Monday, March 4, 2019

Books I Read in February

Okay folks, February was a short (cold, miserable) month, and I had some frustrating experiences with my audio book app (more on that later, it deserves it's own post), but I still managed to finish seven books, which is not too shabby. Let's cut the preamble here and just dive in.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

This was a re-read for my virtual book club. I haven't read this book since high school? college? I forget, but oh my goodness, it is still a top favorite of all time. This is a seriously depressing book that makes you hate all men, but it's so beautifully written I love it despite that. This is by far my favorite Hardy, and if you've never read it, you should. You really should. You may cry buckets of tears, but you'll still love it. I promise.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

This was also a re-read, for my other book club, and this book is so much fun and so delightful and if you haven't read it yet this is another one you should go out and read right now because it's just delightful. For our book club we actually watched the movie (because, duh!), and this is one of those rare times where the movie really is better than the book. Except the book is still wonderful! I love the book, and I will totally re-read it again some day. There are things about the book that are really fun. But the movie is better (the Jane Seymour version, there are others but that one is THE one). If you haven't seen the movie, find it, watch it, love it. You'll thank me.

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King

As part of my January self-help kick, I decided I wanted to read a good parenting book, but this was all my library had available through the audio book app that looked remotely interesting (see my note above about frustrations). I think I would've preferred to read the original one, but this one was still surprisingly good. I found myself agreeing with everything the authors said, patting myself on the back for already doing most of the things they suggested, and coming away with a few new tricks that have come in really handy in dealing with my oldest's emotional moments. I think I've got a post brewing in my head about parenting books, we'll see if I ever find the time to write it.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

This was my attempt at "seasonal reading" for February (you know, Valentine's Day...). Ugh. I think this is my third Sophie Kinsella, and I think I've finally decided I need to give up on her. I mean, I liked it well enough to finish it. She can be quite funny, and there were some ridiculous shenanigans in this one that were amusing (really ridiculous, but funny), but mostly, it's too much cotton candy and swearing and stuff.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

If this book had been about a thin sized girl losing her aunt and fighting with her mom and overcoming obstacles to finally go out with the cute boy at work, it would've been fairly cliche, unremarkable chick lit YA. But the fact that the main character is plus sized really does make this book remarkable. I'm not sure I've ever been in the head of a plus sized high school girl like this before, and it was equal parts inspiring and heart-breaking. It was one of those reading experiences for me where I realized that some voices don't get their fair share of representation in certain genres, and it was refreshing to be able to hear this voice and vicariously experience her triumphs and pain. It's not a must read, but it is a good one. I very much enjoyed it. (Anyone seen the movie? Haven't gotten around to it yet, but I'm planning to watch it!)

This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order by John Schwartz

So, I've been on a weird kick of reading books about money recently (this is another post entirely), but this is definitely one you can skip. I mean, unless you are as clueless and this guy, and max out your credit cards, and make poor real estate decisions that lead to near bankruptcy, and luck out by belonging to a generation that still gets pensions so it doesn't matter that you borrowed from your retirement to pay off your kids' student loan debts... then go ahead and take financial advice from this guy. Schwartz is a New York Times reporter, so the guy can write. Much of this was fairly entertaining and highly readable. But seriously, you don't need to read this one.

Circe by Madeline Miller

The one time my library's app came through for me with a winner! This book has been getting some buzz for a while now. Last year I picked it up in an airport bookstore and read a few pages and knew I needed to read the whole thing, and... I loved it! This may not be a great book for everyone. The pacing feels a bit episodic. It felt like the structure of the Iliad or Odyssey, epic and grand but not a modern plot structure. The writing is beautiful. Oh my goodness, the writing just swept me up and left me swimming in this world of petty jealous gods and witchcraft magic and sailors lost at sea... it's beautiful. I highly recommend the audio version, it's very well done. Long story short, if you enjoy Greek mythology and have even a passing familiarity with the Odyssey, or just enjoy beautiful well-written books, this is one for you! We'll see how long it stays with me, but it already feels like one I'd love to re-read in a few years (and that's high praise from me!).

Okay, that's a wrap on February. I've got Spring Break next week, so I'm hoping that translates into some writing time here on the old blog, because I've got so many things I want to talk about! But for now, have any of you read any of these? What did you think of them? I'd love to hear!

1 comment:

  1. I really liked Circe and Dumpling, so your list looks like a great February. (I'm also a big fan of the Scarlet Pimpernel)