My February Reading Wrap-Up

Happy Leap Day everyone!  Right now our house feels like a construction zone because we’re renovating our bathroom.  It’s messy and disruptive, and our cats aren’t happy, but I’m really excited for the results.

I hadn’t given a lot of thought to the coronavirus until yesterday and now I can’t think about much else.  I’m managing a conference next week and someone asked whether they should cancel their travel.  Mr. CG and I had a long conversation about how to prepare and what we should and shouldn’t be worrying about.  It’s way too soon to panic, but this could blow up quickly and the potential impacts on work and travel are pretty frightening.  It’s already impacting the economy of our region, which relies quite a bit on international tourism.  We’re most concerned about the health of our parents, who are more vulnerable.

So let’s talk about books!  I’ve been reading pretty light lately, and trying not to get too stressed about library deadlines or challenges.  Here’s what I read in February:

  • Before Mars by Emma Newman
  • Old Baggage by Lissa Evans (audio)
  • The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
  • Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
  • How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones (audio)
  • Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (audio)
  • Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
  • Atlas Alone by Emma Newman (audio)

My favorite readsI love Emma Newman’s Planetfall series, which I just finished (unless she writes more). Two other standouts were Acevedo’s With the Fire on High and Evan’s Old BaggageThe Brain That Changes Itself was a more challenging read but it’s one I find myself telling people about all the time. 

Did not finish or disappointing: I gave up on Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli.  I  wanted to love this book.  At first I really liked the way it was written, but over time I found the author’s tone annoying and I just couldn’t get engaged with the characters.

Audiobooks: I listened to four audiobooks this month, three narrated by their authors: Saeed Jones’ How We Fight For Our Lives, Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire On High, and  Emma Newman’s Atlas Alone.  Newman, who is also a podcaster, is a fantastic reader.  I love her books but I was absolutely glued to this audiobook — as my husband can attest to, as I’ve been blaring it in the house at all hours the last few days.  Acevedo is also a terrific reader (she also narrated Pride but this one was even better).

Books for challenges:

  • Mount TBR: Before Mars, The Brain That Changes Itself
  • Nonfiction: The Brain That Changes Itself, How We Fight For Our Lives
  • Read Harder Challenge: Old Baggage

What I’m reading now: The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang and The Yellow House by Sarah Broom.

What’s coming up: I have an ARC of The Herd by Andrea Bartz, and for book club I’ll be reading The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, which I hear good things about. I also have The Unhoneymooners, The Fountains of Silence, and The Water Dancer from the library.

Added to my TBR: One book I’m really interested in reading is Mary Pipher’s Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age.  I like Pipher’s other work and this book sounds pretty appropriate right now.

What are you reading right now?  Please share a “light” or “feel-good” book you recommend – I think most of us could use one.  I’ve been recommending Popular to my friends with daughters, and The Hating Game if you like a good romance.  Ayesha at Last was also great, for Austen fans.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy March, and good reading!

  6 comments for “My February Reading Wrap-Up

  1. February 29, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Two of my feel good books are Cold Comfort Farm and Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.

    • February 29, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      I loved Cold Comfort Farm! Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. February 29, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    With the Fire on High is such an amazing book, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🥰

    • March 1, 2020 at 9:59 pm

      Elizabeth Acevedo is becoming one of my favorite writers and she’s a great audiobook narrator as well!

  3. March 1, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I’m also looking for “feel good” books right now. If you like children’s fantasy, I recommend Nevermoor. It’s bizarre and hilarious.

    • March 1, 2020 at 9:57 pm

      I haven’t read that! Thanks for the suggestion.

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