My book count was high for February, but don’t let that fool you. Warlight took me a while to get through, and the rest were pretty quick reads. Here is my take on this list:

A Spark of Light // Jodi Picoult

I’m a fangirl of Jodi Picoult. I probably have at least 15 of her books on my shelf. Her stories always present a moral conflict, which she presents throughout the novel, weaving alternating sides between relatable characters. As a “one,” I’m constantly seeking truth and always enjoy watching these types of moral dilemmas play out. This book plays out quite a bit different than her other novels. The book begins at the end of the story and fills in the gaps as time ticks backwards. The plot is about the only women’s health care clinic in Mississippi that also handles abortions. There is an angry man who shoots up the place and takes hostages. The rest of the book is spent diving into each character’s history, the complexities of women’s health care, abortion, and life. It wasn’t my favorite of Picoult’s books, but it was a solid 4/5.

The Only Woman In The Room // Marie Benedict

If you’ve followed my book lists for a while, you know that I usually have at least one WWII era novel on here. This historical fiction novel profiles Hedy Lamarr, who was a Jewish Austrian actress, married to an arms dealer during the beginning of the second world war. She escapes Austria for the U.S. and uses not only her fame but also her wit to help win the war through developing frequency hopping technology. It’s based on a true biography that I had never heard before. Through Hedy’s story, we can see the disparity between women and men in this era.At times, I felt the dialogue was a little cheesy, but I thoroughly enjoyed the plot.

Salt // Nayyirah Waheed

I swallowed this book of poetry in less than an hour. I couldn’t put it down. Her writing is exquisite, deep, moving, and challenging. If you enjoyed any of Rupi Kaur’s work, you will enjoy this.

Sing Unburied Sing // Jesmyn Ward

Several of my friends said this was at the top of their lists for 2018, so I knew it had to be on mine for 2019. Jesmyn’s writing transcends us to another world. She interweaves southern slang with poetic nuances taking us on a historical and spiritual trek. The plot begins in the deep rural south of Mississppi. The story is told from the perspective of several different characters from the present and the past. A young mother must journey to prison to pick up her lover and she totes her children along. The make some interesting stops along the way. Her parents (the main caretakers) struggle with their own physical and spiritual pasts, which intertwine with the present. I don’t know if I could ever do a proper write-up of the plot because of its complexities. I’m just here to write:  read it.

Warlight // Michael Ondaatje

This book was the biggest disappointment of the month, mostly because I expected more from the plot. The book begins in the late 1940s with two adolescent children whose parents leave them with strangers so that they can travel overseas for work. The strangers introduce them to a slew of interesting characters and take them on all sorts of adventures. The writing was strong, but the plot moved slow. I just picked up his bestseller, and I’m hopeful that the story will take me on a more riveting journey than this one.

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing

This is a great, practical, and elementary book on investing. If you’re looking to learn more about investing, this is a great place to start.