What I Read: February

February was a short month, but that didn’t mean I didn’t get my read on. Sure, I didn’t complete as many as in January (I also didn’t take a week off for vacation!) but I still made more progress on my reading goal this year. If you’re new here, that’s 150 books. I’m currently 3 books ahead, but unfortunately in February I read quite a few duds. (And continue to have this problem into March… yeesh.) But, that doesn’t mean that I won’t tell you all about them! ;)

What I Read February 2015 / hellorigby seattle lifestyle blog

What I Read: February 2015

The Bear by Claire Cameron – ★★★ – Told from the viewpoint of a 5-year old child who sees her parents being ravaged by a bear, this is not a happy book. However, it is very interesting but I wouldn’t read it again. Some of the descriptions of her little brother, “Stick” were absolutely disgusting. If I never have to hear a description of baby, um, business again I will be very happy.
c/o NetGalley

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes – ★★ – Not my favorite, but I must say this scored bonus points for the cat named “Nyan Cat”. Dark, gross, disturbing. That is how I would describe a lot of this book. It just wasn’t for me, and for that reason I won’t recommend it.
c/o NetGalley

Alienated by Melissa Landers – ★★½ – Based on the cover, I thought I’d like this. Not so much. It wasn’t bad, per say, but it wasn’t amazing either. I did think it was humorous that the main character, Cara, had her own blog that she obsessed about (hits, followers, etc.) But otherwise, I found this unremarkable and not really my thing, and I don’t think I’ll be bothering with the sequel.

Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons – ★★★★ – After a few snoozers, I knew a thriller would pick me back up, and it did. Someone on Goodreads called this a “really good episode of CSI”. Absolutely agree. Dr. Steve Mitchell is kind of a hot mess – he loves his wife, but you can tell he’s kind of bored. At work, he’s screwed up a major surgery and he’s hoping that his patient makes it through. Suddenly, patients who were getting better are dying and he’s being blamed for it. All and all, I enjoyed this for the purpose of being entertained. Descriptions of women in the novel left me feeling a bit… odd, but the plot twists were good, even if a bit predictable. What can I say, I like reading about psychopaths.
c/o NetGalley

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay – ★★★★ – I absolutely loved this. Such a captivating story. The story is about two women – Sarah who was arrested with her family in a French Police round-up, and modern-day Julia, a journalist who is retracing Sarah’s story. I much preferred the past story to the present storyline (as you’ll see below, I had the same sentiments with Orphan Train.) Either way, still a solid book that I would recommend.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Klein – ★★★★ – I really enjoyed this, however, I would have much preferred less of the present day storyline and more of the Orphan Train story line. It was much more interesting to me (ironically, since I generally prefer modern-day to historical fiction.) I thought the storyline was great though I’m not sure the writing was particularly amazing considering some of its accolades. Still a solid read and one I would recommend.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Aliere Saenz – ★★★★ – What a sweet coming of age young adult book! I was listening to this a bit in the car with Dave and even he was getting into it. It’s the story of Aristotle and Dante, two unlikely friends who find each other and “discover the universe” together. I’ll leave it at that, no spoilers.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – ★★½ – This was really boring. I think the problem with some of these startup business books is that they tend to share a lot of similar anecdotes, and Dave and I felt like we had already heard them in other books. Perhaps if we had read this earlier, it would have been better, but if you’re into these sorts of business books, this may not be worth it. (And if you want a recommendation, get Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull on audiobook. We are listening to it right now on our daily commute and it is amazing.)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer – ★★★★ – I’ve been wanting to start this series forever. I finally did, and I’m glad I did. This is such a creative take on the classic, Cinderella, but done in a futuristic way. I will definitely be reading the other books in the series as well.

Adultery by Paulo Coehlo – ★★★ – Another Paulo Coehlo book! I couldn’t help but be curious when this came out and I read the description. It sounded so… modern. And it was. I liked it at first, but honestly, by the end I was glad the book was over. It’s a lot of inside the mind of some bored suburban mom who really wants to up the “excitement” in her love life, so she does this by cheating on her husband. I’m sure you can see where this goes…

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan – ★★★ – I wanted to like this one, but honestly I just couldn’t get into it. Some books don’t work well on audiobook, and I think this may have been one of them. I already own the book, so I may try a re-read it at a later date.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman – ★★★ – I really liked If I Stay, but I’ll have to admit… I wasn’t as into this. It picks up where the last book left off, albeit a few years later. However, it’s told in the boyfriend’s perspective. I just didn’t enjoy that as much and would have liked the same narrator. I kind of felt like this wasn’t really a necessary read and that the first novel could have been enough.

My Reading Challenge Updates

Total Books this month: 12
Total Books read this year: 27 / 150
Total Books Read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge: 3 / 12
Total Books Read for the Semi-Charmed Winter Book Challenge: 8 / 13 (DNF)
Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations? P.S. let’s be friends on Goodreads if we aren’t already!


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55 thoughts on “What I Read: February

  1. Breenah

    I just finished I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and it was cute. If you need a book that won’t really take brain power and will make you giggle (and probably feel better about stupid things you’ve done) then I’d suggest it.
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    1. Jenn Post author

      I tried that one a couple of months ago and honestly couldn’t get into it. She reminded me a lot of Chelsea Handler, maybe if I had read her book before one of Chelsea’s I would have liked it more!

      Reply
  2. Kate

    I love this! My goal is 101 books by October 2016 and I’m making progress but it isn’t anywhere near what you’ve accomplished. BUT that gives me hope that I can meet my goal if you can be ahead on yours!
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Awesome! You can totally do it. Audiobooks are my key to get through more books! I listen to them while doing stuff around the house and while driving.

      Reply
  3. Chelsie

    Love Cinder! I’m half way through the second one and it’s just as good! I love that it is such a creative take on Cinderella! I’m also currently reading the second book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series; haven’t decided my feelings on it, yet. And I just picked up Girl on a Train!
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Oh that’s good to hear! Based on the cult following of the series I figured the other 2 released books must be good too! I’m curious to hear about Girl on a Train – I’ve heard so many mixed reviews!

      Reply
  4. Olya

    I love Cinder! I have had Cress on my Kindle for a year because I wanted to read it closer to when the fourth one came out! Haha. I agree with you on The Orphan Train-I loved the past part, but I thought there was way too much of the present.
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Haha, that’s smart! I used to do that with the Harry Potter books back in the day, and everyone always thought I was crazy. ;)

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    1. Jenn Post author

      I wasn’t a big fan of the audiobook of Big Little Lies either. Either that or the book wasn’t for me, which seemed surprising considering I like the author!

      Reply
    1. Jenn Post author

      Haha, I’m pretty sure I’m also in the middle of 4 as well – one commute book with Dave, one audiobook, one on my Kindle, and one real book. Oops. ;)

      Reply
  5. Isaac

    I’m currently reading ‘US’ by David Nichols. He wrote ‘One Day’, and English I believe :P. But a fantastic novel. The characters are so well developed. The story is about a wife who wants to leave her husband or is debating, leaving her husband. But she still wants to go on the trip they had planned around Europe with their son Albie.

    The story flips between how they met, and where they are now. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

    p.s. I curse you for the ability / time to read so many so fast. Grrrr!
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    1. Jenn Post author

      I’ve been wanting to try something by David Nichols, I’ll have to check those out next! I could do with a few good novels!

      I can read so much because of audiobooks! Between an Audible subscription and my local library, I listen to a lot of books! :)

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    Ooooo yeah, A Visit From the Goon Squad is one of my favorite books ever, but considering that one of the chapters is actually a powerpoint presentation, I doubt it would translate well.
    I’ve been meaning to try Cinder. Orphan Train is always “recommended” to me on Amazon and Audible. I just got Sarah’s Key from the library! I noticed that a ton of my Goodreads friends had rated it highly. Doing Harm sounds SOOOO good. I like reading about psychopaths, too.
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Haha, well, that explains the confusion. Once we have our house back in order I’ll have to dig the book out for a re-read!

      Doing Harm was good – it’s definitely not a masterpiece, but I enjoyed it’s creepy plot and it was a really quick read. I’d be curious to hear your opinion on Orphan Train if you do read it. Lots of mixed reviews on Goodreads (and in my book club, too.)

      Reply
    1. Jenn Post author

      That one took me awhile too – mostly to get into in general because I couldn’t figure out where it was going! I was glad when it picked up though – probably my favorite book I’ve read this year thus far.

      Reply
  7. Martha

    Ugh, I’ve been reading so many stinkers lately, too! Quite a few NG reads that looked good but turned out to be pretty blah, and a lot of books from the library that I picked up thinking the covers looked interesting, but they turned out to be kind of slow. I really want to start The Lunar Chronicles–it looks like such a good series–but I told myself I’d wrap up some existing series before starting any new ones!
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Haha I know what you mean – I have a habit of starting series and not finishing them. Oops! Definitely check it out though, it’s really different (in a good way.)

      Reply
    1. Jenn Post author

      It was definitely interesting – I liked how the storyline was very Cinderella-like but was also pretty original. Generally I’m not very into futuristic books yet still liked it.

      Reply
  8. Marifer

    Sarah’s key is one of my favorites book!! It is so sad but I keep thinking about it for months, it stayed in my heart.
    I really liked orphan train. Lately I an enjoying reading books base on historical facts. I felt I learn a lot.
    I will add doing harm to my list!!
    Thanks for sharing
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  9. Lindsay Living

    Wow! I am thoroughly impressed! I wish I had read even one book this month that wasn’t for children or teaching related. I’m looking forward to summer, but you’ve inspired me to pick up at least one book this month. Thanks for sharing some great recommendations!
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    1. Jenn Post author

      Aw, thanks Lindsay! Glad I could inspire you. My trick is audiobooks – especially when doing chores around the house and while driving! :)

      Reply
  10. Arenda

    I quite enjoyed Sarah’s Key as well (agree that the historical parts were more interesting than the present day ones). Two books I really enjoyed this past month were North and South (Gaskell) and To Kill a Mockingbird. Hard to go wrong with classics. ;)

    Reply
    1. Jenn Post author

      Oh I love To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve never read North and South, I’ll have to add that one to my TBR pile. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

      Reply
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