March in Books

Better late than never, here’s my wrap-up for march. I read six books, which is not a lot but it’s not a bad number for me, considering I spent most of my time behind the laptop writing a paper. Here’s the list:

The Ladies’ Paradise (Emile Zola)

The Way Things Are (E. M. Delafield)

Travels with my Aunt (Graham Greene)

Cathedrals of Consumption (Jaumain, Serge and Geoffrey Crossick, eds.)

The Odd Women (George Gissing)

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (Kate Summerscale)


Cathedrals of Consumption is a non-fiction work I used for my paper, if you’re at all interested in the department store phenomenon of the 19th century give this one a try. Not only is it a fascinating subject (I could start gushing now, but I’ll save that for my review of Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise), but this collection gives a great overview of the department store in Europe and also situates it in context by including an article about the retail development from the 18th century and an outlook on the concept of the mall of the 20th century.

The Way Things Are was certainly an interesting insight into the life of a housewife during the late 20s. I know there’s tongue-in-cheek humour, but really, I couldn’t appreciate this much as I was too depressed by Laura’s life. Travels with my Aunt was pretty great, though I kept re-checking the author’s name as it made such a change from Greene’s other works! And I did manage to read through The Odd Women which really wasn’t long at all despite the size of my edition, and I now feel like I have to read everything else by Gissing! (I can hear my tbr list groaning, poor thing)

And finally a typical read for me, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. And yes, I loved it! Apart from being an amazing mystery, Summerscale also made it a fascinating account of the dramatic changes that took place during the 19th century, from the industrial revolution to the establishing of a detective department.

What did you read in March? Anything that really needs to go on my tbr?


13 thoughts on “March in Books

  1. I haven’t read any of these yet – glad you enjoyed them. I am about to plonk myself in front of the computer for my proposal – having a hard timr getting motivated!

  2. You seem to have had a wonderful reading month in March, Bina! Congratulations! The book on the history of the department store is quite enticing! Graham Greene’s ‘Travels with my aunt’ is such an interesting title!

    1. The department store phenomenon is absolutely fascinating! There is so much great secondary lit and some fiction about it, if I had to recommend one, I’d say go with the Zola! 🙂

  3. I am very glad you read The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. I love it a lot and didn’t expect to. Didn’t know Graham Greene’s has a book titled this one. I’ll look it up!

    Happy Spring, the weather is lovely out there!

    1. It was really fascinating, Victorian age plus mystery, no way I couldn’t not love it 😀

      Happy spring to you too! It’s very windy here but sunny today.

  4. I read “The Suspicions…” a year ago and liked it but didn’t love it. Now I am wondering if I should give it a second try sometime just in case 🙂

    1. I’d say definitely give it another try, but then I loved it 🙂 If you don’t enjoy mysteries that much, you could still enjoy it for its portrayal of dramatic change during the 19th century. Summerscale does a great job of that.

    1. Heh, I wish I had read it sooner. It’s really great if you’re interested in the 19th century and mysteries 🙂

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