A Look at February Books

Spring is just a few days away, but it is a good time to look back at that short month of February and see if we were able to keep up  with our yearly reading challenge during that month. Not a lot goes on during February and so that last full month of winter can sometimes be a challenge for everyone. I took a different approach to my reading for the month and concentrated on some children’s books. I enjoy reading children’s books, as I have stated in the past, and so it was no hardship to supplement my normal reading with some extra books that will appeal to youngsters.

One of the cutest books I read also is one of the most meaningful. “Brand- New Boobe”, by Sarah Aronson is a wonderful book that is extremely relevant today. It’s about a young girl whose parents are divorced and whose mother remarries and now she is confronted with a brand new grandmother. Blended families are very common today, and this is a very good book about how everyone can come together through the joys of cooking. Obviously it simplifies things, but for most children this is a really good book to show that love and cooperation will overcome any hesitancy and distrust that may arise in such a situation. Another fun book was “There’s an N on Your Nose” by Dennis Canfield. This teaches the ABC’s and uses that to identify different parts of the body. I found it a fun book you can read to your children or grandchildren, or a book they can read to themselves with very good illustrations. I liked “The Button Book” by Sally Nichols along with “Midnight and Moon” by Kelly Cooper which deals with the topic of children with disabilities. Another fun book is titled “Rodney was a Tortoise” by Nan Forler. All of these books are very good for your kids, all of these are easy reads and fun reads and I recommend all of these to you, your relatives or loved ones. Unfortunately I cannot say the same thing about the book “Your Birthday was the Best” by Maggie Hutchings which takes us to a birthday party as seen through the eyes of a cockroach. That one just didn’t resonate with me. And my last book of this genre was “Crocodile Hungry” by Elja Sumner which is a cute book about a crocodile who was so hungry but doesn’t want to hurt anybody and so he ends up ordering a pizza! It makes you laugh which is part of the joy of reading this genre.

Moving on to more adult readings, I was a little bit disappointed with the book “Munich” by Robert Harris. It is being made into a Netflix movie, and usually I enjoy the works by this author, but this one just had a little bit too much revisionist history for me. Speaking of disappointing the book “Against the Day” by Thomas Pynchon really laid an egg In my opinion. Pynchon has a very active imagination and this book reminds me so much of the books by Jules Verne and I thought the book was wordy and unfortunately a bit disjointed for my taste. Unfortunately, another disappointing book that I read which was “Miss Benson’s Beetle” by Rachel Joyce. Now I enjoyed her first book, “The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, and really was looking forward to this book but this book  left me flatter than flat. I found the plot extremely simple and easy to work out, I found the journey to be nonsensical and we have two characters who really are not the most attractive people in the world, along with a third character who could be described as a sociopathic stalker. I don’t understand peoples love of this book.

If there is one book that I can recommend to everyone is “Electric City: The Lost History of Ford and Edison’s American Utopia” by Thomas Hager. This is a wonderful historical account of Henry Ford’s attempt to purchase government properties at the end of World War One and turn it into a huge reclamation project for the area of Muscle Shoals, AL, and create a utopian society built around his automobile factory which he would build in that town. It is filled with many facts that I was unaware of, and it appears that Henry Ford may be the inventor of the suburb! It teaches us about a little known portion of American history, and how one man, Nebraska Senator George Norris was able to stymie all of Ford’s attempts to purchase the land and build this utopian dream. It is a fast reading book, is the only five star book that I read other than those in children section, and is something that I think would be interesting to most everyone.

And now we turn our sights to March and I have already have many books started. I’m reading one book about the Spanish American war, another book by Colleen McCullough, another by Jules Verne and another history book about Daniel Boone. Add to that the fact that I’ve just been given a host of recommendations by my good friends Tuddy and Leah over in Australia and it’s going to be a very busy next few months for me. I know spring is right around the corner and many of you will have a hankering to work outside, but make sure you spend some time keeping up with your reading goals. I look forward to checking in with you at the end of the month.

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