February and March 2019 Reads

I embarrassingly only read one books the entire month of February so I’m doing a combined post for February and March reads. Something that I wanted to work on last month was finding more time to read to try to catch back up to my goal of reading 52 books this year. I’m still working on it, but I’m getting there.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton ★★★★☆
After her grandmother dies, Marisol is charged with spreading her grandmother’s ashes in the place she loved most, Cuba. On her trip she stays with her grandmother’s childhood friends and learns that her grandmother had some secrets. The novel switches back and forth between Marisol’s present day point of view and her grandmother’s in 1958.

I really loved this book because I didn’t know a lot about Cuban history. It was so interesting to learn about what it’s like to live in Cuba and the political issues their country has been through. I loved having the two points of view to really be able to understand both characters.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly ★★★★☆

Lilac Girls follows the stories of three women from the beginning of World War II in 1939 through the years that follow the war. Caroline Ferriday is a New York socialite, Kasia Kuzmerick is a Polish teenager who ends up in a German concentration camp, and Herta Oberhauser is a young doctor who finds herself working at a concentration camp.

It took me a while to get into, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. It’s such a beautifully written and powerful story about the lives of three women from different walks of life during and after WWII. It’s loosely based on a true story, which makes it that much more interesting of a read.

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Lang ★★★☆☆

The Lonely City is part memoir, a lot biography, and an interesting take on loneliness. No matter what your past looks like, I think everyone has experienced loneliness at some point in their life. It’s something everyone can relate to to some extent, which is what makes Lang’s take on it so interesting.

From what I had seen about this book, I thought it was going to be primarily memoir. I really enjoyed the few parts of it that were. The rest was interesting, but I wouldn’t have sought out biographies on the many artists she mentions otherwise. I wish it had been more memoir, but enjoyed it otherwise.

What have you been reading?