February and March Reads

I spent a lot of the end of winter reading. I was too busy reading to write my post on books last month. In February I read seven books. In March I read nine books.

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan. This book was different from most Jenny Colgan books. In this book the woman who leaves London for Scotland and finds true love and her self, as well as a new career is actually from the island in Scotland she returns to. Other than that, this book is filled with your typical Colgan goodness. If you like Jenny Colgan you will like this one. I give it three out of five stars.

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan. This is a Jenny Colgan book where she tried to make it extra serious, which took away from what I was hoping to get out of it. I’ll read a serious book when I need a serious plot. I don’t read Jenny Colgan to stress. I give this book two out of five stars.

No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne L. Macdonald. This book isn’t for everyone. If you are so interesting in knitting and history that you are excited to read a book that reads like a thesis, you will like this book. The book was completed in the late 80s, and I wish there was a follow up to cover the three decades since then. I really enjoyed this book, but it is a product of its time. It is a history of white American knitting. Other than a paragraph or two on Martha Washington’s knitting slave POC are not mentioned. I give this book five out of five stars.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Sometimes novels about awkward teenagers going to a big college and feeling out of place hit close to home. This is one of those times. Rowell takes a story of an awkward girl who writes fan fiction and turns it in to a wonderful story about growing up and knowing who you are. This book took me about 100 pages to really get into it, even though it included stories about Baz and Simon (the guys from Carry On). Once I got past that I really enjoyed the book. I would happily read a sequel. I give this book three out of five stars.

Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation by Peggy Hart. This book is heavy on the industrial side of wool. It is also light on hope for the future of wool. I didn’t love this book, but I did find at least one thing each chapter that reminded me of someone in Blogville. One thing I found fascinating is that there was a type of wool specifically used for slave clothing. Like, it wasn’t bad enough that people owned people, they had to give them the itchiest wool too. I appreciate the fact that instead of ignoring this Hart pointed it out. I give this book two out of five stars.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This is an example of why you should read every book Bonny recommends. In this book a woman enters a library between life and death. Each book in the library is another version of her life. She is able to visit those lives and see how her life would have changed by making different decisions. This book brought me so much joy. I highly recommend this book. I give it five out of five stars.

Memorial by Bryan Washington. Egh, this book was fine. It is well written. It is not my jam. It is a book about the end of a relationship and the lives of the men as they begin to move on. It was a hard swing down from the joy of The Midnight Library. I give this book two out of five stars.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. A young woman is cursed to live forever but never be remembered. This book was incredibly interesting. I didn’t want to put it down. I felt for Addie, and enjoyed watching her story develop. I give this book five out of five stars.

Outlawed by Anna North. How do describe this book….hmmm…. OK, so did you see the movie Young Guns? It came out in 1988 and was about Billy the Kid. Now imagine that he and his band of outlaws were barren women cast out of their communities for potentially being witches. This book is interesting and enjoyable. If you enjoy western stories you should check this out. I give it four out of five stars.

Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage From Warm Socks to High Art by Susan Strawn. Perhaps you have noticed that I’m super into knitting history at the moment. This book is well researched and has wonderful illustrations. It actually dispelled common myths about knitting, like Martha Washington having a knitting group to make socks. I give this book five out of five stars.

Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah. A disgraced child psychologist returns home to help her small town police chief sister solve the mystery of the child who walked out of the woods. Kristin Hannah can make anything a wonderful story, and this is another example of that. I give the book four out of five stars.

Being a Dad is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from my Family to Yours by Ben Falcone. I picked up this book a few years ago as a Father’s Day present for John. For some reason I thought he would like a book about fatherhood written by Melissa McCarthy’s husband. This may shock you, but he hasn’t read it yet. This book was filled with stories about Falcone’s dad. It is a love story about a Dad who cares. I related to some of these stories; I too grew up in the 80s in the Mid-West and have a cool Dad. I give this book two out of five stars.

Tales From the Farm by The Yorkshire Shepardess by Amanda Owen. These delightful stories are a collection of her columns from her Dalesman column. This was a wonderful read, and calm stories from the farm were just what I was in the mood for. I’ve added this to my other Amanda Owen books, and I foresee pulling it off the shelf from time to time to enjoy a good story. I give this book three out of five stars.

Writers and Lovers by Lily King. This book feels like it was written by a female Jack Kerouac of my generation. It is a stream of conscious novel that leads you from the rock bottom of her life to her probable recovery. The depth of the characters was incredible. I feel like I actually know each of the characters in the book. I give this book four out of five stars.

Welcome to the United States of Anxiety by Jen Lancaster. Do you remember Andy Rooney? The grumpy guy from 60 Minutes? OK, now imagine he has possessed one of your favorite comedic memoirists of all time (for me that is Lancaster, who had me laughing with Bitter is the New Black and Such a Pretty Fat). Now the author who is possessed by Andy Rooney writes a book about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This is not a good book. I only finished it because I liked the beginning and told Jess it would be a good audio book to get on Audible. I felt I owed it to her to finish it because she wasted a credit on it. Don’t be like me. Don’t read this book. I give this book one out of five stars.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. This book has parallel stories from the late 1700s and today. In the 1700s an apothecary helps women murder bad men. Today a woman has discovered her husband of 10 years has been having an affair. This book was incredibly interesting. I didn’t want to put it down. It is on the top of my pile of books to force my friends to read. I give this book five out of five stars.

What have you been reading?

15 thoughts on “February and March Reads

  1. Ive been reading blogs!! Love your book reviews and honesty. I’ve been listening to short podcasts. Nothing too earth shattering. Except for the poor girl who works with Sanje gupta and did a podcast. She told the tale of being qualified for a vaccine because of her BMI. The BMI is not a good measure of fitness or health. Yet we all deserve a vaccine. She had to be weighed in front of a room full of people. I think it is called Me myself and BMI. and if I already mentioned this I’m sorry! I know I told a few people. This country is so so wrong about body image.. and yes My BMI also made me eligible

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  2. Susan says:

    Glad someone else has had the same experience with Jen Lancaster! I tried to read “Welcome to the United States of Anxiety” and gave up because I realized I was just reading words without enjoying it at all. What happened to her hilarity? At least I borrowed in from the library so I didn’t spend any money on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of these sound really interesting! You write the best reviews 🙂 I’ve been reading a lot of books on or about knitting as well, and some non-fiction. Also there was recently a new Rivers of London novella, so I read that pretty much the day it came out.

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  4. I can’t believe there are still Jenny Colgan books you haven’t read!! I’m so glad you loved my recommendations. I think I’d give The Lost Apothecary a 4, only because the modern-day relationship didn’t feel as genuine/well-written as the other story lines. And I’ve got Addie LaRue on my list, so your recommendation just moved it up!

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  5. I am reading Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. It is over 900 tiny printed pages and is essentially the history of England from caveman on to nearly today. It’s the second time I’ve read this book. I prefer books I can read that never seem to end, lol. It is delightfully told by following family lines and the change in fortunes. But it is incredibly historically accurate. It is centered in my favorite area The Cotswolds. Since I prefer to buy and keep my books, I find it hard to read the quick stuff. But occasionally I do and I also read In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen, a good little world war 2 period piece, also set in England. I also read The Victory Garden by same author but it wasn’t as good.

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  6. A good selection of genres you’ve read lately. I’ve been binging on the Black Dagger Brotherhood; this last one I plan to stop at since the series no longer catches my fancy. I love the Virgin River series and no, I don’t watch the Netflix version. I may watch the TV version of Bridgerton, a book series that had some hits and misses for me. I’ve also been relistening to The Magical Bakery series. It’s good company while I craft here at the dining room table. My library only carries it up to book six. I like the development of magic in the MC so I may end up buying the Kindle versions of the books from number seven on.

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