What I read in February

Even though February is a short month I am still pretty pleased with the amount of books that I was able to read this month. In total I read 11 books, 7 books from my Unread Shelf, 1 short story that I bought on Kobo and 3 library books. I bought 2 Elin Hilderbrand books on sale from Kobo ($4 for both) and on Family Day I stress bought 3 Louise Penny books from Book Depository. I am finding that I am really paying more attention to the books that I choose to read as well as the books that I buy. I did a lot of recon on the Louise Penny books before I decided that I in fact deserved them, so I bought them.

The books that I read this month are:

The Lost Letters of William Woolf – Helen Cullen. I basically read this in January but finished the last couple of chapters on February 1. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. It focused more on the marriage of William Woolf and less on solving mysteries of the Lost Letters of England (which is what I thought it would be from the back cover).

The Book that Matters Most- Ann Hood. This is my pick for a book gifted to you from the unread shelf challenge. My friend Alicia gave this to me a couple of years ago. I’m glad that I read it this month. I love books about book clubs and reading and I wish that this one had had a little more of that but I still enjoyed the storyline with Ava and her daughter Maggie. At times I was frustrated with those two characters but I still enjoyed this one.

The Brutal Telling- Louise Penny. I enjoy this series a lot. I feel like things are starting to happen to the beloved people of Three Pines and I like it. I can’t wait for March to be here so I can read the next book in the series (I’m only allowing myself to read one a month because I would just blow through them if I let myself).

The Summer ’79- Elin Hiderbrand. This short story was just alright. I really enjoyed The Summer ’69 this past summer and I was looking forward to seeing what the characters were up to 10 years later. And while you do find out what they are up to, it all seems too short. It would have been better as a full length novel.

Daughter of Empire-Pamela Hicks. I had heard about this book on Twitter a couple of years ago. I finally found a copy in the Fall and bought it after watching the latest season of the Crown. I needed to to know more about “Dickie” Mountbatten and I thought that a book written about his daughter would be a good start. This was at times really interesting. The stories about Pamela’s childhood were fascinating. But I found it to be a bit boring once she started to reminisce about her young adulthood. It was interesting to see what all happened on Royal Tours in the 1950’s. Such a different time for travel, especially royal travel.

Meet me in Monaco- Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb- I had started to read this back in September but found it wasn’t for me. I put it back on my shelf because I knew that at some point it would be the book for me as I had read a biography about Grace Kelly when I was in Grade 8 (I was a nerdy kid who loved royals, and Hollywood). I loved reading about Cannes, Monaco and Grasse. My love of essential oils really tied into the perfume making that Sophie’s family made. I think this year is going to be the year for Grace Kelly historical fiction so I was happy to start it off with this book.

The Language of Bees- Laurie R King. I haven’t read this series in order, and I feel like you don’t have to. I might be wrong about it but previous cases and books were referenced enough that I didn’t feel too lost when I was reading it. Once I got into this story I really liked it. Was that because Sherlock and Mary spent most of the book apart? Probably. I find Sherlock Holmes to be rather exhausting, even more so as a 60 plus year old, married to a 24 year old. Mary is far more enjoyable when she isn’t jumping through the mental hoops that Sherlock puts her through. By the end I was intrigued enough to want to read the next book.

The Scent Keeper- Erica Bauermeister. I was surprised that I was able to read a Reese Witherspoon book club pick in the month that it was picked. But somehow a copy became available quickly on Libby. After reading the first two chapters or so I wasn’t really feeling this book. But having a chance to read it for a couple of hours really helped immerse myself into the story and I found myself reading until I was done. If you have been reading this blog since I first started it you know that I love essential oils and how scent is tied to memory. This books is all about scent and memory and the scent industry and I really liked it.

The Janes- Louisa Luna. I loved this book. I heard about it during the Winter Book Preview that Anne Bogel did with the Modern Mrs Darcy Book club and What Should I read Next Patreon supporters. I saw that it was on Libby so I thought “why not?”. I couldn’t put it down. There were so many twists and turns. I am now waiting for the first book in this series because I need to know more about Vega and Cap and how they became partners.

First Impressions- Charlie Lovett. This premise for this book is what made me add it to my “to read” list and ask for it for Christmas a couple of years ago. What if Jane Austen didn’t come up with the idea of Pride and Prejudice herself? What would that mean? And I love a good literary mystery. But this just fell a little flat. The main character makes a lot of bad decisions that anyone who has ever read a mystery would know are wrong. It was disappointing. However, I am probably going to watch Clueless, Pride and Prejudice (2005) and maybe Sense and Sensibility this weekend.

Recipe for a Perfect Wife- Karma Brown. I really enjoyed this one! I liked the duel narrators of Alice and Ellie in 2018 and 1956 and how we had a chance to look into both of their marriages. I love historical fiction and cooking so I really found the chapters about Ellie to be really interesting. And I think my Grandma and Mom have some of the cookbooks that are referenced in this book!


January Reads

Wow, January is finally ending! This month has seemed like it was a million days long. Being sick for the last week or so has made it seem even longer. Boo. It’s now time to take a look at how my Unread shelf project is coming along!

I read 11 books in January, 4 from my unread shelf and the rest were from the library- either books that I had out at the end of December that carried over or holds that became available. I didn’t sweat the library book ban because at the beginning of the month I was on a roll reading from my unread shelf. And then I got hit with a cold that has now turned into a sinus infection and my attention span has left me along with my healthy immune system booo.
The goals for the UnRead Shelf this month were to read one book from your unread shelf and to go on a library and book buying ban. I did buy one book this month BUT it was a copy of a book that I read a few years ago from the library, and it was $8 at the bookstore. Oh and I picked up Gold for $1 from the discard bin at the library (But Anne Bogel had just recommended it and I figured if the library was selling it and I wanted to read it, then it needed to come live with me.
I have noticed that I am paying far more attention to the books that are available to read from the library, in the bookstore and in the different book emails that I get every day. I am finding that the books that I already own look far more appealing now.

  • Books read in January
  • The Break – Marian Keyes- library ebook from December
  • The Golden Hour- Beatriz Williams- from my unread shelf
  • Criminal- Karin Slaughter- library ebook from December
  • Ghost Ship- James Rollins- ebook from my digital unread shelf
  • A Rule Against Murder- Louise Penny- from my unread shelf
  • Fall of Poppies- various authors- library ebook
  • The Wicked Redhead- Beatriz Williams- library ebook
  • We All Fall Down- Daniel Kalla- my unread shelf
  • Bryant &May: The Lonely Hour- Christopher Fowler- library book
  • Twice in a Blue Moon- Christina Lauren- library ebook hold from 2019
  • Little Fires Everywhere- Celeste Ng- library ebook (skipped the line).