Another month of reading flew by! Well, and also I was so busy getting the condo ready to move into, so I didn’t get to read as much as I had hoped. Oh well, such is life!
Here’s what I read in February:
- West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan … I’m still madly in (book) love with O’Nan, I can’t lie. I really enjoyed this book although it wasn’t my favorite of his. Not even top five, but it was really good. And I learned a lot about F. Scott Fitzgerald (and have vowed to add The Great Gatsby to my reading list!). West of Sunset focused on the last three years of his life. Deeply in debt, no longer recognized for the literary genius he was, and with a wife in a mental institution, Scott pushed on and even managed to find love again. The ending was sad (even though I knew he would die), and it made me want to learn even more about his life. I think that’s what a good book does – teaches you something and leaves you wanting more!
- How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran … This was highly recommended to me, and I can see why. I loved it! It was funny and sad and inspiring and uncomfortable-making. All those things, rolled into one. It was about a teenage girl, growing up in poverty outside London in the 90’s, who completely reinvents herself. She gives herself a new name and persona, drops out of school and gets a career. She “builds a girl”, hence the name. But the girl she built is flawed, and not quite who she wants to be. It’s full of foul language and sex so if you’re offended by that sort of thing, this isn’t the book for you. I personally love foul language and sex tho, haha, so I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading more by Caitlin Moran!
- The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters … Judging from what I’ve read via reviews, this is the least popular of Waters’ books, and a lot of people were unhappy with it, especially the pace. They seemed to feel it took too long to get to the actual action of the story, but I LOVED it! I’m a patient reader, and I appreciate being given the time to get to know a character. Frances Wray and her genteel mother have been forced to take in lodgers, in post WW1 London to pay the bills. I don’t want to give away too many details, but there’s romance, sex, murder… and a surprising ending. I really thought it was going to end differently! I thought this book was great, and now I’m really excited to read more by her!
- Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado … I was a little disappointed in this book. It was okay, and about an important topic, but I felt like she just kept saying the same thing over and over again. I had loved the excerpt I read on Slate, but now I think that was simply the best part of the book. Bummer.
- 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam … I may have MORE time, but I still didn’t have ENOUGH time to read this book. Oh well!
I’d say this was a successful month of reading. I was reacquainted I loved three of the four books I managed to actually read, and given the move and all the work I had to do, the fact that I read that much is a minor miracle!
Books for March 2015
- The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder … Yes, this is 9 books but it’ll take me like a week. I re-read this series every winter from the same falling-apart set my grandparents gave me when I was a little girl. I’ve done it every year for as long as I can remember, usually in February or March. I’m SUCH a creature of habit, but there’s something so simple and innocent about these books, and of course they remind me of my own childhood. I think I would’ve made a pretty badass pioneer! Anyway, I have this rule that I need to read it while it’s still cold and (hopefully!) snowy out, so it’s now or never! Plus it’ll be nice to bring this old tradition to my new place right away!
- The First Bad Man by Miranda July … I discovered this book on Pinterest. I’d never heard of Miranda July before but apparently she’s quite famous. This book is described as “…dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.” It’s about a tightly wound woman who might be a little crazy… haha, that could be me, no?
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer … I’ve already read this book but after reading his sister’s story of their violently abusive childhoods back in January, I want to re-read it.
- Talk Talk by TC Boyle … My love for TC Boyle was reignited in January when I read The Tortilla Curtain (read my thoughts on that book here), and I added a few more of his titles to my wait list with the library, and this was the first one that came available! It’s about a woman on trial for a list of crimes she absolutely didn’t commit- in fact, her identity had been stolen. Goodreads describes it as “… a thrilling road trip across America and a moving story about language, love, and identity…”. The woman is deaf, and she and her boyfriend set out on their own to find the criminal and clear her name. I love the way Boyle writes, so I expect to really enjoy this book.