Apparently, I’m the only person who didn’t read Station Eleven during the pandemic…

Published in 2014, Emily St. John Mandel’s post-pandemic world was ahead of its time. And it was rediscovered during Covid-19 as not only brilliant, but thank-god-ours-isn’t-as-bad-as-this-one.

Yeahhh, I don’t think I’d have read it exactly that way. I did become even more grateful, and longtime readers will know that I have a daily gratitude practice. But for me, it spoke of the fragility of life and how quickly things can change.

Mandel also crafted an exceptional story told through different characters, at different times, but the novel centered around a Hollywood actor in a 7-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon kind of way.

Highly recommend.

My friend Henry told me that The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer is “fucking hilarious”, and since I do know Mortimer from British panel shows as FH, I thought, why not?

It’s a mystery told through the eyes of Gary, a very ordinary guy, who I constantly imagined as Bob, complete with his voice and everything. However, a quick scroll through reviews reveals that not everyone agrees with Henry and I.

Sigh. They obviously don’t know Henry and I.

It was a light read, which I really needed after Station Eleven. There were times I laughed so hard I cried. His character descriptions are great, and I enjoyed the story. Charming, funny, and read it in record time.

It’s not fair to include this because I’m still reading it — and to include it under “unfinished” as well. But I’m considering putting it down for a bit while I start another novel.

This isn’t because I don’t like it, but rather because I want to read one of the many books I have queued up! It’s been a long time since I’ve read two fiction books at the same time. Normally, I’d read one fiction and nonfiction, but I’m thinking because this is a short story collection, I can go between both.

Do you read more than one book at a time?


// Kathryn Ma on Growing Up a Librarian’s Daughter – unexpected and sweet

// This is 68 and 1/2: Cancer Doc Robin Schoenthaler Responds to The Oldster Magazine Questionnaire – what a beautiful unique perspective on aging and life

// The Sun magazine has a section called Readers Write which I really dig.

How was your February?

10 replies on “February 2023 Reading Roundup

  1. I just finished reading your newsletter, Lani, and was reminded of what I shouldn’t take for granted, and guess I do. The air is so clean where I now live in Portugal that my lungs burn just reading about the current air pollution and how people interact with it. I think I would have reacted a bit like you.
    On the book front, I’ve just finished Terry Pratchet’s “Soul Music”. I often reach for one of his books when I need something light. Although I read every night before going to sleep, I usually lose track of the books and months, and so often read two books at a time. Especially a fiction and a nonfiction like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s dreadful, but life must go on, and that’s exactly what I see folks doing. Sometimes I think I’m the crazy one when I see how everyone behaves, but I’ll stick with taking care of myself in the best way I know how.

      Would you believe I’ve never ready anything from Terry Pratchet? And I’ve been meaning to. I’ll remember this for next time, maybe sooner rather than later because I can’t seem to find anything after Agatha… Thanks, Jolandi!


      1. That is so interesting, especially as you enjoy fantasy novels and enjoy something with a wicked sense of humour. I always surprise myself at how much I enjoy his novels, and there are so many to choose from.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it already March!? I just can’t with this time-flying business. But, really, my February was good. Visited with my dad and sister–68 degrees in Cleveland in February, totally bizarre but nice. I also attended a literary event where I got to introduce one of my favorite writers, with a half dozen books to his name, whom I’ve interviewed a couple times over the phone for my blog, but I’d never met in person. It was a joy. After I introduced him (he didn’t know I was going to be there) he told the audience he was a big fan of mine and was a bit star-struck. I can die happy now, you know? Let’s see, reading: I have yet to read Stations Eleven. My TBR is so huge. I’m currently reading Cloud Cuckoo Land, which just might take me all year–it’s gigantic. I always read multiple books at a time. Right now, also Ross Gay’s Inciting Joy. And I just got a haul from the library, including The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty, which was reviewed at my blog yesterday. Can’t believe I missed that one. Bug hugs, Lani, and sorry about the tome here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds absolutely smashing. I’ll need to hit my WP reader and catch up with the world. And it sounds like you are also on a good reading streak. Very nice. It reminds me of when I looked back at my 2022 list, how I wanted to do better — and more! Hugs! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello from Pennsylvania. I just started The Wayward Bus, by John Steinbeck. I hope I like it. If it hasn’t grabbed me by page 40, I’ll put it aside. I’ve read a number of his books over the years, the best of which is The Grapes Of Wrath. Neil S.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, page 40 is the magic number, eh? I can’t say I have one. I haven’t read much from Steinbeck, just the obligatory Of Mice and Men in high school — but I really liked it. Which is saying a lot about a young woman from Hawaii. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

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