What I Read: February

I read three books this month, and I'm happy to report that I loved each and every one of them. (And woohoo, I accomplished my goal!)



This month I read:

We are Called to Rise by Laura McBride. I love a story with multiple narrators when it's written well. In this case, it's done beautifully. Set in Las Vegas, the cast of characters include a young immigrant boy whose family is barely scraping by; an injured soldier struggling with memory loss, pain and depression; a middle-aged woman whose husband recently confessed his infidelity; and a CASA volunteer trying not to get too involved with the children she advocates for. Although they are worlds apart, their lives intersect on one fateful, heart-breaking day. My only complaint about this book is the ending. I felt like the writer was ready for the story to end, so she just bundled it up and tied it in a bow, and that was that. It felt abrupt and a little unrealistic, which felt like quite a departure from the rest of the story. If you read this book (which I still recommend!) I'd love to hear your thoughts on the ending.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. This book, although narrated from the worst of circumstances (the death of a father, the dissolution of a marriage), was a joy to read. Judd Foxman loses his father, whose dying request was for his entire family to sit Shiva all together, for the duration of the 7 day mourning period. This goes about as well as you can imagine for a dysfunctional family who tries to spend as little time together as possible. On top of that, Judd's wife, whom he recently discovered in the act of adultery with his boss, told him that she's pregnant. With Judd's baby. I thought this book was hilarious. I made the mistake of reading several Goodreads reviews right after I finished it, and was surprised at how many people found it terrible and misogynistic. I disagree; I thought it was well-written and funny.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I felt like the whole Internet was telling me to read Rainbow Rowell lately. Alright already, Internet! I read Eleanor and Park in a matter of days. Maybe because it was a YA novel, but mostly because I didn't want to stop. I loved these two misfits and how they found each other in the drama-filled, judgy world that is high school. I loved Eleanor and her bravery to be herself despite her terrible home life. I loved Park and how his personality came to life as his relationship with Eleanor deepened. So Internet, thank you. I think there will be more Rainbow Rowell in my future.

I recently learned that February is Love Your Library month (thanks Bob at Webucator!). All three of these books were checked out from my local library, and I'm a frequent library user and supporter. Libraries have SO much to offer, and their resources go beyond books. I can't recommend enough taking the time to familiarize yourself with your local library and all it has to offer!

How about you, read anything good lately? 

From the archives:






22 comments:

  1. Oooh, I have not read any of these yet. I will have to check them out! Thanks for the recommendations!

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  2. Eleanor & Park was one of my favorite books I read last year. Her books are good, I liked Fangirl too.

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  3. It was really good, I enjoyed it. I'll have to check out Fangirl too, and I've heard good things about Landline.

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  4. I've got Landline on my list, but it's so popular at the library, the wait list is forever. So I'll wait a few more months when I have a chance to get it ;)

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  5. isn't a wonderful book a joy? i just struggled through jonathan franzen's freedom, and now that i'm reading the storied life of aj firkey - ah! it's the best :) i read eleanor and park for book club, and although i'm usually a little hesitant about YA- it was tender, touching, and oh so sweet.

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  6. Yes, it is such a joy! I've heard great things about The Storied Life... that one's on my to-read list too, I hope I get to it soon! And yes, I agree about E&P, so sweet.

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  7. I loved Eleanor and Park!! Rainbow Rowell is fantastic, I'd love to read more of her work! I've been wanting to read This Is Where I Leave You, so I think that one is going to be on my list in the very near future. I have a library right across from my office, so that is very helpful in getting there more often!

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  8. I agree about Rainbow Rowell, I definitely want to read more! How nice that there's a library right by your office! There's one not too far from me either, so I make frequent lunch break library stops :)

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  9. I absolutely loved This is Where I Leave You and it made me laugh so hard at parts. I still want to see the movie--waiting for it to come on streaming Netflix. I just finished Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper based on your recommendation and loved it. I want to read more of novels now.

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  10. Me too, I laughed out loud quite a bit throughout that book. I agree, I do want to see the movie too.
    And good, I'm so glad you liked The Secret Keeper! I'd like to read more Kate Morton as well.

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  11. I absolutely loved Eleanor & Park, the end made me cry!

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  12. I know, it was so good, and sad, and sweet. I want to read more Rainbow Rowell!

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  13. Yay, libraries! And Rainbow Rowell. I started with Eleanor & Park sometime last year, and have since read several more - love her. Definitely Fangirl and Attachments should be on your list too. And I'm in the middle of This Is Where I Leave You right now. It's been on my list forever, and so far I'm so glad I'm finally getting around to it! I think it's funny too.

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  14. Yes, I need more Rainbow Rowell! I will add those to my list. I'm glad you're reading This is Where I Leave You, I can't wait to hear what you think!

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  15. These books look great! I'm going to have to add these to my list!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  16. oooh so fun!! I am still living vicariously through everyone's reading. These all sound good. I have however, read one book and part of one... which is better than where I was in Feb. 2014. So I guess that counts as progres.....? XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  17. Definitely, any reading is progress! :) Was either book good (or good so far)?

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  18. i have read This Is Where and just saw the movie this week. i liked it. and E&P i thought it was ok.

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  19. I'll have to watch the movie. Have you read other Rainbow Rowell books?

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  20. One was on New Orleans style, it was great. A fun collection of fashion/history etc. about the city. And as I love it there it was fun to read. The second one.... almost a month later.... I am still reading. It's good so far, I just haven't been able to carve out much reading time. : / Playing blog catch up today! so so busy always. :) XO

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