February Reading Review

february-reading-review

I’ll be sharing my reading life more in 2019 and reading (at least) 52 books in 52 weeks so I’ve decided to put pen to paper and share the five books that I read in February.

My reading life came in ebbs and flows this month. I read the first four books in the first two weeks of the month and finished just one other book later on. I’m just slightly ahead of my goal with 9 books read in 8 weeks. My book list was largely dictated by what I found in the local library (yay!) and what holds hit my Kindle Oasis.

What five books made the cut? Read on.

What I read in February 2019

Save the Date

Why I read it? Because it was readily available on my Kindle Oasis and I wanted a light read. It feels like a great rom-com. Heartwarming, giggle-provoking, and just a little bit forgettable.

“J.J. scoffed. But just as he’d done ever since he’d read this phrase when he was twelve, he said the word “scoff” instead of just making the sound, and none of us had been able to convince him this actually wasn’t correct.” ― Morgan Matson

What did you think of it? It was breezy and sweet. I can’t picture myself recommending it readily unless you’re really in a reading slump.

Where will it make you want to travel? Your childhood home.

The Ladies’ Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Why I read it? I adored the first book in this series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, so much that I called it one of the best books I read in 2018. When this sequel became available on my Libby app, I dropped everything to read it in a hurry.

What did you think of it? I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue but I did have a great time following an ambitious and spunky protagonist traipse around Europe again. Bonus, it was chock full of showstopping quotes like this one.

“I’m learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold on to is each other.” ― Mackenzi Lee

And this one too.

“Everyone has heard stories of women like us—cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone. Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.” ― Mackenzi Lee

Where will it make you want to travel? All over the European continent and beyond (no spoilers).

The Vanderbeeker’s of 141st Street

Why I read it? Some of my favorite books of all time are middle grade fiction. The genre is filled with smart, sweet, and diverse books and I am here for it. I had heard amazing things about this series and my library holds list told me now was the time.

“It takes a super brave person to be as generous as you are, Hyacinth. Not many people are brave enough to be so loving” ― Karina Yan Glaser 

 

What did you think of it? This book is so freakin’ cute. It made me want to raise kids in New York City, surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters.

Where will it make you want to travel? New York City (specifically Harlem).

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South Sea Vagabonds

Why I read it? I walked in to the local library (yes, I have a library card now!) with the sole intention of finding a book, any book, that sounded interesting. I quickly discovered the beauty of the New Zealand library system and found a section of books written by Kiwi authors. This book, South Sea Vagabonds, is more than 75 years old but it hooked me instantly.

Man gets fired from job. Man builds a boat. Man sails boat. Cue the wanderlust. It also doesn’t hurt that it starts off like this.

“But this book is written primarily for dreamers, and they don’t mind if a man can write or not as long as the facts are there. It is written for the man who works in a city office and dreams about sparkling blue waters and coconut palms and white sails bellying to the warm trade winds. It will, perhaps, show him how it is possible to break away from the ties of civilization, build himself a boat and sail in her wherever he wills. I was once a dreamer, but now my dreams have come true, and I am satisfied and happy.” – Johnny Wray

Consider me a dreamer.

What did you think of it? This book will stick with me for a very long time. There is something so inspiring about people who seek their dreams in spite of adversity. Johnny Wray’s tales are filled with adventure and charisma. This book will have my heart for a while.

Where will it make you want to travel? New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Why I read it? I saw it on the shelf of the local library and its bright cover captivated me. I knew the premise of this book and that it’s the first of a very long and successful series.

It’s successful for a reason.

What did you think of it? This book is full of charm and humor. It made me appreciate Africa and want to travel there even more than I already do. I laughed out loud and was surprised by a few of the twists and turns too.

“Every man has a map in his heart of his own country and that the heart will never allow you to forget this map.” ― Alexander McCall Smith 

There is also a deep and beautiful sense of place in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in respect to Africa and the characters’ place in it.

“I am just a tiny person in Africa, but there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own.” ― Alexander McCall Smith 

For further proof of this book’s merit, I read it in a single blissful afternoon and simply couldn’t help myself.

Where will it make you want to travel? Botswana.


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