February has been another busy reading month for me! One of the favorite parts of my day is sitting out on my balcony with a good book. There’s a large tree in front of our house that has leaves that rustle in the breeze. Birds like to fly in and sit on the branches chirping happily which is the perfect backdrop as I drift into the world of whatever book I’m reading.
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. 3.5/5 ⭐️“Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.” This love story was so disarmingly endearing when I finished reading the book I felt like I had been wrapped up in a warm blanket. A beautiful reminder that there is good in all of us and we’re all deserving of love.
- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. 4/5 ⭐️ “In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case.” This book had delightful twists and turns with moments that made me actually laugh out loud. The characters had such depth and intrigue that I would happily read more books with this same cast of characters.3. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. 3.5/5 ⭐️ “Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.” For such heavy material Trevor managed to insert humor and humility in the sharing of stories from his childhood. A sobering wake-up call that this book was the first time I had ever heard of apartheid in South Africa.4. Send For Me by Lauren Fox. 4/5 ⭐️ “Annelise is a dreamer: imagining her future while working at her parents’ popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany, anticipating all the delicious possibilities yet to come. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, but Annelise and her parents can’t quite believe that it will affect them; they’re hardly religious at all. But as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer: a brick thrown through her window; a childhood friend who cuts ties with her; customers refusing to patronize the bakery. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain. Two generations later, in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother’s letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she’s faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future.” I devoured this book in a few short days. Told from the perspective of a Jewish family ripped apart prior to World War II that explores the irrevocable pain Jewish families have endured for centuries.
5. Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy. 5/5 ⭐️ “Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. Franny talks her way onto a fishing boat, and she and the crew set sail, traveling ever further from shore and safety. But as Franny’s history begins to unspool―a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime―it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. When Franny’s dark secrets catch up with her, how much is she willing to risk for one more chance at redemption?” This book was spectacular and one of the most favorite books I’ve ever read. Raw, visceral, vibrant and haunting – reading this almost made me ache.