Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reading Recap - February

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 70 books.  Within that total, I wanted to expand my reading horizons a little by including one memoir/biography, one classic, and one blog reader recommendation each month.

Here are February's selections:

by Susannah Cahalan
Non-fiction is a really hard genre for me. I'd much rather get lost in a fictional world than delve into someone else's reality.  But this book was chosen for an online book club I'm in, and it looked interesting.  I got a very slow start on reading it, but once I got going, I was hooked.  Some of the medical stuff was over my head and at times, I felt like it was repetitive.  But maybe that was necessary to show how much of a holding pattern her life was in while she was going through this illness and trying to diagnose it and heal.  I can't imagine what that period of her life was like for her and her family.  

by Jane Austen
This was my first foray into Ms. Austen's works, and I really struggled through the first several pages. The language was more flowery than I was used to, to speak nothing of the antiquated terms and phrases. It was also a very slow-moving story. I mean, I got to chapter six and still felt like nothing had happened.  That said, I did enjoy the heavy descriptions of the characters and family connections.  But that's no surprise. I tend to be more enthralled by characters, relationships, and settings than actual plot most of the time. That said, I did enjoy Elizabeth's spunky and stubborn nature.  I appreciated that she wasn't willing to give in to her mother's whims, and I imagine standing up for oneself like that was not easy for a woman in that era. The ongoing back and forth between her and Mr. Darcy is entertaining as well and not unlike the building tension in a lot of books I enjoy reading.  I'm still on the fence regarding how I feel about Jane Austen's work.  Well, I respect her as an author and think she's a fantastic writer.  I'm just not exactly eager to go out and begin reading everything she's written.  Does that make sense?

Blog Reader Rec
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
My friend, Jaci, has been bugging me to check out this book for a long time.  I'm pretty sure it's her favorite.  So when it was time for a new audiobook in my car (the radio drives me crazy lately), I decided this would be a good fit.  I've found that I like non-fiction audiobooks for my commutes. Fiction is better for long road trips.  But ... that's completely off-topic here.  The book was fascinating.  It used economic theories to explain a lot of social changes such as crime rates, baby names, education levels, etc. They all made me think. Some of them just plain blew my mind.  It was a very interesting read/listen.

Bonus Reads
By S.E. Hall & Angela Graham
Sixteen people (eight celebrities and eight of their guests) are thrown together in a house in "paradise."  And of course, it's all on camera. The premise is that they've each taken a test to determine which housemates are soulmates. It reminded me a lot of "Bachelor Pad" that used to air on ABC...but with a ton more drama. It was a bit predictable and definitely less scholarly than my other reads this month, but I needed a break.  This definitely fit the bill.

by Jessica Park
She is one of my favorite authors recently.  I look forward to every single one of her releases, and while I don't think anything will ever match the love I have for Flat-Out Love (and the succeeding works in the series), she has never disappointed me. This one is so much different than FOL though. The characters are still rich, flawed, and interesting, but the premise of the story is much darker and heavier.  I mean, it's about people who have found a way to "trip" death.  So there are some gruesome and emotional scenes.  And also some very hot and fun ones.  It was a rollercoaster of a read, but I loved it.  Completely.  Ms. Park hasn't made any promises about this becoming a series, but I'd be open to reading more of them.

My reading progress to date:

I'm still taking book recommendations. Let me hear them!


  1. I might have to check out Brain on Fire. It sounds like an interesting read.

    And yes, Jane Austen can be a bit much sometimes, especially having to get used to the language, but I love her story telling. IF you were to read another one of her books, I'd suggest Emma.

  2. You have read so many books! I'm impressed!

    I really want to read Brain on Fire. It sounds like it's right up my alley.

  3. You are really working your way toward you goal! I really like nonfiction books to listen to, as well. I've been working my way to listening to fictional stories. I'm choosing ones that seem to be more serious in nature to listen to rather than read. I've never finished a Jane Austen book. I've tried, but I cant!


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