February Reading

These are the books I read in February (with some comments):

Ongoing projects:

  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
    138 pages, my quota for February. Still enjoying it.
  • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
    Ca. 35 pages – didn’t have as much time to read in February. It’s still interesting and I’ll keep on. Will try to read a bit more than that in March.


  • Ted Hughes, Collected Poems
    Still find this one challenging and read but a few poems.
  • Helen Gardner (ed.) The New Oxford Book of English Verse
    I read the first 29 poems in this anthology. I’ve owned it since my days at university but have only read a few poems here and there. I thought it might be a good idea to do poetry reading with this book – it gives an overview of the development of poetry since Chaucer. I particularly liked the poem “Philip Sparrow” by John Skelton. It’s about the death of a pet sparrow, and how the funeral is organized with a flock of different birds taking the roles of the officiants. Here’s an excerpt:

    When I remember again
    How my Philip was slain,
    Never half the pain
    Was between you twain,
    Pyramus and Thisbe,
    As then befell to me,
    I wept and I wailed,
    The teares down hailed,
    But nothing it availed
    To call Philip again
    Whom Gib, our cat, hath slain.

Short stories:

  • Ramona Asubel, A Guide to Being Born: Stories
  • Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger (eds), A Study in Sherlock: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
  • Christine Lucas, Fates and Furies
    I’ll write a separate post with some details about the stories I liked best.


  • Jon Kabat-Zinn, Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important. Coming to Our Senses Part I
    I find Kabat-Zinn’s works on meditation to be interesting and helpful for my meditation practice. I plan to read the whole series. I can also warmly recommend Full Catastrophe Living (about MBSR mindfulness-based stress reduction) which I read a couple of years ago.

Graphic novel:

  • Nora Krug, Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home
    This is an excellent memoir-type graphic novel where Krug explores her family’s and home town’s involvement with the Nazi regime. As a German, I can relate particularly well to this story. It should be interesting for anyone who wants to learn about what it’s like to live with that kind of family history.


  • Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
    Loved it, rather to my surprise. I’d expected it to be boring. I’ll write a separate post about it.
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye and Sula
    I enjoyed both novels very much (they were both rereads, but I hadn’t read them for a long time). I’m in the middle of writing a separate post about Sula and I’ve already written one about The Bluest Eye. Be warned, both reviews contain spoilers!

No vacation in February and it was a short month. So, I didn’t manage to read as much as I did in January, but I did manage to meet my monthly reading goal, although it was a near thing.

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