February felt like the most wintery month we’ve had since we moved to Michigan. It was bitterly cold, the wind blew at scary speeds, and it snowed. Of course, it also hit the 50s, everything melted, and it rained. Rinse. Repeat. Anyone else feel like that where they live? The great news is that it was a super month for reading. Out of the 11 books I read all but two were successful options for me. I’ll take it!
I’ve always loved actor Will Smith not just for his effortless comedic style, but for his serious roles as well (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Enemy of the State, and I Am Legend). For this reason, I wanted to listen to his new memoir, Will because he narrates. Smith is a marvelous storyteller flavoring even the darker times of his childhood with emotion. The problem? I might not be well-suited to listen to alpha males describe their formula for success. Much in the same way I felt about Matthew McConaughey I found Smith to be arrogant for much of the book. His belief is that his love language is as the provider and protector and the only way to have that is for everyone around him to live life by his standards. The world is on his terms and while he faces how problematic it becomes he doesn’t seem to change much. Still, it is an entertaining listen.
Our American Friend by Anna Pitoniak: Suspense novel about a recent president’s wife. Review to follow
Published by Doubleday Canada
Publication date: November 15, 2016
Trevor Noah is the urbane, razor-sharp host of The Daily Show. I knew he was from South Africa, but had never given thought to what that meant until I read his memoir Born A Crime. The title of the memoir alludes to the fact that because of apartheid, with a White father and a Black mother, his very existence was a crime. This is just one of the racist aspects Noah grew up with in Soweto, the township where Blacks lived. To say life there was hard is an understatement. This book is filled with heartbreaking details of a childhood of dire poverty, but Noah’s humor prevails throughout. Outstanding.
In Love by Amy Bloom: A memoir about Bloom’s husbands end-of-life decision after his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. Review to follow
My reading kryptonite is books about books. Whether it’s novels set in libraries or book stores I’m always going to reach for them. Sadly, more often than not, I’m disappointed. That was the case with The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. It had all the glittery elements that draw my reading brain: librarians, rare books, a mystery. Unfortunately, this debut novel about a valuable manuscript that goes missing and the librarian tasked with finding it failed to come together. The main character’s personality flopped between the extremes of tough and snarky to so malleable she can hardly function that I didn’t know what to think and so stopped caring.
How was your February? Read anything great I should know about?
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*I received a free copy of this book from Poisoned Pen Press in exchange for an honest review.*