I Heart Books

I heart books…a February recap of reading.
February was an odd month. Our first serious snow storm gave me an extra day off. With all the other holidays & my birthday off I feel as though I’ve been more out than at work. At least in the last two months it does. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining for it certainly has given me more time to read! Case in point:

Fiction:

  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines (AB & print)

Nonfiction:

  • Island to Oneself by Tom Neale (as a followup to The Book of Puka-Puka.)
  • Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende
  • Travels with a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
  • Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
  • Antarctic Destinies by Stephanie Barczewski

Series continuations:

  • Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons (started with Hyperion).
  • White Nights by Ann Cleeves (started with Raven Black).

Fun:

  • Wonder by RJ Palacio

LibraryThing:

  • Nada. I “won” Ma Speaks Up by Marianne Leonne but it hasn’t arrived yet.

As an aside, I ran 36.25 miles for the month.

Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Gaines, Ernest J. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Read by Lynn Thigpen. New York: Recorded Books, 1994.

Reason read: February is Black History month

Miss Jane Pittman could be your great-grandmother, she is that real of a character. I’m sure listening to this on audio had something to do with that perception. When 100 year old Miss Pittman tells her life story to an unidentified high school history teacher it’s as if she is sitting in your living room. Beginning when she was ten years old and freed from slavery in the deep south, she recounts her journey to leave the Louisiana plantation she has known all her life. She is looking for the white abolitionist who gave her new “free” name. All she knows is that he is somewhere in Ohio. So, to Ohio she heads. Along the way she befriends an orphan boy and encounters seemingly overwhelming obstacles. But, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say, overcome these obstacles, she does. She raises the orphan boy as her own and even though she doesn’t make it out of Louisiana, forges a life for herself.
One point of observation is that while Miss Jane Pittman has lived a long life, you don’t hear her talk a lot about her own personal life. She would rather discuss the people around her and how they influenced her.

Quotes to quote, ‘”…America is for all of us.” he said,”and all of America is for all of us”‘ (p 115), “He wasn’t aiming to break the door in, he wanted to chop it down” (p 195), and my favorite, “And I will eat vanilla ice cream which I loves and enjoys” (p 219).

Author fact: I could have read this last month in honor of Gaines’s birth month. He was born in January.

Narrator funny: There were times when I was reminded of the actress Whoopie Goldberg when listening to Ms. Thigpen.

Book trivia: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was made into a movie. The release date was January 11th, 2005.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the early chapter called “African American Fiction: He Say” (p 11).

Birthday Books of February

Happy birthday to me & moi. This month we celebrate…everything. Here are the anticipated books:

Fiction:

  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J Gaines ~ in honor of February being Black History Month (AB).

Nonfiction:

  • An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale ~ Nancy Pearl said to read this after Puka-Puka. So I am.
  • Travels with Tangerine by Tim Macintosh ~ in honor of Feb being exploration month
  • Song of the Dodo: Island Biography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen ~ in honor of Quammen’s birth month
  • Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende ~ in honor of February being national science month.
  • Antarctic Destinies b y Stephanie Barcweski (also in honor of exploration month…it’s a long story).

Series (continuations):

  • Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of January being Sci-Fi month
  • White Nights by Ann Cleeves ~ in honor of January being the month of Up Helly Aa fest in Shetland

For fun:

  • Wonder by RJ Palacio ~ ever since Natalie explained the premise of this book as being based on her song, “Wonder” I have wanted to read it.

Early Review:

  • Supposedly, the January book is Ma Speaks Up by Marianne Leone (LT spells it ‘Leonne’). Since half a dozen ER books have gone missing orĀ  never mailed I’ll wait until it is in my hands before I announce I’m officially reading it.