2020 Reading Goals: February Recap

I went into February feeling pretty good about my reading, but a little concerned about the month of February. It’s the shortest month of the year, after all, even if it is a leap year! (You can read my January reading recap here.) But you guys, somehow… I’m not entirely sure how… I read one MORE book in February than I did in January. Fourteen! I’m just a tiny bit excited about that. They were good books too! So without further ado…

The Books of February
  1. Saint’s Gate by Carla Neggers. This is the first in the Sharpe and Donovan mystery series that has some ties to Ireland, which is why I’m reading it. The style of writing reminds me of Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich, but maybe not quite as suspenseful. I read a couple of them this month and they’re all fairly similar, but the relationships/characters definitely grow through the series.
  2. Oscar Wilde Selected Poems. Checking off my first poetry book for the 5×5 reading challenge! It was a slim volume (maybe that’s why my total this month was so good), but so good!
  3. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms. This was a fun, quick read but I thought the ending wasn’t very realistic, and it didn’t really do the rest of the story justice.
  4. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani. This book is set in the area of Tennessee that we live and it was really interesting to read a book where so many of the geographical cues are so familiar. As a story, it was fairly good. The main character made me a little crazy at points, but over all it was a solid read.
  5. Atomic Habits by James Clear. Fantastic read. This solidified a lot of the conclusions I had been stumbling towards with my attempts to build habits in my own life. It was informative, easy to read, and such a good impetus to move forward in my productivity habits.
  6. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. I first read this a couple of years ago, and I just really like a lot of the philosophy. It’s all about how the excesses all around us are really having a bad effect on the mental health of our children (excessive news, excessive tv, excessive toys, etc.) It always makes me take a step back and think about our life in a much more laid back, minimalist way.
  7. The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood. This second book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series was just as exciting as the first, and left us with almost as many questions as we started. We are loving this series as our family read aloud right now!
  8. Heron’s Cove by Carla Neggers (Sharpe and Donovan #2).
  9. The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf. Somewhat biographical, somewhat scientific, this book examined Alexander Humboldt’s life and scientific contributions to the understanding we have of nature. Very interesting, sometimes dry, overall good read.
  10. Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan. This book tells the stories behind the writing of some of the best hymns. Very short, easy reads, but great for gaining a little insight into the hymn writers and sometimes the hymns themselves.
  11. Declan’s Cross by Carla Neggers (Sharpe and Donovan #3).
  12. Harbor Island by Carla Neggers (Sharpe and Donovan #4).
  13. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This book was an intense, meaty literary read. It was very well written and interesting but it did feel slow in the beginning. Not slow in that I was bored, just slow in that it took a while to figure out where the story was going. There was a lot of description and dialogue that seemed quite random as it happened. The end left a few loose ends that I would have preferred to see properly tied up, but over all a satisfying read.
  14. The Trouble With Poetry and other Poems by Billy Collins. I’ve really been on a poetry kick lately. We’re reading Longfellow for school, and I’m working through Yeats as part of my 5×5 challenge, and reading Mary Oliver just because I recently discovered her and I love her. Billy Collins was a new-to-me poet, and his poetry style was definitely different from the more classic, well-known poets I’ve read more of, but I really loved it. I think I read every poem over at least three times, just because the depth was different every time.
So There You Have It

Overall, pretty happy with my reading this month. Some of the books were fewer pages than my average read, but I’m really happy with the variety. I also feel like I’m definitely making progress on my 5×5 (plus 10) reading challenge. So far I’ve only been able to cross off 4 books, but I’m reading heavily in 6 others. I’ll probably try to finish a couple more of those before I pull more into the rotation.

Have you read any of my February titles? What did you think?