Books I Read in February

I had another wonderful month of reading!  I didn't have a single book that I was unable to finish; despite a slow start or two.  

 I don't usually list the books I read aloud to my boys in my monthly reading posts but realized that we weren't reading enough to make a separate post about them either so they haven't been recorded at all.  This month I decided to add those books into my summaries and I hope you enjoy the broader expanse of books I'm sharing.   



1.  Baby it's You by Joanne Tracey -- Emily feels like the queen of failed relationships but is pretty sure she had found "the one."  Her best friends Josh Booth and Susie Turner aren't so sure.  Emily is known for fixing up the men she dates just enough for them to go running back to their exes.  She is comfortable with her life and pretty resistant to change but that all changes the day she finds a bucket list in an old coat.  Determined to mark things off her list Emily starts looking for a new job, remodeling her apartment, and even testing the boundaries of her relationships.  I can't say much else without giving key plot points away but I thought this was a super cute story! Plus the Melbourne Australia/ Bali settings were quite fun for me to me to dream about. 



2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett-- I read this book because so many people recommended it as the best book they read last year and while I did enjoy it I know it's not going to make it onto my favorite list.  I found that parts of it just dragged... When twin sisters Desiree and Stella run away from home Desiree never expects Stella to just up and disappear.  One day their daughters meet and Stella's secrets come back to haunt her. This story is about how their decisions altered their lives and the lives of their daughters and families. 


3.  The Return by Nicholas Sparks-- I thought this was a great book.  When Trevor finds his life upended after a horrible accident in Afghanistan and his grandfather's passing away he moves into his grandfather's old house in New Bern just while he's waiting for his new life to start off.  In the meantime he gets sucked into a bit of drama with his neighbor and with the beautiful sheriff Natalie.  Trevor can tell both ladies are keeping secrets and he's still trying to unravel the mystery of what happened with his grandfather.  Lots of great story lines going on all at once made for a quick read.


 

4. Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris-- Like most books written about the concentration camps of World War II this book was very intense at times.  Lale becomes the tattooist of both Birkenau and Auschwitz and vows to take note of all that is happening around him so that he can survive and make sure that the SS officers and those in charge will one day pay for what they did.  Based on Lale's and Gita's (his wife's) true life story.  


5. In Pieces by Sally Field--  I was so excited to get this book through my library and yet I STRUGGLED to actually start reading it.  I just adore Sally Field and have loved pretty much every single movie she's ever been in but I quickly discovered that her writing style is not for me.  I found it really hard to follow what she was she was saying for the first few chapters.  By around chapter 3 I finally settled in and probably shouldn't have been surprised to hear that she was abused as a child; both sexually and emotionally.  It seems like all the Hollywood memoirs involve lots abuse.  Once I really got into it though I had a hard time putting the book down!  It really was a fabulous look at her struggle to make it in a finicky business like show business. 



6.  Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano-- Edward is the long survivor of a plane crash that takes out his whole family.  The book is written in two alternate timelines; before the crash and after.  It was such a compelling novel reading about how Edward, his aunt, and uncle go on to build a new life together dealing with shock, grief, and the injuries Edward sustained. 



7. Ungifted by Gordon Korman--  I picked a book to read aloud with Evan on those days he and I are the only ones homeschooling. Gordon Korman is one of our favorite authors and this book is just as great as his others.  In it Donovan Curtis has made a serious mistake in wrecking the school gym with one of his pranks.  However when the superintendent writes down Donovan's name on the wrong form Donovan finds himself attending a nearby school for gifted kids.  Donovan knows there's been a mistake but tries to fit in with the kids at his new school anyway.  His teachers and fellow students soon realize that while Donovan might not be gifted he might just be exactly what the school needs.  Funny and a bit sweet we can't wait to read the sequel. 


8.  Wings of Fire book #9: Talons of Power by Tui T. Sutherland-- In the 9th book of the series we get to hear the story through Turtle's point of  view; he's such an anxious dragon.  Of course you probably would be too if you were the only dragon that could see there was something wrong with this big scary dragon that rose from the Earth with a bunch of superpowers.  I immediately dove into book 10 but you'll have to wait until next month's wrap up to hear about it as I haven't finished it yet!



9.  Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling-- My boys and I began re-reading our way through all the Harry Potter books after booking our trip to Universal last fall.. you know, the trip that never happened?!  But we have had a wonderful time reading through them all again.  I only get to read aloud a few days a week as I don't read when Ian is at work so it's taken us awhile to get through the series but that's OK.  In the 5th book the ministry of magic is working hard to discredit both Harry and Dumbledore and take over at Hogwarts with Professor Umbridge sticking her nose into everything.  We all love to hate Umbridge and since my boys have watched the movies far more than they've ever read the books there are bits and pieces here and there they didn't remember at all. 


10.  When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neil-- I was hooked from line one! This was a fabulous book. When Kit sees her sister on the news one day she realizes that her sister didn't die 15 years ago like Kit had been told.  Her mother convinces Kit to go looking for Josie.  There is a lot of secrets and drama surrounding their past and their childhoods that comes up. 


Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, Book Review, Centerpiece Wednesday








Comments

  1. Thank you for linking up with us!! I want to read The Vanishing Half SO bad...maybe in a few years!! I’m also eager to read Dear Edward.

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  2. I agree on The Vanishing Half. I liked Dear Edward and When We Believed in Mermaids a lot!

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  3. I can't wait to read The Return! Nicholas Sparks will always be one of my favorite authors! I'm so glad to hear you liked it.

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    1. I thought it was pretty different from his other novels but I really enjoyed it.

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  4. Dear Edward is on my to read shelf!

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    1. It was really good... and a bit sad, of course.

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  5. Sally Fields in a goddess, I adore her as well. I'm glad to know that it's a good read, I'm adding it to my reading list.

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    1. It was rather eye opening how much she did not have it together until she was well into adulthood. LOL. She always seemed like she had it all together when I was growing up and I was watching her movies.

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  6. Thanks for the recommendations. I loved Dear Edward, but couldn't get through the Vanishing Half. I'll have my books post out tomorrow. :)

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    1. I almost put the Vanishing Half down a few times but really wanted to see how it ended.. still not sure it was really worth finishing or not.

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  7. Oh my gosh, I hadn't heard of this book by Nicolas Sparks yet, and I have always enjoyed him as an author. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!!

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  9. I have been thinking about reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Thanks for your review it definitely has gone up on my "must read" list. My son is 10 and loved the Wings of Fire - graphic novels, I didn't realize it was part of a bigger series. I hope to get a few from the library and see if he likes them :)

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    1. You're welcome! My youngest son only read the Wings of Fire graphic novels while my middle son enjoys both.

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  10. Joanne,
    I wish I could find time to read but I recently started and am quite thrilled to say that i have now finished my huge photo organizing project!!! Now I will move on the taking down Winter and Valentine's decorations....
    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and by letting me know that you did by leaving such a sweet comment!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hug
    Deb

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    1. That must be so nice to have finished that huge project!

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  11. I love Sally Field. I should try and read that book. Anything coming from that women is probably pure gold. You ever seen her in the movie Sybil?? She was amazing.

    I can NEVER get into Nicholas Sparks. His endings are always so.... HEARTBREAKING! The Notebook was the last NS I ever got into. I cried like a baby. Still do HAHA

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    1. I have never seen Sybil but she talks about that role a lot in her book as it really helped her break into the movie industry.

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  12. I haven't read any of the books for adults. I like your reviews and will definitely be adding some to my list!

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  13. Oh, the mermaid book!! I had suggested it to the online reading group but they selected something else to read. I thought it sounded so good but it did have mixed reviews at the time so I never started it. Now I really want to read it!! And Dear Edward. That was another we considered but passed on. We read The Midnight Library this month. It really bothered me. Bothered is not the right word but made me think. We are voting now for our March read.

    I like Sally Field, too. Might need to check out this biography. Had no idea she had been abused. But 'back then' it wasn't talked about much. Sadly.

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  14. Oh, I want to check out the mermaid book and also Ungifted for Sam. Thanks for the reminders!

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  15. The Tattooist of Auschwitz and the Sally Field book look really intersting to me. I have had the same problem as you did with the Sally Field book when I have read other memoirs by Hollywood stars or musicians. They are not writers and their writing style is often very awkward and difficult to read. But I agree, if you stick with it, you eventually settle into their voice and then the stories can be so compelling. I recently read Steven Tyler's memoirs and it was the same experience. But once I got used to his writing style, it was almost like I could hear his voice narrating the whole thing. And now I kind of want to reread Harry Potter. I have tried to get my boys interested in it so many times over the years and they just are not. So I guess I will read it alone! Thanks, kids. Haha. Thanks for linking with me, Joanne!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    1. My oldest was very reluctant to hear Harry Potter and, in fact, ignored the other time I had read it aloud to my younger two. I'm not sure how he ended up listening this time around but I noticed him chuckling and paying much closer attention and I think he really likes it now.

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    2. The Nicholas Sparks books sounds like a good one. I have the Vanishing Half in my Kindle to read. I've read In Pieces and felt the same way about it. I also loved When We Believed in Mermaids.

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    3. It is a good one! Nicholas Sparks books rarely disappoint.

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  16. You read some good books this month! I loved The Tattooist and need to read the sequel. I also enjoyed When We Were Mermaids and The Vanishing Half. I read a different Gordon Korman book this month but wasn't a big fan.

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    1. Which one did you read? We've read a lot of Gordon Korman books.

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  17. Always looking for new books for (or to read with) my 7-year-old son. We're definitely going to have to look up Ungifted! Haven't heard of this author yet, but it sounds like it could be right up his alley.

    Stopping by from Show Us Your Books :)

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    1. He's really quite funny and seems to "get" kids.

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  18. I'm always a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books- haven't read this one yet so I'll have to check it out :)

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  19. I haven't read a Nicholas Sparks novel in years! I'm going to have it to my to-read list. ��

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  20. I loved When We Believed in Mermaids and The Vanishing Half.

    I ordered the Sally Field book early on in 2020 quarantimes and it never arrived to me. I took that as a sign. I do love her though.

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  21. My daughter's battle of the books competition this afternoon includes Ungifted, and I think the first Wings of Fire book. It's a trivia competition for teams at the local schools. Glad you've enjoyed the books :) Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!

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  22. Ungifted sounds really good. I'll have to look for the audiobook to listen to in the car with the kids.

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    1. I bet they'd like that. My boys and I listen to audiobooks together in the car too. Right now we're listening to The Trials of Apollo.

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  23. I loooooved Mermaids!!! And The Vanishing Half. OOTP is typically my least fave HP but I need to give it another go as an adult.

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    1. My son and I were just talking about how dark the series starts getting part way through this book and right up until the end of the series.

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  24. when we believed in mermaids was *so* good. loved it.

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  25. I loved both The Vanishing Half and When We Believed in Mermaids. I found that I've started recommending the latter a lot as well.

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    1. Yep, I can see myself recommending that book a lot!

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  26. Ungifted sounds really good & I can't wait to read Harry Potter once my boys are older.

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    1. I loved Harry Potter way to much not to share it with my boys!

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  27. Yay for some good reads. I need to start re-reading the HP series in the illustrated versions. I read the first, and I'm halfway through the second but I haven't actually picked it up in awhile. hah

    -lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  28. I loved Dear Edward - such a good book!

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