February Roundup

Shh I hate to tell you this but February has been and gone. It rather blew in with an icy blast and it has remained as it bows out. I have been cold and so there has been many nights, under the covers reading (cheaper than having the heating on) and many weekend afternoons with a blanket and a book. It has also been a month of “bleurgh” at work where changes are a foot and at the moment there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Enough, I know you want to hear about the books I have read.

Well, it has been a month of girl power – all female authors and also some pretty strong female protagonists within them too! Which is the best way to start with Philippa Gregory – The White Queen which was book club choice this month, it took me a while to read the book and actually it was nice to be lost in a book for over a week or so. I had a sudden panic and thought oh my god I am never going to read enough this month. But as I have not set a target for how many books I read in a month, I swiftly told myself to get over it! I did, settled down to enjoy the book and enjoyed others reactions to it. I have of course written up about our meeting and that will be posted in the coming days of March (shh don’t tell anyone it’s March!) I have reflected quite a lot from my book club meeting and I have set myself a few little challenges to sort all my book club stuff out which is currently just all stuffed in a bag!!

As for challenges, if you flicked across to that page you would probably think I have given up already. But I decided to make a start on some of the more specific ones I set myself and therefore have read Debbie Macomber – 92 Pacific Boulevard*. Pure blissful reading for cold winter afternoons. Two more authors fit into that blissful reading category if you will, first was a short story from Veronica Henry – A Sea Change. Which was published in conjunction with the Quick Reads project which I hope you all had a chance to read about. I was lucky enough to be sent their selection of books for this year, (after reading Veronica Henry’s) and so will certainly be giving them a go. I have passed one on to my dad already, he is the sort of person that these books are aimed at. He reads but mainly autobiographies and can take a long time to read books. The Andy McNab one sounds right up his street.

The second author was Katie Fforde – A French Affair. Her latest novel, is a pure joy and as I said in my review (the post before this one) she is a great author of Women’s Fiction and needs to be on people’s lists to read. I have so many of hers to catch up on that she will be entertaining me for a while yet! By which point another novel might be out!

Catching up on novels that everyone has been raving about or that has been in the press quite a lot is how I came across Hilary Boyd – Thursday’s in the Park. Loads of reviews on Amazon and for only 20 pence on my kindle it did make me think was I getting something that whilst the story would be good, the editing would be shocking and the format on the kindle unreadable. How wrong I was. It was one of the best 20 pences I have ever spent. Not including the 20 pences spent at Waterloo station to use the loos – which has actually gone up to 30 pence! I digress. This really was a great book, which I devoured very quickly, although I seem to when reading on my kindle, it really made a change to have some characters you could get really annoyed about!

Now I did get annoyed with Brigid Keenan – Diplomatic Baggage which came across as a moan memoir perhaps. It’s saving grace, if there was one was the humour contained within the pages. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion, but it was an in the moment thing – because I could not recall what those moments were to pass on. As one commenter put – “not bad but not terrific either”. Which is why it took me weeks to read the book, I picked it up and read a few pages, I put it down for a few days, I picked it up….

Now Lisa O’Donnell – The Death of Bees* was a book I picked up and then could not put down. It had arrived through the post and I put it on my pile of review copy books for adding to my Goodreads list if I was going to give it a go. I might have just flicked at it, and the colour of the cover caught my eye but that was all. An email a few days later from the publicist offering me the same book, jogged something in my memory and I thought well I might as well give it a go and see, if they had taken the time to email me. That was the prompt I needed and also it was a book which I would never have picked. Quirky and Funny which sort of was what I needed to lift the spirits in February.

So as February draws to a cold close and March is roaring to get going I am reading in fact my book club’s next choice – Gold by Chris Cleave. I am enjoying it but I could quite happily wring Zoe’s neck, the sign of good writing if a character gets under your skin. I look forward to continuing reading this as I am unsure of where the book is going to go. Don’t you just like that about a book?

So there you go, I have had a few book arrivals as well in February, wish now I had taken the odd picture or two. There is some exciting reads which I really want to get going with in March, but then there is all those others calling out to me too. The books by my bed are what I am going to get cracking with I think………..

* Book review yet to appear on this blog