What I’ve Been Reading – February 2017

This is just a quick look at books I read in February. This was a big reading month for me. I don’t typically read this many books in a month’s time! Look for upcoming posts for more about some of these books.


Big Little Lies
By Liane Moriarty

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid

This was the first Liane Moriarty book I’ve read. It was recommended to me by a friend who said it was un-put-down-able. And was she ever right! I don’t typically read mystery novels (in fact, I generally avoid that genre); but this one I couldn’t put down. While the mystery is part of the story, the real focus is the lives of three ladies in a small beachside community. Moriarty crafted the novel with such precision that the reader is drawn in from the very beginning and the characters seem real. In addition, Moriarty does a superb job of mixing humor amid heavy, heart-wrenching issues. (Heads up for strong language)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book You’ve Already Read

When I saw this category on the Reading for Fun reading challenge, I knew that one of the titles I’d totally re-read would be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I loved this book when I read it last year. In fact, it should have been in my blog post about favorite books I read in 2016. Reading it again, I was reminded once again of just how much I love this book. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an historical novel centered around the German occupation of Guernsey in World War II. It blends the hard, terrible, and sad details of this time in history with plenty of humor and sass. It is by far one of the best World War II historical fiction novels I’ve read.  READ MORE


The One-in-a-Million Boy
By Monica Wood

Reading for Growth Reading Challenge Category
A Book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks Author

This book had been on my to-read list for awhile. I was intrigued by the description on Amazon; but just hadn’t taken the plunge to read it yet. When I saw that it qualified for this category in the reading challenge, I finally decided it’s time to read it and I’m so glad I did. The One-in-a-Million Boy is a moving story primarily focused on an unlikely friendship between an elderly woman and a father whose son died. This book would be a great pick for a book club because when you read it, you’re going to want to talk about it! There are lots of themes that can be discussed such as loss, grief, redemption, and second chances.


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
By Gabrielle Zevin

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book about Books and Reading

I love reading books about books and reading, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is just that. Yet, it’s also much more than that. It’s an heartwarming story of loss, finding love again, and the power of books to bring people together.  READ MORE


The Enchanted April
By Elizabeth von Arnim

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book You Were Excited to Buy or Borrow but Haven’t Read Yet

The Enchanted April is about the complexities of the lives of four women who decide to go on a holiday and share an Italian villa. I love the BBC movie adaptation of this book (starring Polly Walker, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, and Joan Plowright) and have seen it many times. I was really looking forward to reading the book; but for some reason, it sat on my Kindle for months. I’m so glad I finally got it read! There are definitely some movies that I like better than the books; that’s not the case with this one. While there may be some things I do like about the movie better, overall I loved the book more because I found that the novel had even more depth to it than the movie portrayed. (brief language)


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
By Fredrik Backman

Reading for Growth Reading Challenge Category
A Book in Translation

I don’t know about you, but something about many of Fredrik Backman’s book covers draws me to the books. In fact, I could easily put this one down for the category “A Book You Chose for the Cover.” When I saw the cover for And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer I immediately picked it up, read the description, and knew I wanted to read it. I loved A Man Called Ove and have been wanting to read more of Backman’s books. This is a very quick read, but packed with lots of heart.  READ MORE


The Language of Flowers
By Vanessa Diffenbough

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book with a Reputation of Being Un-put-down-able

The description of this book was intriguing to me when I first read it. I jotted the title down as a possible book to read and then out of the blue, the very next day a friend asked me if I had read this book and said that she loved it. I bought it and immediately started reading. When reading reviews of this book, it was described as un-put-down-able. So I chose it for this category. And indeed, I didn’t want to stop reading it. In this novel, Victoria has a knack for matching the right flowers with the right person. But where did she learn so much about flowers? And what role did flowers play in her own life? This novel is about dealing with the past and finding healing. (heads up for brief strong language)  READ MORE

Children’s Literature I Read This Month


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
By Roald Dahl

Such a fun book…especially after having watched both movie productions many times. It was interesting to compare both movies to the book.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll

This is one that I simply finished in February. I had begun reading it awhile back and needed to finish it. Then I followed it up with Through the Looking Glass.

Through the Looking Glass
By Lewis Carroll

Both this and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were among my favorites I read aloud to my daughters several years ago. Not all books work well as read-alouds; these did. It was fun reading these again. Humorous and at times lyrical, these books will have you laughing out loud.

What I’ve Been Reading – January 2017

This is just a quick look at books I read in January.

robert-frosts-poemsRobert Frost’s Poems
With an Introduction and Commentary by Louis Untermeyer

Reading for Growth Reading Challenge Category
A Book of Poetry, a Play, or an Essay Collection

I am not a big poetry person; so I am trying to be more intentional about incorporating more poetry into my reading life. What I liked about this book is that it contained commentary that gave insight into Frost’s poetry. While I didn’t like every poem in the book, I did have some favorites. My favorite poems were Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, The Road Not Taken, and A Time to Talk.   READ MORE

david-copperfieldDavid Copperfield
By Charles Dickens

Reading for Growth Reading Challenge Category 
A Book That’s More Than 600 Pages

I started to read David Copperfield several years ago but never finished it. I decided it was time to pick this one back up and start it all over again. In this classic novel, Dickens tells the life story of David Copperfield. He does a superb job of developing the characters and leaving no loose ends when you finish the last chapter.   READ MORE

By Jane Austen

Reading for Growth Reading Challenge Category
A Book Published Before You Were Born

I’ve seen I don’t know how many movie/mini-series productions of Jane Austen’s works. But until last year, I had not read any of her books in their entirety. I had tried to read several of them in years past but never finished any of them. Last year, I finally read Pride and Prejudice and loved it. I found that I didn’t like Persuasion quite as much as Pride and Prejudice though. It felt tedious to read at times with its wordiness. However, the novel grew on me and I think this is one I would read again.   READ MORE

the-bookshop-on-the-cornerThe Bookshop on the Corner
By Jenny Colgan

Reading for Fun Reading Challenge Category
A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been But Would Like to Visit

England, Ireland, and Scotland are all places I’ve never been to but would love to visit sometime. And The Bookshop on the Corner happens to take place in England *and* Scotland. The main character, Nina, leaves her home in England to start a mobile bookstore in a small town in Scotland. This is a lighter read but has its moments of depth. (Heads up for language, course talk, and brief racy content.)   READ MORE

welcome-to-silver-street-farmWelcome to Silver Street Farm
By Nicola Davies

This is a cute children’s chapter book about three children who end up starting a farm in their city.

2017 Reading Challenge

I finally made a decision as to whether or not I want to participate in another reading challenge or just put together my own reading list for the year. *Drum roll please*…….I am going to participate in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge! This will be my second year participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenges and I’m excited about it!

This year, there are two challenges that you can choose from OR you can do both. I will be doing the Reading for Growth Challenge. And I can fulfill my own personal reading goals for 2017 with this challenge as well! Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if I read at least some books for the Reading for Fun Challenge. 🙂

So without further ado, here’s my initial list of possibilities for the categories. These are just ideas of what I *might* read. I will be listing several options for some categories; that doesn’t mean I’ll be reading all of the ones listed. They are simply options. Also, I’m participating in a local book club this year so some of those books (that have yet to be determined) might fit some categories. 🙂


A Newberry Award Winner or Honor Book

  • A Wrinkle in Time  by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

A Book in Translation

  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

A Book That’s More than 600 Pages

  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A Book of Poetry, a Play, or an Essay Collection

  • Robert Frost’s Poems
  • Our Town by Thornton Wilder (a play)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (a play)

A Book of Any Genre that Addresses Current Events

  • Still to be determined

An Immigrant Story

  • Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes

A Book Published Before You Were Born

  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Three Books by the Same Author

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

A Book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks Author

  • The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
    In one of the comments on Anne’s (Modern Mrs. Darcy) post on her picks for the challenge, this was one of the books asked about if it would work for this category. Anne said she remembered that in her interview with the author, the author had said that one of the main characters was based on her own experiences as a child. So she said to go for it. So I’m choosing it for my pick for this category. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile now.

A Book with an Unreliable Narrator or Ambiguous Ending

  • Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

A Book Nominated for an Award in 2017

  • Still to be determined

A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award Winner

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson



Even though my focus for this year is the Reading for Growth Challenge, I have jotted down a few titles I’m interested in reading that would fit some categories in the Reading for Fun Challenge. I don’t know if I’ll get to these titles or not. We’ll see. 🙂

A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been But Would Like to Visit

  • The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

A Book You’ve Already Read

  • The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

A Juicy Memoir

  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
  • Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

A Book About Books or Reading

  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid

For me, this would be detective type/mystery novels. I might try to stretch myself in this area this year. Here’s a couple of titles I’m considering:

  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton

A Book Recommended by Someone with Great Taste

  • Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

A Book You Were Excited to Buy or Borrow But Haven’t Read Yet

  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

A Book About a Topic or Subject You Already Love

Well, that would be books! LOL So since there’s already a category for this, I’ll put one of the titles here. 🙂

  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin