What I Read: February 2016

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Just four books in this short month (how did I do 10 last month? No clue!). Jane Eyre is pretty dense, though, so we’ll chalk it up to the classic.

themartian

The Martian by Andy Weir – You’ve probably already read The Martian, but I hadn’t until recently, even though it’s a book my husband loved and devoured. I rated it four stars on GoodReads, but for me it might be closer to a three star … but I was afraid Mr. V would come after me with a steak knife. (Not really. I promise.)

It’s a very well-written and researched book, exploring the what if of an astronaut stuck on Mars by himself. Is it possible he could survive? Obviously written by someone who understands science, Weir presents evidence that it’s possible and gives us an entertaining main character in Mark. Many reviews say there is a lack of character development, but I thought Mark was interesting and hilarious, while maybe a little shallow. My biggest surprise was that this book is really very funny. For me, it was hard to get through all the scientific explanations and potato planting – science was never my subject. But altogether, I am glad I finally dove in and read this book.

secretkeeper

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton – I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Kate Morton’s newest novel, The Lake House, but I’d never read anything by her. In The Secret Keeper, Morton unravels a family mystery in rural England, flashing back and forth between the present-day and World War II. Laurel returns home as her mother’s health declines, and she wants to know the truth about a traumatic childhood incident that changed her. Slowly and surely, she finds bits and pieces of evidence – and meanwhile, we find out the whole story through her mother’s point-of-view. It’s a pageturner, well-written with great characters, and now I will definitely track down some of Morton’s other books to dig into.

StarsAbove

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – I’m sure most of you are well aware of my obsession with the Lunar Chronicles by Meyer by now. They are so very good, and the last book in the series came out in November. But here, Meyer continued to delight her readers with a short story collection detailing some of the characters’ back stories and even a future event.

Short stories are never going to be my thing; I love the depth of novels. But since we already knew these characters, it worked. It was like a DVD Easter egg finding out bits and pieces about my beloved “friends.” I wouldn’t buy this one, but if you’ve read the Lunar Chronicles definitely check it out from the library.

janeeyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre is a book I should have read in college; it was definitely assigned in my intro class for my English major, and I equally definitely only read a few bits and pieces from it. (Sorry, Dr. Hewett-Smith and my parents.) I tried to read everything in school, I swear, but there was a TON of reading to do!

Reading Jane Eyre made me almost wish I were back in school and could write an essay about it; I think I would explore the image of angels throughout the novels, or maybe the two families Jane finds herself as a part of. It’s a complex book with an intriguing female character; unlike some of the other heroines I’ve read about in 19th-century literature, Jane speaks her mind, has opinions, and follows through on her beliefs, even when it’s difficult. She isn’t just there to see how men react to her. Her first-person narration is believable and detailed without losing the reader.

I’m glad I read Jane Eyre, finally. I’m really glad I don’t have to write any more English essays.

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That’s what I read in February. How about you?

Added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy

8 thoughts on “What I Read: February 2016

  1. I didn’t read Jane Eyre until I was in my forties. I liked it but I am reading it again now with my teens and I am loving it this time around. I am noticing so much more than I did the last time I read it.

  2. Jessie!! Jane Eyre is the BEST! It’s just pure Gothic perfection. Plus, I have an old Rio doll from when I was little (the guy on Jem and the Holograms), which is missing a hand. When my niece played with it, I told her his name was Mr. Rochester.

  3. I read a lot this month. An international trip, followed by minor illness gave me more reading time than normal. I finished some books I had started at some point, like “Station Eleven” and “Emma, Mr. Knightly, and Chili-Slaw Dogs.” I reread “Pride and Prejudice” for the millionth time, and reread some others like the first Flavia de Luce and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond.” I’m working through the Elizabeth George series, and some Jenny Colgan books. A book that’s a little more eye candy than reading is “Paris in Color.” I read it on Kindle, but would love to see the actual book to see the pictures better at some point.

  4. The book club I participate in is doing “The Martian” and I’ve been intimated, so I’m glad to hear it has some comic relief.
    I LOVED “The Secret Keeper”! A must read for anyone interested in that period in history.
    And, of course, “Jane Eyre” rocks. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. If you had to pick a Kate Morton book to start with, I think you picked the best one. The Secret Keeper is SO good. The plot twist toward the end was stunning and the WWII atmosphere just came alive for me. So glad you liked it!

  6. I read Jane Eyre for the first time in January. I loved it! It’d be fun to discussing some of the themes you mentioned. There were several passages that I had to re-read to fully absorb. Amazing it was written so long ago and yet it’s still relevant. I read the Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and really enjoyed it, if you’re looking for your next Morton book. I’ve also heard great things about The Lake House.

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