Goodreads says I'm right on track for my goal of 65 books in 2016, but I feel like my normal reading pace has taken a hit. Oh well. February was a busy month. We went on an 8-day vacation to Florida, I participated in a few races, and felt like I had a meeting or deadline every other day. Reading took a backseat, but I have one eye forward, hoping to find books I won't want to put down. Here's what I read in February:
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Review: 3 of 5
Maybe it's because I work in a creative field and always meet tight deadlines, but I thought this book was very basic. Perhaps if you're an accountant with a love of painting portraits you'd get a lot out of this. But really, if you're an accountant you probably already know that sometimes you just need to put your head down and get shit done.
Based on the reviews I assume this was pretty revolutionary to some people. I guess it made me realize that I've already got it "figured it" - (ha! So why am I reading a self help book about daring to live a creative life??) - but I think the big takeaway is work hard and keep practicing. I really DO agree with that. AND I *so* agree with "done is better than good." It's something I learned about 4 years into my current job and it's made all of the difference.
So, ok, I guess this was pretty good. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I needed.
Letters to Rachel by R.W. Mitchell
Review: 5 of 5
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I loved this book! I was surprised to like it so much, actually. I'm a definite Anglophile and felt right at home with the British cultural references and terminology. (I listen to The Archers weekly and some of the characters in this book reminded me of those in the show. Loved it.) It was also lovely to read about Barcelona and I have another destination on my travel wishlist.
Overall, a really fun read. Made me want to write letters and quit social media! :) Highly recommend for other travel lovers and Anglophiles.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Review: 3 of 5
Whenever I get on a plane I grab a Sarah Dessen book for my tablet. This one was a little older, but had the same upper middle class teen angst. I liked Remy, but I didn't understand the appeal of Dexter. Despite not feeling the normal falling-in-love-vicariously thing, I still enjoyed the book. Her mom was an interesting side character (and I liked periodic the snippets from her book).
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Review: 3 of 5
I like this book at the beginning (Cameron is a great character), but as it progressed I liked it less and less. Maybe it's because of the shift in ... tone (?). I plowed through the first half, but it took me days to finish the last 20% (I kept falling asleep).
I like the idea of Libba Bray books, but honestly I haven't found one that's knocked my socks off. I really wish her editor(s) would cut out about 10% of each story to tighten things up. Having said that, there were sections that I felt were so rushed and choppy, but maybe that's an intended side effect of Cameron's narration.
Perhaps I should have read this in 2009 when it was a big deal (when I hadn't read as many great YA books).
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Review: 4 of 5
I'm surprised this is the author's first novel. She's a great writer. That said, I had to take a long break from this book while I traveled (I didn't want to tear my copy. It was in great shape.) and I think that break may have affected my overall impression. I was able to get back into the story quickly, but I never felt like I couldn't put this book down. In fact, there were several days where I didn't pick it up. Maybe it's because I found myself very frustrated with Marilyn and Lydia. Regardless, the characters were well done and the story was compelling. I think this would make an excellent movie or miniseries.