The 4 Books I Finished Last Month

13526165* Linking up with Anne Bogel at Quick Lit *

My February reads were a mixed bag. I was underwhelmed by a couple. (Harrumph!) I loved one. And the fourth – although it was well written, I picked the wrong time to read it. C’est la vie. Without further ado, here are the four books I finished in February:

1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

My Thoughts: I wanted to love this book, as so many others did. I laughed out loud quite a few times while reading the first third, but my laughter quickly turned to eye rolling. The story was too ridiculous for me. One thing I did appreciate was the steady stream of exaggerated Seattleisms based on the idea that some Seattleites tend to take themselves quite seriously. (It’s something you can’t quite understand until you experience it.) I say that with love, as I spent almost two years in the city when I was a graduate student at University of Washington and met many wonderful people during my time there. I understand the appeal of this book, but I didn’t like the story.

Page Count: 330

When I Read It: January 31, 2016-February 10, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Found it on the shelf at the local library/read it the old-fashioned way.

Favorite Quote: “It’s like a hypnotist put everyone from Seattle into a collective trance. “You are getting sleepy, when you wake up you will want to live only in a Craftsman house, the year won’t matter to you, all that will matter is that the walls will be thick, the windows tiny, the rooms dark, the ceilings low, and it will be poorly situated on the lot.”

2. The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning

4569522My Thoughts: I loved Manning’s voice and message throughout this book and his honest portrayal of his own failures and lessons learned about the power of God’s love. The structure of the book seemed scattered, which bothered me a little. I’m glad I picked up this Kindle deal and look forward to reading more of Manning, especially The Ragamuffin Gospel, which I’ve heard is excellent.

Page Count: 144 pages

When I Read It: January 18, 2016-February 14, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Took advantage of a Kindle deal/read it on the Kindle app on my phone

Favorite Quote: “To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary. Please, this is not some Pollyanna optimism that is blind to the reality of evil, but rather like a fine radar system that is tuned in to the true, the good, and the beautiful. When a person is evoked for who she is, not who she is not, the most often result will be the inner healing of her heart through the touch of affirmation.”

3. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Thoughts: I had high expectations for this book, as Strout’s Olive Kitteridge is one of my all-time favorites. The story was beautifully written and I appreciate Strout’s depiction of the complex relationships between Lucy and her family. This book was melancholic, though, and I wish I hadn’t read it in February, when I always need a cheering up rather than a dragging down. I also wonder if it would have worked better as a short story. Overall, I would recommend this book with the caveat that it might make you a bit glum.

Page Count: 193

When I Read It: February 10-16, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Placed a hold at the library/read it the old fashioned way.

Favorite Quote: “I have said before: It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.”

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty19486412

My Thoughts: This is the second Liane Moriarty book I’ve read and LOVED. She is so good at balancing serious issues, great characters, good humor, and true suspense. Big Little Lies is an easy read without being cheesy. I just read that HBO is making the book into a series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon; I’m cautiously intrigued and hoping they don’t ruin the story. I plan to read one Moriarty book a month to pace myself through the awesomeness of her novels. I hope she’s hard at work on her next book because she is just so good at this.

Page Count: 460

When I Read It: February 16-24, 2016

Where I Found It/How I Read It: Found it on the shelf at the library/read it the old fashioned way.

Favorite Quote: “Bonnie is so ‘calm,’ you see. The opposite of me. She speaks in one of those soft . . . low . . . melodious voices that make you want to punch a wall.”

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One non-fiction book and three novels in February. I’m satisfied with the books I chose, but I hope March yields a few more favorites. You can friend or follow me on Goodreads for the latest updates.

5 thoughts on “The 4 Books I Finished Last Month

  1. I liked Big Little Lies too, we just read The Husband’s Secret for book club and I didn’t love it as much although the way she interviews characters is genius. I’m trying to finish Station Eleven for book club but got distracted by When Breath Becomes Air when I stop sobbing I’ll get back to reading. lol.

  2. You will love The Ragamuffin Gospel. It was a life-changing book for me. And I’m right there with you on Liane Moriarty. I LOVE her books!!

    • So glad to hear you loved the book. I’ll have to put in a library request for it soon! It seems like it would be right up my alley. Did you hear Liane Moriarty’s next book will be out this summer? Yippee!

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