Month in Review: February 2016

Book of the Month


This month, I was blown away by Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. I was expecting to learn a lot of difficult but important information from this book about “medicine and what matters in the end,” but I wasn’t expecting it to be so beautifully written or so personal — I really appreciated how Dr. Gawande honestly shared his experiences both as a physician and as the son of an aging parent. Along with last month’s Just Mercy, this is another book I think that everyone should read.

I’ve been so pleased to see more reviews for Reading New England this month: A Prayer for Owen Meany (New Hampshire), Understood Betsy (Vermont), The Blithedale Romance (Massachusetts), and Olive Kitteridge, The Country of the Pointed Firs, Fogged Inn, and Town in a Blueberry Jam (all set in Maine). Please keep them coming, and don’t forget that there are post linkup pages to help us find them: one each for State Posts and Genre Posts.

As for me, for my focus on fiction this month, I read Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Houseactually a fictionalized version of the author’s real-life travails while building a house in Connecticut. I hope to watch the movie soon as well, which seems to have emphasized the comedy in this tragicomic story.



Other Books Read

  • Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse by Faith Sullivan
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout – Reading New England
  • The Child from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge – Review to come
  • Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear – Review to come
  • Gifts, Voices, and Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin – Series reread
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett – Reading New England


Other Features and Events

  • I read Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Rachel Swaby for Doing Dewey’s Nonfiction Book Club. The short profiles were fascinating, but made me want to learn more about each and every one of these amazing women.
  • My post recommending The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope was published as part of Falling in Love with Books at Bookish Illuminations. Thanks to Katie for including me!
  • I participated in Book Blogger Appreciation Week and had a blast! I’m so glad this event was revived, and I’ll definitely be back next year.
  • In my monthly discussion post, I asked Am I a writer? It was wonderful to see how this question struck a chord with so many.

Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

20 thoughts on “Month in Review: February 2016

  1. I am now adding Being Mortal to my wishlist. I thought at first it might be too grim, too melancholy, but I think I might enjoy the experience of reading it. I already have Just Mercy on my Kindle thanks to my son, who is in law school and likes to read (and share) legal books.
    Have a good week!


    1. I didn’t find it melancholy, though much of the information is sobering. I learned that it’s really important to face those “grim” facts of the end of life before it’s too late, even though it’s difficult — for medical professionals as much as for their patients.


  2. I read Being Mortal 2 months ago, and I agree that it was really well written. But I can also say that I no longer look forward to growing old. 😉 Headstrong was another great book that made me want to read so much more about all those amazing scientists. It had never occurred to me that the Apgar score was “invented” by a woman of that name.


    1. There are a lot of dismaying things to look forward to as we age. But what I found inspiring about Being Mortal was that there are ways can make the experience better for ourselves and our loved ones, if we are able to look at the hard questions. This has to happen on a medical/societal level as well as a personal level for real change, but at least it’s a start.

      I also want to read more about many of the women in Headstrong. I have novels about Maria Sibylla Merian and Caroline Herschel on my list that look really interesting.


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