Wednesday, March 01, 2023

February: What I Read

I am getting worried that Goodreads always seems to be down lately. I made a note on my phone for books I need to plug in, and my blog list is up to date, but still. Anyone use anything else?

I read 21 books this month, but I am still listening more than I am using my eyes, and my library life is kind of a mess. I have a goal to clean up my holds and overdue books in March, and to catch up on the 3 Book of the Month books on my shelf. I have a real problem reading when I am not accountable to a deadline. Anyone else??

What 2023 books am I missing, friends? I have only read 12 published this year **yikes**

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy: Local author. Playboy club in Wisconsin. Wanted to love it. 

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan: I have heard this author read a million audiobooks, and it was a delight to read her work-- but maybe I should have had her read it to me?

My Summer Darlings by May Cobb: A better summer read than a February one.

Hideaway by Nora Roberts: Oh I love listening to one of these sweeping soap operas while I go about my day. **Audio

Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica: A fast-paced little thriller with horrible people I was rooting for-- love it when I like the unlikeables. **2023 

The Cloisters by Katy Hays: I liked this book a lot- very The Secret History for beginners. **Audio

Exes and O’s by Amy Lea: This is a #2 in a series, and now I want to read #1– so cute! **Audio **2023

 Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: I just adore her.

Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard: THIS WAS SO SCARY.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Perez: I feel like the title says it all, really.

The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide by Steven Thrasher: This is SO GOOD. The author is an AIDS researcher, which colors his understanding of pandemics in a really rich and nuanced way.

Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond. Not as good as Evicted, but it does enter a terrific conversation about poverty and the role of government in facilitating the good life. I wanted him to mention Nickeled and Dimed in the lit review because this book owes a debt to that one for sure. **2023

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes: I LOVED THIS. I especially loved that the main character was a size 18, and this was just a random fact about her, not her defining character trait. And she was pretty and sexy and her wonderful self. **Audio

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand: I am an unabashed EH junkie, but this one was excellent in a different way than her usual fare. Like, you can really tell she went to the Iowa Writers Workshop, you know? **Audio

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews: I read this for a work committee, and I am so glad I did. I loved the Wisconsin connection, the story of one family's fraught immigration, and the glimpse into what post-college life can be like for kids today.

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: There are 2 more books in this series!! YAY!! **Audio

Maame by Jessica George: I loved this one. Funny. Sad. Smart-- the total package. **2023

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams: I loved this book! It’s a few years old, and I have no idea why it was on my Libby holds list, but it WAS, and I ADORED it. **Audio

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller: OH this BOOK. It was WONDERFUL and I don’t know how I missed it in 2021– a delight. **Audio

Good for a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man's World by Lauren Fleshman: I LOVED THIS MEMOIR. I knew nothing of this runner or her story, so it was very suspenseful to listen to her talk about her races. I also knew nothing about professional track-- or even college track-- so the whole thing was new and fresh and exciting. She isn't like writing some deep kind of feminist theory or anything, but she does a really good job of explaining why gender matters, especially for the "Girls on the Run" crowd who don't think about trans kids and the harm of binary language at all. **Audio **2023

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai: YES. You should read this right away so we can talk about it, ok? **2023 **Audio

This Month:

21 books

6 books published in 2023

 11 print and 10 audio

This Year:

41 books

12 books published in 2023

20 print and 21 audio


  1. One of my favorite features on your blog! Always impressed by your lists and I love to pick a few to put on my modest list. This month, I'm picking the Makkai, Thankam Matthews, Desmond, and Rowell.

    Also love: That you're linking to a local bookstore rather than A**Z*ON.

  2. Holy moly. 21 books! Incredible! I have only read 1 2023 release - The Bandit Queens. I felt very meh about it. I exclusively use the library and our library has ridiculous hold lists for buzzy new books so I have to be patient. So my reading tends to be dominated by back list books. A lot of what you read is on my TBR list, though. I'm especially excited for the Rebecca Makai book. I loved her previous book.

    I have not had issues with goodreads but since I read far less than you do, I'm on the site far less!

    1. Just grabbed Bandit Queens from the walk-in shelf at my library! I am a very competitive library user and put books on hold MONTHS in advance of their release.

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  4. I have been so happy with Linda Holmes as an author. I was pretty skeptical about Evvie Drake, but it was quite good and then Flying Solo was surprisingly compelling, too. I have been listening to Holmes' podcast for over a decade and I am so happy I can support her writing endeavors, as well.

    1. I didn't know she had a podcast! how delightful!

  5. I think The Island might be my favorite Hilderbrand book - so good. And I love Rainbow Rowell, too. Several of these others are on my TBR, but I don't get through nearly as many books as you do. I think I've read 10 so far this year, which I feel like is a lot, but I have only done 1 audiobook (Spare) because I really prefer to listen to podcasts when I am listening while doing other things, then I read physical books when I am sitting down/relaxing.

    1. oooooooooh-- how was Spare? I am debating using an Audible credit for it

    2. I loved it! And although I don't do many audiobooks, as I mentioned, it is definitely worth it for this one to have Prince Harry read it to you himself in his lovely accent.

    3. oooooooh yesssss

  6. Stephanie11:24 AM

    Really enjoy these book lists! Not only have you turned me on to some excellent books, your commitment to reading has inspired me to reconnect with eyeball reading & make a 20 min/day habit.

    How did you read Matthew Desmond's latest already?!

    1. I got it early for a work committee-- sometimes my job is amazing.

  7. So. Many. Books!

    I don't think I've read anything from 2023 yet?! And I'm limping along with about 4 books in all of February...

    1. I usually start the year strong and end strong but there's definitely some middle-of-the-year limping.

  8. Wow, what a fabulous reading month! I really want to read the Makkai book. So funny that you loved Nicest Couple -- I hated it. Probably it's because I had such high expectations, since I loved her last book Local Woman Missing. Womp womp. So glad it was a hit for you, though!

    Of your other reads, I have only read Dictionary of Lost Words (such a lovely book!) and Finlay Donovan (such a fun and silly good time!) so I am adding several to my TBR!

    Your experience with Goodreads is worrisome. I use GR to track my books and haven't experienced any outages, but if it goes down HOW will I know what I've read?!?!?!

    1. I HATED both women right away but then I still cared what happened to them-- I am a sucker for that dynamic.

  9. Anonymous7:55 PM

    You should look into Storygraph as a Goodreads alternative!

  10. Ooh I have the Rebecca Makkai book on my shelf and I think I'll read it next! Your list is great and I love that you have so many audiobooks too. Great reading month! I loved Invisible Women, probably one of the most life changing books I've ever read.

    1. Wasn't Invisible Women SO eye-opening? I shouldn't be surprised, of course, but I WAS.

  11. I was so excited when Rebecca Makkai's latest book was available as a Book of the Month add-on! I couldn't add it to my bag fast enough! I can't wait to dive into it. It's getting GREAT reviews.

    I loooved Evicted and did not know Desmond had a new book coming out. Adding it to my list!

  12. Erica8:35 PM

    I keep hearing about the Rebecca Makkai book so now I'm going to read it. Also, I am always so interested in Elin Hilderbrand's work because she writes so well that you can almost never tell how well she is writing.

    I loved Central Places, by Delia Cai:

    Also, it isn't quite out yet, but Throwback, by Maurene Goo, was really fun and affecting: