Book Chat

February 2016 Reading Log

I hit a bit of a slump this month and didn’t feel like reading much… but that’s February for you, right? Cabin fever tends to set in and I want to do anything but stay inside. I read a couple ebooks while I was waiting for the next Lunar Chronicles book to become available at the library (I was thisssss close to just buying the ebook already but I made myself wait) but they felt like time-passers. But even though the last half of the month felt ho-hum, I finished quite a few good books overall… which is why I love having my reading log to remind me of what I read. Hopefully I will get my reading mojo back soon!

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

February 2016 Thoughts


Still Reading:

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir, by Andie Mitchell

Start date: 2/10/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / Paperback

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Still Reading. I read Andie’s food blog and love her story of losing 150+ lbs and overcoming her OCD tendencies toward food, but honestly it’s been hard to pick this one up. Her descriptions of food are so decadent (and frequent!) that it almost turns my stomach while eating, so I can’t read it during breakfast, and I find myself turning to other books at night. Hopefully once I get a few more chapters into it, this one will become more engaging.

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, by Pamela Druckerman

Start date: 2/13/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Self Help / Library book


The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Still Reading. I’ve heard lots of great things about this book, so I put it on the library hold list, and then it became available more quickly than I thought. Intriguing so far, and hopefully information I can use in the future when I need it.

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World, by Anthony Doerr

Start date: 2/17/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Still reading. I’ve gotten so many recommendations from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s new podcast What Should I Read Next? And this is one of them. While writing his book that would become the bestselling All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr lived in Rome for a year with his wife and young twin sons. Definitely moves Rome further up on my bucket list!

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), by Marissa Meyer

Start date: 2/21/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Library book

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Still reading. The 20-day library wait for the second book in this series felt sooooo long. I finally got to dive into the sequel over the weekend, and it’s such a fun romp through a futuristic fairy tale. This time Red Riding Hood ‘s story as a French farm girl searching for her missing grandmother is intersecting with cyborg Cinderella from the first book and I’m so interested to see where this one goes.


Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, by Sally Mann – A+

Start date: 11/8/2015
Finish date: 2/3/2016
Genre/Format: Memoir / Library book


The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log November 2015

Such a nuanced and interesting journey into Sally Mann’s attic, full of family history and her own artistic process. Introspective and thoughtful essays ranged from her ancestors, their stories, her artwork, family life, and growing up a product of the South. Her photographs were incorporated carefully throughout, which added much more to the text than a typical photo section. Normally I feel like i’m not qualified to say if you’ll like something or not, but this one I would highly recommend to just about anyone.

The Marvels, by Brian Selznick – A+

Start date: 11/22/2015
Finish date: 2/10/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Library book

The Amateur Librarian // November 2015 Reading Log

Quite the masterpiece of children’s literature, from the unconventional mix of black-and-white illustrations (the first 400+ pages) and prose to the true story of a house in London dedicated to freezing a moment in time. I didn’t know where it was going until the last third, but the unexpected path was quite sweet. I don’t want to give away too many details, but the story involves themes of storytelling, theatre, runaways, preserving memories, and creating your own family. And it made me cry, yet still had a hopeful ending.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer – A+

Start date: 1/12/2016
Finish date: 2/2/2016
Genre/Format: Young Adult / Audiobook

The Amateur Librarian // January 2016 Reading Log

Such a fun start to a YA series… if I needed a reminder of how great YA can be, this was it! I loved this fairy tale retelling about a cyborg Cinderella and got completely sucked into her futuristic world of Moon people who can use manipulate minds, outcast cyborgs, international politics, and a young prince trying to fight a plague and win Cinder’s heart at the same time. I really appreciated the sassy heroine (not into dresses and a mechanic to boot) and all the fun tie-ins to the original fairy tale. So excited to read the rest of the series… next up is Red Riding Hood!

The Lake House, by Kate Morton – B

Start date: 1/2/2016
Finish date: 2/17/2016
Genre/Format: Mystery / Hardback

The Amateur Librarian // January 2016 Reading Log

The second Kate Morton book I’ve read and her latest release – a family secret from the 1930s is uncovered many years later as a young detective helps unravel the truth behind a missing child. There’s a lot of buildup until the story got really good about halfway through, and then… the ending. One of the main characters is a mystery writer and there are jokes throughout the whole book about how nothing is ever a coincidence BUT THEN THE ENTIRE ENDING IS ONE COINCIDENCE AFTER ANOTHER. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I haven’t been so disappointed in an ending in such a long time, it really threw me for a loop. Everyday Reading does a much more thorough job of describing the details and what’s good about this book, if you’re interested. I LOVED The Secret Keeper (also at Everyday Reading’s suggestion) but I’ve heard people say The Lake House is Morton’s best book yet, and if this is an improvement, it honestly made me scared to read any more of her backlist… I might just stop now while I still love one of her books.


Zoom, by Istvan Banyai – A+

Start date: 2/1/2016
Finish date: 2/1/2016
Genre/Format: Children’t Lit / Library book

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

Book recs can come from the unlikeliest sources, and placing holds at the library is so easy that I check out a lot of books just for the heck of it; so when Zoom was casually mentioned on the Serial podcast, I added it to the list. This wordless picture books goes on a mind-bending journey starting with a close-up of a rooster’s comb and ends up in outer space. If you want to go really deep, I’m sure you could make the argument that it visualizes the idea that all of our lives are part of a “bigger picture.” Or you could just look at it as a really cool children’s book that boggles the mind if you think too hard about it.

Re-Zoom, by Istvan Banyai – B

Start date: 2/1/2016
Finish date: 2/1/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Library book

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

I checked the sequel out of the library at the same time, but sadly it’s not as good as the original. There are too many leaps from one image to the next – the magic is in the realism of the small-to-big sequence, not in the surprise of what the next page will be. Still a cool idea, but I definitely preferred the first.

Dry, by Augusten Burroughs – B+

Start date: 2/1/2016
Finish date: 2/4/2016
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

I’ve been in the mood to clear out the unread ebooks on my Kindle app, so I started this one on a whim. I remember liking Running with Scissors, and the movie of course, and this memoir about Augusten Burrough’s later years continued his story of addiction and recovery. It’s no wonder he grew up to be an alcoholic – it’s probably more surprising that he was able to achieve sobriety. Told in the first person in painstaking detail (the foreword noted that he wrote down everything he did almost as soon as it happened, obsessively, just for something to do while recovering), it still manages to be darkly humorous even while detailing just how low he could go. I’ve heard Burroughs compared to David Sedaris (usually unfavorably), but I think it’s unfair to lump them in together just because they’re both gay men trying to talk about their lives with humor. Tough to read at times, but engrossing.

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick – B-

Start date: 2/7/2016
Finish date: 2/12/2016
Genre/Format: Fiction / eBook     

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

I have to be in the mood to enter a fragile male mind when I read Matthew Quick, and I don’t think the payoff was worth it this time. The setup was intriguing – an unreliable narrator writes letters to his late mother’s idol Richard Gere – and through his lens we meet his friends: a bipolar priest, various counselors who need help themselves, an unstable man obsessed with cats and aliens, and his troubled sister. Honestly, I couldn’t muster enough interest to decipher the kooky cast of characters to get at what the author was trying to say. This one just didn’t float my boat.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson – A

Start date: 2/9/2016
Finish date: 2/9/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Library book

The Amateur Librarian // February 2016 Reading Log

I finally caught up with the latest Newbery, and it’s actually both the Newbery winner and a Caldecott honor book which is pretty unusual. The dialogue and bright illustrations truly work together in this sweet tale of city life. CJ and his grandmother ride the bus every day, and even though CJ laments that they don’t have a car or fancy electronics like his friends, his grandmother helps him to see the fun and beauty all around them. The sights and sounds and reality are a mirror for so many kids – what they look like, talk like, and see every day. I love the artwork especially, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats and even Mary Blair.

Books read in February: 9

Books read so far in 2016: 20

Still reading: 4

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of February, the second month of 2016.  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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2 thoughts on “February 2016 Reading Log

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