February Summary and Plans for March

The quality of the books I’m reading is continuing to improve. I’m giving up on an increasing amount of books and finding that I’m putting them down much earlier than before – some are hitting the library return pile after just a few pages. I’ll have another Read or Reject post up soon, but I think I’ll have to avoid mentioning books I gave up on quickly as otherwise that post would be enormous!!

I don’t think I’ve read three 4.5 star books in one month before! These three books are very different, but all have that special magic that makes them memorable. I highly recommend that you give them a try.

Books reviewed in February:

Leviathan – Philip Hoare 

The History of History – Ida Hattemer-Higgins 

Independent People – Halldor Laxness 

We – Yevgeny Zamyatin 

Three Sisters – Bi Feiyu 

Chess – Stefan Zweig 

Caroline – Cornelius Medvei 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot (Audio Book) 

‘They’ – Rudyard Kipling 

Light Boxes – Shane Jones 

The Unit – Ninni Holmqvist 

Plans for March

The Orange Prize long list will be announced on 15th March and so the second half of the month will involve my investigations into the list. I’m hoping that I’ll already have read many of them (otherwise my Orange longlist prediction post will make me look silly!), but I’m also hoping to be introduced to a few wonderful new authors.

I’m also planning to read:

Serious Men by Manu Joseph
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
In the Woods by Tana French
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Block
This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

I hope you have a wonderful March!

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  1. Sandy says:

    Because of you, The History of History is high on my list. Then I look down your list of “to reads” and I groan because I just know you are going to skewer “In the Woods”, which I loved! Then I will cry!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, Oh no :-( I am sure I’ll love In the Woods. I really hope so anyway. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  2. Verity says:

    Am glad you’re getting better books!! I had forgotten that it is nearly Orange time – I love orange longlist!

    1. Jackie says:

      Verity, It is an exciting time – I love long list season :-) I’m hoping the oranges will be great this year. I’ve read so many books that deserve to be on the list. I’ll be very interested to see who they select.

      1. Verity says:

        I’m not sure I’ve read many at all – I expect to see Linda Grant there, but am looking forward to discovering some other good things!

        1. Jackie says:

          Verity, I haven’t read Grant’s book, but it is on my list. I’m really hoping Ida Hattemer-Higgins makes the list – that book deserves a much wider audience.

  3. Andi says:

    I’ve been trying to increase the quality of my reading as well. This means that I’m reading at a snail’ pace with a baby at home and a very stressful job. BUT, I just try to focus on quality and not quantity. Good luck with your March pile! I would be onboard for everything buy Moby Dick. That book and I have never gotten along. :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, I’ve just started Moby Dick and am loving it so far. I think that is all down to be inspired by Leviathan, but hopefully it will continue to be good. I can see why it isn’t to everyones tastes though :-)

      I can’t imagine being able to read much with a baby and a stressful job, so I admire you for reading anything. Just reassure yourself that it does get easier as they get older.

  4. Steph says:

    I am so glad you are finally going to read Tana French! I hope you love her!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, That book has been on my shelf for far too long. I’m looking forward to finding out why you all love her so much.

  5. I’m so glad you had a successful reading month! My January was a record month: five 4.5 star reads and one 5 star read. February has not been as good to me, but I did have three 4.5 star reads (but two were graphic novels).

    I’m really looking forward to the Orange Prize too! I’ll be reading The Tiger’s Wife as soon as it’s released next week and hope to get to Into the Woods as well (my brother got it for me for Christmas). Happy reading!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, I have a feeling The Tiger’s Wife will be on the Orange list so I hope to read it asap too. I look forward to comparing notes on that and In the Woods.

      Let’s hope that March is a great reading month for us both.

  6. Dorte H says:

    It will be interesting to see what you think about Tana French, In the Woods. I loved it and thought the title was very suitable, but I have noticed that opinions differ somewhat.

    1. Jackie says:

      Dorte, I haven’t seen any negative reviews for In the Woods yet, but I hope mine isn’t one of them :-(

  7. You had a great month! I do think however we, your readers, should be informed of the books you put away too, although I can imagine you don’t want to spend too much time reflecting on why you didn’t finish them.

    I enjoyed In the Woods but I wonder if it’ll go higher than 3.5 stars in your rating.

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, That is a good point. Perhaps I’ll just list them so that you can at least see what I’ve been trying.

      I’m surprised that so many of you seem to think I won’t love In the Woods. I’m intrigued….

  8. Lucy says:

    I got an advance copy of When God was a Rabbit and despite early reservations absolutely loved it. I hope you do too :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Lucy, I’ve started When God was a Rabbit and have mixed feelings so far. It could go either way, but I am at least hooked in :-) I hope I end up loving it too.

  9. stujallen says:

    great month Jackie ,I loved leviathon I would reccomend reading moby dick then it opens even more but it is one of the most readable non fiction books I ve ever read ,,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, I couldn’t resist and dived straight into Moby-Dick. I’m not very far in, but am loving the atmosphere. Fingers crossed it continues to entertain me.

  10. Beth F says:

    Great month. Coming up, I’ve read Moby-Dick (more than once). I’m going to guess that you won’t love it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, Oh no! I’m loving it so far. Hopefully my current whale obsession will be enough to keep me interested all the way through.

  11. TERESA says:

    Looking forward to seeing your reviews of When God Was A Rabbit and The Tiger’s Wife – both of which are calling to me…

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, I’m very excited about reading both of them. There are so many fantastic books coming out in March :-)

  12. Christina says:

    You did have a great month! Just the cover of Leviathan reminded me of Moby Dick so I wasn’t very surprise to see your recommend reading that book before reading Leviathan. I already had The Unit on my TBR list but I added The History of History after reading your review. I have not read Levi’s The Periodic Table, but I have read Survival in Auschwitz (also known as If This Is a Man) which was good. I’d like to read In the Woods soon as it seems to be one of the books of the year. Must go to the bookstore soon.

    1. Jackie says:

      Christina, It is great to know that you added History of History to your list – it is a fantastic book and I hope it receives the attention it deserves.

  13. History of History sounds amazing. Must look into it!

    1. Jackie says:

      LifetimeReader, I hope that you decide to give it a try. :-)

  14. Kathleen says:

    I’m so happy to hear that I am not the only one who hasn’t read In the Woods yet. I will look forward to your review of that one.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, Yes. It does seem as though everyone else has already experienced Tana French. It will be nice to finally join the club :-)

  15. You had a terrific February Jackie. The Story of Forgetting was enjoyable, and I just read The Tiger’s Wife….good, but…..

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, Oh no! I had hoped for bookish perfect. I’ll avoid reading your review until I’ve finished the book, but look forward to comapring notes later this month.

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