Better Reading = Better Writing #2

Well, February is over, so it’s time to do a recap of the books I read this month! A little more fiction this time because I’m avoiding library fines 🙂

This month’s post has a little different format with a favorite quote from each book!

Really enjoyed several of these, so let’s move onto the reviews!!

February Reading List

Lucky You by Erika Carter

I bought this one through BOTM, and I have to admit that it wasn’t a favorite. The concept of living “off the grid” was really interesting to me, but these girls knew nothing about survival. In the beginning, I appreciated the representation of real life and real people, but I find it hard to believe that after an entire year (of anything, not just living “off the grid”) these girls didn’t grow up at all. They were exactly the same people after it was over, and — as a 20-something myself — I don’t think a year can go by without some form of self-improvement. However, I really enjoyed the writing style and would read something else by the author.

Anything by Jennie Allen

Excellent book about taking steps of faith and asking God to lead in every aspect of life. You don’t need to be “called to Africa” to serve God in a big way. It can be really scary to pray this way and loosen your grip on your own life….

“To risk is to willingly place your life in the hand of an unseen God and an unknown future, then to watch him come through. He starts to get real when you live like that.”

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Another BOTM book… and I LOVED this one. Maybe my history curriculum didn’t go into detail on this part of Asian history, but unfortunately I knew nothing about Japan or Korea during the World Wars. On top of the fascinating character development , I wanted to learn everything about the era. The story really proves how hard it is to overcome stereotypes, class, and racism even through several generations.

“Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage”

The Trespasser by Tana French

This is a BOTM pick, but I got it from the library. I’ve read two other books by French (In the Woods and The Likeness), and I think I liked those better than this one. As far as the mystery goes, the detectives are pretty close to the solution throughout the story, so it wasn’t a huge surprise for me. I wasn’t close to figuring it out, though. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the rest of the Dublin Murder Squad books!

“I’m amazed this guy manages to get out of bed in the morning without working himself into a panic attack over the chance that he might trip on the bath mat and stab himself through the eye socket with his toothbrush and be left with a permanent twitch that’ll ruin his chances of landing an airplane safely if the pilot has a heart attack and doom hundreds to a fiery death.”

“The truth is, if you don’t exist without someone else, you don’t exist at all. And that doesn’t just go for romance. I love my ma, I love my friends, I love the bones of them. If any of them wanted me to donate a kidney or crack a few heads, I’d do it, no questions asked. And if they all waved good-bye and walked out of my life tomorrow, I’d still be the same person I am today. I live inside my own skin. Anything that happens outside it doesn’t change who I am. This isn’t something I’m proud of; as far as I’m concerned, it’s a bare minimum baseline requirement for calling yourself an adult human being, somewhere around the level of knowing how to do your own washing or change a toilet roll.”

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

If you know me, you know that I love skiing and snow. I would much rather be cold than warm, and I offer to move to Canada whenever the temperature gets over 80degrees. So Alaskan Frontier Life is very interesting to me, and this story is beautiful. This story has lovely, complicated characters told in a really simple, clear way. A little magical, but also sad.

“In my old age, I see that life itself is often more fantastic and terrible than the stories we believed as children, and that perhaps there is no harm in finding magic among the trees.”

“She could not fathom the hexagonal miracle of snowflakes formed from clouds, crystallized fern and feather that tumble down to light on a coat sleeve, white stars melting even as they strike. How did such force and beauty come to be in something so small and fleeting and unknowable? You did not have to understand miracles to believe in them, and in fact Mabel had come to suspect the opposite. To believe, perhaps you had to cease looking for explanations and instead hold the little thing in your hands as long as you were able before it slipped like water between your fingers.”

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

When thinking of WW2, we often picture the soldiers fighting in the trenches or bombing cities. This story shows the war from the perspective of the women and children stuck in their cities with Nazis and still trying to help the war effort. I loved it, and I cried at the end (as usual).

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

That’s it for February! I’m looking forward to working through my GIANT STACK of TBR books that are sitting next to the coffee table…. time to pick up another one!


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