February 2017 Reads

Here’s a recap of the 8 books I read during February:


I loved Miss Jane.  This novel is based on Brad Watson’s great aunt who lived in the early 1900s.  Jane Chisolm is born to a farming family in Mississippi with a genital birth defect that causes many difficulties for her.  Despite those difficulties, Jane grows to be a strong and beautiful woman.  The story is inspiring and Brad Watson’s writing is beautiful.


I listened to the audio version of Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing narrated by Simon Prebble.  It tells the amazing story of explorer Ernest Shackleton who set sail in 1914 from England with a crew of men to Antarctica.  They wanted to trek across Antarctica through the South Pole and reach the other side of the continent.  However, when their ship didn’t make it to the coast, Shackleton and his crew had to endure unimaginable hardships in order to stay alive.  This is an amazing story of survival, leadership and teamwork.


Morning Star by Pierce Brown is the third book in his Red Rising Trilogy.  This is a great series for any sci-fi fans out there.  In a future society, people are divided and ranked by a series  of colors with Reds on the bottom and Golds on the top.  Darrow, a member of the Reds, has lived his life in the underground mines of Mars with other Reds believing that they are preparing the planet for the arrival of other colors.  However, Darrow realizes they’ve been deceived.  Through a series of events, he ends up infiltrating the Gold ranks in a mission to bring justice and equality to all of the people. I loved this series.


I’m reading L. Frank Baum’s Oz series to my boys and in February we finished the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz.  This book has many of the same characters as the first book, including the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow, but also some interesting new ones such as Jack Pumpkinhead and the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug.  This is a great series to read aloud to a family.


 A Fatal Grace, the second book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache series, takes place in a cozy little town in Quebec called Three Pines during Christmas.  CC de Poitiers is not well-liked by anyone…her daughter, her lover, her husband or anyone in Three Pines…and when she is murdered, Inspector Armand Gamache is called in to solve the case.  I listened to the audio version and thought it was great.  The first book in the series is called Still Life.


Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator is the delightful story about, well, exactly what the title says its about.  During the Great Depression, a coal miner named Homer and his wife Elsie undertake a journey to bring her pet alligator, Albert, from their coal mining town in West Virginia to a more suitable environment in Orlando, Florida.  During their long drive, they have a bunch of interesting adventures.  This book is fiction, but it’s based on the author’s parents and the tales they told him about adventures they had while bringing Albert to Florida.  How much is true, we really don’t know, but the story is fun to read.

Unsaid by Neil Abramson is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died from breast cancer and whose spirit watches over her grieving lawyer husband, David, and all of their animals he is trying to care for in their home.  Not only is this a story about how the bonds between humans and animals can be very healing, but it’s also about how we communicate with each other.  It’s a wonderful story that brought me to tears.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown is about how to figure out what is absolutely essential in your life and how to eliminate the non-essential so that you can make your biggest contribution.  Instead of trying to do everything and be everything to everybody around you, this book shows you how to focus on what is essential to you. I read the hardcover last year and listened to the audio this year…both are great.






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