Eventually I will stop reading so voraciously for escape and start living my life again, but for now, here are NOT EVEN ALL of the books I read in this stupid, never-ending February:
- A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy by Stephen W. Mosher. A loaner from a friend — I only read it because I’d worked my way through most of the unread mindless fiction in the house and needed another escape, but I wasn’t expecting to completely dive into this one and devour it in 48 hours. The narrator’s bravery and cleverness and awful, awful compromises! The beautiful, completely unfamiliar world she depicts! I kept talking about it to J and now we want to watch this documentary. Why have I never learned anything about the one-child policy before?
- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I saw this recommended on Modern Mrs. Darcy and found it on Scribd so I gave it a try. In addition to being a bit more open-door romance than I was looking for, I just found the love interests a bit…mean? Crude? I was all for the ridiculous plot devices to force them together, but in the end, they didn’t seem to have become kind enough to really deserve their happiness.
- Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr had been recommended to me by my friend Abbey and I’ve read and re-read his beautiful All the Light We Cannot See. This I enjoyed as much as I could have hoped: a rambling meditation on the dual overwhelming impacts of life abroad and new parenthood, as well as a meditation on the layers of history and meaning on everything we encounter. I love meandering books like this.
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. YA dark fantasy about a girl tailed by fairy-tale-like menaces. Just something I happened upon on Scribd, better in the early chapters brimming with dread than in its actual denouement, as I often find to be the case.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, which I read for Well-Read Mom and which I hadn’t revisited since I was about 15. It was lovely to spend a little time in rural Florida with Janie and strange and beautiful to dive into a novel about black culture that didn’t emphasize racial conflict* — just the life and choices of one woman trying to make a life for herself.
- Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist was a spontaneous re-read after I suddenly remembered while washing dishes one night that Niequist had suffered a miscarriage, too. Warm and encouraging and exactly what I needed.
- The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson is a book I avoided for a long time because I didn’t particularly care for her Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, but then I found a copy for cheap at the library book sale last spring and decided to tackle it during my Escape-Miscarriage-Through-Novels Era. And I’m so glad I did. It was like a BBC costume miniseries in the best possible ways, with highly detailed scene-setting, lively plotting, and vivid characters, but the same sort of wistful melancholy that to my way of thinking made the first season of Downton Abbey so superior to subsequent seasons.
*(which also has a place of course!!)