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I ended up reading more than I thought I would in February – probably due to a lot of snow/cold/ice/what on earth are they thinking? days where my husband was home. I’m staying caught up with my Bible-in-90-days reading too; we are nearing the end of Ezekiel, which is definitely throwing my head for a loop.
Here’s what I read in February.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – I’m thinking of making a list of books I think everyone should read, and this would definitely be on there. The topic of mortality and end-of-life decisions is one we cannot ignore. Gawande (whom I adored when I read Better many years ago) digs into nursing homes, hospice, assisted living, cancer, surgery, and more, all with a relatable voice and inserting stories from his life and work. The way he tenderly adds his own father’s tale is breathtaking. Read it.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – It took me around seven weeks to get through this class behemoth. As I told my husband, when things finally started happening around page 325, I started reading a lot faster. Obviously readers in 1860 were much more patient than I am. It’s a classic I had read about many years ago: the first sensationalist novel. It’s an interesting read, but I don’t think I recommend it to my friends (for fear they might come after me in the night when they reach page 250 or so).
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell – For the first two chapters, I was afraid I was really going to hate this book even though I like the author’s blog. A lot of “guilt stuffed like Oreos” type metaphors, and those tend to bother me. But once Mitchell found her pace, I think the memoir is very readable. And oh so engaging if you’ve struggled with your weight – especially those of us who have since childhood, a more rare and dismal clique.
This book isn’t about how Andie Mitchell lost 135 pounds. If you’re looking for a plan, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s about a person who grew up confused about eating and how she learned to deal with food in a normal way. I hope I’ll get there someday. I so appreciated the honesty flowing from this short memoir.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer – Fairest is definitely an “in-between” book for the Lunar Chronicles series. While the first three books in this series have all been giant hits in my opinion, this short tome is just OK. It tells the back story of the Lunar queen Levana. Even evil queens have pasts, and we get to see why Levana is the way she is (and where Winter came from, and why Levana hates her, and …). It’s good for information but not up to par with the rest of the amazing series. I can’t wait for Winter to be released! (Review for Cress, the third book, here.)
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead – I feel pretty “eh” about this book, the first from Shipstead, who also wrote Astonish Me, which I read last month and enjoyed. In the same floating-between-viewpoints way as Astonish Me, Shipstead shares the story of the van Meter family as they prepare for elder daughter Daphne’s wedding. The fact that Daphne is seven months pregnant, younger daughter Livia has recently had an abortion and a bad break-up, and their father Winn is trying to keep up their family status just adds to the hullabaloo. I kept reading it, because the writing is good; but I felt like many of the characters were one-note and the sexual scenes were too much for me. Shipstead’s writing obviously grew between this book and Astonish Me, and I am sure she will continue to produce provoking works.
Added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy.