February Book List

Ok, so I am an avid reader. And with all this time on my hands I read A LOT. So, in order to keep track of what I am reading, and also to appease some of my friends with more blogging, I am going to keep track of what I have finished each month and what I thought about it. I will put up this particular post now, and continue adding to it until the month is over.

These are all the books I have finished in Febrary 2010

1. Roommates Wanted Until You Fall in Love… by Lisa Jewell
This book was cute. It is set in London and is about a man who lives in a big house with an assorted crew of roommates. The lead man, Toby (whose name I love, because my dog shares it), wants to get all of these people out of his house. But, as they have been living there for anywhere up to 15 years this proves difficult. All the characters are very unique, but this very much was a “read it to pass the time but it will have absolutely no impact on your life” type of book. It was light and cheery and I forgot it almost as soon as I set it down.

2. Land of the Blind by Jess Walter.
When I heard about Jess’s visit to WSU, I wanted to read at least one of his books. So I did, back in January. I was immediately impressed. So this is my second book of his. It is about a man who comes in to confess to a crime. He starts writing down his story on a legal pad and is still going more than 19 hours and three pads later. The story alternates between this man, Clark Mason, and the female detective, Caroline Mabry. Clark starts his “Statement of Fact” back when he is five years old. So the story switches between present and past. Jess does so with skill, however, and as a reader I was completely entranced and not at all confused. I loved it!

3. Citizen Vince by Jess Walter
My third book by Jess, this one details the story of Vince Camden. Camden is a small-time crook, focusing mainly on stealing credit cards. He is a part of the witness protection program. The story takes place in the 80s and Vince works with detective Alan Dupree, who shows up in most of the other books by Jess. He will later serve as mentor and friend to Caroline, the detective in the last book. As the plot unfolds, the reader is sucked in as mafia hitmen show up on the quiet streets of Spokane.

4. Over Tumbled Graves by Jess Walter
Jess’s first novel, this book focuses on a prositute killer loose on the streets of Spokane, where nearly all of his books take place. This book explains the relationship between detectives Mabry and Dupree. When Jess was still a journalist, he wrote about Spokane prositute murderer Robert L. Yates. While this book was certainly thrilling and had an ending that I certainly did not expect, it was my least favorite of Jess’s books that I have read so far.

5. Every Knee Shall Bow by Jess Walter
This was actually Jess’ first book, a work of non-fiction. It was about the Weaver family who had very strong religious and anti-government beliefs. They moved to a cabin in the middle of the woods of Idaho. Their extreme views and actions led to a stand-off between the family and the FBI. Mrs. Weaver and her son were killed during the fight. This book describes the tragedy and details what happened in that cabin on Ruby Ridge. It was tragic and enthralling.

6. Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer 
I must admit that I did not actually read this book. I listened to it on CD with my many travels around the state this month. I also must admit that some of the plot twists caused me to commit at least one traffic infraction. Just a hint, if someone shows up dead that you are not expecting to, you may drive through a red light. This book was entertaining from beginning to end. It tells the story of Agnes, a food columnist, and Shane, the government hitman who is there to protect her. Oh, and the person who asked him to protect her is a former mob boss. There are many twists and turns and quite a few surprises.

7. Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
I started reading books by this author because her first series was set in the area where my grandfather grew up. I kept reading because I like her style. The main character in this book is named Valentine and she makes special, one-of-a-kind wedding shoes. The book details her exploits with her big Italian family and the problems they are facing in America. The characters are both believable and likable and this is my favorite of Adriana’s books thus far.

8. Are you there vodka? It’s me Chelsea. By Chelsea Handler
Funny. That is all it is supposed to be. Little stories that keep you laughing. It does its job well and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

9. The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips
This is the second book by this author. I read the first over Christmas break and could not wait to read the second. She writes historical fiction mixed with modern day fiction. So the book follows a historian, Claire Donovan, who is trying to solve old mysteries, and characters of the mystery Claire is solving. The back and forth is not confusing, but instead draws the reader deeper into the story. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get transported to a different time for a while.

I don’t know how she does it by Allison Pearson
I just want to start off by saying I do not have a career, a husband or children. I do think, however, that my work at the Daily Evergreen last semester could have filled in for all of these things. Although I don’t have any of these things, I generally enjoy reading books about people who do. I also love books set in other countries (England, Ireland, Australia, etc) because it makes me feel like I am there for just a little while. This book as all of these things, but somehow it lacked the abillity to really grab my attention. It took me  a while to get into it and I never really connected or truly cared about any of the characters, except for 6-year-old Emily, who is actually a pretty minor character.

Elsewhere in the land of parrot by Jim Paul
Read this one in one day. I didn’t really know what to expect but these characters were adorable and it was an easy read. The story follows David, a poet living in San Francisco, and Fern, a graduate student studying birds in Ecuador. David recently won a grant for his poetry and is a bit of a recluse, only emerging from his house when absolutely necessary and wearing earplugs nearly all the time, to shut out all noise. Fern is adventurous and leaves her safe home and fiance in Tucson in order to follow her passion to South America. One day, David’s father gives him a parrot, Pepito. The parrot proves to be too much for David, so he throws it out the window but soon regrets this decision and he follows it down the road. The story switches back and forth between Fern and David and I enjoyed it very much.

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