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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For March 2024

From romance and thrillers to historical fiction and magical realism — we've got a book for you!

Welcome, literature lovers, to the FIRST for Women monthly book club!

Here at FIRST for Women, when we’re not hard at work bringing you stories about health, nutrition, beauty and lifestyle, we like to kick back with a good book.

We know first-hand that reading provides relief from stress, improves brain health and ushers in more joy. So we rounded up our editors’ seven top picks for March 2024, from historical fiction to romance and eerie thrillers. Read on for our FIRST book club picks!

We’d also love to hear what books you’re reading this month and how they made you feel!

Cozy mystery: Murder at The Blarney Bash

by Darci Hannah

Murder at The Blarney Bash by Darci Hannah (FIRST book club)

“Last week, a personal setback had me feeling down on my luck,” says Rebecca Haynes, Deputy Health Director. “But this cute mystery lifted my spirits!” Lindsey is helping her boyfriend Rory and his Uncle Finn open an Irish import shop just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. But when Uncle Finn claims to have found a murdered “leprechaun,” Lindsey, her dog, Wellie, and Rory search for the killer. “St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday I look forward to,” says Rebecca, “and this festive whodunit made me feel ‘lucky’ again after I cracked the case!” (Kensington, 2024)

Rom-com: The Neighbor Favor

by Kristina Forest

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (FIRST book club)

“After finishing my long to-do list, I rewarded myself with a mug of cocoa and a romance novel,” says Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “This one was a fun ride!” Lily Greene connects with her favorite author via email as an escape from her frustrating job. They email each other and hit it off, but then he ghosts her. Months later, Lily has no date to her sister’s wedding, so she asks her charming new neighbor, Nick Brown, for a small favor. Little does she know, Nick is her favorite author. “This story reminded me of You’ve Got Mail,” says Carissa. “It was so cute!” (Berkley, 2023)

Historical mystery: The Frozen River

by Ariel Lawhon

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon (FIRST book club)

“I was down in the dumps after a recent argument with a friend and needed to escape into a good book,” says  Kristina Mastrocola, FIRST Senior Editor. “This engrossing mystery did the trick!” Inspired by real-life Revolution-era diarist and midwife Martha Ballard, this novel is set in the winter of 1789. When the body of one of the most respected men in Hallowell, Maine, is found in a frozen river, Martha is called in to investigate. Relying on her medical knowledge as a healer and the diaries she keeps about the goings-on in her village, she begins to unearth the truth behind an unspeakable crime. Now, Martha must overcome secrets and lies to solve the case. “This mystery brings to life a fascinating woman who otherwise would be lost to time,” says Kristina. “I was hooked!” (Doubleday, 2023)

Women’s fiction: The Echo of Old Books

by Barbara Davis

The Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis  (FIRST book club)
Lake Union Publishing

“A friend of mine was raving about this book, so last week, I gave it a try,” says Melissa D’Agnese, FIRST Senior Editor. “And it enchanted me from the start!” Ashlyn Greer is a rare-books dealer who can feel the echoes of books’ previous owners — an emotional fingerprint only she can read. But when she comes across a pair of never-published books, she’s enthralled by the authors Hemi and Belle. Says Melissa, “This tale — about family, secrets, love and hope — was a magical adventure.” (Lake Union, 2023)

Magical realism: Recipe for a Charmed Life

by Rachel Linden

 Recipe for a Charmed Life by Rachel Linden (FIRST book club)

“Last week, I had a long flight and needed a book to help pass the time,” says Maggie Dillard, FIRST Senior Associate Editor. “And this one was wonderful!” After American chef Georgia May Jackson loses her sous-chef position, her French boyfriend and her sense of taste all in one night, she is crushed. When she receives an invitation from her estranged mother, she accepts and heads to an island off the coast of Seattle. Her mom keeps talking about a mysterious family legacy, while Georgia keeps hoping the visit will reignite her chef spark. But so far, the only spark is with an annoyingly handsome oyster farmer who lives next door. Maggie raves, “This was a magical story that made my flight whiz by!” (Berkley, 2024)

Thriller: The Only Survivors

by Megan Miranda

The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda (FIRST book club)

“Snowy weather kept me inside all weekend, and I started feeling restless trying to entertain myself,” says Anna Traver, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “So I picked up this thriller — and the captivating trail of clues enthralled me almost instantly!” Cassidy wants to leave her tragic past behind her. A decade ago, she was in one of two vans filled with high school seniors that crashed into a ravine — a tragedy that claimed the lives of classmates and teachers. The nine students who managed to escape the river that night were irrevocably changed. But when they lose another one of the nine a year after the accident, and then another goes missing, Cassidy has no choice but to join the rest of her classmates and figure out what’s really going on. Says Anna, “This novel kept on the edge of my seat!” (S&S/Marysue Rucci, 2023)

Historical fiction: The Storm We Made

by Vanessa Chan

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan (FIRST book club)
S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books

“After a long week at work, my favorite way to unwind is by brewing a hot cup of tea and cracking open a historical fiction book,” admits Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “So when I saw this WWII epic, I knew it would fit my mood to a tee.” This rich saga follows Cecily Alcantara, a mother of two who was an unlikely spy for Japanese forces during WWII. Ten years prior, a chance meeting with General Fujiwara lured her into a secret life of espionage. Now, her entire family may be at risk — and she will do anything to save them. An enthralling story that shines a light on the dangers of war and the lengths to which we’ll go to save the ones we cherish. “I devoured this debut novel in just one weekend,” says Carissa, “This story was so moving that it stayed with me long after I finished the last page—now I cannot wait to read the author’s next book!” (S&S/Marysue Rucci, 2024)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For February 2024

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For January 2024

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love For December 2023

And for all things books, click here!

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