The Best Books To Read This March

The Best Books To Read This March

If you’re looking for something uplifting, comforting or immersive to keep you occupied, there’s bound to be a new book for you to enjoy this month. From smart psychological thrillers to provocative debuts, March sees the publication of some of the most exciting novels of the year.

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Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan

Acts of Desperation is a bitingly honest, darkly funny debut novel about a toxic relationship and secret female desire. An emerging star of Irish literature, Megan Nolan’s first novel focuses its attention on Ciaran, the most beautiful man the narrator has ever seen. To make a beautiful man love and live with her seemed to be the entire point of her life. But her need is greater than reality, stronger than the truth, more savage than either of them would eventually bear. How can it be true that a woman like her could need a man's love to feel like a person, to feel that she was worthy of life? And what would happen when she finally wore him down and took it?

“Such brilliant writing about female desire, co-dependant love... Incredibly honest and visceral.” – Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups


Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

In Klara and the Sun, his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at the rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love? From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, carefully watches the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. If you loved Booker Prize winner The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, you’ll adore this.

“A master craftsman.” – Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale



Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews

This is a vibrant and evocative story of an ambitious young woman who will not stop at anything to achieve her dream of becoming a rich and successful novelist, just like Maud Dixon – even if it means becoming Maud Dixon herself. Feeling frustrated by her stuffy publishing assistant existence – so bored that she sleeps with her boss and gets fired – Florence Darrow lands a job with anonymous bestselling novelist Maud Dixon, becoming her writing assistant. The arrangement comes with conditions: high secrecy, endless NDAs, living in an isolated house in the countryside. Before long, the two of them are on a research trip to Morocco, to inspire and help along the much-promised second novel. It’s all beach walks, delicious food and sunsets until Florence wakes up in a hospital, having narrowly survived a car crash. How did it happen – and where is Maud, who was in the car with her? Florence feels she may have been played, but with Maud out of the picture, maybe Florence can make her mark as a writer after all...

“Who Is Maud Dixon? is clever, cunning, and diabolical in the best possible way. Anyone longing for a good old-fashioned thrill need look no further.” – Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House


The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

This warm, defiant new book from Isabel Allende is a meditation on power, feminism and what it means to be a woman. As a child, Allende watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children. As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the first wave of feminism. She has seen what has been accomplished by the movement in the course of her lifetime. And over the course of three marriages, she has learned how to grow as a woman while having a partner, when to step away, and the rewards of embracing one's sexuality. So, what do women want? Allende believes it’s: to be safe, valued, live in peace, have their own resources, be connected, have control over their bodies and lives, and above all, be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will “light the torch of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work still left to be finished.” An inspiring read.

“Isabel Allende is a grand storyteller who writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come.” – Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi 

Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up to her acclaimed national bestseller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behaviour in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to hard science to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalising as it is elusive. This is an excellently written, deeply moving portrait of a family of immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief – and a novel about faith, science, religion and love.

“Absolutely transcendent. Not a word or idea out of place. Completely different from Homegoing. The range... I am quite angry this is so good.” – Roxane Gay, author of Difficult Women


Women Vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film by Helen O’Hara 

The dawn of cinema was a free-for-all, and there were women who forged ahead in many areas of filmmaking. Early pioneers like Dorothy Arzner (who invented the boom mic, among other innovations) and Alice Guy-Blaché shaped the way films are made today. But it wasn't long before these talented women were pushed aside, and their contributions written out of film history. But the tide has finally begun to turn. A new generation of women, both in front of and behind the camera, are making waves in the industry and are now shaping some of the biggest films to hit our screens. In Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film, Helen O'Hara takes a closer look at the pioneering and talented women of Hollywood. In understanding how women were largely written out of Hollywood's own origin story, and how the films we watch are put together, we can finally see how to put an end to a picture that is so deeply unequal – and discover a multitude of stories out there just waiting to be told.

“A game changer… As inspiring as it is informative.” – Terri White, editor-in-chief of Empire​



The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung 

Already optioned by Jason Bateman for a Netflix series, The Eighth Girl focuses on one woman with many personas. But which one is telling the truth? Only three people know the reality: her therapist, her best friend and her stepmother. But when her best friend is plunged into danger, Alexa is soon drawn into London's cruel underbelly to save her. But will the truth lead to self-discovery, or to self-destruction? An unsettling and provocative thriller about multiple personalities, written by a practising psychoanalytic therapist. Ideal for anyone after an immersive thriller.

“An exceptional debut.” – Clare Mackintosh, author of I See You



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