February Reading Roundup

After all of the books I finished in January, February’s reading progress looks more than slightly pitiful.  Technically finished three and a half books, but as I’ve got a hundred pages left in my current read, I can’t very well include it here.

I’ve written about all three of these books briefly at some point or another, but I have yet to give them concise reviews.  Here goes:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

2/5 Stars

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In all fairness, I picked this 1100 page book up off of my backburner shelf, so it didn’t stand much of a chance.  I am an avid reader of nineteenth-century literature, but Anna Karenina did not do it for me.  I found it to be excessively verbose, and think that Tolstoy was trying to make too many points — about industrialization, politics, love, sexism, religion — and couldn’t seem to wrap it all up neatly.  Even from a critical standpoint, I don’t think that he is successful in achieving his aims.  The book seems incomplete, which is remarkable given its length.  None of this was helped by my despising all but one character: Lenin, the “lovable whiner.”

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

5/5 Stars

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Obviously, this is the book that I gave away last week (congratulations again, Holly!), so I enjoyed it quite a lot.  The narrative is thoroughly invested in its protagonist, and though I’m sure some liberties are taken with fact, it is a reputable account of life in Europe before, during, and after World War II.  It was delightfully crafted and challenging in subject matter, but it was one of the best World War II books I’ve read.

The Two Mrs. Abbotts by D. E. Stevenson

4/5 Stars

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A copy of this book was sent to me after I won Alexandra’s giveaway, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Published in 1943, this is an authentic account of British life during the second World War, but is surprisingly light.  It is a fast, humorous read that focuses on gossip and gallantry, and I quite enjoyed it.  To a certain extent, it reminded me of a show I watched on PBS growing up called Keeping Up Appearances.

What have you read lately?  Feel free to share links to your reviews below!

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