What I Read in February-May Catch-Up

I am really surprised to tell you that Covid-19 threw a HUGE wrench in my reading life!  You would think this would be the most productive reading binge of my life.  NO.  It was terrible!  

In February we had a busy month with Valentines celebrations, a birthday, sick kids, and work in the evenings!  I was also doing a lot of research in my free time in prep for our upcoming move.

Then, in blew March.  A few days after our town went on full lock-down, I went on an unexpected trip to see my parents (my dad had a spinal injury).  When I got home I found I spent my normal reading time on media: reading the latest news, listening to podcasts, and processing to David or friends.  So from March through May I guess you could say my reading life was replaced with taking in a lot of new information about the world and then trying to process it.  Exhausting!  I’m sure some of you can relate.

I typically inhale non fiction, but I just could not seem to process that much information in the throes of Covid.  So without realizing it, I slowed my pace and read three fiction books and an inspirational book.  It was actually some of the best fiction reading I’ve had in a while!  All of my typical non fiction is currently in a stack on my nightstand (or unread in my Kindle!)  

Here is what I read:

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I started this book on audio and finished it in print, which of course I liked much better. If you want to read more Jane Austen but are intimidated by thick books, try this one.  It is perfectly Austen with all the suspense of who the protagonist Anne Elliot is going to end up with—minus the intimidating length.  I skipped to the back to see the ending, as I always do.  It’s a bad habit, but it’s one of my guilty reading pleasures! 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Sometimes my sister and I unknowingly buy the same pair of shoes or earrings at the same time (we live across the country from each other), but this time it was this book!  This is a beautifully descriptive novel about an abandoned girl who learns to survive and raise herself in the swamps of South Carolina.  Her love for swamp life turns her into a world-renown, self-taught naturalist and artist.  (This really got me in the Charlotte Mason/unschooling feels.)  Of course, there is an epic romance AND a mysterious murder.  I can’t whole-heartedly recommend this book because there were a couple of spots that contained sexual content that was unnecessarily graphic.  If I’d known it was in there I probably wouldn’t have picked up the book.  But the volume of that content was low enough that once it was past I did not feel a need to put the book aside.  (I unfortunately find myself having to abandon a lot of modern fiction for that reason. I guess that’s why I read Austen and L.M. Montgomery!)  Everything else about the book was incredible.  

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

This is one of the more unique novels I’ve ever read.  It’s from the perspective of a young asthmatic boy whose older brother commits a murder in defense of their younger sister.  The story follows the domino on effect this act has on the family.  I love the theme of miracles and supernatural happenings that follow the father throughout this story.  I also LOVE books with nurturing, motherly characters and this novel has a lovely one.  The ending was surprising, bittersweet and yet very satisfying.  

The Cozy Minimalist by Myquillin Smith

The title guarantees this book is something I’d have to read! I followed Myquillin (The Nester) as a home decor blogger in my early days of blogging.  She wrote a book called the Nesting Place that I bought and gave as gifts to everyone. Thanks to her years of blogging, she knows how to break down decorating your home into approachable elements and do-able steps. One thing I love about her is that she never let being a renter stop her from decorating her house.  This Nester book was the perfect prescription as we transition from being home owners to renters.  

How did Covid treat your reading life this spring?