This month was short, but I was able to tuck into some really great reads. In total I read 7 books. This month was a little sporadic not just in my reading time but also in what I selected. I have been trying to use the library more (hello, book budget!) but that sometimes means that a book come available when you are in the middle of or in the mood for something else. This month multiple books came up so it sort of messed up my flow a little. Here are a few of my favorites from the month of February.

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) by Louise Penny

Several years ago a friend of mine recommended the Robert Galbraith mystery series penned by J.K. Rowling. Until then I don’t think I had read a mystery novel since The Westing Game in middle school or Agatha Christie in high school. I don’t really enjoy psychological thrillers or unreliable narrators but I do really love a good murder mystery. I usually prefer female protagonist or detectives (thank you Tana French) but several people recommended Louise Penny’s series featuring Inspector Armand Gamache so I decided to give the first book in the series Still Life a try. I enjoyed the small town setting of Three Pines and the care in which Penny takes in building this world and it’s many, quirky inhabitants. At times I felt it moved too slow, but it more than paid off in the end. I look forward to reading others in this series.

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler

I mentioned Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason in my monthly newsletter but I think it’s so good it’s worth sharing here as well. Bowler was diagnosed with cancer at 35 years old, just two year after she and her husband welcomed their long awaited son into the world. In addition to being a mother and wife, Bowler is an American Religious History professor at Duke Divinity School where she specializes in prosperity theology–they popular American theology that says if you pray hard enough and do all the right things and avoid sin God will bless you abundantly. Of course, the converse of this theology is that if something happens to you it must be because you have done something to bring it on, some act of faithlessness or unbelief or sin. It is at the intersection of this theological background and Bowler’s own story that this book lies. Bowler through her own life-threatening illness deconstructs all the less than helpful ways we try to support one another, examines what we really need in crisis and does so with grace and wit.

Selected Poems of Edna St Vincent Millay: An Annotated Edition edited by Timothy F Jackson

It’s been a while since I have found a collection of poetry that has really inspired me to dig in and read poem after poem. I first spotted this collection at a book store but decided to wait and totally regretted it. Several months later I found a copy of Selected Poems of Edna St Vincent Millay in the rather slim selection of poetry at my local used bookstore and snatched it up for half the price of the new copy I regretted not purchasing. So obviously this is a total bibliophile win. I love it when a collection has a nice balance of classic, well known poems and lesser known works.

My to be read pile for March is too high but I am looking forward to the end of the month when spring shows its fickle self in warm afternoons reading outdoors.

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