Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, March 1, 2019

February Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone.  Here in Basel, the sun has been shining and it has been 15-18 degrees (celcius)/ 60-65 degrees (F) for the last two weeks.  Just gorgeous.  Makes me long for summer.

In February I reviewed 25 books, and read 18 of those this month. I was still reviewing my books from January at the start of this month, which is why there is a discrepancy.  In case you cared.

Now that I am all caught up and reviewing as soon as I am reading, things should be more balanced for the rest of this year.

I have read books from 52 countries so far for this Read The World Challenge.  There are 202 countries on my list, so I am 1/4 of the way there!  That is pretty good.  I know I probably won't finish this challenge this year because as the weather gets nicer, I do tend to have less time to read, but I might get close.

The books I reviewed in February were as follows.  If you click on the name, it will take you to the blog page where I did my review, if you interested in what I had to say about the book.

Zlata's Diary (Bosnia)
Maya's Notebook (Chile)
Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty (Democratic Congo)
Whiteman (Ivory Coast)
A Golden Age (Bangladesh)
In The Time of Butterflies (Dominican Republic)
Veronica Decides to Die (Slovenia)
Waiting for Snow in Havana (Cuba)
The Hidden Light of Objects (Kuwait)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Malawi)
Like Water For Chocolate (Mexico)
Marrying Mozart (Austria)
Dracula (Great Britian)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Czech Republic)
The Gift of Rain (Malaysia)
Galapagos (Equador)
The Graveyard Book (extra read - not country related)
Out Stealing Horses (Norway)
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Sierra Leone)
The Lost City of the Monkey God (Honduras)
Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening (Saudi Arabia)
Girl At War (Croatia)
Secret Son (Morocco)
Ada's Violin (Paraguay)
The Corgi Chronicles (extra books - not country related)

My top 5 favorites from this list were:

Daring to Drive
Marrying Mozart
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
The Gift of Rain

The bottom 5 were:

Secret Son  - to the point that I have decided not to keep this as my Moroccos pick and I am actively searching for another choice

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (keeping it, but didn't love it)
Like Water for Chocolate
Veronica Decides to Die
Whiteman - another book I might decide to replace

It was a good reading month.  I have decided to give audiobooks a try during this challenge because I feel like I could get further faster if I also listen to books.  I spend a lot of time on public transportation, packing lunches for the kids, doing menial chores around the house - time where reading an actual book might be lost unless I am listening to it.  I used to love audiobooks when I had a 30 minute drive to work and back each day - passed the time nicely.  So it is time to get back into them.

I borrowed every book I read this past month, and then bought them after I read them if I deemed them "worthy of the shelf".  I borrow almost every book before I buy for a few reasons:

1) Cost.  We travel a ton.  Since we moved to Switzerland, I have thrown all of our extra money toward traveling with our kids.  That is where my money loyalties lie right now.

2) Support of local libraries.  Before I moved here, I had acces to an amazing library system in Boston.  I would go each week and borrow everything I needed to read.  Devouring over 100 books a year, I could never buy them all, and in a lot of cases - I didn't want to own it and glad I didn't waste the money (Because the book wasn't good).  I don't need to support Amazon as much as I needed to support our local library.  Now that I have moved, I am still able to access the Boston e-library (We still own our house in Massachusetts) as well as the local e-library from Basel (they have a nice e-book selection of English books).

3) Pace.  As I mentioned above, I read a ton of books a year.  Last year I read 120 books.  If each of those books cost around $10, that would have been $1200.  Do you know what I did last year with $1200?  I took our family of 5 to Cyprus for 5 days over Christmas.  Seriously.

I am not against buying books - not in the least.  My opinion (and that is all it is) is that if I don't forsee me lending the book out, or wanting it to be on my personal shelf for years to come to stare at and admire and possibly re-read.....I am not buying it.  I want the books on the shelf to have meaning and purpose.  And again - that is just my opinion.

Now it is onward to March!  I am hoping to get about 10 books in this coming month.  My parents are coming to visit and I know I won't get a lot of reading done while they are here and we are out exploring and having lunch at the cafes.

I am really enjoying this particular challenge.  I have done challenges for 4 years before this, and each one was more different than the last.  But this one is taking me toward books I would have never chosen.  I am learning about countries I would have never read about.  I am growing my travel list by leaps and bounds.  I cannot wait to see what I learn next.

What did you read in February?  What was your favorite/least favorite read?  What are you looking forward to reading next month?


  1. Great wrap up! I can't wait to see what countries come next, and also ready for the nicer weather to stay, I miss the sun here in Scotland lol. I love that you borrowed your books! Most of my books are library, free eArcs, and charity shop, like you, I'd rather spend the money to do some traveling!

    1. Oh I must pick your brain about Scotland! we are going for 10 days in April and I cannot wait!

      Yes - we love traveling. I would rather to that than anything else. ha ha.

  2. I absolutely love reading your reviews from your Read the World challenge. I've thought of doing something similar in the past but hadn't gotten around to it, so it's extra exciting to see someone who has!

    I don't buy a ton of books. For one, I don't have the space, and yeah, money is always an issue. I'm so fortunate that we live in an area with a ton of great libraries (which offer reciprocal borrowing, so even if we don't live in that town, they still allow us to check out their books!). The last place we lived in, the library building was beautiful, but the collection kind of stank, so I'm super grateful for what I have now and I definitely take full advantage of it!

    1. Thank you! This challenge has been the hardest I have done so far (as far as finding books from so many places), but the most fun!

      It is so great to live near good libraries. I wish that for everyone

  3. Great post and wawo! You read so many books this month.

    1. Thanks! I always do better with reading in the winter months. Plus, I ride public transportation each day and that affords me a lot of reading time

  4. Holy mother mercy! That is a ton of books! I aim for 90 a month and that still looks like a lot in a month. I now to you!

  5. Thanks! Riding public transporation helps me. Riding it a couple of times a day gives me lots of reading time.