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For the Love of Reading: February 2022

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means it’s time to take a look back at the books I read in February. Let’s do it!

Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Claire Luchette’s debut novel is sharp and funny with prose that gets right to the point. I would have enjoyed a little more backstory on Agatha’s life, and I’m hoping for a sequel that continues her tale, but I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about the lives of modern day sisters working in rehab.

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
. . . bridges appear in our lives only when we are ready to cross them.
This is a beautiful love story, full of magic and hope, sorrow and loss, war and reconciliation, delicious foods and highly intelligent trees. It’s set in the present day in London and also in the 1970s in Cypress and the author moves the story seamlessly between these time periods in a very effective way. Highly recommended.

The Maid by Nita Prose
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is a fast read with a plot that is mildly entertaining and fairly engaging. However. The main character is neurodivergent and the details of that are tedious and, at times, disrespectful, almost like a caricature of someone on the autism spectrum. The other characters felt very type cast and, even though I read this in a day and a half, I found it lacking in depth and rather repetitive. Let’s just say I hope I don’t hear the expression “dear girl” for quite some time. I’m in the minority but I don’t recommend this one.

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I listened to this book, narrated by Tucci himself, and found it to be delightful. From the beginning to the end he discusses the way food has shaped his life and provided a way of connecting with others. I laughed and cried and salivated through the whole thing. Highly recommended but be warned, this will make you hungry!

The Guncle by Steven Rowley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sweet and poignant, this tale of love and family, grief and loss, and the end of childhood innocence, touched my heart. Highly recommended for a feel good story.

And there you have it. 5 books and only 1 dud in the bunch. I call that a good month of reading.

What are you reading right now?

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Always something to add to my list. I do appreciate your thoughtful and honest reviews. Sometimes I find I just can’t get into a story that people rave about and wonder if I’m missing something. You remind me not every book connects with every reader.

  2. I’ve read all of those – except Maid (and no-thank-you) – and agree wholeheartedly with your reviews! XO

  3. As always, I so appreciate your reviews! 🙂 I have added a couple of these to my read soon list! (and I can’t wait to talk about Agatha!)

  4. Carl Bernstein’s autobiography about his early love affair with newspapering, Fiona Hill’s “There Is Nothing For You Here.” And for fun, the first of The Thursday Murder Club mysteries.

  5. I think I’ll stay away from The Maid (your review is the second pan I’ve read), and I’m glad you enjoyed Taste and The Guncle — both are such feel-good books, aren’t they? Like you, I really wanted more of Agatha’s back story, and that was really my main criticism of the book. I didn’t feel like I got enough of her!

  6. Some good and some bad – that’s the way with reading! (The Maid was awful!) I have Island of Missing Trees on hold and am looking forward to it.

  7. As always, I love your reviews, Carole. Thanks. I don’t think you are in the minority about Maid, I have read a lot of reviews that dismiss it as formulaic and trite. I am going to put quite a few of these on my TBR list.

  8. I always enjoy your book reviews Carole. I am in queue for “The Island of Missing Trees” and also for “Taste.” I agree with your take on Agatha – I want more!! LOL. I will skip Maid – Bonny and now you have said it is not worth it and I trust you two more than reviews in newspapers! The only one I disagree with is “The Guncle.” I enjoyed it at the start, but quickly grew weary of it and could not bring myself to continue reading…plus it was due back at my library. But, as we all know, some books hit the marks with some people and miss others. No worries – there is plenty to read out there and many wonderful choices.

  9. I’m reading Agatha of Little Neon now. I was at the library a town away a week or so ago and picked it up while checking out the library. Next up will be The Reading List for another book club. It’s come up twice on Overdrive and I’ve had to postpone. Hopefully it will come through by early next week so I have time to read it.

  10. I really enjoy seeing what you’ve been reading and find lots of good suggestions there. Thank you! At the moment, I’m reading The Big Burn about Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts to create our national parks. Just finished The Last Green Valley which is about what happened in Ukraine during WW2. Both are very interesting.

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