insular art community to understand its inner workings.

Get the Picture
Get the Picture

Through a series of outrageous exploits, Bosker assumes a variety of roles – from gallery intern to Art Basel attendee – to peel back the curtain on this elusive scene. She exposes both its excesses and its passion for visual storytelling. Along the way, readers are treated to hilarious anecdotes that shed light on the dollars and vanity driving the industry.

But Get the Picture is more than just entertainment. It acts as Bosker’s art education, chronicling her growing ability to truly see. Through dedication and experimentation, she cultivates an artistic eye – learning to appreciate creativity in all its forms. The result is an insider’s look at the financial machinations and fierce personalities behind the contemporary art world, delivered with Bosker’s signature wit and cultural criticism. For both art lovers and observers of cultural trends, Get the Picture is a vivid tour of the lively tensions powering the modern movement.

2. Redwood Court, DéLana R. A. Dameron:

In her tender debut novel Redwood Court, poet DéLana R. A. Dameron tells the coming-of-age story of a young Black girl growing up in Columbia, South Carolina in the 1990s. Mika Tabor is the baby of her close-knit family who have lived for generations in the house on Redwood Court, an all-Black middle-class cul-de-sac.

Redwood Court
Redwood Court

As Mika navigates the beginnings of adolescence, she looks to the stories and experiences of her grandparents and parents who worked hard to achieve the American dream despite the racism and struggles of their day. Their triumphs and difficulties become her guide as she faces her own challenges with racism, sexism, and poverty on the verge of a new millennium.

Drawing from her own roots in Columbia, Dameron imbues the novel with a deep sense of community and family ties. She poignantly captures what it means for one family to hold on tightly to their dreams and heritage in the changing political and social climate of the South. Redwood Court is a moving portrayal of Southern Black life and a young girl’s journey into womanhood.

3. An American Beauty, Shana Abe:

In her debut historical fiction, Shana Abe brings to life the scandalous true story of one woman’s rise to wealth and power in the male-dominated Gilded Age of America.

American Beauty
American Beauty

Set against the backdrop of 1867 New York and spanning four decades, the novel follows the ambitious Arabella Worsham, a slave’s daughter determined to escape poverty. When she begins a clandestine affair with railroad baron and multimillionaire Collis Huntington at age 17, her fate is sealed.

Using money loaned by her lover, Arabella begins shrewd investments and transforms herself into an international socialite, though never fully accepted by New York’s elite. Through Arabella’s story, readers are immersed in the lavish homes and expanding railroads that symbolized exorbitant wealth contrasted by the widespread disparity in post-Civil War America.

Abe brings historical figures dynamically to life while crafting a compelling narrative of one woman’s journey to becoming the richest self-made woman of the era. Full of scandal, intrigue and vivid period details, An American Beauty offers entertainment alongside thoughtful commentary on women’s place in a changing world.

4. The Book of Love, Kelly Link

Kelly Link, the legendary queen of magical realism and short fiction, delivers her most gorgeously weird and expansive novel yet with The Book of Love.

As with Link’s masterful shorter works, the narrative unfolds in her trademark nonlinear, interweaving style as it follows an eclectic ensemble of quirky characters caught up in a mysterious worldwide crisis. There are gay foxes, grimy drifters who spin unwillingly, a missing piece of shrapnel, and a murderous sister relationship – all connected in a plot that is equal parts existential, comedic, tender, and strange.

While the moon turns people to marble and two socially awkward men struggle to connect, elderly writer Eleanor Cavendish holds the key to understanding the chaos from her mansion on a hill. Link spins out this surreal premise with her signature wit, unpredictable imagination, and gift for crafting fascinating yet deeply human characters.

True to form, The Book of Love plays with narrative conventions to create a lavish fictional dreamscape wholly original yet profoundly moving. Like the best of her short tales, it expands the boundaries of what storytelling can achieve. For fans of magnificently weird magic realism as well as those new to Link’s work, the book is a testament to the unlimited potential of creative fiction.

5. Tom Lake, Ann Patchett

In her latest masterful novel, Ann Patchett tells the intergenerational story of the Vasquez family through the lens of sibling relationship. Maeve and Danny were raised in the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia until they were exiled from it as young adults along with their mother.

Tom Lake

Also selected as the Best Fiction Book of 2023 on Goodreads.

Told as a retrospective recounting by Danny to his daughters who have come to help on the family’s cherry farm during the pandemic, Patchett seamlessly moves between the past and present. She reveals the secrets and heartbreak that led Maeve and Danny to lose their childhood home to their scheming stepmother.

Through her characteristically stunning prose, Patchett layers the revelations of this generational family drama with universal truths about relationships, life choices, memory, and the complex ways the past molds the present. As with all of her beloved novels, Patchett creates characters that readers instantly connect with through their struggles and triumphs.

Fans of Patchett will find once again why her writing is so universally beloved. With her signature emotional depth and masterful structure, The Dutch House is a captivating story told through the intimate lens of family that will stay with readers long after turning the final page. It cements Patchett as one of America’s greatest living authors.

6. The Housemaid’s Secret, Freida McFadden:

Millie is back in this thrilling sequel to The Housemaid. Still working as a maid and longing for financial stability, she takes on a new job caring for the wealthy tech specialist Douglas Garrick and his ill wife Wendy. But Garrick forbids Millie from interacting with Wendy, raising her suspicions.

The Housemaid's Secret
The Housemaid’s Secret

Best Mystery Book of 2023 on Goodreads.

Told through dual first-person perspectives that continuously contradict and reveal new secrets, Denzinger spins another page-turning plot full of twists both expected and shocking. Fans of the first novel will appreciate revisiting favorite character Millie, though some may find her motivations and repetitive inner monologue less endearing this time around.

While the formula follows a now-familiar domestic thriller structure, Denzinger keeps the intrigue high through misleading clues and an unpredictable climax. As with many “popcorn thrillers,” the story provides an entertaining ride if readers don’t overanalyze the basic writing or predictable reveals.

For those looking for a quick, engaging mystery centered on the battle between appearance and reality within the employee-employer relationship, The Housemaid’s Secret delivers another dose of the compelling drama that made the original novel a hit. Existing fans of the series will find this sequel satisfying as a further exploration of Millie’s compromised world.

7. The Fox Wife, Yangsze Choo:

In her latest intriguing blend of historical fiction and magical realism, Yangsze Choo transports readers to 1908 Manchuria on the eve of the revolution. There, Snow, a young domestic servant known as Ah San, arrives in the city of Dalian seeking revenge against photographer Bektu Nikan for an unknown grievance.

Told through the dual perspectives of Snow and Detective Bao, a past-his-prime policeman, Choo spins a mystery surrounding Nikan that gradually unravels Snow’s tragic history. While Bao’s detective work provides context, Snow’s vibrant first-person chapters shine as the emotional heart of the story.

The Fox Wife
The Fox Wife

Richly imagined details bring to life the culture and superstitions of Manchurian society, where fox spirits known as “kitsune” disguise themselves as humans. Choo seamlessly weaves supernatural folklore into the narrative without unnecessary exposition.

While the resolution to Nikan’s misdeed feels anticlimactic, readers will be drawn in by Snow’s wit, spirit, and passion for justice. Subtle romance blooms against the backdrop of looming revolution.

Characteristic of Choo’s style, complex characters emerge more clearly than plot mechanics in this leisurely-paced tale. Those seeking a nuanced historical portrait over puzzle-box plot twists will find much to appreciate in The Facemaker’s evocative setting and vibrant heroine.

8. Smoke and Ashes, Amitav Ghosh:

In his unique hybrid of fiction and non-fiction, renowned author Amitav Ghosh delves deep into the dark history entwined within his acclaimed Ibis trilogy.

Smoke and Ashes
Smoke and Ashes

Smoke and Ashes analyzes how the British colonial empire was built through the tea and opium trades, bringing a relentless indictment of their rapacious actions and the immense human suffering they caused. Ghosh illuminates seminal events like the 1770 Bengal famine engineered by forced poppy cultivation, shedding new light on colonial manipulation of economies, policies and historical narratives.

Rich archival research and mesmerizing detail transport readers to territories like Bengal and Burma under British-Dutch control. Ghosh faults the West for amoral profit-seeking while acknowledging Indian involvement, though curiously omitting one prominent name.

Beneath the factual examination lies a more imaginative thesis—that colonial powers were not fully in control but unwittingly manipulated by poppy plants harboring their designs of domination. This playfully provocative thread invites debate on post-colonial responsibility.

Erudite yet accessible, Smoke and Ashes functions as both a necessary corrective and companion to Ghosh’s acclaimed fiction. Scholars and history buffs will find it a treasure trove, while general readers experience haunting colonial realities with a renewed understanding of enduring global impact. Ghosh emerges as one of our most compelling chroniclers of the past.

9. You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir, Maggie Smith:

In her intimate, stripped-down memoir, poet Maggie Smith invites readers into the raw aftermath of her marriage unraveling. Composed of brief, journal-like reflections and questions, Smith picks through the scars left when her husband of 14 years revealed an affair.

You Could Make This Place Beautiful
You Could Make This Place Beautiful

Those familiar with Smith through her viral poem “Good Bones” will recognize the landmark moment that precipitated the marriage’s decline and sparked her ascent as a literary star. The memoir finds Smith grappling with grief, anger and disillusionment on almost cathartic display.

While some may find the uncorking of such private wounds too soon, Smith’s brief, carefully crafted entries offer solace in their shared vulnerability. Through brief narrative snapshots over the span of years, she maps the complex terrain of rebuilding after devastation.

Smith’s memoir speaks to anyone navigating divorce’s brutal wreckage. Her social media savvy used to spread hope through “Keep Moving” now spreads the richness of lived experience. Those opening to feelings both tender and execrable will find resonant community in You Could Make a Life.

10. Coleman Hill, Kim Coleman Foote:

In his vivid debut novel, Omar El Akkad crafts an intimate multi-generational portrait of two families anchored by the resilient women at their cores.

Coleman Hill
Coleman Hill

Centered around Celia Coleman and Lucy Grimes, the novel follows their journeys north from Alabama to make new lives in early 20th-century Vauxhall, New Jersey – a town with personal significance to the author.

Told through the shifting perspectives of their descendants over decades, El Akkad brings to life the daily struggles and joys of these families’ experiences with economical yet emotionally resonant prose.

While inventing dialogue to piece together legends, he keeps the narrative feeling wholly authentic in its glimpse into history and society.

Narrated superbly with regional accuracy, The Ghosts of Vauxhall offers quiet insights into the strength, resilience, and interconnectivity of communities emerging from hardship with humanity intact. El Akkad honors ordinary lives of extraordinary influence.

Final Words:

As February unfolds, dive into the pages of these compelling reads and let the magic of literature enrich your days. Whether you seek thrilling adventures, insightful reflections, or heartwarming tales, our list of the “10 Best Books You Should Read in February” has something for every reader. Embrace the joy of discovery and let these captivating stories linger in your thoughts, making this month a memorable chapter in your reading journey. Happy reading!

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