Reading Wrapup: Febraury 2017 Part II

2 Mar

And here we are, with part 2! Next month I’ll be more timely, I swear.

February was an okay reading month. Not nearly as bad as January, but not quite up to my 2016 stats of 20+ books a month. This could also be because it’s a shorter month: I finished off two books on March 1st, and any other month those would have counted. So I’m trying to look on the positive: 15 books a month isn’t bad at all, and I didn’t have any impulse reads!

25664501

Hurt People. by Cote Smith. Finished February 13th. I picked this up impulsively from the library and let’s be real, it was because of the cover. It’s also described as a dark coming of age tale, a genre I really enjoy when done right. And hey, it fulfilled a Read Harder challenge (debut novel) so it was easy to justify.

This book is so heartbreaking. It’s about two young brothers whose parents have just been through a contentious divorce. Over one summer they are basically left to their own devices while their mother goes to work, and they end up meeting a mysterious older boy at the neighborhood pool. This doesn’t sound like the most compelling summary, but trust me, it works brilliantly. Because it’s clear something really bad is going to happen (and you know what it is fairly early on), but our story is told through the eyes of the younger brother. So the reader can see all these pieces falling into place, but his innocence keeps him blind to the danger all around him.

This is a quiet story. There’s no big action scenes, and the “shocking” event at the end is one you intentionally see coming a mile away. It’s more about people and life and the struggle to just get from one day to the next, and how small actions can have huge consequences. If slow, character-driven coming of age stories (with dark elements–go into this with a strong stomach, people) are your thing, give this underrated read a shot!

Lipstick Rating 4 Full

 

 

 

34084

The Waste Lands, by Stephen King. Finished February 16th. Book 3 in the Dark Tower series, and my favorite so far. Probably will be my favorite of all of them, because I can’t imagine anything topping this. You know how I said The Gunslinger and The Drawing of The Three felt like two different books? This combines all the aspects of the previous additions to spectacular effect.

This is King at his most epic, and also his most devilish. I have a new favorite King villain (yes, Blaine has trumped even Flagg and Pennywise for me). The world is SO compelling: the more we see of it, the more I want answers. Usually with fantasy it’s the opposite, and that cloak of mystery needs to stay on or it gets dull. With this series, every piece of new information that is slowly fed to the reader just makes it better. Of course I don’t think even King knew where he was going when he wrote these, but man am I strapped in for the ride.

Lipstick Rating5 Full

 

 

 

29248613

The Good People, by Hannah Kent. Finished February 18th. I read Burial Rites in 2015 and, like everyone else, totally loved it. It’s kind of shocking to think that was her first novel. So I was highly anticipating her follow up, even if the plot didn’t sound quite as interesting. It takes place in Ireland in 1825. Nora has lost her daughter and husband in the same year, and is left alone with land to take care of and her possibly disabled grandson. She hires a maid, and ends up going to a sort of witch-woman who can talk to fairies (the “good people”) for help.

Doesn’t sound as intriguing as “the last woman executed in Iceland” but as you’d expect from Kent, it packs a punch. It’s also based on a true case, but one that is obscure. Tip: don’t look it up before reading, because I think it’s better to not know what direction the story is going in.

Like Burial Rites, the atmosphere is the star here. You can feel the poverty and despair of the characters, the chill Irish air and the growing desperation as winter gets darker and bleaker. I don’t think the plot or characters are quite as tight as BR, but it’s an amazingly fast-paced read given that most of it is literally just women in cottages sitting and talking. There is a compulsive quality to it: you’re so desperate to know what happens, and the tension gets incredibly high. It wasn’t the book I expected, but I am not at all disappointed.

Lipstick Rating 4 Full

 

 

 

29242077

Marriage Games, by CD Reiss. Finished February 21st. This book pains me. I used to be a big CD Reiss fan–sure, they were almost guilty pleasure books, but she could weave a great story and her relationships were always dynamic and interesting. But ever since the last Fiona book and her attempt to do more mainstream works (ShutterGirl and Hardball) I feel like she’s lost her touch. Remember the tragedy that was Secret Sins? Shudder.

But this looked more promising. It’s not a Drazen book (which I used to love, but now I almost dread) and it’s not light and fluffy. However… I did not enjoy it. The premise sounds at least intriguing, but the hero and heroine are so obtuse and annoying. My eyes rolled so far back into my head when we found out our ~super dreamy hero~ didn’t want to do anything degrading to his wife (even if she wanted it) because it would “ruin her in his eyes.” Toxic masculinity and Madonna/whore complex like woah! But this is never addressed as being weird or anything, it’s just… how he is. And Diana? Even after her chapters she felt like a complete mystery, in a bad way. This was just a meh read but it had so much potential I might try the follow-up.

Lipstick Rating 2 And 1 Half

 

 

 

30267890

The Familiar Vol 4 Hades, by Mark Z Danielewski. Finished February 21st. Ahh, what is there to say about this series? We’re only on book 4 (of 26) and it might already be my all-time favorite. Danielewski can do no wrong, at least in my eyes. Which might be because we share a love of both cats and intense spookiness.

There’s nothing I can say about the plot without spoiling things. These books are both incredibly complex but also very accessible for postmodern literature. We have 9 characters, each with only slightly overlapping stories (there are 3 who are part of a family, but the others are distant–both in theme and location, we go all over the world). Each character has a different color, font, and stylistic layout. Weird things happen. It’s spooky. It’s strange. It’s wonderful. Do you like cats? Maybe read this and be both excited and confused.

Lipstick Rating5 Full

 

 

 

30304221

Swimming Lessons, by Claire Fuller. Finished February 28th. This month/year I am trying to read more from authors I recently found and loved. The majority of the books I read in 2016 were actually from new-to-me authors, but a lot that I’ve found in the past few years have put out new books. And I should read them! So that was a mini-goal for me in February, and I read both The Good People and this book, which is written by the same woman who did Our Endless Numbered Days. Which I ADORED.

Swimming Lessons is very, very different from Numbered Days. In fact, I wouldn’t have guessed they had the same author if I didn’t know that coming in. It’s about a family where the mother went missing over a decade ago. Our main perspective is Flora, the teenage daughter who still wants to believe that her mom is out there, though every other chapter is actually a letter the mother wrote before she went missing. These letters, tragically, are not read by her family because she hides them in books and no one ever thinks to look. By the end, you aren’t sure if she even wanted them to be found.

There are some thematic overlaps with The Book of Speculation (another book I love): a crumbling family dynamic, a house by the sea, a potentially tragic mother figure who loves to swim. But Swimming Lessons definitely takes a more mystery-driven route and focuses on “what happened.” However, I wouldn’t really recommend this if you’re just looking for a good mystery, because while it’s the driving force of the plot it also kind of takes a back seat to family interactions.

I have mixed feelings about this one. The atmosphere is great, and I adored the letter sections. But I found Flora insufferable. There’s a lot of good here, but I though Flora’s sections were kind of dull and honestly I wasn’t super intrigued by the mystery. The writing was lovely and it’s definitely a compelling book, but I came away thinking it was just okay when I really wanted to love it.

Lipstick Rating 3 And 1 Half

 

 

 

Reading Challenge Goals

Books Read: 28/200

Goal Books: 25

Impulse Reads: 3

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

46 Responses to “Reading Wrapup: Febraury 2017 Part II”

  1. Todd January 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm #

    Superb, what a weblog it is! This blog gives valuable information to us,
    keep it up.

  2. brazilian wandering spider January 25, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

    It’s wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from
    our argument made at this time.

  3. brazil nuts cholesterol January 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist
    with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but
    I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please
    share. Cheers!

  4. brazilian wax tips January 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

    What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked
    this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!

  5. brazilian wandering spider January 26, 2019 at 3:11 am #

    obviously like your website but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
    Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the
    reality however I’ll surely come back again.

  6. Shella January 26, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    Schwab Clever Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.

  7. Jaimie January 26, 2019 at 9:18 am #

    All varieties of investments come with certain dangers.

  8. Natalie January 27, 2019 at 1:26 am #

    Thanks on your curiosity in Investment Advice.

  9. Don January 27, 2019 at 3:45 am #

    Thank you on your interest in Funding Advice.

  10. Woodrow January 27, 2019 at 9:41 am #

    Monetary advisors business is folks enterprise.

  11. brazil flag emoji January 27, 2019 at 7:06 pm #

    I am extremely inspired with your writing skills and also with
    the format for your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did
    you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  12. brazilian steakhouse dc January 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired!
    Extremely useful info particularly the closing section :) I take care of such info a lot.
    I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  13. brazilian wax cost January 28, 2019 at 7:26 am #

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that
    service? Appreciate it!

  14. Eric January 28, 2019 at 4:27 pm #

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?

    My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it
    is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know
    any techniques to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

  15. Florrie January 30, 2019 at 2:01 am #

    Schwab Intelligent Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.

  16. brazilian steakhouse tacoma January 30, 2019 at 9:26 am #

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate
    to this excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this
    site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  17. Williams January 31, 2019 at 12:53 am #

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;)
    Cheers!

  18. Janell January 31, 2019 at 12:21 pm #

    Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my site so i came to go back the favor?.I am attempting to to find things to enhance my website!I assume its ok to make use of a few
    of your ideas!!

  19. Dennis January 31, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is magnificent, let alone the
    content!

  20. brazil nuts costco February 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm #

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that make the most
    important changes. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Tony February 5, 2019 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank you for your interest in Investment Recommendation.

  22. important source February 7, 2019 at 5:41 pm #

    I simply want to mention I’m all new to blogging and seriously loved you’re blog site. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You absolutely have terrific articles. Kudos for revealing your web site.

  23. Lillian February 8, 2019 at 5:21 am #

    Now it is time to pick your specific investments.

  24. Mabel February 8, 2019 at 6:04 am #

    Buyers do pay direct and oblique prices.

  25. Georgiana February 9, 2019 at 12:43 am #

    And this is an investment risk value taking.

  26. Laverne February 11, 2019 at 1:24 am #

    Now it’s time to pick your specific investments.

  27. Jetta February 12, 2019 at 1:05 am #

    And that is an investment threat worth taking.

  28. John Deere Service Manuals February 12, 2019 at 4:41 am #

    I see that you are using WordPress on your blog, wordpress is the best.~’-~*

  29. Vicky February 13, 2019 at 10:33 am #

    Now it is time to choose your particular investments.

  30. Errol February 14, 2019 at 11:19 pm #

    A financial advisor is your planning partner.

  31. Vanita February 15, 2019 at 12:48 am #

    Investors do pay direct and indirect costs.

  32. Louie Imamura February 15, 2019 at 1:25 am #

    I appreciate you sharing this blog article. Much obliged.

  33. Katherine February 15, 2019 at 2:32 am #

    A monetary advisor is your planning associate.

  34. Desmond Fryar February 15, 2019 at 3:18 pm #

    Right now firefox automatically downloads an mp3 and opens it. I want it to prompt me with the dialog box so I can choose where to save it. I’ve looked in options->downloads->view and edit actions and there is nothing set there that I can change..

  35. Abigail February 16, 2019 at 4:09 am #

    Schwab Intelligent Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.

  36. Jayme February 16, 2019 at 4:18 am #

    Now it is time to decide your specific investments.

  37. Domingo Kriticos February 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

    What is the difference between Computer science and information technology?

  38. Landon February 17, 2019 at 12:15 am #

    Buyers do pay direct and oblique costs.

  39. King February 17, 2019 at 12:25 am #

    Schwab Clever Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.

  40. Angus February 17, 2019 at 1:17 am #

    Schwab Clever Portfolios invests in Schwab ETFs.

  41. Taj February 17, 2019 at 1:47 am #

    Traders do pay direct and indirect prices.

  42. Alana February 18, 2019 at 4:07 am #

    Now it is time to pick your particular investments.

  43. Laurence February 18, 2019 at 4:52 am #

    And that is an funding risk worth taking.

  44. Demetrius February 19, 2019 at 3:14 am #

    Think about investments that provide speedy annuities.

  45. Shellie February 19, 2019 at 3:28 pm #

    Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thanks

  46. Rhea Feagin February 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm #

    Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if youknew where I could locate a captcha plugin formy comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply