February… Even in a Leap Year, this will be a short post.

Bring on the books!

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry – Fredrik Backman  – 3* – (Feb. 4):
(Goodreads review)
mygrandmotheraskedmeI wanted to love this based on reviews from friends. It’s a read for bookclub (though we haven’t discussed it yet) about a very precocious 7-year-old who has adventures with her granny. There’s a strong fairytale/make-believe element and I found myself sometimes uncertain what was supposed to be real and what wasn’t. What did those around her see? Also, I didn’t think the story would’ve been much different if the child had been 10 or so, yet her actions and personality would’ve been more age-appropriate. Seven was often just too young.

The History of Love – Nicole Krauss – 4* – (Feb. 9):
(Goodreads review)

historyofloveThis was an interesting book about friendship and families and the idea of romantic love than it was an actual romance novel. Some of the writing was hauntingly beautiful while some of the character mannerisms were very annoying. Overall, it was different and stood out positively for some of the things it made me think and feel, even if the things it made me think and feel weren’t always comfortable. Not bad for a book I bought on a whim.

The Book of Speculation – Erika Swyler  – 4.5* – (Feb. 13):
(Goodreads review)

bookofspeculationAdvertised as part-“Night Circus” and part-“Water for Elephants,” I found it not as mystical as the first or as gritty as the latter but a solid story on its own. Sure, parts of the current-day story fell together too conveniently, but it was worth it to revel in the circus folklore of the past. It was hard to say if some of what happened was coincidence or curse but I enjoyed reading about the odd lives and adventures. I threw this one in my library queue after seeing it on a friend’s to-read list and it was a pleasant surprise.

Long and Faraway Gone – Lou Berney – 4.25* – (Feb. 19):
(Goodreads review)

longandfarawaygoneCompared to the way things came together so conveniently in the last book, this book refreshingly did NOT do that. Multiple crimes in the same city only months apart but long ago are explored here and while a couple of the primary characters ran into each other, the stories didn’t really intersect otherwise. They didn’t decide to form a Scooby-Gang to solve their respective mysteries and I was glad for that. Otherwise, the pay-off for one of the stories was anti-climactic, I saw the second one coming a million miles away, and the third delivered a real gut-punch. One out of three ain’t bad? And I enjoyed it overall. The heroes weren’t perfect, the bad guys weren’t caricatures, and the journey from start to finish was engaging. Another “bought it on a whim” book that I rated higher than a few I had picked up with great expectations.

I have three reading goals this year:

  1. Read 50 books: – I finished another 4 in February, for a total so far of 8. Still on-target.
  2. Complete the PopSugar 2016 Reading ChallengeThere are 40 categories and I’ll count no book for more than 2. I also decided not to count re-reads (unless the category specifies it must be a re-read). Numbers below are new/add’l categories completed.
    1. January – 4
    2. February – 2
    3. (Total = 6)
  3. Read at least 3 classics from new-to-me authors: I did not.

Diversity? More mysteries, a foreign translation, and some contemporary fiction. I also started a YA book (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton), read the intro, read the description, and abandoned it. It definitely wasn’t for me.

Star ratings: This is based on the flat stars Goodreads displays in list-view, not the quarter-star system I assign in my reviews.

  • 5 stars: 1 book (re-read)
  • 4 stars: 5 books
  • 3 stars: 1 books
  • 2 stars: 1 books
  • 1 star: 0 books
  • 0 stars: 2 books (both books I started and abandoned)

Pages read:

  • January – 1608
  • February – 1420

I also read 500 pages in February of a book I’ll finish this month. If those were counted above, I would be ahead of January. Let’s hope I can finish that one before the library takes my e-loan away!