What I Read This Month: February 2022

Books that Gretchen has read

For four years now, every Monday morning, I’ve posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads.

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, read this post or download my “Reading Better Than Before” worksheet.

You can also follow me on Goodreads where I track books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.

February 2022 Reading:

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (Amazon, Bookshop)—I’m on an Elizabeth Taylor kick. A thought-provoking, unexpected novel.

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time by Craig Brown (Amazon)—Winner of the Ballie Gifford Prize 2020, Spectator Book of the Year, Times Book of the Year, Telegraph Book of the Year, Sunday Times Book of the Year—a wonderful book about the Beatles. Ever since I watched the documentary Get Back, I’ve been wanting to learn more about the Beatles and their creative process.

The Power Notebooks by Katie Roiphe (Amazon, Bookshop)—a memoir about love, divorce, marriage, family, and historical figures told in very short essays. Compelling.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott (Amazon, Bookshop)—also a memoir in essays, about motherhood, anxiety, self-knowledge, and much more.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Amazon, Bookshop)—ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, Chicago Public Library Best Teen Books of the Year—a really interesting slant on young-adult fiction.

And in the End: The Last Days of the Beatles by Ken McNab (Amazon, Bookshop)—More Beatles!

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau (Amazon, Bookshop)—I really like the podcast The Accessible Stall with Kyle and Emily, where Emily Ladau is a co-host. After binge-listening to the show, I wanted to read her book. Cogent and excellent.

From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life by Arthur C. Brooks (Amazon, Bookshop)—#1 New York Times Bestseller—a great book about thinking about happiness and how our lives change over time.

Deaf Again by Mark Drolsbaugh (Amazon)—a fascinating memoir, I read it on one day.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford (Amazon, Bookshop)—Winner of the 2018 Thomas Bonner Book Prize—a fascinating look at the genes and humankind.

Nothing Personal by James Baldwin, photographs by Richard Avedon (Amazon, Bookshop)—a powerful, compelling match-up of photographs and text by two great artists.

Chattering: Stories by Louise Stern (Amazon)—short stories that really stuck in my mind.

The Magic And The Healing by Nick O’Donohoe (Amazon)—a classic fantasy with a modern twist—unicorns and griffins + drug addiction and gene therapy.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Amazon, Bookshop)—Unbound Worlds 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time—I loved this novel and have already started the sequel. Speaking of unicorns, it features elves and goblins.

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson (Amazon, Bookshop)—everyday life in a memorable dystopia.

Anatomy: A Love Story (Amazon, Bookshop)—#1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 Indie Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, Reese’s YA Book Club Pick—a memorable historical novel with a determined protagonist.



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