Friends, just don’t even say anything about how long it took me to get this February Bookend up. As a matter of fact, let’s just not even discuss the end of February and beginning of March. Those are times that I would like to leave behind me. We’re through it and through with it (yes, it has been like that for the last month). I can at least say that I got through 4 books in February, two of which were non-fiction, so I am staying with some of my goals. Others have been in the struggle category (still working on the first few pages of my first book in Portuguese for the year). I will just say that I am still knee-deep in that Ulysses Grant biography as well . . . it’s going slowly. I would love to be the person who can stick to my goals and hold dear the hobby that gives me joy when things get bumpy in life, but the last month have shown me that that’s a lot easier said than done. I didn’t get it done at all, actually. But that’s okay. I’ve resolved to be kinder to myself (I may or may not be known to hold myself to a very high and exacting standard), and part of that journey means that if I don’t hit a goal, sometimes I just gotta forgive myself and keep it moving. So here is what I did get under my belt in February!
- Orange is the New Black – Piper Kerman || 👍🏾
- I enjoyed this book, which inspired the hit Netflix show by the same name. Kerman’s account of her time in prison for drug trafficking give a colorful and very human portrayal of our modern system of incarceration. Some parts of the book do read like, “Oh my God! Can you believe that they put me, a nice middle-class white woman, in prison!?” But that can be forgiven, I think, by the humanity and context drawn in the rest of the lines.
- My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante || 🤷🏾♀️
- I read this book because I was going to try to attend a book club discussion for it at a book store I like in Brooklyn. I didn’t make the book club, and I guess it’s just as well, because I really don’t have much to say about this one. It’s the story of a friendship between girls growing up in a not-great neighborhood in Italy following WWII, and it was…a book. Apparently, it’s become an HBO mini-series, so maybe I will check that out one night at 1 AM if I have insomnia and absolutely nothing else to watch.
- The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu || 👍🏾👍🏾
- I can’t remember the last time that I actually picked up, let alone read, a novel like this. It seems like something that would be found in the self-help section..which I try hard to avoid. But when I saw this book on the shelf, it was the cover image of two great men whom I admire (and boy are the number of men I admire few and far between) that really drew me in. These men are wells of wisdom and compassion and this book was exactly what I needed at this time in my life.
- White Tears – Hari Kunzru || 👎🏾👎🏾
- This book was tragic from beginning to end. Starting with the author’s decision to write it.