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Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I've Been Reading - February 2012

As I was typing up this post, Blogger published it. 
I've never had that happen, but decided to start over and re-publish the complete post.

It's been great having time to read this month!
The weather has been great (for February in Indiana) and the sun has been shining, and I have had a chance to catch up on that growing pile of books next to the bed.

So here's what I've been reading in the past month!

Pemberley by the Sea
My friend Jeanne gave me this book (along with a cute bookmark that says 'Never Judge a Book by its Movie') for Christmas.
There is apparently an entire world of Austen-esque literature out there that I had no idea existed.
Pemberley by the Sea is by Abigail Reynolds who is a physician and an author of several Austen-esque books.
The modern-day story centers around Cassie, a marine biologist, and her life working on Cape Cod. There's a Darcy figure too and romance ensues. The book starts out as a Pride and Prejudice retell, but the second half diverges. It would make a good beach read this summer.
Liked it

The Polysyllabic Spree

I have enjoyed most of Nick Hornby's books. He's written several like High Fidelity and About a Boy that were turned into good movies as well. My favorite of his is actually his memoir called Fever Pitch, about his life growing up loving British Football (soccer) and how it consumes his world.

This short non-fiction work is a compilation of 14 monthly articles Hornby wrote for Believer magazine about the books he bought and read in each month.  I "read through" this short book.  There is a lot of detail about books he read that I have never heard of and don't plan to read.  I read several of his witty essays though and enjoyed his honest attempts to read the books he purchases or has on his shelves.  It's a relatable tale and his writing style is humorous, honest, and enjoyable as always.
Liked It

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

Real Simple Magazine had an article asking for the most uplifting, put-you-in-a-good-mood books.  This book was among the responses.  I picked it up (and read the entire thing) one a recent trip to the library with the boys. 
It reads much like a graduation commencement speech, and is filled with relevant quotes and the author's own experiences which cause her to live more in the moment and re-prioritize daily.  Uplifting and sentimental.  Would make a great graduation gift.
Really Liked It

Amos Fortune, Free Man
I lead the "literature circle" in my son's 4th grade class and this was the February book.  I had never heard of Amos Fortune, a prince in Africa who was kidnapped when he was a teenager and sold into slavery in Boston in the early 1700s.  It was such an inspiring story, and full of symbolism which made for a great discussion.
Really Liked It

The Change-Your-Life Quote Book

A birthday gift from a friend and I had a great time reading through it.  Wonderful quotes on a variety of topics.  Many I had never heard before, which is always nice.  Great little hardback book - makes a terrific gift.
Really Liked It

Barefoot Contessa Parties!
In that same Real Simple magazine article someone named this book as uplifting and for a good mood.  I checked it out from our library and really enjoyed it.  Lots of delicious recipes of course.  Nice background and personal experiences shared.  If you like Ina Garten - you'll really enjoy this book.  I might get myself a copy as well!

The Fault in Our Stars
John Green's latest Young Adult novel is topping the amazon and goodreads lists these days.
Such a beautiful story.  Not sure what I was expecting, but this was not it.  Honest, bittersweet, loving, funny, real, esoteric, ironic, and heartbreaking.  I immediately put all of John Green's other YA books on hold at the library.
Hazel is a 16 year old living with cancer.  Her life has become rather small, then she meets Augustus Waters at her cancer support group meeting and her world will never be the same.
Loved It

I had been putting off reading Unbroken for months and months.  I knew from many, many people that it was a fantastic true story about a WWII survivor who endured unbelievable hardships.  I just knew parts of it would be tough to read.  I ended up choosing it for my daytime book club's (As the Page Turns) March read, just so I would have to read it.  I'm so glad I did.  It is an incredibly well-written story.  If you haven't read Unbroken yet, I highly recommend it.
Really Liked It


Dreaming of Mr. Darcy
A book club friend recommended Dreaming of Mr. Darcy if I was ever looking for another Austen-esque read.  I stayed at home all last weekend, recovering from strep throat and pulled this off my shelf.  It was a great weekend read, and would be a great beach read.
The modern-day story centers around a young artist who reinvents herself in Lyme, the seaside village that is prominent in many of Austen's novels.  It's a sweet story, and there is an Elizabeth/Darcy/Wickham triangle, and enough pretty seaside descriptions to make you want to book a trip.

So that's what I've been reading this past month.
I'd love to hear about your recent reads!


1 comment:

Kristen said...

I might have to pick up a couple of these to try. I love finding new books... have you ever heard of The Book Theif? I didn't think I could get into it but I really liked it.