February has been a bit of a personal struggle of a month, with a lot of stuff going on that made it a challenge to get through. I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but I’ve felt like packing a lot of things in this month, building myself a den under my duvet like I did when I was ten and hiding under there with a bunch of books, a torch and a mountain of chocolate. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Reality is, that’s not an option.
Having a crappy few weeks meant I had no energy to do anything other than throw myself into a hearty pile of novels to distract me from losing my marbles completely. I read more than double the number of books I did last month, six of which I’d picked up and started in December or January but not actually got round to finishing. It was satisfying to see my ‘Currently Reading’ list come down to a more manageable number, and felt like I had achieved a small ‘level up’ victory amidst the chaos.
February has been a mix of uni reading, work reading, personal development and a few from the genres I’m currently experimentally writing in. I discovered a love for a few new authors, found a few with simple styles I admire and relate to, and read one in particular that blew my socks off. (Not literally, but sheesh, I was a wreck.)
- ★★★★☆ Essential Zen Habits by Leo Babauta
- ★★★★☆ We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
- ★★★☆☆ Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
- ★★★★☆ The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink
- ★★★☆☆ Money Magic by Alvin Hall
- ★★★★☆ The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
- ★★★★☆ All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher
- ★★★☆☆ The Library Book by Rebecca Gray & Various Authors
- ★★★★★ Time Travelling With a Hamster by Ross Welford
- ★★★☆☆ The Intruder by Andre Dubus
- ★★★☆☆ The Serpent by Claire North
- ★★★★☆ Destroyer by Brett Battles
- ★★★★☆ Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- ★★★☆☆ The Curious Incident of the WMD in Iraq by Rohan Candappa
- ★★★★☆ Fish In a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
- ★★★☆☆ David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
- ★★☆☆☆ Whatever Happened to Janie? by Caroline B Cooney
- ★★★★☆ Do Less Get More by Shaa Wasmund
- ★★★★☆ Gods of Metal by Eric Schlosser
- ★★★★★ The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
- ★★★☆☆ Smart by Kim Slater
- ★★★☆☆ Hooked by Nir Eyal
- ★★★★★ The Marvels by Brian Selznick
- ★★★★☆ Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans
- ★★★★★ Nemesis by Philip Roth
It puts me 12 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge total of 150, and probably just on track and no more to achieve my personal goal of matching last year’s 200.
The stand out books for me this month were The Marvels – a beautiful piece of storytelling within storytelling made all the more striking with its beautiful illustrations (and, without wearing the word out, possibly one of the most beautiful physical books I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding) – The Snow Child, which I’d read two-thirds of in December for uni but had forgotten to go back and find out how it ended (I won’t spoil it for you, but I got emotional reading it in the bath!), and Nemesis by Philip Roth, who for some reason I’ve always skipped and have now discovered as a new favourite author. When my course finishes, I may have to delve into his back catalogue to see what other gems I’ve been missing out on. I also loved Time Travelling With a Hamster which has been top of the young adult charts for a while. A fun mix of humour, science, and a cleverly constructed hero’s quest that left me wanting more.
Here’s an update of the books I’m ticking off the big list this month:-
- A book with more than 500 pages
- A book published this year
- A book with a one-word title
- A book from your childhood
- A book that made you cry
- A book with magic
- A book by an author you’ve never read before
- A book you started but never finished
March sees my uni reading list come to an abrupt halt in preparation for the start of my writing projects. I’m determined to keep the reading up though, I have a few long haul flights to make in the month coming plus a few days off over Easter. There’s a Julian Barnes book to be tackled before this term finishes, and I’m hoping to read last year’s Pulitzer prize winner All the Light We Cannot See. I had planned to read a play a fortnight this year, but that has fallen by the wayside so far, so I might try and pick up at least one in March to get me moving again. I also have a wee pile of library books to work my way through, and my recommendation lists on Goodreads and Amazon are getting longer and longer……
How about you? What are you reading this month if you’re doing a challenge? Anything you’d recommend I take a look at?