February Reads

Whilst hanging out among friends a while back, one mentioned she loved reading, but hated finding new books to read.  You know in TV shows, when you hear a screech sound, like a record player coming to a complete halt?  (Does anyone even understand that reference?)  Because that’s what happened when she made that comment.


I’m all about the hunt for the new greatest book.  Maybe in part because it’s such a rare find.  The more I read, the less likely it is that this book will be one I remember over so many others.  But I’ll read anything in my path in the name of finding greatness again.

The particular comment got me thinking that maybe there are others who feel this way too.  That reading is wonderful, but finding the right book to read is a chore.  In that case, let me gently point you toward Anne Bogel’s (aka, Modern Mrs. Darcy) new podcast, What Should I Read Next?  I’ve been listening, and I love it.  In it, she asks her guests to name three books they love, one they hate, and what they’re reading now.  Based on their responses, Anne gives a couple of suggestions for future reading.  I’m loving the diversity of books guests have mentioned so far, and more than anything, I’m loving the suggestions and new to me titles.

With that in mind, I’m bypassing telling you what I’ve read, and what I’m reading this month, because, dear readers, to be honest, neither is incredibly interesting at present, and I’m giving you a nice long list of what I want to read next.  If you, like said friend, hate the threat of having to search for new reading material, take a look at this list, and see what strikes your fancy.

Want to Read

From Episode 6, with Tsh Oxenreider:

The Little Book Store of Big Stone Gap, by Wendy Welch – because Anne recommended it on one of her podcasts, and it sounds like it is made for me.  It’s a memoir (you had me at hello) about a couple who leave their high powered jobs behind in the name of renovating an old white house in order to open a bookstore there.  Or basically, it’s about people living out Sous Chef Lauren’s and my life-long dream.

The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle – because Tsh mentioned it in conjunction with a school her son is attending.  Tsh didn’t go into specifics, but it sounds like this school (and excuse me, where are you, and can I work here and send my kids to you?) requests that parents read certain books in conjunction with their children’s educations.  First of all, LOVE.  Second of all, this book sounds so interesting, because to hear Tsh describe it, it sounded like a parenting book, and one toward which I was about to nudge my husband.  But then, to look it up on Amazon, it sounds like just a general non-fiction book (with perhaps huge implications for the raising of children).  No matter what it is, count me in.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin – because I love books that mention books.  When Tsh mentioned it as a story she loved, I was intrigued because of the premise, but upon looking it up, was surprised to see that it was written by the author of a YA book I enjoyed about ten years ago.  This sounds different from my usual picks, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton – because I’ve heard enough about her at this point, that it’s time I read one of hers.  If I’m not mistaken, this was one of those Target picks that caught on like wild fire, a la Sarah’s Key.  (If you’re not familiar with the influence of Target’s book picks, take a look here.)  Kate Morton has gone on to write many other novels, but this seems like the place to start.

From Episode 5, with Deidra Riggs:

These is My Words, by Nancy Turner – because it’s about a young girl’s coming of age as she travels to Arizona between 1880-1900.  I love stories of people traveling west, and am fascinated to see how this one plays out over 20 years.

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jaqueline Woodson – because I started it last year and never finished.  I didn’t hate it, I just did that thing I do sometimes where I get distracted when I hit the middle of a book, and I never come back around to it.  It’s a memoir in verse, and it seems to have caught some attention outside of the kid-litosphere, which is a place in which I love setting up camp.  I don’t remember being particularly taken with the verse aspect of it, but there’s something about it that seems to have hooked people across a more broad range of reading worlds, so it’s worth revisiting.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd – because Anne mentions that Oprah is a fan, and do I ever need another reason to check something out?  But here’s the thing.  I did not love Secret Life of Bees, and I actively disliked The Mermaid Chair.  But here’s the other thing.  This story sounds truly compelling.  Enough that it’s worth checking out from the library.



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