So, I read lots in February… and some of it was from my TBR, honest!
Quite a lot of it wasn’t though, because I ended up not really being in the mood for what I had picked out so read other things instead. As always!
The seven books I finished reading in February were:
prout by Dale Peck (3/5*) – This was actually my second attempt to finish this audiobook – I abandoned it a couple of years ago after the first three chapters. I got through it this time and I think I have come to the conclusion that if I had read it as a book, I would have liked it more. It sounded like some of it relied on visual things – like a blank chapter – for effect and that was rather lost in the audio version. I also found the narrator quite hard to listen to which really didn’t help. Overall though, a touching, slightly different LGBT+ story of love and friendship and discovery that was worth persevering with. Get thew physical book or Kindle version though.
It Was Snowing Butterflies by Charles Darwin (4/5*) – One of the Penguin Little Black Classics series, I was genuinely surprised at how readable this was. I was expecting it to be a slog but I actually raced through it (mostly on the plane flying to Germany) and found myself enjoying it. I had to look up a few of the Latin terms for insect and animal families (not all of them though, because apparently I am enough of a nature nerd to recognise some of the common ones) but between those, the writing was accessible and easy to read. There was some questionable language regarding the native people of the places Darwin was visiting but given the era in which he lived, it wasn’t actually too terrible. His observations of body language and behaviour were interesting once you got past him calling them ‘uncivilised savages’ and his obvious belief that they were not ‘advanced’ like Western folk. Unacceptable in modern terms, but it is not a modern text.
Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner (4/5*) – This was a contemporary YA romance with a bit of a difference. All of the main characters were dealing with some sort of trauma – two of them a shared loss and another the aftermath of an accident. The exploration of different ways of dealing with grief, guilt, and loss was interesting and added an extra dimension to the characters and the story. It was more than a fluffy romance, although there was that side too, it also grappled with mental health issues in teens and adults alike, family relationships, suicide, and PTSD. The balance between the fluff and the serious issues was held well and it would have been a 5* read if I hadn’t found the narrating character quite so annoying. But I’m pretty sure that was my issue, not his.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein (5/5*) – A re-read for me, but it was a first for the Smalls. We have been sharing this together for three thousand years (since last October I think, we stopped over December for all the Christmas books) and finally romped through the last chapters this month. I still love it, even though it turns out I had forgotten half of it and muddled it up with a Narnia book in my head! (I did a review of it earlier in the week.)
Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (4/5*) – Another book that was a lot more readable than I expected it to be. I got this for Christmas so the fact that I have read it already is nothing short of a miracle to be honest! Honest, witty, and accessible, this book offered a look at how our modern views on women and power stem from the ancients and how ingrained they have become.
Seriously Funny, and Other Oxymorons by Simon Brett (4/5*) – Technically also a Christmas present but most definitely not from last year… or even the year before. Oops. That said, the dry humour about the disaster of Brexit and current politics was on point and not at all dated (which is a bit of a shame, I wouldn’t have minded if it had all seemed comically over-dramatic a couple of years down the line) and whilst not a practical book about the English language, it was a very funny look at how it is used (generally badly). I read it in one go in the bath and had a good chuckle to myself. Short and sweet, but probably offensive if you support Brexit…
Witch Fire by Anya Bast (3/5*) – Smut Club’s February read, this was pretty good as smutty books go – the sexy scenes weren’t too ridiculous, and there was a story behind it all. Granted, most of that story happened in the last twenty pages because the rest of the time things were getting steamy, but it was there and it wasn’t terrible. Predictable but enjoyable, this was a fun, easy read – keeping me occupied on the plane home from Germany with what I can only assume was a large octopus wearing hobnailed boots in the seat behind me (it was possibly a toddler, but I swear there were more than two feet kicking me…
I checked off some more Backlist Bingo squares with that little lot: Seriously Funny has under 1,000 Goodreads ratings (a mere 15 including mine!), Women & Power was a gift, and Phantom Limbs was Paula Garner’s debut novel.
On to March! Now, my March TBR involves a book I preordered quite some time ago and arrived on Wednesday and, well… it’s over 800 pages long so whilst I am doing a multi-book TBR, let’s not be surprised if I don’t finish it this time!!:
- The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – *gazes dreamily at the beautiful dragon on the cover*
- Heroes by Stephen Fry – I started this in February but didn’t really commit to it. Maybe this month!
- How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne– I started this in February too (I knew Priory was coming and wanted to get ahead!) and I am enjoying it so far, although the main character is called Tori which rather messes with my brain!
- A Slip Under The Microscope by H. G. Wells – I have had this on my TBR on and off for about 3 years. Maybe this month is the one…
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – This is taking over from The Hobbit as the ‘big book’ I’m sharing with The Smalls, I don’t expect we will get through it in March but we will at least start it.
- Whatever Smut Club Picks!!
As we are in week 9 of the year, I should be up to 9/52 books to be on target and I am actually on 15 so I have a decent enough buffer going that even if all I read in March is the Smut Club read and Priory, I still won’t be behind!
What are you reading in March?