Thursday, April 2, 2009

February 2009 Books

Some time ago I read Nick Hornby's two collections of essays for Believer Magazine, in which he details the books he bought that month and what he actually read. Aside from being funny (no surprise, it's Nick Hornby), it made sense to me to view one's life through what one reads. I started keeping an account of what I read, and have been doing it for a couple of years now.

At first I thought I'd just share the list here, with commentary. That's what I do on my Facebook page. But I read an awful lot of stuff, and not everything is interesting, even to me. What is more interesting to me, and why I keep track, really, is the different phases of reading I go through from month to month, or even from week to week. To see, "Wow, I was really on a Dick Francis kick last summer, wonder why?"

So this "column" will not try to discuss everything I read in a particular month, but only what stands out for me at the end of the month, for whatever reason.

I'm only slightly embarrassed to report that in February, for whatever reason, I was taken with the desire to read a number of chick-lit novels. All in a week. All borrowed from the book cart in the lobby of where I work. I can only assume that it was February and I needed comfort reading. Actually, when I remember that week, that is exactly what was going on - the whole family was sick and my ears were completely clogged and painful. I stayed up too late every night on the couch, losing myself in words. We'd also only just moved Buster and myself into his room to sleep from the living room, so it was the first time in months that I could have time to myself to read without worrying about waking him. Lovely.

"Sushi for Beginners" --- Marian Keyes
"Alphabet Weekends" --- Elizabeth Noble
"Hissy Fit" --- Mary Kay Andrews

When I first wrote on these on my Facebook page, I wrote that the Keyes was forgettable, the Noble less so, and the Andrews completely so. Since then I've had to revise my opinion of the Marian Keyes book, because it does, after all, stick with me. I still think it's in need of major editing, but the characters have stayed fresh in my head, and I've gone on to read another couple of Keyes books since then, each one better than the last. Helped, of course, by my getting recommendations from friends who are more familiar with her work and could steer me in better directions (Thanks, JJ!)

So, that was what stood out from my February reading. Now on to March...

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