Monday, March 5, 2018

What I Read: February

In January I decided to start doing monthly posts about the books I read rather than just tracking the books I read the entire year, see January's list here. I like being able to track how I read the book whether it was a regular book, an ebook, or an audiobook. I just realized as I was typing this that I started doing the posts in January so I was right on with starting at the beginning of the year which worked out nicely! I started a George Washington audiobook this month which was 42 hours long so I didn't finish it before it was due and had to wait on the waitlist while someone else had it checked out. During that waiting period I listened to 2 shorter audiobooks and just got the Washington audiobook back yesterday. I'm over halfway through with it, so hopefully I'll finish it in March. As always, I love book recommendations so if you have any great books you've read lately, please share in the comments!
Elise trying to read my book in bed.
When all the books you've had on hold arrive at the same time and you can't help yourself because you are so excited to read them, you pick them all up at once!
Regular Book:
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen- I love Jane Austen and am getting caught up with all of her books. I've read Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and now Northanger Abbey. I'm a little sad I only have Persuasion left, but I've been wanting to re-read Emma so I'll likely do that. I love Austen's gift for making the mundane interesting and for throwing a surprise in when I least expect it. I was disappointed that everything in this book seemed to be panning out just as I predicted but then the big surprise came and I loved it!    
  • Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence- I saw this book at the library and was intrigued. Then, when we were visiting my parents, my mom was reading it and I knew I had to read it. She read me part of a letter and it was so funny! My absolute favorite letter was to Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury. It was hilarious. I got so excited when I realized she had included some children's books because, to be honest, children's literature might be my favorite. I have definitely read WAY more children's books and I adore reading a new book and getting jacked up over all the teaching points I could use the book for. The only problem with reading this book is now I have a ton more books on my to-read list. I guess having too many books you want to read really isn't a problem though!
  • I'll Have What She's Having: How Nora Ephron's Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy by Erin Carlson- This was a book I saw and picked because I loved the cover. It was a picture of the Empire State Building with a heart on it and it was close to Valentine's Day so I couldn't help myself. When I read the title I thought the name Nora Ephron sounded familiar but I couldn't place her. Then I figured out after I started reading the book that the three films the title refers to: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail were all movies I'd either never seen (the first two) or had seen when I was young and didn't like (the last one). Had the cover of the book not been cute or the names of the movies been listed, I probably wouldn't have read this book but I ended up really enjoying it. It was neat to read about the making of a movie and how all the behind the scenes stuff works. I also enjoyed reading special tidbits about the movies even though I hadn't seen them. I ended up putting all 3 movies on hold at the library. Both Ty and I really enjoyed them. I'm not sure if I would have liked them as much without knowing funny tidbits like in When Harry Met Sally, Rob Reiner's mom was the older woman in the cafĂ© who said, "I'll have what she's having," in the scene referenced in the book's title. I also loved the interesting stories shared about the actors, especially Tom Hanks, as he is my favorite actor.
    Isn't that a cute cover?! I would have recognized it from Sleepless in Seattle if I'd ever seen the movie.
  • What Love Is and What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins- This is one I picked out because the cover was pretty and I thought it would be a fun read around Valentine's Day. It was not at all what I expected and I really didn't like it. I can be stubborn about pushing through books I don't enjoy and this was one I finished even though I didn't want to. I figured I might as well as it was less than 200 pages but it was rough. It was not one I would recommend at all!
    Don't let this title fool you, it is not a sweet book about love like I was expecting!
  • We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates- This was a book I read for my book club. It had such a long wait list at the library that I had to go with the ebook in order to get it before our book club meeting a month after we chose the book. I didn't realize it was a collection of essays by Coates. I had a little bit of a hard time getting through it because the essays were all on similar topics and he repeated the same bits of information in subsequent essays. I liked seeing how he became a better writer with each essay since the essays were included in chronological order. It was definitely eye opening to look at history from the perspective of a black man and reminded me how much our experience influences how we see and interact with the world. 
  • The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz- I really enjoyed this book. It was broken up into short sections that were easy to stop and start again. I liked the fun and adventure of it. It was the perfect short, fun read after finishing the lengthy and hard hitting essays of We Were Eight Years In Power! It left me excited to read the next book in the series but not desperate to start it right then. This book came recommended by my friend Sara as well as my mom, so I knew it would be good and it did not disappoint! I think my favorite little quirk about the book was that she referred to guys as her next ex-boyfriend before they even started dating. It cracked me up each time!
  • First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis- I decided to do this one as the next in my presidential book series. I decided on a book about both Abigail and John Adams because Abigail seemed to be such an independent and outspoken woman, especially for her time! The book focused mostly on John's life and Abigail's life was included mostly to share her communication with John and the impact she had on him. It was a great read to learn more about John and was more interesting with the focus on their relationship although that was more of a side story than the main focus. It was shocking to me to realize what a huge impact John had on the revolution and independence of America since our largest focus tends to be on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. I was amazed by how he was able to predict the future and was on the mark in what he predicted in so many situations. I really feel like his influence in the birth of our nation is downplayed considerably. I really enjoyed this book and loved how it was written. Now I know I like Ellis' writing which makes it easier to pick some of my other presidential biographies. This book left me wanting to know more about Abigail so I'll likely read or listen to a book just about her life.
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron- This book was referenced a few times in I'll Have What She's Having. While that interested me a little, what really made me want to read this book was that it was listed in Dear Farenheit 451 as a great audiobook as it was read by Meryl Streep. I immediately added it to my book list and it was so good! I loved it. Nora Ephron really is such a funny writer. I didn't realize I would like her so much!
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion- Every time I'm at the library and they books they have taken out of circulation for sale, I look at them. I saw this book on the rack and the cover was pretty so I read the blurb on the back to see what it was about. It sounded interesting so I added it to my book list. When I was looking for a shorter audiobook I decided on this one. While I was working on it I saw a list of the 40 best audiobooks and this one was on the list. It was such a good book and I loved it! I kept finding ways to listen to it because I enjoyed it so much. It was the story of a man, who most likely was on the autism spectrum, and his quest to find a wife. It was a wonderful story and I highly recommend the book. I just knew my mom would love it so I suggested it to her and it turned out she had already read it and loved it.
    This month I was 2/3 on picking books based on a cute cover!


  1. I made a list of books to read because of DEAR FARENHEIT 450 and HEARTBURN is one of them. I went to the library today, and got several and I'm quite excited. I'm glad you like the SPELLMAN FILES. I love them.

    1. I thought Heartburn was quite funny and it's a short read!