Books in my life

booksJanFebFebruary has been a slow month in books read. Maybe because of the interminable snow days, when I felt compelled to cook more, clean more (well, not really, that’s a lie), entertain the kids more, when I generally felt more stressed, so I couldn’t enjoy my reading. But January was better, so I’m going to put than in here too.


Asa Larsson, Until Thy Wrath Be Past: I am reading a lot of Scandinavian mysteries, and this one I enjoyed much more than others. It is a wonderful, very atmospheric book. It has elements of the supernatural (which I always like), but they don’t take a life of their own and only serve to create the surreal feel of the story.


Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Women in Clothes: Amazing book about what clothes are to women. It’s like reading 40 fashion magazines, but only a selection those really good articles (each issue will have at most one or two, if at all).


Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History: A lot to learn from this book about women’s history. Not particularly memorable, I thought (because I forgot almost everything about it, and it’s only been a month or so since I’ve read it), but a good read, nonetheless.


Lisa Unger,Beautiful Lies: This book was just all right. The writing seemed a bit self-indulgent to me and the storyline rather predictable. But I read it till the end, and I usually just give up on books that are terrible, because I value my time. So it’s not awful. The main character had a lot of potential, I thought. It could have been better. But I would give this author another chance, and read one more book, because this one did leave me hopeful.


Emily Spivack, Worn Stories: This is a small book and a little disappointing. It’s a collection of stories, each about one particular item of clothing that holds significance for the storyteller. The thing is that yes, I get that we seem more cool when our most precious piece of clothing is some rag from high school, but that’s really not interesting to anyone. There are one or two stories about actually beautiful pieces, but most of the book is about the pricelessness of some sort of ripped and stained t-shirt. A very American thing, I feel, although I might be wrong.


Karin Fossum,Don’t Look Back: I enjoyed reading this book, although it did feel like it had too many characters that didn’t achieve enough depth and the story was not paced properly, so the climax fell flat. But it was not a bad read. And isn’t that cover beautiful? My favorite out of this month’s bunch.


Susan M. Wyler, Solsbury Hill: I picked this book because, you know, I would read anything about the Brontes. It is a light read, and not at all bad. The house described in the book is pretty fantastic. And the main character is interesting: she’s a designer of wool clothing, who started by repurposing old sweaters from thrift shops. But it reads more like romance than anything else, and that is not my favorite genre in the world.

I think I have streamlined my reading list now so that I am never out of appealing titles, and I almost never have to give up on a book before the end. I’m using Goodreads more than ever and I like the functionality it offers: adding books to the To-Read pile and then taking them out into the Read pile. It’s simple but it works great, and I never saw it until this year, although I’ve been on Goodreads for a very long time. Never too late.