14 Books I read in February 2020 & Reviews

I started off the month with a really interesting book about the criminal justice system and how it is failing prisoners on death row in the south. When I started off Just Mercy I was skeptical and mistrusting of the author, who seemed to minimize serious crimes, but the more I read the more I saw what a mess the criminal justice system is and just how corrupt and wrong things are.

I was worried that this would be an emotionally difficult read, but really it was just fascinating and the stories of this lawyer and his experiences with prisoners and the justice system in Alabama drew me in more and more. He included a lot of really interesting details on the legal history behind it all, and why things were that way, which I really enjoyed. For my full detailed review, check out the highlight section on my Instagram.

The next book I read was a productivity book I'd been meaning to read since I read 168 Hours last month, it was called Atomic Habits and it was probably the best productivity / goal setting / accomplishing book I have ever read.

Atomic Habits was mindblowingly fascinating. It took apart all the science behind our good and bad habits, why we fail, and what we can do to succeed. The author, James Clear, included lots of stories and scientific data which supported the theories and points that he made. I

t did not feel gimmicky. It did not feel like I was being thrown a bunch of buzz words. It was just really valuable, good, advice. Clear's an excellent writer too, he was very concise and went over the points of each chapter in brief at the end which really helped it to stick in my mind.

I'd give this book 5 stars. I have the full review with all my thoughts saved in my Instagram highlights.

I also read two more Boxcar Children books, which are so much fun and I want to buy the entire series so my daughter and I can read through them all in a row.

10 of the Kids Books we read this month and my rating out of 5 stars for each one:

1. Fox in Socks 

So. Many. Tongue. Twisters. We were all cracking up every night that the kids convinced either my husband or I to read this book.

2. Cathedral Mouse 

A very sweet book about a mouse who doesn't fit in with the other mice, so he takes up residence in a Cathedral and befriends a man who works at the church. 

3. The Ox Cart Man 

We love this book, it is so sweet. It's about a homesteading family leading a homesteading life where they make things for themselves and sell them, even the children. Beautiful illustrations and inspiring. 

4. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes 

This is a baby book, it's fine, nothing special. My little one loves this song so we enjoyed it.

5. John, Paul, George & Ben 

You guys know I'm NOT a fan of sarcastic kids books that are snarky or made to entertain the adults reading them. This was one of those books. There are so many ways to make good kids' books about our presidents, telling snarky fake stories about them just seems disrespectful and not like something I want to teach my kids. 

6. Mailing May 

Super sweet book about a girl who wants to visit her Grandma, but her parents can't afford the passenger train ticket so they try to send her in the mail train by post. It's based on a true story!

7. Grumpy Bird 

My kids loved this one more than I did, but I enjoyed their many laughs while reading it. 

8. Harry by the Sea 

This whole Harry book series is wonderful, Harry by the Sea included. Harry struggles to find shade at the beach, gets mistaken for a sea monster, and finally finds his family and eats a hotdog. 

9. Mr. Gumpy's Outing 

I misread the title of this at first and thought it was Mr. GRUMPY's outting, and spent the whole book saying "That doesn't seem grumpy, it seems perfectly reasonable" ðŸ˜‚knowing now that his name is in fact GUMPY, the book makes much more sense and is very cute.

10. A Child's Garden of Verses 

This is one of my absolute favorites from my childhood. The photos in this version are beautiful, and I am so enjoying passing it on to my kids.

Reading goals for next month:

1. Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I expect this one to be a difficult read, but I try to choose a more challenging spiritual read for Lent and Mariette has recommended this one a few times!

2. Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus this one is another Lenten reading, probably the first one I will read. I couldn't find it in audiobook format so I'm going to have to figure out reading a paper book into my life. This one was too good to miss out on though. I loved reading Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux last Advent, and I wanted to read these letters of her parents who are also saints.

3. Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break is a cute one that I currently have out from the library, so I'm hoping to at least finish skim-reading through it before I need to return.

4. Lovely War is this month's Everyday Reading book club book, and I'm excited to check it out! Apparently it is a sweet WWI love story aimed at young adults. I love me some history and I love love stories (but hate romance novels), so I'm hoping this one is a goodie!


That's it! Have you read any of these books? Did you agree with my opinions of them? I'd love to hear in the comments!