This month, Book of the Month hit us with the big announcement that they will vary the number of main selections, so at times there may be more than five. And this month there were seven, including some very unexpected choices.
When her father turns up dead in the NY Public Library, a disgraced mapmaker has to find her true north ASAP.
Dating Dr. Dil
The Taming of the Shrew remixed & remade—can a love-averse TV doctor and a hopeless romantic spark an unlikely romance?
The Paris Apartment
Sometimes you visit the City of Lights and the vibe is just off … you know what I mean? Looking at you, neighbors.
Mystery & Repeat Author
Book of the Month
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The Unsinkable Greta James
Jennifer E. Smith
Take a cruise with your estranged dad, they said. It’ll be a fun, not-at-all-awkward bonding experience, they said…
Tell Me Everything
An unforgettable, thrilling look at the life of a private investigator working to uncover evidence for a historic case.
Family drama, dating app woes, and artificial intelligence, oh my! This witty debut novel has something for everyone.
Debut & Literary Fiction
Simone St. James
A perfect read for every true crime fan who suspected they might just get to the bottom of things better than the pros.
Thriller & 3Peat Author
The Love of My Life
If the person you thought was the love of your life turned out to be a stranger to you, what would you do?
One Italian Summer
Perfect vacation-read ingredients: sun-soaked beaches, silk dresses, copious pasta & wine, your reincarnated mother…
Pieces of Her
When her mother heroically stops a shooting, a daughter realizes she might not really know the woman who raised her.
Karen Joy Fowler
America’s most famous assassin came from a talented family of actors and troubadours. This is their cautionary tale.
S. A. Cosby
There’s down bad, then there’s the rock-bottom financial hole Bug Montage is in, the kind that makes men take risks…
Predictions & Thoughts
I was super surprised at some of BOTM’s selections for March. There are a couple that were not at all on my radar as well as a few books I was looking forward to but did not think BOTM would include in their selections. Overall, I am disappointed with this month’s main selections. When the add-ons or as they are calling them “spotlight” picks appeared this morning, I was more pleasantly surprised.
I am going to start with the disappointing – The Paris Apartment. I predicted that this book would be a February selection since it was released on February 22nd. I am not disappointed that I was incorrect, I am disappointed that BOTM has selected yet another book by Lucy Foley. Foley’s last several books have been very popular, in part due to their inclusion in BOTM selections. I, personally, think her books are formulaic and very underwhelming. It discourages me that BOTM would pick The Paris Apartment when the spot could have went to an unknown, debut author who needs the exposure. (The same can be said for The Book of Cold Cases.) However, I do acknowledge that BOTM is also a business and selecting The Paris Apartment is a smart business decision on their part.
One Italian Summer is another book that does not need the exposure that BOTM provides. It is not a debut novel, and the author’s previous book was quite popular. That is why it was included on my most anticipated books list but not my BOTM predictions. Still, I know that a lot of people will be happy with this selection.
While I am happy to see two books that were not on my radar at all – The Verifiers and Tell Me Everything – I am bummed to see BOTM including already released books in their selections. As I mentioned, The Paris Apartment came out in February. The Verifiers was also published the same day. I understand that some of the timing is up to publishers, but I think it would have benefitted a debut with little exposure, like The Verifiers, to have been included in the February selections.
BOTM also added Pieces of Her, which was published in 2018, but just premiered on Netflix in February. Again, this is obviously just a business decision on BOTM’s part to cash in on the screen adaptation. S. A. Cosby’s debut novel Blacktop Wasteland is also an add-on despite being published in 2020. With the popularity of Razorblade Tears with the BOTM crowd, it is smart for BOTM to include it. Plus, for those of you who like matching editions, you can now have one for S. A. Cosby’s previous book.
I was pleasantly surprised that BOTM chose The Cartographers and Booth. Both of these books are among my most anticipated March releases. However, I did not expect BOTM to select them since they are by established authors that have not previously had their books among the selections.
I am tired of retellings, but BOTM seems to love them. Dating Dr. Dil is a The Taming of the Shrew retelling. I have no interest in this. Let’s all agree that 10 Things I Hate About You is the best The Taming of the Shrew retelling and move on. However, I know a lot of BOTM romance fans will be happy to see a romance back in the picks.
Finally, there were a number of books that were obvious BOTM selections – The Unsinkable Greta James, The Book of Cold Cases, and The Love of My Life. I am happy to see these and think they will be excellent reads.
For those of you more unfamiliar with some of these books, I want to note that BOTM has chosen to categorize a few of the books very strangely. The Verifiers is in no way literary fiction; it is a mystery. The Love of My Life is somewhere between a mystery and contemporary fiction. I thought I would just throw that out so no one mistakes a book for something it is not.
Overall, I predicted a sad three out of eleven, since I do not count predicting The Paris Apartment in my February predictions. This is the worst I have done since I began my predictions. But sometimes, it is nice to be surprised. I was happy with the add-ons and less so with some of the main selections. I will also never predict previously published books, like The Verifiers, The Paris Apartment, Pieces of Her, or Blacktop Wasteland. It always shocks me when BOTM includes already published books.
I was chose three main selection this month – The Cartographers, The Book of Cold Cases, and Tell Me Everything.
I am so happy that The Book of Cold Cases is a pick this month! The Book of Cold Cases is one of my most anticipated books of the year. I was disappointed when it was not a February selection. Now, I will have the opportunity to read it prior to its release, and the book will match my copies of Simone St. James’s last few books.
I am also super pleased that The Cartographers is a selection. It is on my most anticipated books of March list. However, since BOTM did not have Shepherd’s last book, The Book of M, as a selection, I left it off of my BOTM predictions. This is one of those times that I am happy to be incorrect. I have heard great things about Peng Shepherd and actually have her previous book, The Book of M, sitting unread on my shelf. While I am not into fantasy, I have read reviews that state The Cartographers is pretty light on the fantasy elements, and the synopsis really piqued my interest.
I debated whether to buy Tell Me Everything. I have a bunch of unread True Crime books on my shelves. Ultimately, I gave in and put it in my box since I had extra credits.
It was pretty easy for me to bypass some of the main selections. I hated Lucy Foley’s The Guest List and have even seen negative reviews for The Paris Apartment from Lucy Foley fans.
As I previously mentioned, I am tied of retains, so no Dating Dr. Dil for me. Similarly, I am tired of reading books about celebrities and singers, so I will be skipping The Unsinkable Greta James. Having protagonists that are famous is a big theme right now… that I am simply over. If The Unsinkable Greta James receives widespread rave reviews, I may consider picking it as an add-on in the future, but for now, I am passing on it.
I expected The Love of My Life to be a BOTM pick and am pleased that it is included this month.
I love historical fiction and was also pleasantly surprised by Booth‘s inclusion. I am looking forward to reading this!
I read Blacktop Wasteland back in January 2021. I preferred Razorblade Tears over Blacktop Wasteland, although I was not a big fan of either.
While I really enjoy Karin Slaughter’s books, I do not want to buy a backlist book from BOTM, particularly one where I can find a cheaper copy elsewhere.
One Italian Summer is simply a book that does not appeal to me despite rave reviews.
What books did you choose for your March BOTM selections? Let me know in the comments!