What I Read Last Month: February
Here's what I read last month! Again, I am working on reading classics for my two classics challenges (here and here), my TBR pile challenge, plus since I'm working on more personal essays, I've been reading anthologies of personal essays and creative nonficton. Those are kind of dense and slowing down my total number of novels, of course! What I Read Last Month: February   I was kind of disappointed in myself this month. I normally read about 20 books a month. I always try to outread myself. It's silly, but it's just the way I work. I can't even say that I finished a season of The Good Wife or anything. In fact, I don't think I watched a single episode. I was so terribly sick that I couldn't do more than read and reread the same sentences over and over. I couldn't follow along with audiobooks. As I went through my Goodreads account, I saw that I went an entire week without finishing a book. That's not normal for me. I will admit that many of these novels are on the shorter side. I padded the numbers. And I admit it. I already owned them and meant to read them. I just read them all at the end of February haha.   Contemporary

King and Maxwell

king and maxwell

Rating: ***

I finally finished all of the King and Maxwell Series. I don't regret reading all of them, but, they are no works of greatness. Again, the production of the audio version made me feel embarrassed for Baldacci. I got used to having two narrators, but the music was terrible. However, I'm getting a little tired of all of these revenge conspiracy theories. I keep reading and waiting for King and Maxwell to just get together. Get together already.

Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby

careless people

Rating: ****

I wanted to read this during Jazz Age January, but I didn't have time. So, I started it at the beginning of February. It was so interesting because it discusses the Fitzgeralds, who I find fascinating, but it also gives tons of context. I haven't read many non-fiction books that talk about how murders were investigated during the 1920's, how bootlegging worked, and what life was like for people in the 1920's. Churchwell does a great job of writing about the era and relating it to how it relates to the book The Great Gatsby. I highly recommend this for anyone who is fascinated by the era! One of the really cool chapters was where Churchwell lists all of the new words or phrases that were created and coined during the jazz age. The list is fascinating and illuminates a lot about the time period. Churchwell also includes contemporary literary criticism about Fitgerald's work, which is more fascinating than the current criticism.

 The Lover's Dictionary

the lovers dictionary

Rating: ****

I loved the unique way this story was told. The story, which is not told chronologically, was a short, but interesting read. I had a little bit of hard time telling which definition was being told from whose point of view, but I think some were meant to be ambiguous. I could be wrong. It was definitely worth the read. I won't ruin it for you!

Joyland

joyland

Rating: ****

This was my first Stephen King novel. I've watched a ton of movies and mini-series inspired by his novels over the years, but I don't think I ever appreciated his writing until now. Even though this was a fairly short book, it was easy to tell what a master of story telling King is because he made me laugh, cry, and get a little scared, all in one short book. I can't wait to read more of his novels.

Moral Disorder

moral disorder

Rating: ***

I liked the short stories and the ways that they weaved together, yet I just didn't love it the way I've loved other Atwood novels.

Only Time Will Tell (Clifton Chronicles Book 1)

only time will tell

Rating: 2.5

Oh dear. I read this one at the recommendation of my mother, who has read every Archer book ever. I am no longer taking her recommendations. Only Time Will Tell feels like a poor man's Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, except Archer intends to drag this one out to the bitter end. Like the King & Maxwell series that I always read against my better judgement, this ends on a cliff-hanger, so you will go back for more. I will, just because I occasionally enjoy a mindless audiobook while I lay in bed/drift off to sleep. But, I could walk away and never think about this series again. If you are interested in reading this series, the Kindle version is on sale at the time of writing for $3. I'm guessing this is because the newest book in the series is being released soon!

One Last Thing Before I Go

one last thing before i go

Rating: ****

I read my first Tropper novel last month. I couldn't wait to read more! And ok, I'll admit that I kind of teared up at the end. The novel is a moving examination of a dysfunctional family, which after reading This is Where I Leave You by Tropper, it seems like he might specialize in. At first, I definitely did not like the main character, but he grew on me the more I understood him. Again, I like the kind of ambiguous endings that Tropper employs because I'm so used to tidy ones. I'm definitely not putting this particular novel in my favorite novels, but I am going to be reading even more Tropper novels.

The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support Your Partner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy

ptsd

Rating: Unknown- It depends on what you need

I checked this book out of the library to better understand what my family is going through. I am not a counselor/have no training, so I have no idea how valid the points in the book are, but a lot of it rang true for me. I could see myself in the description of the patients, and I could definitely see the self destructive cycle that England calls "Victim-Rescuer-Persecutor" triangle. The book, which is fairly recent, provides website resources for counseling, group therapy, and other important resources. There are also very practical tips for family members who are trying to show someone with PTSD that they need help. I do think that the book is mostly aimed at PTSD patients who are veterans, but is suited as for families for patients who were victims of a crime.

The Writing Life

the writing life

Rating: ****

This novel was extremely interesting. I prefer to write essays and haven't caught the book writing bug, though Dillard makes an argument for one long book, rather than lots of smaller essays. However, her tortured artist passages scared me away from attempting anything longer than several thousand words. I loved Dillard's look at art as everything from painting to airshow flying. Mostly, I love her style, the details she includes, and they way she weaves something that seems unimportant into a main theme, later in the writing.

Astonish Me

astonish me

Rating: ****

I loved this novel. It had twists, turns, love, broken love, dance, hopes, dreams, and losing everything. This novel was not neat. It was not tidy. It was beautiful.

First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen

first impressions

Rating: ***

While I wouldn't say that this novel is based on any Austen plots, I do think that it's obvious from the start (and Lovett says in interviews) that the main character has her own Darcy and Wickham-esque to deal with. I thought that I noticed this as I read the novel, but wasn't sure. After I read the novel, I did a quick internet search!

  classics  

Wessex Tales

wessex tales

Rating: ***

Some of these stories were insanely creepy. I can see why they are included in anthologies with Poe. I also think this was my last Hardy novel (well, short stories) to read!

The End of the Affair

the end of the affair

Rating: ***

This was an interesting novella. I can appreciate it for what it is, but it is not at the top of my recommendation list. I honestly enjoyed the novella a little bit more in hindsight when I looked up some more information about the author and criticism of the novella. Putting it in context would have made the novella more entertaining, but I was afraid of spoiling the book! It didn't hurt that I listened to the audio version read by Collin Firth... 🙂

The House in Paris

the house in paris

Rating: ***

It took me a while to get through this book. The prose was very thick, so to speak. There were beautiful details and insight into human nature, but the French characters who spoke broken English made it harder to understand the middle part. I am glad I read the book, but I would not recommend that anyone rush to read it immediately.

The Convenient Marriage

the convienent marriage

Rating: **

Just not funny. I prefer Heyer's funny novels. All these villains and "silly" women kind of rub me the wrong way.

Listened:

New category! I finally listened to all of the Serial Podcast. My husband and I listened to it together, which was really fun. He's definitely not a reader, but listening was good. And I have a law enforcement background, so I had fun being like "well, what about...?" and then the lawyer/DC detective/journalist would bring the same thing up. thisAmericanLife1 What I Read You can read my past monthly round ups: January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don't forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next--or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links that helps defray the cost of running the blog.

Linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

 
Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog's URL, so that I can find you.
Categories: What I Read Last Month | Tags: , , |
  • I’m always amazed at how much you read!!!!

    • Honestly, I wish I was able to go running instead, but I guess it’s a goal that I can reach instead. One day?

  • The Writing Life is such a marvelous book!

  • Joyland is on my list, I was wondering how it was! I’ve read a lot of Stephen King books, he is one of my favorite authors! You read so many books!!!!

    • I liked Joyland a lot! It was my first Stephen King book. I have the one that’s like 11/23/63 or something like that on hold at the library. It’s SO long, but I’ve heard it’s good!

  • Good gravies, you are a reading phenom!

    I read Joyland last year and said most of the same things that you did about it.

    We’ve shared a couple of comments about Jonathan Tropper already. Not everyone is going to like this is where I leave you because the main character is one heavily flawed individual. But, it all worked for me, and that was one of my favorite reads of 2014.

  • I am sorry you weren’t feeling well enough to be your normal reading machine!
    I have added The Lovers Dictionary, One Last Thing Before I Go & Astonish Me (how can I not with your review?!) to my list 🙂 Sucks about the Georgette Heyer book, I haven’t read anything else yet because I’m afraid nothing will compare to The Grand Sophy!

    • The Lover’s Dictionary was so good. It is short, but I kind of wished that I had read it slower. It had so many good quotes!There are two other good Georgette Heyer books that I can guess that you would really like–I loved them. Arabella & Frederica. They are both funny. The other two that I read after that were depressing.Subject: Re: Comment on What I Read Last Month: February

  • You would probably love Careless People, then! The Paris Wife was the first place that I even heard about Zelda. Then, I watched that Woody Allen movie about France… Midnight in Paris? I forget the title. Anyway, they had a Zelda character, which made me want to know a lot more about her and the Fitzgeralds in general. I love the Jazz Age, too! It was definitely fascinating because it talked about the Fiztgeralds, but also just what life was like during that time period and tied it to The Great Gatsby.

  • Oh my gosh; for a short month and for not feeling well, you totally rocked reading in my book! I was feeling pretty proud of getting six books done. The Lover’s Dictionary sounded really good and Astonish me did as well!

    • I definitely recommend The Lover’s Dictionary and Astonish Me! Next month I’m going to try out a new feature where I list “Definitely Read These” and “Skip These” at the bottom.
      I padded the numbers a little bit by reading some novellas, but they were sitting on my bookshelf or I already had them on Audible!

  • I definitely agree! I guess they needed a red herring type character, but the author could have made it a female mentor?

  • Astonish Me was great! The End of an Affair was interesting. I thought it was a totally anti-Catholic novel, so I was surprised to read that the author was actually a devout Catholic. It kind of made the novel make more sense. So, I wish I’d done a little reading on the author prior to reading it.

    • Anne @ I need some inspiration

      I didn’t know that either. I’m Catholic, and now I am *really* curious about the book. 😉

  • I’m trying to work my way through Tropper’s novels now! I have read 3 in less than 2 months, and liked all of them. He seems to publish one every 2-3 years, so I hope he’ll have a new one soon.

  • Careless People is definitely going on my to-read list next!

  • Pingback: What I Read Last Month: March - Seriously, Sarah?Seriously, Sarah?()

  • Pingback: What I Read Last Month: April - Seriously, Sarah?Seriously, Sarah?()

  • Pingback: What I Read: May - Seriously, Sarah?Seriously, Sarah?()