For The Love Of Books | What I Read In February 2019

An awesome month of reading around here in February, including three that I thought were excellent. 

Here's what I read: 

  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown | 5 stars. There is nothing else to say besides this: this is an important book that should be read by everyone. Stories matter, especially of those who have been and continue to be marginalized in our society.
  • The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai | 5 stars. I loved this book. I loved the weaving of the two different time periods (1980's during the AIDS crisis in Chicago + 2015) and I loved how the author posed questions about love, friendship, memories, stories (and who gets to tell them), imperfect people (everyone), and the passage of time. It was heartbreaking and rich and beautifully written.
  • The Winter Sister by Megan Collins (BOTM) | 3 stars. A fast ready but one that was really just "okay" for me. The characters, the story, the whole thing - it was just not quite there. I've read so many better thrillers over the last few years. 
  • A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum (BOTM) | 5 stars. Loved it. Go read it. Three generations of Palestinian-American women's stories of daily life, courage, family, expectations, faith, etc. Really enjoyed the storytelling and how it all unfolded. So many times as I turned the page I kept thinking to myself how the stories of these women continue today here in the US and around the world. So, so different than my life experience. This is why I read.
  • The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani3.5 stars // Picked it up because it was included in the New York Time's 10 best books of 2018 (others I've read from that list included "There, There" and "The Great Believers" which were both really good). This book was a super quick read - read it over the course of one day - and it was interesting but not awesome. Some pieces felt disjointed - I kept waiting for the author to go deeper into the story.
  • Maid by Stephanie Land3.5 stars. As an advocate for telling your story, I generally appreciate memoirs like this that detail how lives are lived because I believe there are always things to be learned from people's experiences. While reading her story I had a wide variety of thoughts running through my head regarding poverty, single-parenthood (a piece I have lived + was thankful every single day that I had a job to support myself and my children), the way the "system" works, as well as thoughts about people I have interacted with throughout my life. From that standpoint, I'm glad I read it (and it was a super quick read).

I accidentally missed the cutoff deadline for selecting books through the Book Of The Month ambassador program for March. I'm definitely interested in reading Lot by Brian Washington and Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson. 



  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (BOTM / Amazon) | Totally enjoyed this super-fast-to-read thriller. A great way to start out the new year.
  • There There by Tommy Orange (local book club book for January) | This was a brutal book but an important read in terms of exposing ourselves to different voices - in this case Native Americans. There were lots of places I wished I would have underlined and I might just go back in and read it again for those words. It was a little confusing to follow the characters as it went back and forth - I definitely found myself flipping back to previous chapters to make sure I remembered whose perspective I was reading. Read it.
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover | Super satisfying thriller. Started it one evening and finished the next morning. Just read it.
  • The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith | Finally had a chance to start this series (written by JK Rowling under a pen name) and I totally enjoyed it. Detective mystery that kept me interested.

You can see my 2018 Reading Recap post here and what I read in 2017 here

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6 thoughts

  1. kalibetsy says…

    I finished The Great Believers last week and I cannot recommend that book enough!!!! I got me questioning all sorts of assumptions that I had about myself and memories. Also since one of my daughter's has worked in HIV research I got to ask her a bunch of questions. Such a good book - give yourself time to savor it!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      I loved it too.

  2. stephanie_howell says…

    Sounds like we feel exactly the same about Maid and The Perfect Nanny. I think we rated them exactly the same! I was so disappointed with the end of the perfect nanny.

    I’m so excited to read A Woman is No Man. I’ve heard PHENOMENAL things about it.

    I hope March is a magical reading month for you. Love you!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hoping to get that in the mail for you this week!

  3. kccrow says…

    I am newly following along (found you through your #OLW project) and love that you recap the thoughts on what you've been reading. I am in awe of how much you get through in a month! I noticed in 2018 you really loved The Great Alone and The Alice Network but not sure if you've read The Nightingale yet? If not, based on what I'm seeing from you I truly think you'll LOVE it!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Yes - read it before the other two in a previous year. So good!