Looking Back: February

I bring to you the second of a seven or so part series, looking back on my 2011 pre-blogging reads.

February
 was a much better month for reading than January.

Total: 9 books
7 fiction                          78%
2 nonfiction                   28%
5 female authors           56%
3 works in translation   33%

Algerian White, Assia Djebar*** This memoir was good, and I would have enjoyed it more if I had any idea who or what she was talking about. It’s the author’s recounting of Algeria’s struggle for independence,and many of the intellectuals who lost their lives during the events. I definitely want to read more by Djebar, especially An Algerian Cavalcade, which has been on my TBR list for well over a year.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
, Alison Bechdel***** Graphic novel about a young woman growing up, coming out as a lesbian, and discovering her father was gay. Really, really good. Bechdel is also famous for the Bechdel movie test, which a film passes if it has 1) Two named female characters 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. It’s scary how many movies fail, big time.

Circle of Magic: Daja’s Book
, Tamora Pierce****I was running out of reading material and had these on my shelves, leftover from my classroom library days. I had heard Tamora Pierce wrote really strong, well rounded female characters, so I gave these a try. I was pleasantly surprised.
Circle of Magic: Tris’s Book, Tamora Pierce****See above.
Circle of Magic: Sandry’s Book, Tamora Pierce****See above.

I am the Messenger, Markus Zusak***Disappointing. I really liked The Book Thief, but this was not as strong. Just…enh. Not bad, but not anything I’d read again, or gush over.

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
, Jorge Amado**** Cute, fun story with magical realism elements dealing with what makes the title character a happy wife.

The Death of Artemio Cruz
, Carlos Fuentes***This was really well written, but the graphic subject matter got to be a bit much for me. I’d give Fuentes another try, though. 

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
, Raymond Carver***I was stranded at the airport and started chatting with a guy in the same position. He was a reader, and insisted I borrow this for the flight home. I read the whole short story collection on a 2 hour flight. It was good, but I wish I had more time with it to better reflect my thoughts.

Assia Djbar. I just really like this picture by Irmeli Jung, so I’m posting it.
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