It is that time again and we are here to confirm the March picks for Book of the Month, and give you a bit of information to help you select your picks this month!
Our predictions were REALLY close this month. They really got us with Eight Perfect Murders — we were absolutely sure that was going to be a pick! We’re also bummed that Darling Rose Gold wasn’t included — and if you are, too, stick around next week because Haley will be doing an ARC giveaway!
March Book of the Month Selections
Hour of the Assassin by Matthew QuirkHour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk
Published by William Morrow on March 31, 2020
Framed and on the run for his life, a former Secret Service agent discovers how far some men will go to grasp the highest office in the land in this electrifying tale from the author of The Night Agent—a propulsive political thriller reminiscent of the best early Baldacci and Grisham novels.
As a Secret Service agent, Nick Averose spent a decade protecting the most powerful men and women in America and developed a unique gift: the ability to think like an assassin. Now, he uses that skill in a little-known but crucial job. As a “red teamer,” he poses as a threat, testing the security around our highest officials to find vulnerabilities—before our enemies can. He is a mock killer, capable of slipping past even the best defenses.
His latest assignment is to assess the security surrounding the former CIA director at his DC area home. When Nick enters the man’s study, the home’s inner sanctum, he finds the man alone and unconscious. Someone else has been here—someone who attacked the chief and left him for dead, just moments before. Desperately attempting to save the man’s life, he contaminates the crime scene. Now, investigators believe Nick is somehow involved.
Nick knows he’s the perfect scapegoat. But who is framing him, and why? To clear his name, he must find the truth—a search that leads to a nefarious conspiracy whose roots stretch back decades. The prize is the most powerful position in the world: the Oval Office.
To save himself and the people he loves, Nick must stop the men who rule Washington before they bury him along with their secrets.
At A Glance: Ok this pick came out of NOWHERE for us. We didn’t see it as a guess in any of our groups or come up with it ourselves. However, here we are! Hour of the Assassin seems to be a new serial political thriller series that follows former Secret Service agent Nick Averose who now works as a “mock killer” — he tests the security of high profile targets to see if he can get in. Of course, he is framed and has to clear his name. This one has great early reviews and is apparently a super fast read that will keep you guessing! I bet if you enjoy political thrillers this will be a great pick for you — and the start of a new series!
Spine Logo: Yes
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie SilverThe Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Published by Ballantine Books on March 3, 2020
In this next captivating love story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December, a young woman is reunited with her late fiancé in a parallel life. But is this happy ending the one she really wants?
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They'd been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.
But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.
So now it's just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life--and perhaps even love--again.
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.
Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there's an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there's someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.
Written with Josie Silver's trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life's crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
At A Glance: This story asks the question — what would you do if you had the chance to reverse something monumental that changed your life, but you had to give up everything to reclaim your past? It seems like the book version of Sliding Doors in some ways, where you can see the effects of either choice. This is another option with really great early reviews, just about across the board. It’s emotional and heartbreaking and romantic, but some say the burn is a little too slow for them. Note that a lot of reviewers argue that it’s not a real “romance” and more a book with romantic elements. Either way, it seems to be a really interesting look at moving forward and what holds us back.
Spine Logo: Yes
A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne FowlerA Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 10, 2020
In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door―an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.
Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he's made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn't want to live in Oak Knoll? With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie's yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.
Told from multiple points of view, A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don't see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.
At A Glance: I have to be completely honest, I hadn’t heard of this one and wasn’t super interested, but then I started reading the reviews and this actually sounds like a must read! It examines connectedness and belonging and first loves and community through the lenses of class and race. It has amazingly positive five-star reviews from early readers and the question of getting alone despite many intrinsic differences seems incredibly timely to me given all the political drama that invades our daily lives. Some readers complain about the third-party omnipotent narrator, but others say it is used to great effect here. It seems like one of those stories that cannot end well, but you can’t help but watch as the train goes off the rails. I am definitely intrigued by this one.
Spine Logo: Yes
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik LarsonThe Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
on February 25, 2020
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City delivers a startlingly fresh portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz
On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons (30,000 of them Londoners) and destroying two million homes. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally--that she was willing to fight to the end.
In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." It is a story of political brinksmanship but also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill's prime-ministerial country house, Chequers, and his wartime residence, Ditchley, where Churchill and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest. Drawing on a wealth of untapped sources, including recently declassified files, intelligence reports, and personal diaries only now available, Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their daughters, Sarah, Diana, and the youngest, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; her illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the cadre of close advisors who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his dangerously observant private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Federick Lindemann.
The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when--in the face of unrelenting horror--Churchill's eloquence, strategic brilliance, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
At A Glance: A new non-fiction by Erik Larson! Literally, what else do you need to know??? Ok, fine, fine, this is the new book by the author of The Devil in the White City (a previous BOTM choice) and it follows Winston Churchill’s first year as Prime Minister, which coincided with the beginning of World War II. I personally love Larson’s non-fiction style and find that his books read like thrilling fiction. Also, apparently I’m distantly related to Churchill, so this one really feels like it was meant for me! The early reviews are excellent and it seems like if you are a fan of non-fiction, The Crown, or World War II history then you should definitely pick this up.
Spine Logo: Yes
Writers & Lovers by Lily KingWriters & Lovers by Lily King
Published by Grove Press on March 3, 2020
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.
Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey--a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist--in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
At A Glance: This book sounds like a coming-of-age story for the 30-something set. At what point do you set down your dreams and enter the “real world”? Do you have to do that at all? When do you decide to settle down, if at all? How do satisfy the demands of society and follow your heart at the same time? Writers & Lovers takes on these big questions by following Casey, a young woman who is working as a waitress as she works to complete her novel. This story includes a couple of love interests, but is definitely not a romance, so don’t let the “Lovers” throw you off here! Early reviews are somewhat mixed, but if you love literary fiction, this book seems to be a good option.
Spine Logo: Yes
Comparable BOTM Titles: Normal People by Sally Rooney; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
What About You?
What do you think of these picks? Which one(s) will you be adding to your box? Let us know in the comments!