I managed to do a feature post twice in a row, yay! Take a look at last month’s book reviews
here. I’ve had another successful month of reading in February. Having had a couple of weeks off because of half term and being in between jobs, I managed to squeeze quite a few books in there, including some rather different ones for me! Above are the books I’ve read this month, and see below for a quick summary/review of each. I will occasionally do some more in depth reviews of books, but it just takes some getting round to, so this is really just a brief overview of them and I sometimes think reading a quick summary of a book plus what someone thought of it can help you decide better if you’ll like it rather than reading a long and cumbersome review.
Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart – 9/10 – Not a book for everyone, you have to like Miranda Hart in the first place and ‘get’ her humour to understand it properly. Luckily I do love Miranda and I do ‘get’ her humour, so I loved it! It is an autobiography which isn’t my thing with books, but I could hear her voice all the way through, so a winner in my opinion.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – 9/10 – This book was beautiful. It tells the tale of a childless couple who are getting on in life moving to Alaska in the 1920s to set up their own homestead. The brutal, unforgiving wilderness in which they build a child of snow who appears to come to life is described perfectly. This is one of those books that you keep thinking about weeks after you’ve finished it, and I will definitely be reading it again in future.
Torn by Cat Clarke – 7.5/10 – This is definitely a more young adult book than I usually read, something I would have loved when I was 15 or 16, but a good read nevertheless. On a school trip to Scotland, the ‘popular’ girl dies in the woods. I don’t think I’m spoiling it by telling you that we know that Alice and her friend Cass have something to do with her death but don’t want anyone to know. It brings up some ‘ethical’ conundrums and really makes you wonder what you would do if you were in their situation.
My Dad’s A Policeman by Cathy Glass – 7.5/10 – This is novella by one of my favourite authors following the story of young boy forced to leave his home and family by social services because of his alcoholic mother. Cathy Glass usually writes autobiographically (the type of autobiography I actually like!), so this is a little different, but still a good, quick read.
The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner – 8/10 – Melanie was found, age 9, drugged in a hospital with no memory of her previous life and calling herself ‘Daddy’s Girl’. She is adopted by the family of a Doctor in the hospital whose daughter was recently murdered by a Texan serial killer who has just faced the death penalty. When a reporter confronts her with news about her past, these two events come flying together and the story follows her working closely with an ailing detective to find out the truth. I love a good murder mystery; this one was definitely gripping and had a good twist to it, but I was a little disappointed in the ending in that some loose ends were left a little too loose for me.
The First Book of Calamity Leek
by Paula Lichtowicz – 9/10
– Let me start by telling you that the start of this book is weird, like really weird. I had no clue what was going on and was going to put it down and leave it. But I carried on, and it turned out to be a fantastic read, so if you plan to do the same, keep reading! Right, onto the story – the summary on Goodreads is sparse and a little intriguing. It’s a difficult one to explain, but it follows the tale of Calamity Leek and her ‘sisters’ who are in a secluded environment which at first appears to be a very strange version of a boarding school. The book opens with one of the sisters attempting to escape their world and dying in the process. They have a very limited view of the world which becomes more and more apparent, but is explained early on in the book which gives you a little more clarity. The circumstances surrounding the situation become more sinister, yet at the same time we know the protagonist is ‘safe’ as she is writing the book later on. Really, this is a truly good book, albeit very difficult to describe without giving anything away. I received this from Net Galley as a galley proof to review, and it’s only just available now, but I do definitely recommend it! I think I shall be soon doing a full review of the book (and may include spoilers which I will try to find a way to cover up!).
The Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
by Mark Forsyth – 6/10
– Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this book as much as The Etymologicon from this post. To be honest, he does say in the intro it’s not to be read in one go, it’s more a reference book, but I did, of course, read it as a book. Another nice ‘word’ book, it does what it says in the title, takes you through a day, hour by hour, using words no longer in use. It’s fun to learn some more words, but I prefer knowing all about the origins and connections of words.
There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes
by Robert Jacoby – 6.5/10
– Another book from Net Galley to review, and again, another strange one. I did definitely enjoy reading it, but it was something I would have loved when I was maybe 16 (and being a typical teenager) rather than now. Not that it is written childishly; it does have strange disjointed prose and there is no real ‘storyline’, it just tells the tale of a man who tried to kill himself and ends up in a mental hospital. The characters he meets in there are fascinating and his journey is interesting, but I wasn’t particularly fond of the ending – it seemed a little too quickly thrown in there for me – I like a good explanation of what’s happened at the end, but I suppose not every book should end like that. Overall, a good read though.
What have you been reading this month? I’d love to know – I need more to read!