It’s finally April!! March seemed like the longest month, and technically it is, but it seemed to drag on this year. That may be because the beginning of the month was slightly eventful for me, and after that first weekend, I had no other plans. I am also entirely over the winter and ready for one of my favorite seasons: spring! I adore spring, the sunshine and flowers, and the happier mood I’m in when April and May roll around. But, before I get ahead of myself, let’s dive into some of the things I enjoyed during March. (I skipped February favorites because I didn’t feel I had enough to write about, but I’m back.)
I had known about this show for a while and heard lots of positive reviews, so when I was driving down to Maryland for a family bridal shower, I decided to download a few of the episodes. I happened to have the subtitles on as I watched, I turned them on a few years ago and haven't gone back since, and my mom ended up watching along with me. We both adored the show almost immediately. She grew up reading the series, so she would clarify what she remembered happening in the story and what wasn't familiar to her. After a few episodes, I decided to read the book for myself. It was a lovely story, and though there are some significant differences between the Netflix show and the book, they are accurate to the spirited, enthusiastic girl and the beautiful impact she has on everyone she meets. A few minor things mentioned in the book happen in the show but are made much larger and more dramatic. There are also events included that never happened at all. However, they handled them so well it's believable that they could have occurred in the book. Overall I enjoyed both the show and the book "Anne Green Gables," it's the kind of hopeful, uplifting story you need every once in a while.
On March 25th, Maren Morris released her new album "Humble Quest." I started following Maren when "Girl" was released though I like a few from her "Hero" album. "Girl" was what got me hooked, and once she started dropping prereleases for "Humble Quest," the anticipation for more was high. I've been listening nonstop, and as of right now, my favorites are "Humble Quest," "Tall Guys," and "Detour." I love what Maren stands for as a human being, and I love her unique way of storytelling through her songs. The first prerelease, "Circles Around This Town," where she sings about her journey from where she started, is a classic in terms of country, and it paints a picture for listeners of how far Morris has come. She reminds me of other women in the country music world that I enjoy, like Kelsea Ballerini and Carrie Underwood. Their beginnings were humble, but they have not forgotten where they started and never failed to express their appreciation for the journey.
My first concert of 2022 was Maisie Peters at Webster Hall in NYC. I wrote an extended review of this experience already, but it was a favorite part of March, so I figured I'd share some more. As concert experiences go, you never know what you're going to get, especially if it's an artist you've never seen live before. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the crowd was not overly rowdy or pushy. It was a genuinely great experience. No one was screaming unnecessarily or pushing and shoving one another to get closer to the stage. It was a packed room, but I never felt squished. Everyone was simply happy to be there. Plus, Maisie was an absolute star on stage. Hearing my favorite songs live was fun, and watching her enjoy herself made the experience even better. I can't wait for her to come back.
So, although I'm adding this as a favorite from March, I had a hard time with this book. It is my first by Fredrik Backman, so my expectations were high. I've heard many good things about his writing, and every review I'd see of this book had given it five stars. It was an intense, compelling story about a small town in Scotland encapsulated by their love for hockey. But, when an incident between two young people occurs, the town becomes divided, and humanity amongst the townspeople is questioned. I enjoyed the writing style of this story. I felt as if I was watching a tv show in my head, the way the narrative freely flowed between the characters. I did, however, find the story repetitive and unnecessarily long. I think the story could have wrapped up sooner than it did. The book was focused too much on the hockey and not enough on the incident itself. There's a way to emphasize a point and a way not to. I think Backman continually repeating how important hockey is to the town was excessive and did not contribute to the story positively.
I've become more of a fan of poetry in recent years, gravitating towards modern poetry and today's young poets. Poetry is such a beautiful genre of writing, and it inspires me as a writer to dig deeper and use more descriptive language. I love the imagery poets use and the weight of words, which bring you right to the moment or point in time their poem(s) reference. It's like you're there experiencing it with them. Creating a separate Instagram account for this blog and my writing has opened me up to the young modern writers of today, specifically poets who share their words with their followers. Caitlin Conlon is one of the many I've followed over the past few years, and seeing her work on my feed has helped me with my writing and learning how to use experiences and feelings to create art with my own words. Her latest poetry collection is a beautiful culmination of her life dealing with grief, loss, and heartbreak, and I can't recommend it enough.