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Books You'll Love This February

Elisabeth Padjen
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Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

Books

Elisabeth Padjen recommends books you'll love this February, for bibliophiles of all ages.

February . . .we all know what corresponds with February. L-O-V-E. Chocolates, roses crushes and smirks. I always remember being annoyed that love was only synonymous with romantic love. We really need to give more credit to the word. Love transcends and bends - comes from places you wouldn’t expect and perseveres. We all have so many different loves. Just as every bibliophile (book lover) can be different, one bibliophile may love a sappy, cozy mystery while another goes gaga for the latest World War II non-fiction. This month, love your books, and treat yourself with a good read. 

For the littlest readers I recommend several a-typical “love” books. First the Love Monster by Rachel Bright: this adorable little monster is looking for love but finding someone to love a monster can be quiet the quest. This book is now a series! So make sure to see the rest of Love Monster’s adventures. I recommend another monster book in The Monsters’ series. Monster by Patrick McDonnell (of the comic strip Mutts fame) four little monsters decide to create the scariest monster the world has ever seen! However, they are unpleasantly surprised in their creation. My last two picture book recommendations are more traditional. First, the Hug Machine by Scott Campbell, hilariously yet sweetly shows a little boy who is determined to hug everything. There is nothing he can’t hug! Lastly the series featuring an unlikely duo Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems, this is an enormous series following the semi-nonsensical adventures of two friends. The humor in these books is appreciated by both adults and children. 

Monster

Monster books don't have to be scary. 

For young readers I once again am going to start with a monster story (I have always loved monsters) in the book Monstrous by Mary Kate Connolly. A sort of reverse Frankenstein featuring a young girl who wakes in her fathers’ cottage discovering she now has a tail, claws and wings. Featuring monsters, dragons, princesses and mysterious curses - this is a classic epic tale. It is not for the faint reader (432 pages) but if your young reader loves reading, they will probably find it a fast-paced story. There is a thread of love through this story, and explores how love is stronger than you think. My other recommendation is a hilarious chapter book I loved as a child. Juliet Dove, Queen of Love by Bruce Coville. This humorous story tells how shy and quiet Juliet Dove is blessed/cursed with an amulet that contains the powers of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Any kids who enjoy Greek/Roman mythology will probably get a kick out of this book. Magic and mythology blend perfectly in this fun read. 

For my teen readers I am going to recommend The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine. You’d be surprised how many teen readers I encounter request a book that “has no vampires or romance in it.” This book shows the love shared between two sisters and how that love conquers fear. Levine is famous for Ella Enchanted; just as in Ella, The Two Princesses of Bamarre features strong female characters set in a magical, medieval time. 

For my adults in February, I will suggest first The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (one of my all-time favorites). The story of a young Kentucky native who packs up to journey elsewhere, she ends up unexpectedly in Arizona with a toddler she was bestowed with. This novel portrays the purity of love and how love should and does outweigh logic. Lastly I recommend two non-fictions. For the sentimental reader pick up Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See by Bill Shapiro. A collection of unique and beautiful love letters any romantic will cherish. For the more cynical, bitter but still humorous reader It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright. You think you’ve had some bad break-ups? I’m sure these historical heartbreaks will make yours pale in comparison. 

I hope you discover a new book to love this month! Try to share a book you love with someone you love, parents try reading your child’s latest must have book and maybe give them one of your beloved books from years ago. Spouses and partners treat each other to a book swap. Reach out to other bibliophiles and spread the love of reading through February. 

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