First, a note - because I know there are a few family members who read the blog and get concerned if I don't post for a while. (And thank you all for loving me so much!)
I'm fine - and so are my girls and my husband. I've just been feeling rather quiet this last week, and have been honoring that by allowing myself to withdraw just a bit so that I can listen for that still, soft voice. It's been quite peaceful, and it's been needed.
I imagine that I'll be back to regular posting in the coming days because I do have things to share!
Without further ado, here are my books for February!
1. The Illumination , Kevin Brockmeier - In my efforts to branch out a bit in my reading selections, I recently discovered the podcast Books on the Nightstand (BotNS). The hosts - who are both in the publishing industry - generally discuss books surrounding a theme in each episode and then conclude with two new books which they feel are exceptional. I ordered my copy of The Illumination immediately upon hearing their review. To be honest, the plot is only so-so, I was frustrated when each section would end leaving more questions than answers and few of the characters were likable or all that relatable. But. The main concept - that suddenly one day light starts to pour out of everyone's wounds, both physical and emotional - is fascinating and thought provoking. There is great beauty in this book, and I find that the longer I am away from it the more I am thinking about it...and about the questions which it raised. Bravo, Kevin Brockmeier.
2. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides - Although I had picked it up at the book store about a million times, I hadn't seriously given it thought until (theme for the post) I heard about it through BotNS. (I will completely fess up to a huge suspicion - deserved or not - of all books related to the Oprah book club.) I'm so glad I read it, but I find that I'm having a bit of trouble describing why. This is another book that leads the reader to great consideration of the issues it stirs up...but it's also a book that satisfies with it's plot and well-rounded characters. Desdemonda alone is priceless! My only complaint would be that it felt like it ended a bit abruptly...but I also understand why it was so. Another great read.
3. A Scattering Of Jades, Alexander C. Irvine - Of all of the books I read or listened to this month, this one is the most typical of my usual reading habits. It's the February selection from the GoodReads Endicott Mythic Fiction group. I must admit that after the rest of the heavy reading I did this month, I was only too happy to return to my roots. I particularly loved the fact that it was set in a time period I know very well and was steeped in history. Sooo much fun!
1. Middlemarch, George Eliot - It's almost 30 hours.....and no, I wasn't able to finish it last month. Ah well! Unlike my beloved Dickens audio - or even the other Eliot books that I've listened to - I did find that Middlemarch was best served in smaller doses. It never truly grabbed me and commanded me to listen to all until I was finished, but that's ok. I think I was able to appreciate some of the details more this way.
2. Room, Emma Donoghue - BRILLIANT! Another discovery courtesy of BotNS, and am sooooo glad I found it in audio at my library. The fact that they use actors for all of the different voices keeps you firmly rooted in the story...which is especially important as the narrator is a 5-year-old boy. It was creepy, suspenseful, emotional and deeply satisfying. The pacing was absolutely perfect, and the plot was well developed from beginning to end.