Hydrangeas already coming back up!
February can be a such a tease! Here in the NW we can have days of endless rain but low and behold, sometime by mid-month we have a few days of warm weather and we are all ready for spring. Especially the flowers! For a few days I can ditch the coat, dream of potted plants and outdoor furniture, and actually sit outside and enjoy the sun! But not for long.....within a week I'm back in front of the fire, curled up under a blanket with a book.
This was one of those weekends. So, I was back inside with a stack of books. I've been reading so much lately. This shouldn't come as a surprise, I am a librarian after all. But, honestly, finding time to read during the last year has been SO HARD. When you work long days reading emails, reports, articles, it's not always the first thing you want to do when you get home. But, I vowed that this year I would make time for the things that are important to me, that fill me up. And reading is my therapy.
I see new books every day. Part of my job is to decide which books head to the new book shelf and which ones get interfiled with the rest of our collection at the library. January, February, and March are quiet in the publishing world so fewer books are debuted before spring when things pick up again. That doesn't mean there aren't ANY new good books, just fewer of them. (Summer and Fall are the sweet spots in the world of books!) And January 2016 did not disappoint. Last month I read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I love a memoir sometimes for the shock value, but mostly because I appreciate the human spirit and the reassurance that we are all going through life together. I am grateful when someone has the courage to share their experience. This book broke my heart and then put it back together with the story of a dying man who spent his limited time looking at and living life in ways I could never imagine. Life is precious and beautiful. Wow.
My Name is Lucy Barton is another brand new book, this one a novel about the relationship between a mother and daughter and life's disappointments. The book takes place in a hospital overlooking the Empire State Building as the narrator, Lucy Barton, lies in a hospital bed recounting her childhood and life while her mother looks on. While it sounds depressing, it wasn't. Elizabeth Strout is a wonderful writer and I appreciated the human element in her words.
Did you know that the New York Times Book Review has a podcast? Reviews from the weekly publication AND author interviews. Perfect for a commute.
The Millions is a blog about books. It's been around since 2003 and has an archive. Ever heard of it?
BookPage is a publication available to libraries (and maybe also bookstores?) with an online companion site.
Looking for something sort-of recent that might actually be available at your local library? Kirkus Reviews, the venerable publication trusted by librarians everywhere, offers a Best of 2015 list for fiction, nonfiction, and children, among others. (Truthfully, they have great reviews, but the magazine is text heavy and black and white so the website is WAY better!)
And then there's Book Club Girl. Book Club Girl actually works for Harper Collins, but her reviews are good, there's a podcast, and plenty of links to other reading sites.
Finally, if you like to judge a book by it's cover perhaps you'll enjoy Book Browse. This online magazine for book lovers covers fiction and non-fiction which includes a read-alike page where you can find recommendations based on popular books.