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!
Will by Will Smith, Mark Manson
Published by Penguin Press
Publication date: November 9, 2021
Your Local Book Store, Amazon
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.
Love & Saffron by Kim Fay: A beautiful little 5 star novel of friendship: My review
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
Your Local Book Store, Amazon
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
Shadows of Pecan Hollow by Caroline Frost: Texas-sized drama about one woman’s struggle to escape her past. My review
The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk
Published by Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date: January 25, 2022
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.
Brown Girls by Daphne Andreades: Stunningly creative debut fiction about a group of brown girls growing up in Queens. My review.
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont: Intriguing novel imagining what happened to Agatha Christie when she disappeared for 11 days. My review
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.*
For the month of February I stuck to reading mysteries with one romance thrown in by authors that I have read before many times. I slowed down and only finished 6 books. The good news is out of the six books I finished 1 was 5 stars, 4 were 4 stars, and one was just 3 stars. This year I want less volume/quantity, and more enjoyment out of the books that I read.
That’s a wise approach! I’m trying to move away from reading ‘goals’, but it’s like shopping for free- I see it, I want it so I request it and then feel like i have to read it. I need to work on that!
Born a Crime is one of my favorites! I listened to the audiobook. It’s stellar.
The best book I read in February was a mystery by Jane Casey called After the Rain. But I also enjoyed Year of No Clutter and The Office of Historical Corrections.
I wanted to listen to it so much because I love his voice, but none of the library systems I belong to had an audio copy.
You reminded me to add Historical Corrections to my TBR- you’re another person who loved it.
Mamey Brown says
GREAT reading month! I too loved Born a Crime! I did also love WILL. I am also a big fan of books about books/book stores/libraries. Do you have any that you just LOVED??
I loved listening to Will Smith, just thought he would not be an easy person to live with.
I adored The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Also, The Starless Sea, but it has magical realism/fantasy element that might not work for you. You’ve got me thinking about a books about books post!
You had a great reading month in February. I will look for your thoughts on the Bloom and Pitoniak books. Hope your March turns nice. Are your daffodils out yet? We’re still doing a bit of skiing here!
I wish we had any kind of flowering! We’re still getting snow and 20 degrees at night.
The Pitoniak was very good, but freaky. The Bloom I had to stop reading- simply not in a place to read about a loved one with Alzheimer’s.