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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~~ February 2013

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message 1: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 28, 2013 04:18PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Here is a Thread for you to list the books you read in February 2013.

Please provide:
~ A GoodRead link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments I won't finish another one by the end of today, so here is my list for February:

The Bookwoman's Last Fling by John Dunning: I did not enjoy this book as much as the other four Cliff Janeway novels I have read, because this one is actually masquerading as a book-oriented mystery. It's really a horse-racing mystery, with just a tiny bit of rare book story line at the beginning and end. Dragged quite a bit in places. A disappointing end to the series. 2 stars.

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by Doris Kearns Goodwin: This was the first book I tackled from my 2013 Determination List. Very good discussion about what was going on (domestically, politically, in the workplace, etc.) during WWII--I learned a lot. Almost too much, actually--the book dragged in parts. I'm glad I read it, though. I have a new respect for both Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt after completing it. (Notwithstanding FDR's huge and glaring error with the Japanese internment camps, that is.) I gave it 3.5 stars.

Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Beautifully written story of cousins and family secrets in India. I enjoyed it, but thought the ending strained credibility a bit. 4 stars

American Pastoral by Philip Roth: This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. It has been sitting on my bookshelves for at least a decade, and was one of my selections for my 2013 Determination List. Now that I've read it, I'm still trying to decide if I liked it or not.
This is a novel about domestic terrorism, but one concerned with the human ramifications, not the ideology of motivation. At the heart of it is Merry Levov, who at age 16 in 1968 blows up her small town post-office as a protest against the Vietnam War, accidentally murdering the beloved town doctor (as he drops off mail on his way to work). She then disappears, and her "perfect" American family must deal with the emotional consequences. The deeper meaning in the book seems to be that the "the Perfect American Life does not exist" and "the happiest are just hiding the ugly better than everyone else."
The book is melancholy throughout. It is also exhausting at times—there are long paragraphs without breaks, and the flow of the text requires paying close attention. It's not a book where your mind can wander and come back to pick up the story. I spent a lot of time going back a few paragraphs and re-reading the text. The writing, however, is breath-taking at times. There were a number of points where I was just about to give up and throw in the towel, but I would get sucked in by a particularly well-written and lyrical turn of phrase. And I think this book forced me to the dictionary more than any other I've read in a long, long time. I am in awe of Roth's abilities. Having said all that, I would end up giving this a barely-there 3 stars. If I were to rate in on my pure reading pleasure, it would get a 2. But my appreciation for Roth's writing nudges it to a 3 overall. I wouldn't recommend it as a "must-read" to friends, however.

The Rope by Nevada Barr: Although this is titled as #17 in a long-running mystery series featuring National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon, it is actually the first book about the main character as it goes back in time to the very first days when Anna takes her first job as a seasonal park employee. As a long-time fan of the series, it was interesting to “fill in the pieces” of Anna’s past. The story itself, however, was not as strong as it could be and there were a number of times when I was rolling my eyes in disbelief. I gave it 3 stars because I enjoy the author and the character.

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji: I liked the beginning of the book and immediately felt immersed in Iranian life. It takes place in 1973-74 in pre-revolution Iran during the Shah's reign, before the takeover by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It is a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy who spends an idyllic summer with his best friends, only to have his life shattered by the Iranian secret police (the SAVAK) and the girl he loves. You get a peek at some of the discontent boiling in Iran and - if you didn't already - begin to better understand the desire for change in the country. However, the characters were a bit too dramatic for my tastes, and the ending was a disappointment. 3 stars


message 3: by Carol (last edited Jul 11, 2013 05:59AM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 843 comments FEBRUARY reads:

Shaggy Muses The Dogs Who Inspired Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf by Maureen Adams Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf by Maureen Adams 5
This little book has five excellent "condensed biographies," of all women authors who rely on their devoted dogs to help them through difficult times and more. the five are: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (fear) and Flush; Emily Bronte and Keeper; Emily Dickinson (anxiety, rheumatic iritis) and her Newfoundland Carlo; Edith Wharton (depression) and her tiny dog Foxy & Linky; Virginia Woolf (mental illness) who needed walks over the Sussex downs with Gurth, Grizzle and Pink. First book written by Maureen Adams.

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan 4
First time reading O'Nan's writing, chose it because it was his birthday (2/4/61). I enjoyed the story and the characters. I found it strange to hear the names of local towns, stores, colleges where I grew up. I literally waitressed at a "coffee shop" down the street at the mall. It was a place somewhat like Red Lobster in menu and decor described in this book. It brought back lots of memories.

Be Satisfied (Ecclesiastes) Looking for the Answer to the Meaning of Life by Warren W. Wiersbe Be Satisfied (Ecclesiastes): Looking for the Answer to the Meaning of Life by Warren W. Wiersbe 5
Warren Wiersbe is an excellent writer. Ecclesiastes is a difficult book to take in, it must be savored over time. Ecclesiastes is a book of perspective and the Preacher reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things. Solomon asks "Is life worth living?"He sees: 1. The monotony of life; 2. The vanity of wisdom; 3. The futility of wealth; 4. The certainty of death. Solomon concludes that life without God is not worth living. But having God in the picture changes everything. Life was not monotonous but filled with challenging situations from God, each in its own time. Wealth could be enjoyed unless employed to the glory of God. Solomon concluded its better to follow God's wisdom than to practice God's folly. Regarding certainty of death -- there is no way to escape it; but it ought to motivate us to enjoy life now and make the most of the opportunities God gives us.

Boundaries When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud 4
If you are an "enabler", then this book is for me and . . . Old habits are hard to change, this is a great book for somewhere to start.

Civil War Women by Frank McSherry Civil War Women by Frank McSherry 4
I never really thought about what happened to the women (during the Civil War) who stayed at home with their children when all hell broke loose. How they lost everything, their spouses, their possessions, food, homes, volunteering to the sick in make shift hospitals, either trying to nurse some back to health or to help those who were dying. The smell of dead bodies in ditches in the fields, the lack of food, and the threat of rape for both white and african american females by soldiers. These tragic stories written by famous women authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty, Constance Fenimore Woolson and many more.

Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth New Poems by Alice WalkerAbsolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems by Alice Walker 4
Honest. Deeply introspective. Embracing all of life. Especially like "On Some Things to Enjoy About Aging."

Cod A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky 5
What a surprising and excellent read! Kurlansky entitles this book as a "biography" of the fish that changed the world, which was evident by the history presented. Amazing that wars & revolutions fought over cod. Economies greatly depended on it. The settlement of North America was driven by it. As a "New Englander", I have eaten my share of cod as well as chowders. I found the history fascinating (beginning with the Vikings in 1000 in the Mediterranean world where salted meats prevailed in the hot, humid climates). Through other centuries, including freezing fish by Birdseye. In the 20th century, fishing stocks became depleted.

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan 4
Did with my mom's book group. It's a detailed story about four totally dysfunctional women in this family, either plagued by alcohol, immaturity, guilt, or perfectionism. Although things get crazy, you end up loving them in the end.

Emily Bronte The Artist As a Free Woman by Stevie Davies Emily Bronte: The Artist As a Free Woman by Stevie Davies
This book is divided into three sections: Her Life, Her Poetry (amazing) and Her Novel: Wuthering Heights. Such a small book to see Emily with a different perspective.

Emily's Ghost A Novel of the Brontë Sisters by Denise Giardina Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Brontë Sisters by Denise Giardina
A tragic love story about a gifted and determined Emily Bronte who becomes close with her father's clergyman, William Weightman. He is devoted to the poor and sick, and they fall in love with each other. Just as they are beginning their relationship, Emily must accompany Charlotte to Brussels (against Emily's will). While there cholera hits Haworth, many die, William succombs to it. Her father requests the girls to come home. When they arrive, Emily learns of her fiancee's death. Suddenly Aunt Branwell dies followed by Emily.

Beloved by Toni Morrison Beloved by Toni Morrison-5
This amazing story will change how you see everything. If you haven't read it -- you should.

The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay 5
I love her poetry, especially The Ballad of the Harp Weaver (The Pulitzer Prize in 1923). The poem is a testimony of a mother's unconditional love for her child. That although they are poor (world-wise), they are rich in love. Love can also be seen here as a form of sustenance. It is also Millay's attempt to expose the traditional role of women in society.

A Backward Glance An Autobiography by Edith Wharton A Backward Glance: An Autobiography by Edith Wharton 2
I found Edith Wharton’s autobiography very limited (and in many ways) condescending. Wharton loved to share all the details of her exciting, elitist’s lifestyle but when it came to her losses, Wharton completely ignores them. According to her publisher in 1934, regarding her autobiography, “it was so unrevealing that its publishers, to Wharton's fury, tried to adjust their contract to permit severe cutting of what they called long "dull" parts.”

The Things That Matter What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life by Edward Mendelson The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life by Edward Mendelson4
Interesting read of comparing 7 novels to different stages of life: childbirth (Frankenstein); childhood (Wuthering Heights); growing into adulthood (Jane Eyre); & marriage (Middlemarch). Three chapters devoted to Virginia Woolf which are (personal love) Mrs. Dalloway; (parenthood) To The Lighthouse; and (life surrenders to the next generation) Between the Acts. I thought it was well done.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis 5
I have to say that this is a great book about the life of Rosa Parks. This book has totally change my idea of who she was and all that this intelligent, persevering woman did. She was truly remarkable. She was not only a dedicated activist but also a strong woman of faith. Rosa's belief in self-defense and collective action stemmed as well as from her Christian faith. "From my upbringing and the Bible I learned people should stand up for the rights just as the children of Israel stood up to the Pharaoh." After her arrest, her family left Mongomery because it was not safe for them and they went to Chicago, living on next to nothing, having difficulties in finding employment. But she never complained. She went ahead with an operation for an ulcer and a tumor in her throat that she suffered for a long time. She found minimal work and then slowly started to pay it off, when help came. When asked how she would like to be remembered she said, "I'd like people to say I'm a person who always wanted to be free and wanted it not only for myself."

Indigo Bunting a memoir of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Vincent SheeanIndigo Bunting: a memoir of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Vincent Sheean 5
Sheean looks at the personal side of Millay and her genius. He discusses one memorable visit to her home near Austerlitz (on the coast of Maine) where she allowed him into her private sanctuary -- one with a huge window that had many winged visitors. Birds were a vital part of Millay's life and is seen in her poetry. This story is a brief glimpse into her private life -- which we are able to share.

Gondal Poems. Now First Published From The Ms. In The British Museum by Emily Brontë 5
Love this tiny old book - "A first edition published from the MS. in the British Museum." Lovely thick stock pages with hot metal typesetting -- just beautiful. Inside on a page opposite the typed text is Emily's handwritten notes in the tiniest size imaginable, including her revisions and dated in the top right corner. Her poetry is beautiful.

Focused on birthdays-- O'Nan, Walker, Morrison, Millay & Parks.


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 01, 2013 01:28AM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Amy wrote: "I won't finish another one by the end of today, so here is my list for February:

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Excellent write-ups, Amy.

I think I enjoyed No Ordinary Time a bit more than you. I was amazed at her research. I also read it with the group here, and that always increases my enjoyment of a book.


message 5: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Carol, what can I say. I am in awe of your reading.

Shaggy Muses.
What I great idea for a book.

Be Satisfied- "Ecclesiastes is a book of perspective and the Preacher reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking happiness in worldly things."

Also a Buddhist concept.

Being a Pete Seeger fan, I of course love Solomon's General Observations- A time for Everything.
Turn, Turn, Turn.

I'm glad you gave a 5 to the Rosa Parks book as it is on my TBR list.


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Well, it looks like I am not going to finish anymore books in Feb. Feb. was not such a great reading month for me. Here is my meager list.

Help Thanks Wow Three Essential Prayers by Anne LamottHelp Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers~Anne Lamott
Non-fiction
Rate 2/5
This 100 page book is Lamott’s simple off-beat spiritual take on prayer.
I felt she phoned this one in. I thought it was shallow and lacked her usual sharp wit and insight.

Rules of Civility by Amor TowlesRules of Civility~Amor Towles
Fiction
Rate 2/5
Read for two f2f book groups. The book is long on style and short on plot. I found it a chore to read.

The Dog Stars~Peter Heller
Fiction
Did not finish
I like to read I like apocalyptic stories. However, I couldn't get past the writing. It's written in sentence fragments and has no quotation marks etc.

I recommend reading a few pages on Amazon before you pick this book up.

March has to be better !


message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 843 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Carol, what can I say. I am in awe of your reading."

It's very easy to do when you are home all day. After I finish my "household duties"-- it's time to read!! (I rarely watch TV). I need to get back to the gym but my youngest totaled his car so he is driving my car. I look forward to Spring and no snow.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments Sorry to see that you didn't enjoy "Rules of Civility," Alias. That one is on my list. Or maybe it isn't anymore after reading your thoughts about it. ;)


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Amy wrote: "Sorry to see that you didn't enjoy "Rules of Civility," Alias. That one is on my list. Or maybe it isn't anymore after reading your thoughts about it. ;)"
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I read it with two groups. One group was a library group. The librarian didn't like it. For whatever reason, she was ill prepared to lead a discussion on it. This seems to be the case too often and is the reason I seldom come to their discussions. So the "discussion" lasted maybe 20 minutes instead of the full hour. It was a real disappointment. There just was so little plot that there wasn't much to talk about.

The other f2f group was at a bookstore. I would say maybe half didn't like it. Since we had the author there, we didn't discuss any negatives. I found the author interesting, though I later heard some didn't. They thought he was a bit pedantic.

I would say try a few chapters. See if the style and story are for you.


message 10: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments This is a thread I look forward to all month.

Please share your February reads with us !


message 11: by Patrice (last edited Mar 02, 2013 04:31AM) (new)

Patrice Carol! Awesome! Very impressive not only in amount but your choices.

Amy too! Those books sound so tempting.

I'm sorry, I don't know how to insert links. I've been taking a class on the enlightenment so I've been reading pretty heavy stuff.

Candide, by Voltaire, was a blast. Funny and insightful I really enjoyed it. Five stars.

Dialogues on Natural Religion by David Hume. Not fun.
It's a dialog between three men, a skeptic, an orthodox believer, and a philosopher. They debate the truth of God. I could have spent the whole month reading this one work. There was a lot there and I really needed help understanding it. Hume basically doesn't believe in God. He could not publish it in his lifetime and left it to a friend to publish after he was gone. Four stars. It probably deserves 5 but I didn't understand it enough.

Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith. This was an attempt to derive morality without revelation. Pure reason and observation. He was a psychologist before they existed. Very interesting. I didn't agree with everything he said but it really made me think and he laid out a lot of truth. 5 stars

Emile by Rousseau. This was a thought experiment. Rousseau tries to raise a child that is free and independent. He feels that society has corrupted mankind and he lays out this plan of raising a pure human being. It made me think long and hard as much of it is pure nonsense and a lot of it makes sense. He was very influential and led to Montessori,Dewey, child centered education, Very long. He could have used an editor. four stars.

Not a lot of books but I'm exhausted from reading just those.


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 02, 2013 04:29PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Patrice wrote: I've been taking a class on the enlightenment so I've been reading pretty heavy stuff.

----------------
Interesting, Patrice. Heavy reading indeed !
Thanks for sharing with us.

To insert a link is easy. See the box you are typing in?
At the top is Add Book/Author. Click on that. Type in title. Click Add. you need to close the box and reopen to do the author. The tab switches between book & author.

Candide~Voltaire

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion/The Natural History of Religion~David Hume

The Theory of Moral Sentiments~Adam Smith

Emile: Or On Education~Jean-Jacques Rousseau


message 13: by Connie (new)

Connie (Connie_G) | 287 comments Very impressive, Patrice. That's a lot of serious reading for one month. Are you taking a college course?


message 14: by Patrice (new)

Patrice Yes. I would never attempt those books on my own, Even with the help of the class I'm not satisfied that I understand them. But at least I'm acquainted with them.
I'm looking forward to reading for pleasure soon!


message 15: by Patrice (new)

Patrice Thanks so much Alias! This is the first technological thing I have learned to do on Goodreads! I don't know why I didn't see the "add book" before! You have succeeded in explaining something at which many before you have failed! ;-)


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments :)


message 17: by Sumofparts (new)

Sumofparts | 37 comments Alias Reader - sorry that February was so disappointing; I agree that March has to be better.

February read:
I only finished one book, which I had started in January. Life has been busy especially with a move to a different city.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
4 stars
I really enjoyed the book and understand why it was so well-received. It was also a long book to get through and I was never able to sustain long periods of reading because there was a lot of stuff going on in terms of ideas and observations. This was a book I would've liked to discuss with others. I didn't always enjoy the asides and changes in direction or the authorial tone but I still found certain parts hilarious and I definitely literally laughed out loud while reading. My determination list includes the rest of her novels; hopefully they're as enjoyable.


message 18: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Sum, best of luck in your new home !

I agree. loved White Teeth, also.


message 19: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) This is my list for the month of February:

The Invisible Bridge
The Beach Trees
The Good Father
The Red Book
The Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Home Front
Still Alice
The Glass Room
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Art Forger
Schindler's List
A Week in Winter

While I would love to write a synopsis or review for each of these books, time precludes this for now. What I will do is list those worthwhile books and those one MUST not read.

More than worthwhile and worthwhile

The Invisible Bridge
The Queen's Gambit: A Novel especially if you enjoy playing chess - written for young adults
The Glass Room
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeSchindler's List
A Week in Winter

Do Not Read
The Beach Trees
The Good Father
The Red Book
Home Front

and a special and and last book by a beloved author of mine

A Week in Winter


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments You had a very nice reading month, Nancy. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

I met the author of Invisible Bridge at a book signing. It was evident that she was highly educated. Though I didn't care for the book as much as you did, I did enjoy the author Q&A.


message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments I'm curious that you didn't include "Still Alice" on your list of worthwhile reads. Did you not care for it? I was really moved by that book, perhaps because my grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's. I thought the book gave a very believable and fascinating glimpse into the deterioration of the mind.


message 22: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Alias Reader wrote: "You had a very nice reading month, Nancy. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

I met the author of Invisible Bridge at a book signing. It was evident that she was highly educated. T..."


I did have some problems with The Invisible Bridge - I would have liked to know more about they came to the states and thought too much time was spent on the romance, but overall it was a good book compared to some others that month. Which brings me to, do we rank books against what we've read recently or just on their own?


message 23: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Sorry, I meant to include it. For me it was all too reminiscent of my friend who at 45 was diagnosed with this illness. In her case, too many people covered for her until her high school students went to her chairperson to say something was wrong. She died a young woman who was divorced from her husband for monetary reaosns.


message 24: by Lori (new)

Lori Baldi | 37 comments I stuck with my average of 2 books a month. So maddening to me when I long to read 7 or 8 a month! Since there are so few, I like to mix things up with one lighter book to each heavier book. That's not a rule just a guide that I try to go with. This was my February:

How to Bake a Perfect Life I gave 4 stars. And Nancy, I do my rankings by how I felt about the book on it's own not in comparison to other books. This book was very pleasant to find as it's written by an author who is new to me but I have heard very good things about. Now I have a few of the backlisted books to catch up with. Good plot, enjoyable story telling, likable characters. Very much a story of women. I would wish for more stories in the same vein.

Fault Line receives just 3 stars. Goddard is a favorite author of mine but mainly due to works in the way back past. His most recent work is good for me, not great. This one had an engaging plot but the characters were a bit off. I felt that the pieces left out were too big of a chunk of character description. The best part was the the story line in Capri which I recently visited on my trip to Italy. Capri was my favorite place and would be the place that I would retire to if I had all the funds I want. That is what one of the main characters did in the book.


message 25: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Nancy wrote: and thought too much time was spent on the romance, but overall it was a good book compared to some others that month. Which brings me to, do we rank books against what we've read recently or just on their own? "
------------------
Re: The Invisable Bridge. That is exactly one of the issues I had with the book. I wasn't into the romance. I also felt the book could have been cut by 200 pages.

I rate my books on their own for that genre. I rate 0-5


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 05, 2013 11:33PM) (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Lori wrote: "I stuck with my average of 2 books a month. So maddening to me when I long to read 7 or 8 a month! Since there are so few, I like to mix things up with one lighter book to each heavier book. That's..."
----------------

I long to read more,too, Lori. However, I just can't seem to find the time. To be honest, the computer & TV takes up my lot of my spare time.

Thanks for sharing your Feb. reads with us, Lori !


message 27: by Maicie (new)

Maicie | 25 comments The Art of Hearing Heartbeats: 3 stars
Good story, set in Burma, about a love between a blind boy and a crippled girl. The ending was very confusing. I did an online search to see if it was just me. It wasn,’t!

Knockemstiff: 4 stars
A bleak story about the miserable lives of the inhabitants of a Midwestern town. I hope Donald Ray Pollock has a long writing career.

Falling Angel: 4 stars
Noir fiction. P.I. Harry Angel is hired to find a missing person. Everyone he questions ends up dead. Funny with a touch of supernatural.

Guys Read: Funny Business: 4 stars
Juvenile fiction. A collection of short stories. I'll recommend this to my grandkids when they are older.


The Book Thief: 3 stars
Teen fiction. A good story about the Halocaust but something about the writing bothered me. I didn’t fall head over heels like so many other readers.

Room By Room Storage Solutions: 2 stars
I can only recommend this book if you: a) love a color coordinated pantry b) have a hobby room that you never, ever work in c) have children/grandchildren who don’t play with toys.

Between Shades of Gray: 3 stars
Teen Fiction History. A very good book written about Stalin’s invasion of Lithuania.

Life After Death: 2 stars
Memoir. I feel bad about disliking this book. It’s about a man who spends 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The author blames everyone for everything. He has the right, of course, but I was hoping for a book about strength and determination.

Columbine: 2 stars
I put the book down near the end. I found myself disgusted by the behavior of some of the survivors. I didn't like feeling that way about the kids who went through this awful event so I just quit reading.

The Turtle Boy: 3 stars
A short little horror story. Not great, not bad.

Into the Darkest Corner: 3 stars
This tale has been done before: woman meets perfect man, man turns out to be abusive, woman finds the strength to fight back.

I did like how the author told the story in two parts: the abusive relationship and the after-effects. Due to the emotional and physical abuse the wife later suffers from PTSD and OCD. There were sections of the story that were repetitive (the very definition of OCD) but it works well to show the reader how the wife's thinking and behavior became an endless loop of helplessness.

Not a great reading month. Mostly light reads that didn't stir up much gray matter.


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Maicie wrote: Not a great reading month. Mostly light reads that didn't stir up much gray matter.


Columbine: 2 stars
I put the book down near the end. I found myself disgusted by the behavior of some of the survivors. I didn't like feeling that way about the kids who went through this awful event so I just quit reading.

------------
I think you had a very nice reading month, Maicie. Thanks for sharing with us. I love your synopsis. Especially Room By Room made me smile.

We disagree on Columbine. I really liked this book. It showed how so much we "learned" right after the crime was simply wrong. A good lesson to keep in mind. Since the book is non-fiction, I can't fault the author for the way people behaved in the book. In fact, I find it fascinating to see how people behave.


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments I liked "Columbine" too--I gave it 4 stars. That's what I love about Goodreads--I always end up seeing books in a different light when I read what other people think of them!


message 30: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Amy, the author, Cullen, is a GR author. At the time I read it, he had a discussion on his GR page. He was very nice. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on the questions asked.

I would definitely read more by him.


message 31: by Amy (last edited Mar 06, 2013 09:45PM) (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments Have you read The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb? It's a fictionalized version of the Columbine shooting. The main character's wife is a school nurse who survives the shooting at the high school by hiding in a cabinet in the library. She is tramautized by the event, and the story then revolves around the effect that it has on their marriage. It is a very good read. I didn't like it as much as I liked I Know This Much Is True, but it was still a powerful and mesmerizing read.


message 32: by Maicie (new)

Maicie | 25 comments I should clarify that my low rating of "Columbine" is rated on content not writing style. You're absolutely right, Alias; at the time of the shooting the reports were often completely wrong. Since Cullen was telling the story in third-person I just couldn't grasp that this was the "true" story, either. I don't suppose the public will ever know the complete truth. I guess we can only hope these events become a thing of the past.

Oh, and I liked "The Hour I First Believed." Might have to reread that one again.


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Amy wrote: "Have you read The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb?

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I haven't. I generally prefer non-fiction.


message 34: by Connie (last edited Mar 07, 2013 08:19AM) (new)

Connie (Connie_G) | 287 comments The first two books of February were rereads for library book groups:

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. 4 stars. It was a charming fairytale for adults in many ways, spanning many generations, with the characters searching for their heritage.

Home Front by Kristin Hannah. 3 1/2-4 stars. A story about a troubled marriage, the helicopter pilot wife who gets seriously injured in Iraq, and the sacrifices made by military families.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. 4 stars. This is a moving tribute to the author's mother. Books were a way for them to connect through her last year of life.

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt. 4 stars. I admire her as a humanitarian after reading this book (our January group read).

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. 4 stars. Combination mystery/historical fiction set in England during World War I and its aftermath.

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. 3 1/2-4 stars. A love story between two disabled people that complemented each other, but were later separated. Set in Burma.

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay. 2 1/2-3 stars. A family story revolving around a mother's death and secret life. Also portrayed the Parisian class structure of the 1970s. Another library bookgroup selection.

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. 4 stars. The story of a Quaker woman who tries to help runaway slaves in the Underground Railroad in Ohio.

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer. 4 stars. Historical fiction about the real bank robber Willie Sutton who grew up in a poor Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn during the Depression. Loved the writing.

Fatherhood by Bill Cosby. 3 stars. Humorous look at parenting.


message 35: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments Nice month, Connie. I have a few of those books on my TBR list, so I'm interested in reading your thoughts on them. Thanks for the reviews.


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Connie wrote: "The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. 4 stars. This is a moving tribute to the author's mother. Books were a way for them to connect through her last year of life.
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A few people have recommended this book to me. I'm glad to see you agree.

Congratulations on the very nice reading month, Connie. You are on a roll !


message 37: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 843 comments Thanks Connie. I will have to check out A Secret Kept. I read Sarah's Key and thought it was very good.


message 38: by Connie (last edited Mar 07, 2013 06:06PM) (new)

Connie (Connie_G) | 287 comments Carol wrote: "Thanks Connie. I will have to check out A Secret Kept. I read Sarah's Key and thought it was very good."

Carol, I did not like A Secret Kept as much as Sarah's Key (which was wonderful). That's why I only gave it 2 1/2 to 3 stars. Her third book, "The House That I Loved", was also not in the same league as "Sarah's Key".


message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 843 comments Oops I was looking at the 4 stars below it, thanks.


message 40: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Alias Reader wrote: "Amy wrote: "I won't finish another one by the end of today, so here is my list for February:

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Excellent write-ups, Amy.

I think I enjoyed No Ordinary Time a bit more than you. I was ama..."


Do not miss an opportunity to misss Doris Kearns Godwin speak. She packs more into an hour than most do in three hours. I adore her and work with a woman who roomed with her in college.


message 41: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Connie wrote: "Carol wrote: "Thanks Connie. I will have to check out A Secret Kept. I read Sarah's Key and thought it was very good."

Carol, I did not like A Secret Kept as much as Sarah's Key (which was wonderf..."


At this point I'm afraid that none of the preceeding books by the author of Sarah's Key were nearly as good as her first one.


message 42: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Alias Reader wrote: "Connie wrote: "The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. 4 stars. This is a moving tribute to the author's mother. Books were a way for them to connect through her last year of life.
-------..."


I enoyed The End of Your Life Book Club but then I am a sucker for most books about clubs - books, knitting, etc.


message 43: by Nancy from NJ (last edited Mar 08, 2013 03:32PM) (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Connie - I just finished The Last Runaway and must admit it is one of the few Chevalier books I was able to finish since Girl with a Pearl Earring. I found the book like slowly moving down a river towards one's destination, which is definitely in keeping with the Friends way of life.


message 44: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Amy wrote: "Have you read The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb? It's a fictionalized version of the Columbine shooting. The main character's wife is a school nurse who survives the shooting at the high scho..."

I have to agree with what you said about The Hour I First Beleived but c'mon how many books in a lifetime can measure up to I Know This Much is True. One of a kind.


message 45: by Amy (new)

Amy (AmyBF) | 517 comments Nancy wrote: "c'mon how many books in a lifetime can measure up to I Know This Much is True. One of a kind...."

I agree! One of my favorite books of all time.


message 46: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 239 comments January was a difficult time for me with my elderly father passing away, but things seemed a bit more 'normal' in February so I managed to read a few more books.

Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under to All Over NF, audio, Brooks' Sydney childhood, then catching up with her penfriends around the world as adults. I preferred the latter half and not so the 50s Sydney of her childhood. 3 stars.

The Buffalo Soldier Different perspectives from a struggling family who lost twin daughters in a flood then adopt an older foster child, whom himself has experienced difficulties. Set in Vermont. 3 stars.

Painter of Silence Romania in the 50s. A deaf, mute boy's experiences during the Russian invasion and his special relationship with a more priveleged girl. A fast and interesting read. 3 star.

One Mans Journey: A Feverish Race To Cross The Continent A fictitious account of Stuart's explorations from Australia's south to the northern coast. Really interesting, being based on fact of course. 4 stars.

No Country for Old Men Lots of blood, which I expected, but it had been on my bookshelf for too long. Interesting description of the Sth Texas landscapes. Had a lot of trouble understanding the dialect. Watched the movie after reading, and still couldn't understand some of it. Oh well. 2 stars.


message 47: by Lesley (last edited Mar 08, 2013 10:56PM) (new)

Lesley | 239 comments A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea My first ARC. 80s Iran post-revolution. An educated village girl loses her twin sister in a drowning accident, then shortly after her mother is taken away, which sets off the girl's fantasies of running away to America. A bit too long but lovely read. 4 stars.

Summer At Gaglow A wealthy German family lives in Berlin and a country estaate during WW1, with some descendants moving to London. Later they explore their heritage. I didn't get the point of this one. 2 star, maybe 1.

Uncle Tom's Cabin I read a lovely old children's copy of this. 4 stars.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet 18th century, Dutch have an isolated trading post off Nagasaki. A long and tiresome lovestory between a Dutch clerk and a Japanese midwife. Some parts describing the Japanese culture of the time I enjoyed, and saved it for me. It seems to be one of those love-it or loathe-it books. Should be edited to half the size too. 2 stars.

The Secret Scripture Set in Ireland, an elderly woman suffering memory loss tries to recall and write down her lifestory, studded with strong Catholic beliefs, wars and family angst. Very moving. 4 stars.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 82 comments Lesley wrote: "A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea My first ARC. 80s Iran post-revolution. An educated village girl loses her twin sister in a drowning accident, then shortly after her mother is taken away, which sets of..."

Lesley, I read The Secret Scripture a few years ago, but seldom hear anything about it. Thought it was quite interesting and, yes, moving. Glad I read it.


message 49: by Carol (last edited Mar 09, 2013 01:04AM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 843 comments Lesley & Carolyn-- I really liked The Secret Scripture and On Canaan's Side (I also gave each 4 stars). I like Sebastian Barry's writing. I was thinking of reading The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty.


message 50: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) | 12919 comments Lesley wrote: "January was a difficult time for me with my elderly father passing away, but things seemed a bit more 'normal' in February so I managed to read a few more books.
---------------

I'm very sorry for your loss, Lesley. I know in my case, it doesn't matter the age, the pain is still as great.

Thank you for taking the time to share your reads with us. I hope BNC gives you a place to relax and de-stress for a few moments.


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Books mentioned in this topic

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Authors mentioned in this topic

John Dunning (other topics)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (other topics)
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (other topics)
Philip Roth (other topics)
Nevada Barr (other topics)
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