February 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

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{#partner #freebook: THE LAST ROMANTICS and THE HUNTRESS (William Morrow Books via TLCBookTours), SUCH GOOD WORK (Simon & Schuster), THE BEANTOWN GIRLS (Lake Union Publishing via GetRedPR), AMERICAN SPY (Random House), LONG LIVE THE TRIBES OF FATHERLESS DAUGHTERS (Bloomsbury Publishing via NetGalley), THE ART OF LEAVING (HarperCollins via NetGalley), HOW TO BE LOVED (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley), VACUUM IN THE DARK (Scribner via NetGalley) All opinions are my own!}

Many of you said that January felt like it went on forever, but I’m gonna have to say that it felt like February was never-ending for me! It looks like I made it, and nonetheless, I had a good (but not great) reading month!

  • If you’re looking for a good family drama:
    • The Last Romantics by: Tara Conklin (William Morrow)
      • I loved this dramatic story about four siblings so much. It totally reminded me of The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (my review here), one of my favorite books of 2017! 
  • If you’re looking for a book with a new perspective on the refugee crisis:
    • Such Good Work by: Johannes Lichtman (Simon & Schuster)
      • This book has so many interesting themes: addiction, finding yourself and your purpose, and the refugee crisis with a fresh perspective. This book challenged me to think a lot about my personal beliefs.
  • If you’re looking for a good psychological thriller (with a big twist at the end):
    • The Silent Patient by: Alex Michaelides (Celadon)
      • I don’t generally like the thriller/mystery genre, but I loved this one. It’s a great psychological thriller with several twists (one big one I missed)…and I think this book made me realize that I can handle this genre if it has that great psychological component.
  • If you’re looking for a quick and engaging read: 
    • Evidence of the Affair by: Taylor Jenkins Reid (Amazon Original Stories)
      • This novella was everywhere at the end of last year. I love TJR anyway, so when I saw it while browsing Amazon, I took a chance. It’s a quick read (less than an hour) and it was amazing how concisely TJR was able to complete a full story. 
  • If you’re looking for a strong, female protagonist:
    • American Spy by: Lauren Wilkinson (Random House)
      • I wanted to love this one more than I did…and in hindsight, I like it more the further I get away from it. The concept of the story was amazing, but I wanted more of the spy story. Instead, it was more of a for her children – so they would know how things led up to their current lives should their mother die due to her occupation. It was good; it just wasn’t what I was expecting and I think that threw me off. 
  • If you’re looking for a book that talks about timely (thought-provoking) social justice issues: 
    • Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by: Stephanie Land (Hachette Books)
      • ** #unpopularopinion alert ** This wasn’t the book for me. While I appreciate the attention Land tries to bring to various social injustices, her delivery fell far short for me. Most people have appreciated this one way more than I did, so don’t let my opinion sway you from picking it up and seeing for yourself.
  • If you’re looking for a book that gives you hope that female friendships are worth the hassle:
    • How to Be Loved: A Memoir of Lifesaving Friendship by: Eva Hagberg Fisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
      • An unexpected surprise, this book brought back so much from when my mama battled cancer. I appreciated the way Fisher was able to convey that emotion in her writing. Also, as someone that has always struggled with female relationships, this book offered a hopeful perspective towards fostering those women relationships and learning to accept help from others (something hard for me to do!).
  • If you’re looking for an incredibly engaging memoir that reads like fiction:
    • The Art of Leaving: A Memoir by: Ayelet Tsabari (HarperCollins)
      • Another unexpected surprise, but I loved this memoir of a Jewish-Yemeni woman who struggles to find her place in the world. I lived vicariously through her whimsical figure-it-out-later attitude and appreciated seeing her growth as she came of age. Tsabari is a phenomenal writer and I continually had to remind myself that this was a true story because it really read like fiction.
  • If you’re looking for an oddly humorous book:
    • Vacuum in the Dark by: Jen Beagin (Scribner)
      • Hmm…all I can say is “whoa”. This one was truly a bit much for me; it wasn’t my favorite. Had it not been a galley I most likely would have DNF’d it. This book also made me realize I need to be cautious about books that are labeled ‘humorous” because I rarely think they’re funny. Like David Sedaris? I want to love his books, but I don’t. I know I’m in the minority – and I’d love to be in the majority here – but I’m not. Oh well. Sigh. 
  • If you’re looking for a book that pulls at your heartstrings:
    • Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Daughters by: T Kira Madden (Bloomsbury Publishing)
      • Loved, loved, loved this memoir of a young girl’s coming of age story. She lives in Florida and both of her parents struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. There’s an intense chapter regarding a sexual assault she experienced at a young age, but her writing is important and, I believe, fights the social stigma surrounding victims that don’t feel safe talking about their trauma. I loved Madden’s writing style, and I still think of her story days after finishing reading it. (I’ll have my full review in March.)
  • If you’re looking for a great historical fiction novel about female bombers in WWII:
    • The Huntress by: Kate Quinn (William Morrow)
      • This one didn’t quite capture my heart like Quinn’s previous novel, The Alice Network (my review here). While I love books about WWII with strong female characters, for some reason I remained disconnected from this story. I can’t exactly pinpoint it, and I do believe I’m definitely in the minority here, because all the reviews I’ve seen so far are singing its praises. The writing is great, the characters are charming, and the story is intense. Take my opinion with a grain of salt and give this one a try if you enjoyed The Alice Network.
  • If you’re looking for a great historical fiction novel with a fresh perspective you haven’t heard before:
    • The Beantown Girls by: Jane Healey (Lake Union Publishing)
      • Just when I think I’ve heard all the angles from WWII fiction, I find a book that adds a new twist. The Beantown Girls is about women who volunteered to go overseas during WWII to boost the morale of soldiers by serving them donuts and coffee. I had never heard about the “Red Cross Clubmobile Girls”, but I’m glad I got a chance to learn about them! This book was light and sweet – a change up from the usual themes of this genre. I loved the girls and this story left my heart feeling warm. (I’ll have my full review in March.)
  • For the one who loves a healthy does of inspiration from one #badasslady:
    • Notorious RGB: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by: Iran Carmon & Shana Knizhnik (Day Street)
      • With the current state of our country’s politics, this was an endearing read about a major female #badass that has helped forge our current laws, specifically those affecting women. RBG is a fearless female crusader and I loved reading about her life – leading up to and since – her Supreme Court appointment. #loveliveRBG
  • For the one who needs a palate cleanser and prefers the thriller genre for that purpose: 
    • Social Creature by: Tara Isabella Burton (Doubleday)
      • Holy cow, this book is creepy! If this has ever happened in real life, I’m terrified. What a wild ride this book was. The writing is quick and easy, but still keeps the reader wondering how this would wrap up. I liked the readers quick and precise writing because it kept the story moving at a fast pace and refused to let me put it down.
  • If you’re looking for a middle grade book to read with your daughter:
    • Louisiana’s Way Home by: Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
      • My 11-year-old daughter and I still love to read aloud to each other and this book was perfect. It presents themes of belonging, being true to yourself, and finding “home” – wherever that may be. My daughter definitely liked it better than me, but I appreciate the conversations this fostered for us.

My favorite book of February was (hands down) THE LAST ROMANTICS…LOVED it.

What was your favorite read of February?

One thought on “February 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

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