A Long Overdue Book Report

At the beginning of February, I posted the books that I hoped to read in February, but when school finally picked up again after the snow, I never got around to posting a book report. I thought it was finally time to get around to writing it! 

The original February Book List picture. I gave up on The Presidents Club, and didn't get to I Am Malala or The Paying Guests until later, and then read quite a few more in February, but they're all reviewed below!
The House Girl by Tara Conklin / I really enjoyed this one! The story follows a lawyer in Manhattan in the 2000s and a slave in Virginia in the mid-1800s. The back and forth story did not disappoint and I could not put this one down. Engaging and well-written, I was very happy to finally read this one that I had had on my Kindle for quite a long time.

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick / This non-fiction narrative about the tragedy of the whaleship Essex that inspired Moby Dick was interesting, but not my favorite. It was a powerful and momentous account of the story, certainly, but some of it was a bit dry for my taste. I am looking forward to seeing the movie this winter though.

The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster / After being a Goodreads Best Humor of 2013 nominee, this had been on my TBR list for well over a year and it was nice to finally get around to it. It was okay - laugh out loud funny in some parts and very sad in others - and generally well put together. I like Lancaster a lot, but now that she's looking for things to write about, her writing seems a bit forced. Bitter is the New Black was much better.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie / I read this because it was my high school book club's book of the month. I did not have high hopes for it and while I didn't hate it, the end seemed a bit too fantastical for my tastes. 

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg / I like Berg's writing and so when I found this on my daily Kindle deals, I decided to pick it up. It follows a widowed woman who moves to a small town in the midwest to start over. I sobbed through the first 40 pages while the woman's loss of her husband was explained in detail. It wasn't bad, but very depressing - despite the title.

To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han / ALL. THE. FEELS. I stayed up all night to finish this book and absolutely LOVED it. It is the story of a high school girl who writes 5 love letters but doesn't send them - until somehow they get mailed out. It was everything that high school is, and should be, and that we hope it would be - with just the right amount of cheesy romance thrown in. My favorite YA book in awhile!

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson / Another book I loved! And, I don't say this lightly, but I think it was better than Gone Girl. It is a psychological thriller and, I think, even creepier than GG. It kept me turning page after page to find out what happens and it was wonderfully well-written. Seriously frightening and one I am not soon pushing out of my head.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo / I had this one on my Kindle for a long time before this, but just couldn't get into it. My friend Meg kept telling me how much she loved it though, and so I dove in on a long plane ride. I ended up liking it and loved that it wasn't only about the molasses flood (which is fascinating), but also about the political and social climate in Boston and around the world from 1914 to 1925, and how the disaster played a role in all of it.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell / I loved Eleanor and Park, and I've been trying to fall in love with another Rowell novel ever since. This one came the closest yet, but still fell short of truly loving - I think because it was a bit predictable for me. Engaging, but just not my favorite.

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis / Normally, this type of book would not be something I'd add to my TBR list. But on recommendation from a friend, I picked it up. I loved the Big Short and hoped that this would be similar. Unfortunately, it wasn't and this book ended up being a huge miss for me. It was a bit confusing, a bit boring, and I realized that I really don't care at all (sorry Lewis) about high frequency trading. 

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead / This one was enjoyable, but I was expecting a bit more from the description on Amazon that made it seem much more like a thriller (which it is not). It was, however, a well-written novel about a family who's past, and present, is consume by ballet, and we see how they navigate through life around it.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai / I ended up listening to this on Audible and thought it was amazing! It was a bit slow to start, but the history Pakistan and the Taliban in the Swat Valley and surrounding areas was portrayed with clean attention to detail and provided a vivid picture of life for Malala and her family. Even knowing some details of her story, this book showed that there is so much more than what I knew, and made me weep for this that have had their lives torn apart by the Taliban. Archie Punjabi narrated this on Audible and her narration was wonderful. (Read in July.)

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters / This book was not what I thought it was going to be, but I really enjoyed it. I loved Waters' writing and I am excited to read more of her novels. Once I got into this one, I couldn't put it down, and read it all in one sitting. Historical fiction at its best! (Read in May.)

I started to read The Presidents Club but it didn't hook me and so I put it down. I have saved it for another time! 
Have you read any of these books? Which ones were your favorites? I'd love to hear about them!



  1. Are you guys still thinking of taking a trip to Nantucket? Let me know! We have an entire exhibition devoted to In the Heart of the Sea :)



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