February 2019 Reading List
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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
The Altruists: A Novel
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
Tomorrow There Will Be Sun: A Novel
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
Related: Reviews of The Altruists and Tomorrow There Will Be Sun
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.
Related: Reviews of The Suspect and Other February 2019 Reads
Once Upon a River: A Novel
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?
I just downloaded Tomorrow There Will Be Sun from Edelweiss! Loved Delia Ephron’s Siracusa, so fingers crossed. And loved Calypso as well – hope you like it!
Oh, I didn’t read Siracusa, but I was eyeing the audiobook a few weeks ago. I’m not sure it’s the “right” kind of audiobook for me, but at the same time it seems like a good way to catch up on backlist that I missed.
I’m hoping Tomorrow There Will Be Sun is a good one!
Your first couple of books haven’t even been on my radar, but both look very interesting. I’m off to investigate further. Thank you!
I haven’t really seen much either. I’ve kind of been perusing the Edelweiss and Netgalley descriptions and choosing that way, just to try my luck at it and see if I come across any gems. We’ll see how it goes!
I JUST finished listening to Calypso on audiobook. Hilarious! You really can’t go wrong with Sedaris. And just wait until you get to the story containing Calypso. So random and disturbing, yet hilarious. Hope you enjoy it!
So glad to hear that you enjoyed Calypso! I can’t wait for this one!
I think The Altruists sounds interesting – I’m always intrigued by stories about money within families or that sort of thing. I’ll be coming back to see what you think.
I also have Once Upon a River that I’m hoping to get to soon… I’ve heard good things. Hope you like it!
My TBR if you’re interested: https://www.hungry-bookworm.com/2019/02/06/tbr-list-february-2019/
Oooo Tomorrow There Will Be Sun caught my eye! It sounds a little like Siracusa by Delia Ephron.
I havent heard of any of these! I love it. The Altruists looks like something i would enjoy
Tomorrow There Will Be Sun sounds interesting! Especially if it can be light AND smart!
I always hear great things about Sedaris, but haven’t gotten around to reading any of his yet. Looking forward to seeing what you think of Calypso!
Definitely listen to one of Sedaris’ books when you get a chance to try one! His delivery is the best.
I’m intrigued by Tomorrow There Will be Sun because I loved Ephron’s Siracusa. I can’t wait to see what you think about it.
I’m halfway through The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls and it is really good. Dysfunctional family drama kind of good!