Fiction Read in February:
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
Wickedly funny collection of short stories. I listened to this one on audiobook which made it even better. It’s read by multiple women and the different voices combined made it even more enjoyable. It got me through several mornings on the treadmill.
The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
Mystery set among the suffragettes in late 19th century London. Trapeze artists and circus acts and the fashion of corsets all mixed in. I didn’t love this one but I did find the history of the struggle for the vote for women fascinating. I still find it unbelievable that women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years.
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley
The latest installment in the Flavia deLuce series. Enjoyable as usual and the more we get to know Flavia the more real she seems and the more I like her.
Echoes of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King
This is the third (or fourth) in a series of short stories by well-known mystery writers inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Very fun to read (especially after enjoying the latest episodes in the BBC Sherlock series). Some of the short stories are very obviously directly related to the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Others are only related in a tangential way but they are all excellent for mystery lovers.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This one was an out of the box reading choice for me as a YA Science Fiction novel (and winner of the YA Speculative Fiction Cybils category). I gave it to my oldest to read and he enjoyed it so I thought I’d try it. Quite engrossing (as several way past my bedtime reading sessions attest to). There is a zombie creating virus, a out of control artificially intelligent computer, spaceships and two star-crossed (literally) teenagers. The story format is that of files relating what happened after one rival mining company attacked a mining settlement on a distant planet and set off a chain of horrific events. There is also some disturbing violence, a fair amount of rough language and sexual talk between the teenagers. If you have teens that have read The Hunger Games they can probably handle this one but if you have younger or more sensitive teens you might want to wait.
Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
Read for the Newbery Challenge at Hope is the Word. I loved this story of a young girl in New York City in the 1890’s. It reminded me of other books with feisty young girls as heroines: All of a Kind Family, Caddie Woodlawn, the Moffats, Anne of Green Gables.
Non-Fiction Books Read in February:
Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel
Story of Galileo and his daughter who was a nun. Gives new perspective on the idea that Galileo was the beginning of science vs. religion. Galileo believed in science but in science as a way to understand God.
Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
I typically really love books about books. This one was ok, but didn’t really resonate with me as others in the genre. There is more on Schwalbe’s life than on the books he highlights and sometimes it seemed to me that he was stretching to make a particular book fit with the point he wanted to make.