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The books on my February 2019 reading list all feel like they have a little darker tinge to them than my normal reading.
While my regular reading doesn’t always veer “light,” these ones feel less steeped in world/political/social issues (natural must-reads, for me) and more like they are just darker tales of life, relationships, and some thrills.
Winter feels like a fitting time for this type of book. The tone seems right for dark, cold days, but my mindset (as I’m wishing spring would just arrive already) is not necessarily right for “issues” reads.
Choosing February’s Reads
I’m taking a chance on a number of these selections. The first two books below are from debut authors, and I have no preconceptions going in–I do always like finding a promising debut author, though!
Thrillers are hit-and-miss for me, and I’ve never read Fiona Barton before. I tend to go into thrillers looking for a writing style and way of telling a mystery that I can get behind for future reads.
The order is tall for thriller writers: I’m not just looking for one good book, but an author I can return to again and again when I’m looking for that type of book.
Lisa Jewell is my latest go-to thriller author, and unfortunately, there just aren’t many others! I want to be surprised, but I don’t like gimmicky twists–though well-done, smart twists that make sense with the story AND that I didn’t see coming are welcome. I’m hopeful that Fiona Barton may be added to my short-list of reliable thriller authors.
Diane Setterfield is another unusual selection for me. I have high hopes for her new book, based on the many positive reviews I’ve seen, but I’m hesitant about the magical elements.
Her previous book, The Thirteenth Tale, also has positive reviews, but I haven’t read it. Perhaps I’ll discover an affinity for magical realism?
David Sedaris is a go-to audiobook author and narrator for me, so a new book from him always feels like a treat.
While he tends toward a dark and sometimes macabre sense of humor, this time his subject matter–which includes the suicide of his sister–will likely make for a more difficult listen than I’m used to from him.
It’s a delicate line to walk, between difficult topics and humor, and I’m hopeful–and relatively confident–that he will get it right.
I’m linking up with Literary Quicksand, Rachel at Never Enough Novels, and Allison at My Novel Life for the TBR Mix ‘n Mingle. On the first Wednesday of each month we share the books we’re planning to read.
Books on My February 2019 Reading List
This debut novel promises to be a funny, perceptive story that flips the traditional tale of inheritance woes on its head. Professor Arthur Alter is struggling and about to lose his home, but his two children are living off the inheritance that his late wife secretly left directly to them. He invites them to St. Louis with the promise of reconciliation, but the reunion doesn’t quite go as planned.
I love books about family dramas, but I must admit to a few reservations about this one. With a blurb by Gary Shteyngart, whose Super Sad True Love Story did not work for me, and comparisons to Jonathan Franzen, who is also not my favorite, the marketing isn’t geared to my tastes. Nonetheless, the aspects of family, privilege, and campus have convinced me to give it a try.
Release date: March 5, 2019
This story of two families vacationing in Mexico–and all the ways it goes wrong–sounds like a perfect summer read, or just a good read for a month when I’m longing for summer. With comparisons to Meg Wolitzer, Emma Straub, and Delia Ephron, I’m hoping this will be the kind of light-but-smart read that hits my light reading sweet spot.
Release date: March 12, 2019
I’ve had good luck with thrillers so far this year, and this psychological thriller about two girls who go missing while traveling in Thailand sounds intriguing. It combines several interesting elements–some straight from the headlines and others from books that have worked for me before: young adults missing while traveling, families piecing together their paths, and family drama.
This story of a little girl who is seemingly brought back to life one dark evening in a small English town has the potential to be utterly absorbing–or to not work for me at all. The question of how the child revived is just the beginning. Three separate families have been grappling with missing little girls, and each is sure this girl belongs with them. With a summary that reads as eerie, intriguing, and a little magical, I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
David Sedaris was my first foray into audiobooks and I still sometimes return to old favorites if I don’t have a good listen in the queue. This one promises to provide his signature humor and delivery, with a little more darkness and poignance. Issues such as aging, suicide, and politics all get the Sedaris treatment here, and I’m a little afraid I’ll burst out laughing inappropriately while listening at the gym–inappropriate for both the location and the topic playing in my ear. It will be worth it.
What are you reading in February?