Nerdy Book Review – February
Honestly – February was a rough month in our household.
Usually I stand up for February when everyone else is saying how it’s so cold and dark and snowy. It’s my birthday month so I feel a certain amount of affection for this lonely month. The beginning was fun with birthday celebrations with friends and family.
It was the rest of the month that felt like the universe was challenging us.
I posted a little bit about it over on Instagram so you may have already seen this but if you didn’t within just one week …
We had to go to urgent care for A who accidentally cut himself while we were cooking together. It was a bad cut too. He managed to slice a nerve and has had to see an orthopedic specialist a couple times to see if he’ll need surgery. So far no, but he’s got another follow up in a couple weeks. Then just a few days later, on Valentine’s Day actually, the apartment we have in our basement flooded and we spent the week trying to save the carpet and the weekend putting in new floors when it couldn’t be. We also had my credit card number compromised. Plus a scary incident with an aggressive dog who was tied up outside but managed to break his rope to get to us and attack Odin. Odin’s fine but it was scary enough that I’m now avoiding that house.
Basically I’m just happy we survived this month.
That I managed to read a couple good books feels like a huge success.
Survivors on the Yoga Mat by Becky Thompson
This was my good yoga book of the month.
One of my friends is a social worker and she suggested this one. Together we talk a lot about the healing power of yoga, not only in the physical sense but mentally and spiritually as well.
This book is a testament to that. It’s subtitle is “Stories from Those Healing From Trauma” and the author includes a lot of her own life stories as well as many yogis she has met through the years. I read it mostly as a teacher wanting to understand where some of my students might be coming from but I found the stories so inspiring and relatable as a student as well. She speaks to any of us going through struggles on or off the mat, the challenges that we all face in some way or another.
It’s a book I’ll keep going back to, reading maybe just one section to find inspiration when I need it.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I’ve wanted to be part of a book club for awhile so at the end of last year I asked a few friends if they were interested and just like that we’ve got our own mini book club. Makes me wonder why I put things off for so long. So far it’s been only 3 or 4 of us, but even with a small group I love it.
This book was my choice, and I really wanted to read it, yet when I finally got the book I was a little hesitant to start. I knew it was going to be heart-wrenching and I’m an easy crier when it comes to books or movies. I did definitely cry while reading it but gosh I really loved this book.
It’s a mostly true story written by a neurosurgeon who in his final year of his residency finds out he has cancer. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that his wife writes the epilogue after he has passed away. It’s really his journey, or struggle, to understand death. First as a surgeon as he helps his patients, or families of patients, struggle with life altering diagnoses and then as he himself has to face the possibility of his own death.
I don’t want to say too much because I couldn’t even attempt to capture how lovely this book is. So many lines stuck out to me but this was one of my favorites:
“I would have to learn to live in a different way, seeing death as an imposing itinerant visitor but knowing that even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.” (page 149-150).
It’s a short book and a pretty quick read. I totally recommend it.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
A and I were looking for something to watch when we stumbled upon the movie adaptation of this book. It came out in 2007, which is 10 years ago now, and was such a fun surprise. I really loved it, it had a very Princess Bride feel which was my favorite movie as a kid.
So after watching it I found the audiobook on Hoopla*
Neil Gaiman reads this one himself. I love the idea of listening to an author read his own words, and Neil Gaiman does a great job. I listened to most of it while I was painting the trim in our bedroom. It’s just a fun story.
The beginning bothers me a little bit, I have to admit. It’s about a boy who is trying to win the affection of this girl, despite the fact that she says multiple times that she’s not interested. No means no and it really bothered me how insistent he was that she love him. In trying to win her heart he goes in search of a star and ends up on this whole adventure. The adventure part was great, I just had a hard time getting past that beginning.
I’m a pretty literal person I take things as they are said and I do that in reading too. It’s actually something I feel pretty self-conscious about. I have a hard time finding the hidden meaning sometimes because I get so caught up in the actual words. So I might be missing the point. If you’ve read the story and can help me understand that part, feel free to enlighten me! Over all I did enjoy the book.
Did you read any good books in February? I’m always looking for more books to read!
*Hoopla’s a fun app where you sign in with your library card and get to download free audiobooks! My new favorite app 🙂