I read a LOT in February, considering it’s a short month, although three of these books were novella length and many were comfort reads. I’m not a cold-weather person and February left me feeling drained (it feels like the longest month). I’m very much looking forward to spring AND getting out into the world more.
Here’s what I read in February:
- Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo (audio)
- Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson (audio)
- Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
- An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten (audio)
- Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (audio)
- Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto (e-book/audio)
- Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin (audio)
- Gloved Heart by Charlotte Brentwood
- Mala’s Cat by Mala Kacenberg
- A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy (audio)
- Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt
- Bromance Undercover by Lyssa Kay Adams
My favorite reads:
One of my favorites this month that I didn’t review was Dani Shapiro’s Inheritance. Shapiro has written a number of memoirs, but in this book she explores what happens when she takes a DNA test and finds out she’s not her father’s daughter. This impacts everything she knows about her parents, her childhood, her faith, her health, and her own identity. It also sends her down the very interesting route of researching the history and practices of the very earliest in-vitro fertilization clinics.
On the lighter side, I really enjoyed Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Dial A for Aunties, particularly as an audiobook. In fact, I started with an e-reader version, and it was cute but a little too silly for me. Then halfway through I picked up the audio version, and the narration had me laughing out loud. I loved that it’s about a Chinese-Indonesian family in California, where the main character struggles to understand her mother and four aunts in three different languages, and has to figure out how to balance her own needs with the needs of her family. Oh, and she’s accidentally killed a guy and has to hide the body. Definitely the most fun book I read this month.
One more favorite was A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy. I picked up this book because the publisher asked if I wanted an ARC of the sequel, and I never like to read out of order. Set in the 1890s, Amelia is a tarot card reader with mild psychic ability, when she’s overcome by a spirit and ends up committed in Blackwell Island, an asylum for poor women. While trying to free herself, with the help of her closest friend and one of the doctors, she also investigates the mysterious death of another woman. Blackwell Island is best known as the asylum where Nelly Bly went undercover and exposed the atrocities committed against the women imprisoned there. I liked everything about this book, from the setting to the characters to the historical detail. I also appreciated the focus on friendship rather than romance (though there’s a bit of that too). I can’t wait to read the sequel.
The only book this month I was somewhat disappointed in was An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good. These tales of a murderous old woman (with good intentions) left me somewhat bored once I understood the concept. There’s a subtle humor to the writing but it wasn’t for me. This was a short read though.
On the blog:
Books for challenges:
- TBR Pile/Backlist Reader: Mediocre, Before the Ever After, 84 Charing Cross Road
- Nonfiction: Mala’s Cat (released this year), Mediocre (Social History)
- Historical: A Deadly Fortune (Gilded Age)
- Reading All Around the World: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good (Sweden)
What I’m reading now:
I’m reading Dave Grohl’s memoir, Storyteller, and while I loved the first half, I’m finding the second half less interesting (a lot of celebrity name-dropping) and very disjointed (jumps around in time and omits major life events). I’m also reading Clare Chamber’s Small Pleasures, which was nominated for last year’s Women’s Prize longlist (in honor of the upcoming longlist announcement March 8).
What’s coming up:
I’ve signed up for way too many ARCs, so in March a lot of my reading will be new releases: The Suite Spot by Trish Doller, Booth by Karen Joy Fowler, Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu, Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart, The Unquiet Dead by Stacie Murphy, and The Candy House by Jennifer Egan.
Added to my TBR:
February had lots of articles about romance novels, and I particularly appreciated this one about translated books about romance and this list of diverse romantic comedies. I added quite a few of these to my list; and have you noticed how food-themed romances seem to be a thing right now?
Things that made me happy this month:
One thing I really enjoyed this month was a show on Amazon called As We See It, about a group of adults who are on the autism spectrum. They share an apartment and an aide. It’s tough watching at times but also shows you different sides of autism than you might be used to.