Reading Round-Up: March 2020

Welcome to my Reading Round-Up for March!

So this month, I haven't been able to read too much, by my standards. It has been a relatively slow book month, but I feel like my reading is going to really jump up come April.

Here is what I read this month: 

The Art of Rogue One Romeo & Juliet How to Ruin Your Financial Life Healthier Without Wheat The Art of The Force Awakens The Lightning Thief The War of the Worlds The Sea of Monsters
Christmas in Camelot The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy Bewitching The Titan's Curse Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve Love & Luck The Battle of the Labyrinth Thor's Wedding Day

The list: 
  • The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • How to Ruin Your Financial Life by Ben Stein
  • Healthier Without Wheat by Stephen Wangen
  • The Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells 
  • The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • Magic Tree House: Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Star Wars: A New Hope - The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
  • Bewitching by Alex Flinn
  • The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
  • Magic Tree House: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  • Thor's Wedding Day by Bruce Coville
I'll be reviewing the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (my sister has been begging me to do that for a long time now. I hadn't read them since high school, so it was about time to re-read them. Also Thor's Wedding Day, Love & Luck, Bewitching, Star Wars: A New Hope - etc., and The War of the Worlds. These will all get full reviews. 

Books I'll review super quickly:
The Art of Rogue One and The Force Awakens are two separate art books for the very popular Star Wars movies. I am a huge fan of art books, particularly Disney ones, so I was really excited to read these. Rogue One is my favorite of the new movies so far, and I really liked seeing the sketches, paintings, and character designs that helped shape the storyline and visuals of the film. The Force Awakens was a really interesting book because it showed the progression of how the film developed story wise. The characters and look of them started off very different from how it ended up being. There was a painting of Darth Talon, and there was a concept for a Jedi killer, which would eventually become Kylo Ren. In some aspects, I almost wish they had stuck with some of the preliminary design and story concepts. I really enjoyed seeing the influence that the conceptual art had on the story direction of the movie. I have another one of these checked out that I have not yet read, and I'm really excited to read it soon. 

How to Ruin Your Financial Life by Ben Stein is supposed to be a partially satirical book. It gives advice by providing readers with the WRONG advice. The title really IS the book. Ben Stein, the guy known for being the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Bueller? Bueller?) , legitimately says what NOT to do or you will ruin your financial life. The synopsis on the back remarks on it being a tongue-in-cheek humorous book, but I honestly didn't laugh much. I saw the advice and while it is amusing, it just didn't land for me. A lot of the advice to me seems like common sense, but I'm sure a lot of people need to be told things a bit more directly. It's good to learn these things sooner than later though. 

Romeo & Juliet is the only Shakespeare work that I managed to read this month. I've read this one several times, so it was a really quick read for me relative to the works I read last month that I've never had a run-in with before (Comedy of Errors). The ending is the same, the drama levels of the characters is still hilarious, and I'm still laughing about a lot of it. 

Healthier Without Wheat is a book that talks about gluten intolerance. It is a non-fiction health book, which I know is very new for me as a genre in general. I've been trying to diversify my reading a bit more lately. For those who don't know, I am actually gluten intolerant. I've been on a gluten free diet for almost 2 years now. Most of my information on it had come from my mom and research she did on her own time, and then when I tried going gluten-free, I did some experimenting on my own and solidified that I did indeed have an intolerance. I'm not celiac, but I do have visible, negative side effects whenever I consume gluten. This book is a very good introductory text to what gluten intolerance is, what celiac is, the issues that arise for people who are intolerant/celiac, and how to start changing your diet to match your needs (what general food items to avoid). A lot of the evidence presented in this text is very anecdotal, which I'll readily admit, but the author is a bona fide medical professional from everything I looked up (and trust me, I DID check...intensively). I have my own anecdotes that I could share, but really, in the end, whatever works for you and makes you feel your best, is what you need. I'd recommend this for people who think they may be intolerant, who are the least bit curious about what that means or what gluten is, or anyone who is close to someone who is intolerant. It is a very good starting point. 

Christmas in Camelot is the first Merlin Mission in the Magic Tree House series (#29 in the original series numbering). Jack and Annie receive a letter that is only signed M, and they go to Camelot only to find that magic has been banned by King Arthur. They must go to the Otherworld and save Camelot, to bring happiness and magic back. It's a fun read, and the first book in which they help out Merlin, the wizard of legendary fame. Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve is #30 in the Magic Tree House series overall, but the renumbering system made it Merlin Mission #2. Jack and Annie go to a place where there is a castle said to be haunted. There is something just not right. They go along with their friend Teddy, who appeared in previous books to find out what is happening. It's a fun and quick read involving a lot of ravens. 

The Battle of the Labyrinth and Thor's Wedding Day are two books that I'm in the middle of, that I'll be finishing by the end of this month, so I'm going to count them here already. The Battle of the Labyrinth is the 4th book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, while Thor's Wedding Day is a humorous children's fantasy novel by Bruce Coville. We will talk more about these, and the others I have not yet mentioned in some posts that will come up a little later on. 

This wraps up my Reading Round-Up for March, and now you're all caught up with me and what I've been up to! Tomorrow we begin the full, standard reviews! Thanks for reading!