Bookends: February 2014

The first day of each month, I’m posting a summary of what I read the previous month and what I plan to read in the coming month. I would love if this could become a conversation in the comments about what’s on your reading list, too!

February zoomed by with rather less time to read than I would have preferred. But I had a lot of fun having great conversations and attending community events during the time I would otherwise have been reading, so I don’t regret the lack of reading progress…too much. I might regret more the lack of time to write about the books I read.

Here’s what I was able to finish:

Grown-ups’ Books:

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (The lives and fates of a free-born son of a Maryland slave, a widow in India, a giant, the orphaned daughter of a French botanist and the boy who was raised as her brother intersect.)

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (Gertrude Stein’s autobiography written by Stein in the voice of her partner.)

The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner (A young woman seeks an art career in 1970’s New York and finds something very different. Nominated for the National Book Award. I hope to write a more thorough review this weekend.)

Kids’ Books:

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander (#3 of the Chronicles of Prydain)

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (Prequel to the Chronicles of Narnia)

How to Think Like a Scientist by Stephen P. Kramer (The scientific method taught through stories and kid-life examples.)

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander (#4 of the Chronicles of Prydain)

Whittington by Alan Armstrong (A cat tells the story of his namesake while the rest of the animals in the barn help a boy who’s struggling with reading.)

Currently Reading/To-Read for March

I’m currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and The Gift of Faith by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar. I expect to finish those this weekend, and then move on to my March books.

As I mentioned last month, my goal for 2014 is to read five books per month, broken down as follows:

-2 classics from my Cavalcade of Classics list

-1 book from Sisters Book Club

-1 book about religion or spirituality

-1 bonus book

For Classics for March, I have Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis (the title I got for the most recent Classics Spin) and Two Treatises of Government by John Locke (or maybe just the second treatise).

My spirituality book for this month is Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan, which I’m reading for a book discussion at church.

I also have one review copy this month, The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh.

That takes care of four books. We don’t have a Sisters Book Club book lined up for March, so I’m going to let book #5 be a wild card. Maybe Middlemarch by George Eliot or Writing the Sacred Journey by Elizabeth Andrew. We’ll see how my energy level is once I get through the first four.

For kids books, we’ve started listening to the audio of the last Prydain book, The High King. For read-alouds, the kids and I are going to do The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. 

Or at least that’s the plan. Time seems to be slipping past faster and faster lately.

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for March? If you blog your answer, please post a link in the comments (and/or link back to this post, if you’re so inclined).

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