February was kind of a mixed bag for me. I hit a reading (and blogging) slump towards the end of the month and still haven’t quite come out of it. Anything book related feels like a chore right now. But I still managed to read a fair amount of books in the beginning of the month and I’m happy with my reading month overall.
What I Read:
Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams – ★★★☆☆. I am finally working my way through this series, but I had to take a break after this one. I’ve liked each book less than the previous, and there are still two more. This one wasn’t bad per se, but it wasn’t my favorite.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – ★★★★★. I chose this as my Shakespeare play of the month. I was pretty sure I’d like it (I’d already seen it performed) and I was right. This is definitely one of my favorite comedies, and I’m glad I finally got around to it.
Pericles by William Shakespeare – ★★★☆☆. Since I was bored at work, and discovered Shakespeare is pretty easy to read online and sort of looks like I’m doing work, I decided to cross another play off my list and went for one I knew nothing about. I actually liked the story – it’s very Greek-tragedy – but it felt SO LONG. Not bad, but not a favorite.
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare – ★★★★☆. I’m 99% sure I read this freshman year of high school, but for some reason I never marked it as “read” on Goodreads. Since I was on a Shakespeare kick anyway, I decided to reread it.
Duel With the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery by Paul Collins – ★★★★☆. It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. I like watching documentaries about murder, and this was exactly like that. With the added bonus of Hamilton and Burr. Other than the slow start, my one complaint was that when this book did delve into Hamilton and Burr’s personal lives, it was in a decidedly negative light. I personally don’t think it added much to the story, and a few facts contradicted other historians’ works I’ve read, so I wasn’t sure what to think of it.
The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani – ★★★☆☆. I was in the mood for a fun thriller and decided to pick this up. It was neither fun nor what I’d call a thriller, but it was an interesting read. I’m glad I read it (I don’t read much French literature), but I’m not sure I really liked it. Full review of The Perfect Nanny – aka Lullaby – here.
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen – ★★★★☆. This month, I decided to finish my last Austen novel. I was honestly expecting to like it more than I did, but I still really enjoyed it. I even did a whole post all about Austen’s novels, so you can read more of my thoughts there.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton – ★★★☆☆. I enjoyed Ethan Frome, so I thought I would finally finish Wharton’s more famous work (which I started back in December, oops). I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I liked this one less. But it’s been sitting on my shelves for at least ten years now, so I’m glad I finally crossed it off my TBR.
The Trial by Franz Kafka – ★★★☆☆. I decided to read this because I actually liked The Metamorphosis, wanted to read more of Kafka’s work. Yet again, I liked the more popular book less. The Trial just didn’t do it for me, but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.
Educated by Tara Westover – ★★★★★. I loved this memoir about a girl who grows up in a strict Mormon and anti-government household, doesn’t set foot in a school until she’s seventeen, and still managed to earn a PhD from Cambridge. If you like The Glass Castle, you need to read this. Full review of Educated here.
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer – ★★★☆☆. I’ve had this book for a while, but the movie trailer definitely motivated me to pick this up. And I’ve gotta say, the movie trailer looks better than the book (I’ve since learned it is very loosely adapted). I can’t say I particularly enjoyed this, but it gets points for originality. I did a full review of Annihilation if you want to read more.
The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont – ★★★★☆. This was such a fun little book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy when it comes out March 6. I think any feminist would really appreciate this one. Full review of The Little Book of Feminist Saints.
The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller – ★★★★★. This was my Book of the Month pick this month, and I am so glad I chose it! I thought it was so clever and fun and I just really enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
What I’m Currently Reading:
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. I am about halfway through the audiobook right now, and I am kind of obsessed. This biography is brilliant. It’s entertaining, interesting, and educational. I.e. all the best things.
The Red Word by Sarah Henstra. This one, I’m not feeling so much. I really liked Henstra’s Mad Miss Mimic, and I was looking forward to this book (which explores rape culture), but I just can’t get into the story. It’s kind of all over the place. Planning on finishing it soon, so I can
The Darkling Bride by Laura Anderson. I’m not very far into this one, but I think I’m going to like it. It feels dark and gothic and that is just what I’m in the mood for right now.
What I Watched:
The Shape of Water. LOVED this movie. Except for the part with the cat. I watched this at home – one of the benefits of living in Southern California is always knowing someone with access to screeners – and I was literally yelling at my computer screen because I knew what was going to happen. Other than that, this was fantastic and deserves all the awards.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon). I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this! It is absolutely brilliant, and I need season two right now.
When We First Met (Netflix). This was actually super cute. I do love the occasional rom com, and I appreciated how unique this one was (particularly the ending). I’d definitely watch it again.
Manhunt: Unabomber. I saw a few ads for this a while ago but never really paid much attention. But it was on Netflix when I was looking for something to binge-watch, so I thought I’d give it a try and I really liked it. If you like crime shows, definitely check this out.
What I Did:
More knitting. I got super into knitting again this month, and finished my first pair of socks! (They’re not perfect, but I learned a lot and my second pair is coming along much better.) This is part of the reason I didn’t read that much at the end of the month, because my fingers were just itching to pick up my needles instead. Must get better at listening to audiobooks while knitting.
Project Gutenberg. Ok, this is technically not a “non-book” favorite, since it is books. But this was a really slow month at work and I rediscovered Project Gutenberg, and it saved me. For those of you who don’t know, Project Gutenberg is an online database of public domain books. There are a ton of public domain classics, and I’ve basically been binge-reading them all because reading on my computer makes it less obvious that I’m reading at work.
Book USB Drives. You guys, I got the most amazing thing in the mail this month: tiny, wooden, book-shaped usb drives with my blog name printed on them! These were kindly sent to me by USB Memory Direct, which makes some pretty amazing custom products. I am really excited to have these, and will be including them in a giveaway soon (keep an eye out on Twitter and Instagram). I’m thinking of loading a few of them with a ton of public domain classic ebooks and throwing in a bunch of other goodies. Check out how cool these are:
Books That Got Me Back Into Reading (And What I Think of Them Now). I had a lot of fun putting this post together, and you all seemed to like it. It was interesting to look back on the books I read when I started reading again a few years ago.
That’s it for February! I hope you had a good month. What was your favorite February read?