Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books of 2013 - February

These are the books I finished in February (not counting audio books, books I read aloud to my daughters or books I started but didn't finish). The book covers are links to Amazon (affiliate links) and I'm also including Goodreads links, in case you want to find out more about that particular book (these are not affiliate links and do not profit me in any way).
1.Howards End is on the Landing. Non-fiction by Susan Hill. A book about a year where a woman who works in publishing decides not to buy any new books. I love books about reading and this author lives in England, which gives her reading list a different flair (albeit similar) to my own. {Goodreads}

2. The Moving Toyshop. Fiction by Edmund Crispin. Vintage mystery, full of wit and quite fun to read. {Goodreads}

3. Enough: Finding More by Living with Less. Non-fiction by Will Davis, Jr. I found this book challenging - sometimes in good ways (challenging my status quo and encouraging me to consider what God really wants me to pursue) but more often in negative ways: the sanctimonious tone, the repetitive admonitions, and the patronizing view of both those who have "more than enough" and those who have less. {Goodreads}

4. The Daughter of Time. Fiction by Josephine Tey. I really enjoyed this vintage mystery (and I already talked about it here) Highly recommended for mystery or history buffs. {Goodreads}

5. The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity. Non-fiction by Meg Meeker. Clear, thoughtful advice. I would have preferred the Faith chapter and aspect of this book to be a bit stronger but I realize the author was aiming for a wider audience. Definitely recommend this one to my mom friends. {Goodreads}

6. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. Non-fiction by Candice Millard. I honestly did not know much about President James Garfield before I read this book. This was probably my favorite book in February: it's so well written and hard to put down. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in U.S. or Presidential History. {Goodreads}

7. Miss Pym Disposes. Fiction by Josephine Tey. Another vintage mystery, this one set in an all-girls school in England. Not, perhaps, a conventional mystery but it contains memorable characters and dilemmas. {Goodreads}

8. Stained Glass Hearts: Seeing Life from a Broken Perspective. Non-fiction by Patsy Clairmont. A collection of essays, encouragement, and Clairmont's trademark humor. {Goodreads}

9. The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears. Non-fiction by Mark Batterson. Challenging and interesting but ultimately unsatisfying. The author has an unfortunate tendency to write in Christian cliches and his constant mis-application of Exodus chapter 14 really bugged me. (That's actually one of my really big pet peeves with Christian authors. If I can't trust them with Exodus chapter 14, what else are they getting wrong?) Veers distressingly close to "name it and claim it" theology and a prosperity gospel. {Goodreads}

10. Circles of Time. Fiction by Phillip Rock.Second in a series. This installment of the "Greville Family saga" is set after the First World War. I actually enjoyed this one slightly more while reading it but I forgot to write down my impressions upon finishing it and I can't exactly remember what I wanted to say about it. (Which is not a ringing endorsement for a book, is it? I'm pretty sure several caveats apply since the subject matter is still pretty tough.) {Goodreads}

11. Reached. Fiction by Ally Condie. Last in a trilogy. This is the review I left on Goodreads:
 I enjoyed this trilogy but I feel like it never quite reached its potential. It's an interesting idea, in theory, to have the three main characters narrate but their voices are so similar, it hardly matters. You have to be sure to notice at the beginning of a chapter whose chapter it is because it will be hard to tell otherwise.

All in all, Condie had a solid story to tell, I'm just not sure it merited a trilogy of books.
12.The Glimmer Palace. Fiction by Beatrice Colin. Set in Berlin before, during, and after the First World War. Certainly was atmospheric and engrossing but, as that was a tumultuous, decadent and depraved time in that city's history and the author does not leave any bit of it to the reader's imagination, I cannot whole-heartedly recommend it to you. (I read it primarily as research to the era, since there are few books set in this time and place.) {Goodreads}

13. A Sunless Sea. Fiction by Anne Perry. Series mystery. This is the latest in the William Monk series. The time period is fascinating in England - opium is readily available and professional police work and detecting is in its infancy. Perry can be a little too graphic for my taste (these are definitely not "cozy" mysteries) but her stories are always compelling. {Goodreads}

14. The Blessed Church. Non-fiction by Robert Morris. I was sent a copy of this book to review, which I did here. {Goodreads}

Totals for February:
Fiction: 7 (mysteries: 4)

How very balanced of me, I must say.

So, what did you read in February?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me.

1 comment:

MacKenzie said...

I must confess I have a love/hate relationship with your book posts. I always come away with several books that I'm dying to read - but of course, my library doesn't have! Oh well, I'll have to be patient for ILL.

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