Books of the Month: February 2019

  • My Man Jeeves, PG Wodehouse, short stories ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was another book I got from Book Girl. It is a collection of short stories, mainly about English aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves, but there were a few about Reggie Pepper too. This collection was originally published about a hundred years ago so there is some pretty funny British slang. The stories are all just silly and fun. Jeeves manages to get Bertie out of quite a lot of scrapes and also helps him with fashion advice. I think this would be a good one for kids to listen to on road trips because you can just do one short story at a time and they will keep you entertained.

  • The Green Ember, S.D. Smith, children’s book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The author of this series is coming to my school to speak this week, so I read this in preparation. The main characters are Heather and Picket, a rabbit sibling duo. They learn pretty early on in the book that there is more to the world they live in than they realize, and then they go on to have lots of adventures. Honestly a lot of the elements of the plot seemed pretty similar to The Wingfeather Saga to me, but there are some major differences too. I liked it enough to buy the rest of the series.

  • Rich People Problems, Kevin Kwan, fiction ⭐️⭐️1/2

This was the last book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. I think I liked each book in the series progressively less. There are too many characters and too many parallel storylines, and I got bored with almost all of them. It felt like it ended pretty abruptly and so many of the stories were underdeveloped.

  • The Black Star of Kingston, S.D. Smith, children’s novella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is a world-building novella that is part of The Green Ember series, and is recommended to be read after the first book. It’s a quick read and I enjoyed the extra history.

  • An Anonymous Girl, Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, thriller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the second book I have read from this author duo. I really loved the first one I read, The Wife Between Us. I enjoyed this one too and it was a good change of pace from what I’ve been reading. The narrator switches between Jessica, a girl who gets involved in a morality study, and Dr. Shields, the person running the study. It brings up a lot of interesting moral quandaries and the story was intriguing. It kept me interested the whole way through.

  • Raspberry Danish Murder, Joanne Fluke, mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️

These books are so silly, but I love them. This is part of the Hannah Swensen series. Hannah is a Minnesota resident and cookie bakery owner, and pretty much everyone in her town gets murdered at some point in the series. She always solves the cases while baking a lot along the way. They are super light-hearted despite each one being centered around a murder, and there are lots of delicious cookie recipes between chapters.

  • Christmas Caramel Murder, Joanne Fluke, mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is the same series as the previous book – just a shorter, Christmas-themed one.

  • Christmas Cake Murder, Joanne Fluke, mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Okay, with this book I caught up with the series. It was also a shorter one and Christmas-themed. It was kind of a prequel and told the story of how Hannah started her bakery. It’s the only one in the series that doesn’t center around her solving a murder.

  • Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens, classic literature ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Charles Dickens and I have heretofore not had a good relationship. It all started with reading (not reading) Great Expectations freshman year of high school. I still think it was a grave mistake to have curriculum jumping from The Giver in the previous year to Dickens. Don’t get me wrong, The Giver is great, but you are not ready for Great Expectations when that’s what you’re used to reading for school. Attempting to read that before I was ready for it left a bad taste in my mouth that stayed with me for close to fifteen years. I just did that math a couple times to be sure. It’s a little hard for me to believe I’m that far removed from freshman-in-high-school-Kendalyn. Since I recently tried again with Jane Austen and was delighted with my experience, I thought it might be time to try again with Charles. My previous familiarity with Oliver Twist was limited to a vague memory of the Wishbone episode about it and the quote, “Please, sir, I want some more.” This is the first time I was really able to appreciate the mastery of Charles Dickens. I listened to it on audiobook and there were several times I found myself pausing it to marvel at his command of the English language after hearing a phrase that caught my fancy. I loved the character of Oliver and wanted to take him home with me and give him a proper meal and take care of him. This is probably also the first time I actually understood what was happening while trying to read something by Dickens, so I’m sure that helped with my enjoyment of the experience. I’m a little sad this one is over.

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