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text 2020-03-04 15:15
February 2020 Wrap-up
She has a Broken Thing where her Heart should be - J.D. Barker
Go Ask Alice - Beatrice Sparks,Anonymous
The Last Refuge of the Knights Templar - William F. Mann
The Art of Lucid Dreaming - Johnson Maureen, Res-Brennan Sarah Clare Cassandra
When the Changewinds Blow - Jack L. Chalker

To my surprise, I actually finished 5 books in February!

 

This is surprising because I somehow managed to saddle myself with 5 long, slogging Fantasy books all at once and a long Historical which is good, but still very long and still in progress.

 

Best read of these five is actually a non-fiction, The Art of Lucid Dreaming. I did quite enjoy my re-read of Go Ask Alice, though it's different than I remember it.

 

I'm still reading 4 of the long books and just to drive myself batshit, I've started Clive Barker's Books of Blood 3 volume series. This is because the Pern book is in teeny little type and I wanted to read something in hard copy that I could manage more than 5 pages before my eyes go squiffy.

 

So, much of March will be finishing the long books still in progress. Unless I rebel and start grabbing YA novellas to keep my sanity.

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review 2020-03-02 22:54
February / Lisa Moore
February - Lisa Moore

In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns on the rig. It begins in the present-day, more than twenty-five years later, but spirals back again and again to the "February" that persists in Helen's mind and heart.


Writing at the peak of her form, her steadfast refusal to sentimentalize coupled with an almost shocking ability to render the precise details of her characters' physical and emotional worlds, Lisa Moore gives us her strongest work yet. Here is a novel about complex love and cauterizing grief, about past and present and how memory knits them together, about a fiercely close community and its universal struggles, and finally about our need to imagine a future, no matter how fragile, before we truly come home.

 

Lisa Moore must have lost a significant someone in her life, she writes so eloquently of grief and the process of putting one’s life back together again after a tremendous loss. In addition to that, she writes like a dream! The combination makes this an excellent book.

”Helen unlocks her front door holding an armful of groceries, and there are three empty floors and silence. It is a relief. Solitude, she thinks, is a time-release drug, it enters the system slowly and you become addicted. It’s not an addiction; it’s a craft. You open the closet doors very carefully so loneliness doesn’t pounce out.”


Moore leads the reader through jumps in time, from when Helen O’Mara had first met her husband, the births of their three children, his death in the Ocean Ranger oil rig disaster, and the hard work that the family does to overcome this tragic loss. If you’ve read about the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance), you’ll recognize them all. Also their recurring nature, repeating on you when you least expect it.

There’s no such thing as closure, but there is such a thing as building a new life. Some days, you have to retreat to your bedroom and hide from the world and some days, like Helen in her yoga class, you can say, “I am ready for the warrior poses.”

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text 2020-03-02 02:06
February Books

I read 28 books in February with an average score of 3.8. 4 were graphic novels and 14 were YA. My most-read genres were contemporary, romance, and fantasy.

 

Choosing my favorite book is hard this month because I had a lot of good books. I think I'll go with Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men - Caroline Criado-Pérez because I was engaged throughout the entire book. My least favorite is much easier - As I Descended - Robin Talley.

 

I made more progress on my 2020 Reading Plans list. I read 8 books off that list last month, so I'm now at 11/38 read.

 

 

5 Stars

Maybe He Just Likes You - Barbara Dee  Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men - Caroline Criado-Pérez  

 

4.5 Stars

The Huntress - Kate Quinn The Downstairs Girl - Stacey Lee  Tempest - Beverly Jenkins  The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - Abbi Waxman  

 

4 Stars

Redwood and Ponytail - K.A. Holt  Tweet Cute - Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord  Kissing Ezra Holtz (and Other Things I Did for Science) - Brianna Shrum  Yes No Maybe So - Becky Albertalli,Aisha Saeed  King of Scars - Leigh Bardugo  Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America - Coe Booth,Rita Williams-Garcia,Ibi Zoboi,Tracey Baptiste,Varian Johnson,Kekla Magoon,Jason Reynolds,Renée Watson,Lamar Giles,Tochi Onyebuchi,Justina Ireland,Dhonielle Clayton,Brandy Colbert,Nic Stone,Leah Henderson,Liara Tamani,Jay Coles  The Deep & Dark Blue - Niki Smith  

Jane Anonymous - Laurie Faria Stolarz  Such a Fun Age - Kiley Reid  The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4  

 

3.5 Stars

Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft - Tehlor Kay Mejia,Tristina Wright,Emery Lord,Andrea Cremer,Tess Sharpe,Jessica Spotswood,Brandy Colbert,Robin Talley,Anna-Marie McLemore,Zoraida Córdova,Brenna Yovanoff,Nova Ren Suma,Shveta Thakrar,Kate Hart,Lindsay Smith  The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern  The Gravity of Us - Phil Stamper  The Way You Make Me Feel - Maurene Goo  Lucky Caller - Emma Mills  Citrus, vol. 1 - Saburouta  

 

3 Stars

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet. - Katharine McGee,Jennifer L. Armentrout,Dhonielle Clayton,Katie Cotugno,Huntley Fitzpatrick,Jocelyn Davies,Nina LaCour  Green Lantern: Legacy - Andie Tong,Minh Lê  Last Girl Lied to - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn  SLAY - Brittney Morris  W Juliet, Vol. 1 - Emura  

 

2.5 Stars

As I Descended - Robin Talley 

 

 

 

 

Books by author gender:

  • Male: 3
  • Female: 24
  • Male/Female Mix: 1

 

Books by format:

  • Physical: 8
  • Audio: 20

 

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text 2020-03-01 17:28
February ´20 - What I´ve read

February was a difficult reading month for me, because one week I barely had time to read anything and in another week I was in a minor reading slump. However, I finished 8 books altogether, because...

 

 

... audiobooks to the rescue.

 

In terms of genre I´ve read:

 

 

Not so much of diversity this month, but my overall star rating made up for the lack of diversity in my reading:

 

 

Considering that I read approx. 500 pages of The Count of Monte Christo as well, I had a fantastic reading month after all.

 

My favorite of the month (5 stars):

 

The Hopkins Manuscript - R.C. Sherriff 

 

I tend to struggle with dystopian novels, but this one was fantastic. And that ending ... so good.

 

 

My least favorite read of the month (3 star):

 

The Hollow - Agatha Christie 

 

This isn´t a bad Christie, but I struggled a bit with the unlikeable characters in this one.

 

Books, that are worth mentioning:

 

All Systems Red - Martha Wells  Artificial Condition - Martha Wells  

 

The Murderbot Diaries:

I love reading about Artificial Intelligence, especially when the A.I. characters are so loveable and well drawn as the ones in the Murderbot Diaries are. 4 stars for both of these books.

 

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan 

 

 

The Memoirs of Lady Trent:

I´m so glad that I decided to read this series on audiobook. Kate Readings narration is excellent. Listening to this didn´t make me reconsider my initial star rating of 3.5 stars, but I enjoyed the audiobook so much that I´m currently in the middle of the second book in the series and I´m enjoing it so much.

 

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper - Hallie Rubenhold 

 

The Five:

A very strong non-fiction book about Jack the Ripper´s five victims, which is not focusing on the actual crime, but on the lives up to the point of their murder. And what dismal and horrible lives these poor women had. 

I especially liked the unflinching look on Victorian society from the poor mans / womans perspective. 4.5 stars.

 

And last but not least my Christie reread on audiobook:

 

Cards on the Table (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser 

 

One of my favorites. 4.5 stars.

 

I had 4 DNF´s this month and as it turns out, I´m also pretty ruthless with DNFing my books. I don´t have patience for boring books. My DNFs this month were:

 

The Binding - Bridget Collins  Überlebt: Meine 14 Achttausender - Reinhold Messner  The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden  The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham  

 

Let´s hope the next month will be as succesfull as this one. But hopefully with less DNFs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2020-02-27 21:24
A Crown of Swords / Robert Jordan
A Crown of Swords - Robert Jordan

In this volume, Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat come ever closer to the bowl ter'angreal that may reverse the world's endless heat wave and restore natural weather. Egwene begins to gather all manner of women who can channel--Sea Folk, Windfinders, Wise Ones, and some surprising others. And above all, Rand faces the dread Forsaken Sammael, in the shadows of Shadar Logoth, where the blood-hungry mist, Mashadar, waits for prey.

 

I think I’m losing steam as this series keeps getting drawn out! I started this tome somewhat reluctantly, thinking, “Jeez, book 7. You’d think the guy could wind this up!” And he really does seem to dawdle along with the action. We follow so many characters and get nitty gritty detail about each one. Although I prefer fantasy over every other genre, I sometimes feel this series really pushes my patience!

But here’s the thing--Jordan knows how to END an installment. Suddenly, in the last pages of the book, stuff happens! Things that startle and intrigue. Things that make you wonder what will happen in the NEXT book. This is what this author excels at--ending with a bang that sends the reader on to the next volume. For example, the return of Lan. Unexpected, but welcome.

So I started with relative indifference but I will look forward to The Path of Daggers.

Book number 356 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.

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