Booking It: February 2015

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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.

That’s it! What are you reading? I’m still working on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and have started All the Light We Cannot See.

Added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

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13 thoughts on “Booking It: February 2015

  1. I just read the Woman in White – for this month! I listened to the audio, which was confusing at first, as the narrators jumped around, but I got a hang of it. You wrote exactly what I wrote about it! (I try to update my post as I read, so I don’t forget). I am glad I read it, but I am not rushing to recommend it to any friends.
    I really enjoyed Astonish Me, but hadn’t looked into any of her other novels. With a TBR list that is several hundred books long, I’ll just skip Seating Arrangements for now. I am always glad to see authors get better, but no need to backtrack, right?

  2. I loved The Woman in White, but I’m still convinced Walter should have run away with Marian and started a detective agency with her. They just worked so well together!

  3. I went straight to my library website to see if they have the Atul Gawande book because it looks so interesting to me (I lost my mom to cancer in September). They do, and I look forward to reading it soon. Thanks for your list!

    • I imagine it might be difficult for you to read, but it is just such a stellar book. My grandma is going through dementia and that part of thinking about it personally was difficult. Let me know what you think about it.

  4. I just got a hold of a copy of Being Mortal, I am very interested in reading it. I read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes last year and found it fascinating and enlightening.

    • I’ve never heard of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, but it sounds really interesting. My uncle is a funeral home director, so I’ve always had some exposure to the “industry.” (?)

  5. I felt the same way about Seating Arrangements, so much so that I almost didn’t read Astonish Me. In fact, Anne (Modern Mrs. Darcy) urged me to, otherwise I would’ve missed that great book!

    It’s rare that I feel so strongly opposite about an author’s work. Like you said, I hope it’s indicative of even more great works in the future.

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