Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope you’re somewhere warmer than I am! I don’t mind wintery weather - as I shouldn’t if I’m going to continue to live in Michigan for the foreseeable future - but sometimes it’s a little more than I can take. We were literally snowed in this weekend; Scott only really left the house to shovel and use the snowblower! (I supported him from the couch...under a blanket...with a book.) I was going to say I’m surprised at the amount of books I’ve read over the last month, but now that we’re talking about it, perhaps the snowy weather has something to do with it. Let's get into this month's book list, shall we?
This linkup happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next is Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
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Last Month’s Edition & What My Ratings Mean
4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (4.5) - I was initially hesitant to pick this novel up, but after countless recommendations in my online book club, I finally gave in. Wow, am I glad I did! So far, this is one of my favorite reads of 2018 (I know it’s early, but something tells me it’ll hold up for the rest of 2018…). Full post + delicious book-inspired drink recipes here.
Educated* - I read this memoir in a whirlwind over the weekend; it is both disturbing and inspiring, and I couldn’t put it down. Tara grew up in a family that was determined to be self-sufficient, constantly preparing for the end of days. They eschewed all forms of government-sponsored education and refused medical assistance, even for the most perilous injuries. Despite all this, she managed to get herself into college, travel the world and earn a PhD. I’m still processing, but I hope to wrap my head around it more for Saturday’s post.
3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐
Friendship Bread (3.5) - I read this as part of my participation in a greater social experiment, and I honestly didn’t expect a lot from a story about bread bringing a town together. I’m happy to report that I was more than pleasantly surprised - not only by the intricacies of the characters and the story Darien Lee wove together but by how delicious this shareable bread turned out to be as well! Full post + recipe here.
Red Clocks (3.5) - This feminist dystopia ticked all of the right boxes. The female characters were strong and relatable, the setting was scarily realistic, and the story was thought-provoking. (Plus, since it had a red cover, it counted towards one of my reading challenges!) Full post + recipe here.
Tell the Wolves I’m Home (3.5) - This debut novel tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who finds an unlikely friend while coming to terms with the death of her beloved uncle. I just finished this novel a few days ago, and it’s another one I’m still thinking about. Thankfully, it was a book club pick, which means I get to discuss at length with some wonderful women on Thursday. 🙂 I’m hoping it will help me formulate my thoughts a little better for my upcoming post.
The Two-Family House - In the middle of a blizzard, in the 1940s, two sisters-in-law give birth on the same night. As the families grow, they also grow apart, stemming from an irreparable turning point in the two women’s relationship. While I thought the premise of this one was strong, there were a few flaws in the execution that I couldn’t get over. Still, it was an interesting read, and I don’t regret spending the time on it.
My Absolute Darling - This novel tells the story of a fiercely independent young teenage girl who finds herself in some really impossible situations. It reminded me a bit of Once Upon a River, and now that I think about it, it would probably make an interesting pairing with Educated. I respect the story Tallent crafted, but overall, the subject matter made it hard to read sometimes. As a debut novel, it’s received a lot of praise, and while I can absolutely see why, it’s probably not for everyone.
Snow Falling on Cedars - As a pick for book club, this novel felt like a great winter read. It was definitely a story that wasn’t rushed, despite that at its heart a man’s life is on the line in a murder trial. It was beautifully-written, but if I’m being honest, at times, I just wanted the author to get on with the story. I’m working on a longer post (and I’ve already made a delicious recipe), so check back for that next week.
Love & Gelato - I’m not ashamed to say that I picked this YA novel simply for the food in the title. It’s hard to resist gelato no matter what time of year! All that being said, Love & Gelato was delightful, just as expected. Full post + gelato recipe here.
Books I Didn't Finish
Books I'm Reading Right Now
The Taster - I stumbled upon this book because of my library’s social media (New Book Tuesday!), and so far, I’m glad I did. This historical novel is the story of a young German woman who is assigned the job of being one of Hitler’s tasters, meaning she must try his meals before he does should one of them be poisoned.
This Could Hurt - Based on some blurbs I’d read, I was expecting some sort of The Office in novel form, and at only 10% in, it’s not really meeting those expectations. That’s not to say it’s not good, but I will say that this might’ve been a DNF already had I not been able to renew it from the library (to read other books I’m more excited for first).
Reading Challenge Update
For those of you keeping track, I’m currently 7/10 in the Book Challenge by Erin 8.0 and 2/2 in The Literary Feast Reading Challenge. My original post has more details on each challenge and what my goals are. I’ll do a longer wrap-up post at the end of April when Erin’s challenge ends.
What did you read last month?
*I received a free digital copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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At least all the snow allowed you to get lots of reading in! That's one positive. I'll be curious to see what you think of The Taster. I can't imagine having to be someone's taste tester!
All the reading time is definitely the bright side 🙂 I can't imagine being in her position either - it seems terribly stressful. I'll be sure to do a follow-up on it when I'm done!
glad you liked Evelyn Hugo! such a good book. i really liked Tell the Wolves I’m Home and it's definitely one i kept thinking about after i finished.
Yes! Both wonderful books I'm glad to have read this month 🙂 Have you read any other TJR? I'm interested in maybe checking out some of her other novels.
Ive been wanting to read My Absolute Darling!
I loved Evelyn Hugo too. I have Educated from Netgalley so I hope to read it soon.
I'm very interested on Red Clocks, it sounds like my type of book.
Tanya @ A Mindful Migration says
I loved Evelyn Hugo too. In fact, the other day, I started rereading for the heck of it and immediately fell back into her world. So good!
Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... says
I have The Seven Husbands... in the que (I'm reading it for Erin's challenge). I love the consistency of Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the two of her's that I read earlier (One True Loves and Maybe in Another Life).
That's wonderful to hear that you've enjoyed other TJR books! I think I'd definitely like to check more of her work out after reading Evelyn.
Confuzzled Bev says
I am about to read Tell The Wolves I'm Home for the bonus round of Erin's challenge. I'm excited about it!
How lovely! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
I felt the same about Evelyn Hugo, I was a bit reluctant but I'm so glad I read it! Also, I totally did the same for Love and Gelato. I read it because Gelato and Italy, duh! But I agree, it was a cute story 🙂
I loved Evelyn Hugo.
Educated is not my typical type of book but I'm very intrigued.
I don't read a ton of memoirs, but it was really good. I'd recommend checking it out! Lots of people in my online book club are really excited about it too. (My full post is coming on Saturday.)
I really want to read Evelyn Hugo! My mom has been RAVING about Tell the Wolves I'm Home. I need to read that for sure.
Cahleen @ The Alt Story says
Wow, we have really similar taste. I've read a lot of the books mentioned, and I also loved Educated. I really enjoyed The Two-Family House, sorry it didn't leave a greater impression on you!
Megan, I read Evelyn Hugo this month as well and really liked it. I can't wait to read Educated!! There has been alot of buzz. I am also reading Tell The Wolves I'm Home for Erin's Challenge. Always enjoy your reviews. Pam 🙂
Thank you, Pam! 🙂