Books I Read in February

This was not the most 'fun' month of reading, although there was a spot of greatness.  I just need some fluffy palate cleansers right about now.  Good thing we're doing a little warm weather weekend vacay in March.  I might even have to break out an Elin Hilderbrand book... (Has anyone read The Rumor?)

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

This was really slow going for me.  It's a mostly descriptive novel, with some of the LONGEST sentences I've ever read.  I don't consider myself to be easily confused, but so very many would start with the usual subject and verb, then would veer off with some completely unnecessary non sequitur about said subject and I'd completely forget the original point.  I'd scroll ahead to see how many pages I'd have left in a chapter and be faced with so very little dialogue/quotation marks.  I was glad to get more insight into Chechnya, but it's kind of an exhausting (and of course, terribly sad) read.  It reminded me of Cutting for Stone in some respects (main characters in the medical field, a country in turmoil), but this went so much slower - even though it's hundreds of pages shorter.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (NetGalley review here)

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

I'm glad I read this story of a marriage from both points of view, because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and to form my own opinion: which is that I didn't really enjoy it! As with most people, I thought the whole first half (really more than half) was too much of the husband Lotto's self indulgent drivel.  Even though I found the wife Mathilde's story so much more interesting, it was less than half the novel and I don't really think she got her due.  I also think the writing was annoyingly overwrought. I've read one of Groff's other novels (Monsters of Templeton) and she's just not my cup of tea.  It was a great concept, as we can never see the world through someone else's eyes.  What an amazing thing it would be if we could read the story of our spouses life from his or her point of view??  Alas, Groff's approach didn't work for me.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I mean, what can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?  Even if I had the smallest of critiques, how could I make them about someone's heartfelt, eye opening, wrenching missive to his son on being black in America?  It was so strange and timely to be reading it right before the 88th Academy Awards, which we're not likely to forget with Chris Rock's fantastic hosting.  And, of course, this completely horrifying election year where it is ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that this should be required reading for all citizens.  


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