My Commonplace Book: March 2023

A selection of words and pictures to represent March’s reading:

commonplace book
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


Well, don’t be too hard on yourself, Jazz. We all remember the good times and try to forget the bad. It’s human nature and thank God for it.

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley (2022)


“I blame myself for being drawn into argument with him, but what else could I do? I was glad to hear a cultured voice, even his, after so much solitary confinement. It was, in a sense, not unlike being stuck in the club with some bore whose opinions are very left or very right. You can’t do anything but listen to the man. You know he is wrong, but since you argue from the standpoint of individuals and he argues about a mythical mass, there is no common ground. And it’s utterly impossible to explain yourself.”

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (1939)


Lady’s slipper orchid

“It can’t get any darker than midnight.”

There must be a thousand Sicilian proverbs, but this one became my favorite, this one I clung to.

The Orchid Hour by Nancy Bilyeau (2023)


Man is a courageous and highly adaptable animal. The conditions he lives under are brought about largely by his own passions, but as soon as enough men find those conditions intolerable they change them as the people of Paris acted in concert when they advanced against the Bastille. It has always been so.

Farewell, the Tranquil Mind by RF Delderfield (1950)


Favourite books read in March:

The Murders at Fleat House

Authors read for the first time in March:

Geoffrey Household

Places visited in my March reading:

England, France, USA


Reading notes: March hasn’t been a great month for me due to some ongoing health problems (nothing too serious, I hope, but enough to cause a distraction from reading). I managed to take part in Reading Ireland Month with These Days, which I read at the end of February in preparation, but I didn’t have time to read anything for Reading Wales so I’ll make that a priority next year. On a more positive note, I’ve finished Rogue Male, my book for the recent Classics Club Spin already! It helped that it was only 200 pages long. In April, I’m hoping to join in with 1940 Club and have a few books in mind for that.

How was your March? Do you have any plans for your April reading?

10 thoughts on “My Commonplace Book: March 2023

  1. Julé Cunningham says:

    Goodness, that quote from Rogue Male is so on point about trying to have a conversation with someone with extreme views! Sending you best wishes for better health and a wonderful reading month in April.

  2. Calmgrove says:

    So many bloggers have been apologising that their poor health has curtailed their reading and blogging recently that I wonder if that’s largely a result of Long Covid (diagnosed or not) playing havoc with our general wellbeing. Anyway, no need to apologise, Helen, hopefully things may – should – look better in the long term. Anyway, take care, do what you can and no more.

    March has been good for me with books read for both Reading Ireland and Reading Wales and a couple of other events. However I’m only likely to manage one Borges short story for the 1940 Club, but as compensation I’ve already started a Shakespeare-inspired novel for this month’s Reading the Theatre, and may even manage the Ben Jonson play Volpone too! Better luck with your literary endeavours this April, and after that too. 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Chris. That’s an interesting thought about Long Covid. I don’t think that will be the case with me, but I suppose none of us can ever know for sure.

      I’m glad March was a good reading month for you and I hope you enjoy whatever you read in April. I don’t know whether I’ll have time to read anything for Reading the Theatre, but I’ll look forward to your posts.

  3. Shellie says:

    I have not seen Reading Ireland or Reading Wales but that sounds interesting! Not sure if I can take on another challenge right now though. Sorry you are having health problems but take care of yourself and if you skip some posts don’t be hard on yourself! I’m finding out how easy it is to be obsessive about having to stick to my “schedule.” These are some lovely quotes too btw.

    • Helen says:

      Reading Ireland and Reading Wales both take place in March every year, so there’s plenty of time to prepare for 2024! And thank you – luckily I had some reviews already written and scheduled in advance.

  4. FictionFan says:

    The quotation from Rogue Male is this month’s winner – I look forward to reading your review! Sorry to hear you’ve been having health problems recently. I hope it turns out not to be too serious and you get back to full fighting fitness soon. 🙂

  5. Jo says:

    Sorry to hear you are not quite chipper. I hope it resolves itself soon.

    I have yet to read the Lucinda Riley, I think because the more I complete of her work, the more I realise we won’t have any more.

    My reading is certainly slower this year. But I am enjoying it all nonetheless.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Jo. Yes, it’s sad to think that there won’t be any more Lucinda Riley books. I’m looking forward to reading the Pa Salt book, when it comes out, but after that I think I only have one or two of her earlier books left to read.

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