The Monthly Booking: March 2020

The Monthly Booking line-up for March 2020

After having had a Dutch moment in February, this month my reading list is expanding somewhat. Apart from the fact that all of them have been sitting around on my ‘to be read’ list for a while, there is absolutely nothing to link these four books (although two of them did appear on the shortlists for the 2019 Costa Book Awards without taking away the prize).

When choosing books I’m guided by many sources – bookshop tables, reviews online and on paper, podcasts, Instagram, real-life recommendations – and it almost goes without saying that whatever ends up on my big reading list has been deliberately put there by me. Almost, because occasionally a wild card does slip in thanks to a couple of small presses I’m proud to support. This month’s small press title was the second of two books I received in 2019 through my subscription to And Other Stories. I’ll be writing an article about small press subscriptions in the near future, but one definite bonus is that they make me pick up books that might not have come on to my radar otherwise. Theft by Luke Brown is one such novel and I’m curious to see how I get on with it.

Without further ado, my reading list for March goes like this:


Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach (Head of Zeus)

What the publisher says: ‘Devastating and beautifully written, funny and life-affirming, Confession with Blue Horses explores intimate family life and its strength in the most difficult of circumstances.’


In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum (Penguin/Vintage)

What the publisher says: ‘Fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum draws on unpublished diaries and interviews with friends, family and colleagues to produce a story of one of the most daring and inspirational women of our times.’


It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated by Elizabeth Bryer (HarperCollins)

What the publisher says: ‘An urgent literary phenomenon sold in over 22 languages before publication, a gripping tale of one woman’s desperate battle to survive the dangerous, sometimes deadly, turbulence of modern Venezuela. From a powerful, new voice, It Would Be Night in Caracas is a chilling reminder of how quickly the world we know can crumble.’

Small Press

Theft by Luke Brown (And Other Stories)

What the publisher says: ‘With heart, bite and humour, Luke Brown leads the reader beyond easy partisanship and into much trickier terrain. Straddling the fissures within a man and his country, riven by envy, wealth, ownership, entitlement, and loss, Theft is an exhilarating howl of a novel.’

4 thoughts on “The Monthly Booking: March 2020

  1. I love how you said that small presses make you pick up books you might not have otherwise. Fitzcarraldo Editions might not be a small press any longer, but every single thing they publish is thought-provoking. Same with OneWorld, Charco Press, Peirene, and World Editions. Thank goodness we don’t live in a world with only one flavor kind of publishers…Penguin Random House, I’m talking to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree – all the independent publishers you mentioned are brave and creative and publish things that really make me think. They’re also the best source of books in translation, which I definitely think we need more of. I have a couple of Fitzcarraldo titles lined up (partly inspired by your recent reviews!) and am really excited about them.


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