What I Read in February 2017

After my health scare last week, this post is coming to you a few days late. I don’t have any real news to report on that front (though some preliminary good news in the form of a no-big-deal diagnosis possibility from another doctor!). I still have more tests tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I’ll be going to the neurologist on Thursday morning, at which point I hope to know more. But I want to say thank you all so much for your support, which has been amazing! I’m so grateful to have so many people who care.

On the reading front, February was a lighter month for me. Lately I’ve been doing sudoku just before bed, to try to calm my brain down so I can sleep easier. But even beyond that cut down in reading time, I started reading Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans, a 700+ page book that is kind of a slog. It ended up being due back to the library before I could finish it, but I’ve requested it again so will hopefully finish it this month. If only I were counting pages read instead of a flat number of books!

It wasn’t just Tools of the Titans‘ fault though; in general, I didn’t read any books in February that I truly loved. Hopefully I can make up for that with a five star read or two in March!

Best_Books_Of_February_2017

Top two books pictured above.

4 stars:

The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand – Hilderbrand’s books are always light but interesting, and I really enjoy reading about summers on Nantucket. It’s a neat mix between small town and tourists, and the interactions between the groups are fascinating! This particular novel had a lot of twists and turns and just when you thought you had it all figured out, Hilderbrand changes things. I read this one pretty fast!

Bad Habits No More, by SJ Scott – Amazon had this free for Kindle, and I was really glad I picked it up. This is a short, sweet read that had a LOT of highly actionable tips. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get serious about breaking a bad habit or building a good habit!

3 stars:

Fly Away Home, by Jennifer Weiner – I literally finished the whole book and went to log it in Goodreads only to realize that I read this book six years ago… so clearly not that memorable of a book, though perhaps more timely today with all the political scandals that seem to crop up monthly. Weiner touches on a fascinating topic: what happens to the family after a politician accused of cheating? This was really interesting to see what life is like in that kind of spotlight, but I also appreciated that the cheating was only one dramatic twist the family faced, not the be-all end-all (as I imagine would be the case). As usual, Weiner shifts the narrative from one protagonist to another throughout the book, and it’s interesting to see it all woven together at the end. This wasn’t my favorite of Weiner’s books (as evidenced by how I forgot I read it before), but it’s definitely worth a read.

Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley – This was a fascinating book with a great plotline, but I found myself getting frustrated by how it jumped around. The book starts with a plane crash, so there was a lot of flipping back and forth between past and present, but I wish the present day narrative had been a bit more stable – it jumped around from character to character too. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, who at times was so eccentric that I wondered if he was crazy. Overall, though, a solid mystery with an ending I didn’t see coming, but not quite worth how hyped it was in advance.

2 stars:

The Power of the Other, by Henry Cloud – My office picked this for our book club and none of us enjoyed it or felt it was worth our time. I found the advice very obvious (other people have an effect on my life? You’re kidding me!) and not very practical. “Corner 4” became the author’s catch-all for “all good relationships” without any really actionable advice about the many times in life we’re forced to collaborate with people who aren’t our best matches – something I’d be much more interested in learning about, since life isn’t always perfect and we can’t always just fire those who don’t work well with us.

Forward, by Abby Wambach – This book came recommended as a great athlete’s biography for NYPL’s read harder challenge (that a reader recommended to me!). Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to broadening my horizons. Wambach came off as an egotistical jerk in the book, never really seeming to learn her lesson about giving credit to others (even as she pretended to do so). A lot of the book was told in direct quotes from emails, text messages, and speeches – implying that Wambach felt her words were genius and that the little things in her life were of the utmost importance, while glossing over the hard work that made her into an extraordinary soccer player. Not a fan at all of this book.

Hidden Figures, by Margot Shetterly – I was so excited for this book after seeing the movie previews, but the book was terribly dry and boring. The topic was fascinating, but the author took such a step back from the women’s thoughts/lives that it lacked much of a narrative and read like a textbook. I will still see the movie, but only because I heard directly from people that it was good; otherwise, this book was a huge turn off.

Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.

Comments

  1. I have to read the book before I see the movie, so I’ll probably try slogging through Hidden Figures at some point. It can be so hard to judge whether a historical book will be riveting or dry!

  2. I am reading Before the Fall for my book club and so far it hasn’t drawn me in but it isn’t bad so I will continue with it. I did put it temporarily aside, though, to read 32 Yolks by Eric Ripert (of Le Bernardin fame). If you like reading books about chefs/food, then you may want to try that. So far it is a quick and interesting read.

    As for relaxing before bed, I had someone teach me to knit. recently I find that knitting or doing some kind of needlework is very relaxing and makes the time fly by. I do it in the evenings while listening to a podcast or watching t.v. The repetition of knitting and purling is almost meditative.

    • Thanks so much for the recommendation! And I’ll be curious if you like Before the Fall better toward the end, because it does pick up in the last third or so.

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