Books

What I Read in February

Apparently I read a lot this month! And I really enjoyed a lot of the books, only one “dud.” I think I read almost every night before bed, even the weekends and I found myself doing an extra loop around the neighborhood with the dogs to listen to another 15 minutes of an audiobook!

Catch and Kill

OLIVE KITTERIDGE: 3/5 Stars

by Elizabeth Strout

Starting off the list with a bit of a dud. Ultimately, I found Olive Kitteridge to be beautifully written…. albeit incredibly depressing. I forced myself to get to the end just to finish it and found myself relieved when it was over. There wasn’t much of a plot and I found the side stories of the tangental characters to be a little all over the place. It won a Pulitzer Prize, so I felt kind of like an idiot for not enjoying it but I just couldn’t get into it. It was also adapted for a series on HBO, which I tried watching, but also found too depressing!!

MEG, JO, BETH, AMY: THE STORY OF LITTLE WOMEN AND WHY IT STILL MATTERS: 4.5/5 Stars

by Anne Boyd Rioux

I picked this book up after falling in love with the latest Little Women movie. I couldn’t quite get into the book, but wanted to know more about the story and Louisa May Alcott’s life. I found Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy to be fascinating!!! It’s definitely a research-y book but I couldn’t put it down. It goes through the background of Alcott’s early childhood and how that influenced the writing of Little Women and goes through the different decades of how it was received all the way to today. It made me wish I had read Little Women as a kid!

DREAMLAND: THE TRUE TALE OF AMERICA’S OPIATE EPIDEMIC: 4.5/5 Stars

by Sam Quinones

Okay, this book. UGH. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying. I think everyone knows at least a little bit about the opioid crisis, but Dreamland goes into the whole history of how this kind of epidemic came to be. It is INSANE to me. Almost like a perfect storm of economics, changing industries, greedy companies, lack of opportunities. My blood was boiling while reading it. It’s truly infuriating to know the disregard for human life by the pharmaceutical companies.

TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: 5/5 Stars

by Lauren Graham

This is a super short, really enjoyable book. I listened to the audiobook because Lauren Graham narrates it. If you’re even the slightest bit a fan of Gilmore Girls you must read this. Not only do you get an “insider” peek into the show, her life advice throughout the book is also great. I finished this wanting to be best friends with her!!!

CATCH AND KILL: 5/5 Stars

by Ronan Farrow

Catch and Kill sat on my nightstand for months. I finally got to it and. Wow. Mind. Blown. I had followed the Harvey Weinstein case a little bit, but reading the first hand account of Ronan Farrow as he worked to break the story is insane. The story is stranger than fiction and sometimes while I was reading it I was thinking there is NO WAY this could be true. But it is!

OONA OUT OF ORDER: 4/5 Stars

by Margarita Montimore

So I have kind of mixed feelings about Oona Out of Order. It’s a very inventive concept: the main character time travels throughout her own life, jumping forwards and backwards every New Year’s Eve at midnight. I was into the book from the very beginning, which I liked, but I was kind of over the story by the end. There are some weird “holes” in the story or maybe they’re not holes but I couldn’t wrap my head around how it worked. (Like she had a binder filled with current events/stock market information for income but couldn’t do the same for her personal life so she wouldn’t be totally confused?!)

That said, I wish I hadn’t thought too much about it because the story does tie up by the end filling in a lot of the confusion. It’s better to just get swept up into the story and to accept the creative licenses for what they are. It is about time travel after all, so I think it’s okay for it to not be totally realistic.

MODERN LOVE: 5/5 Stars

by Daniel Jones

Are you familiar with the “Modern Love” column in the NY Times? This is a compilation of some of the essays featured throughout the year. I LOVED reading them. I am not usually into books of essays, but these really spoke to me. The essays are all about love– all kinds of love. Parental love. Heartbreak. First loves. Just all about love. To be honest, I couldn’t put this down and was reading it in 50 page chunks. I wish I had spaced it out more and read one essay at a time just to make it last longer!!

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16 Comments

shannon

I just shared what I read too! Digital Minimalism was my fav read this month 🙂 just put a hold on Modern Love & Catch and Kill at the library. Both sound fantastic. Thanks for the reccs!

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Loren Grace

These all sound really interesting! I like that you always include a good mix. I just reserved the Little Women book from my college library and got in line for “Catch and Kill” and “Oona Out of Order” !

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Jordyn

I read Dreamland last Spring and OMG it was so intense, I recommended it to everyone I knew after I finished. If you liked Dreamland and want to learn more about the opioid epidemic, I just read Dopesick. I thought it would be really repetitive but I think it was a nice compliment to Dreamland, though, admittedly, just as depressing.

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Madeline

Catch and Kill – by far one of the best books of the year. I am consistently blown away by Ronan Farrow, his perseverance and overall intelligence are beyond, but the fact that this all occurred reminds us that there is systematic INJUSTICE to keep women and minorities quiet. It’s frustrating but I love that he stuck with this and I think we will experience the effects of this (in a positive way!) for the rest of our lives.

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Jules Buono - book blogger

I’m anxiously awaiting Catch and Kill from the library as everyone loves it! I agree the HBO series of Olive is depressing but at some point it pulled me in and I could not stop watching Olive. I also enjoyed Lauren Graham’s book. If you are interested in the opioid epidemic I recommend The Pharmacist on HBO. The epidemic has really been hitting Philly hard, I can see so many changes. And I am reading Oona now!

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Kristina

I do notice you listen to audiobooks…

I was just wondering what you do with books you read…

Are you purchasing physical books? I know some are given to you but im wondering what do you do when the book is done and physically how many books can you store… LOL

I also wonder about the imprint of books…

Is it better to purchase ebooks then… I love libraries but also want to support authors….

LOL quite possible I’m just overthinking it all but figured I would throw it out there 🙂

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Kayla

I need to read Modern Love. Favorite book I read this month was definitely In Five Years. It totally crushed me but I loved it.

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Lauren

Modern Love is also a miniseries on Amazon. There are eight episodes each based on a different essay, and each one is only about 30 minutes long, so it’s a super quick show to get through. I watched the whole series in one day! It’s a very well-done show; I highly recommend it if you enjoy the essays.

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Tracy

The Modern Love podcast with celebrities reading the NYT columns was the podcast that got me into podcasts. So good!

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M

Don’t feel bad about not liking Olive Kitteridge! I felt exactly the same way: beautifully written but so horribly depressing. I don’t mind showing the non-perfect side of life and humanity, but show the other side too!

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Nicci

I feel bad saying this, but I don’t like Pulitzer Prize winning books. I’ve read 3 and only finished 1 of them, b/c they were depressing or I just couldn’t get into them, so now I’ve stopped reading anything that’s won this award.

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Elcin

There is also Amazon prime series called Modern Love which is based on the NYTimes column. It is really good! You would like it.

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