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What You're Reading in February!

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New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Hello! It's February! What have you been reading? What *are* you reading? Come on in and find refuge from chilly, gloomy February, and talk all about it.


message 2: by Martha (new)

Martha | 13 comments It’s February already! This is usually the month when I begin to think about spring, knowing full well we are still in the midst of winter.

In January I finished The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I picked this up because it won the Pulitzer Prize, and it seemed like something outside of my usual subject area. This book was so wonderfully written. It was a complex story, so I really had to pay attention - it was not a light read, not at all. Spies do some unsavory things in this novel!

For February, I am reading a few things, or at least, attempting to read a few things! I started Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link on my Kindle. I have never read anything by her, and I am excited to read one of her short story collections. I am just at the beginning, but so far it is gripping, in an eerie and strange way. I felt quite uneasy as I read the first story while on a treadmill at my gym. I’m not sure what kind of journey this will be but I am intrigued!

I am also reading the book, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. In this non-fiction memoir, Hope Jahren talks about her life, her research, and the science of plants. So far it’s very good and written in a way that everyone can relate to.

Then I also have an audiobook started. That is, The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. It is about a couple who have been married a long time, but the wife decides she wants to leave her husband. This isn’t a spoiler since she declares this to the reader in the first paragraphs of the book. Last year I read The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (which the NJ State Library has) and really liked it, so I have high hopes that this will also be good.

Finally, I also got the graphic novel, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, out of my library. I hope I can incorporate this into my reading as well, but I may be overextending.

Do you all ever have times, when you overextend your reading plan and start a whole bunch of books at once??


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul (paintedpixels) | 10 comments So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book group. It was a very enjoyable historical fiction novel with a focus on American folk art, so I'll be very interested in seeing their reaction to it.

I'm also trying to go through all of the YALSA Top Ten Books for Teens for 2016. I've started with The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. I'm halfway through and am really getting into it so far!


message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey | 4 comments I am currently reading Behind the Shattered Glass by Tasha Alexander. I have enjoyed the previous books in this series, so i have high hopes for this one.

I have a *huge* pile waiting for me after that due to yesterday's visit to my local library and a Friends of Library book sale. Yay!


New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Audrey wrote: "I am currently reading Behind the Shattered Glass by Tasha Alexander. I have enjoyed the previous books in this series, so i have high hopes for this one.

I have a *huge* pile waiting for me after..."


Hi, Audrey - library book sales are the *best*! I love that you can get both recent bestsellers, and strange old titles that have been sitting around in someone's attic for years.

I've never read anything by Tasha Alexander, but that series sounds really interesting! I like the idea of Victorian detective novels - I think I might pick up the first book.

Thanks for telling me about what you're reading!


New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book group. It was a very enjoyable historical fictio..."

Hi, Paul - thanks for talking about what you're reading! So, in what way did The Seventh Most Important Thing focus on folk art? That sounds pretty intriguing! And do you find that you have little time for reading that isn't related to your various young adult book groups?


New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Martha wrote: "It’s February already! This is usually the month when I begin to think about spring, knowing full well we are still in the midst of winter.

In January I finished The Sympathizer by..."


Martha! You're like a reading machine! Good gravy! How is Lab Girl? I've wanted to pick that up. And I'm so interested in Kelly Link's new short story collection, Get In Trouble, but it always mysteriously disappears from my library, which I suppose is apropos for a spooky collection of short stories.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul (paintedpixels) | 10 comments New Jersey State Library wrote: "Paul wrote: "So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book group. It was a very enjoyable hist..."

One of the main characters in the book is a man named James Hampton, who was an actual folk artist from the 60s. In the book and in real life Hampton said he would have visions, which prompted him to make an art piece in his garage over 13 years made mostly from glass, cardboard, cans, etc but put together in really intricate ways. The piece is called "The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly". He died of cancer before finishing it, and it eventually found its way to the Smithsonian. You can see it here:
http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=9897

Reading for two book groups a month keeps me busy, but I do try to read something for myself in between groups! Although even then, it's USUALLY YA as well!


message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha | 13 comments Paul wrote: "New Jersey State Library wrote: "Paul wrote: "So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book gr..."

This is so interesting! I can't believe he made that art piece out of those materials! I definitely want to read this now - my interest is piqued.


New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "New Jersey State Library wrote: "Paul wrote: "So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book gr..."

Ah! I love folk art, in general. I like that it's usually people with no formal art training communicating their very particular vision, often to themselves or for themselves. I think it's a lot more interesting than more formal contemporary or modern art, certainly. Thanks for sharing that!


New Jersey State Library (newjerseystatelibrary) | 48 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "New Jersey State Library wrote: "Paul wrote: "So far for February I've just finished The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Perasall, which I read for my middle school book gr..."

Also, more off-topic folk art stuff: I had to visit Houston, TX a few years ago, and the Orange Center was the most interesting thing to me there. Their website is here: http://orangeshow.org/, and it is super fun to look at. Folk art! Is! Amazing!


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