February Summary and Plans for March

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February was a disappointing reading month. Most books had great potential at the beginning, but failed to carry the brilliance through to the end. The standout that bucked this trend was Into That Forest by Louis Nowra, a wonderfully atmospheric book about two girls rescued by Tasmanian tigers. I highly recommend that you get hold of a copy!

Book of the Month:

Into That Forest

Books Reviewed in February:

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra 

Lost and Found by Brooke Davis (audio book) 

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (audio book) 

The Darkroom of Damocles by W.F. Hermans 

If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie 

Esperanza Street by Niyati Keni 

Ben in the World by Doris Lessing stars21

Plans for March

At the moment I am listening to the audio version of The Martian by Andy Weir and I’m loving it! It combines survival and great science –  two of my favourite subjects. I hope to have a review up soon.

I am also taking part in Stu’s Eastern European Month by reading The Book Of Fathers by Miklos Vamos. It’s really good so far, but I’m a bit worried the magical realism is going to take over. I’ll let you know how I found it soon.

Next week I’m going to see David Hempleman-Adams talk at my local library so I’ve got his new book, No Such Thing As Failure: The Extraordinary Life of a Great British Adventurer, to read in advance of the evening. I’m looking forward to hearing him speak, but after seeing the dangerous trips he enjoys I am really glad I’m not his wife!

March is packed with fantastic new releases. I’m lucky enough to have review copies in advance so I will be reading:

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen (I’ve nearly finished this chunkster and it is amazing!)

I also plan to read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen.

I have high hopes that this could be the best reading month I’ve had in a long time. Fingers crossed!

I hope you have a fantastic March too!


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  1. Kailana says:

    I am glad you are enjoying The Martian! It was one of my favourite reads in 2014!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kailana, I think it could become of my favourites this year. Such a gripping read!

  2. I’m reading The Martian right now and I love it! I would never have expected to get so much enjoyment out of a book so full of science and technical explanations. But Mark Watney has such personality!

    1. Jackie says:

      threegoodrats, I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it too! Watney is one of the best characters I’ve come across recently. I look forward to comparing notes when we’ve finished :-)

  3. Athira says:

    I will have to check out Into that Forest. I hope you enjoy The Martian! Although I didn’t care too much for the ending, it was quite fun to read it. Your March reads sound fabulous!

    1. Jackie says:

      Athira, Oh no! I really hope I enjoy the ending. After loving it so much for this long it would be terrible for the ending to be disappointing. Fingers crossed I like it!

  4. Christina says:

    I haven’t heard of any of the books on your list for March. Which is one of the best parts of book blogging, I think. I look forward to reading your thoughts. Happy March!

    1. Jackie says:

      Christina, I think that’s good? Hopefully I’ll be able to introduce you to some great new-to-you books. Have a wonderful March!

  5. David says:

    I’m hugely looking forward to both Kazuo Ishiguro’s and Sarah Hall’s new books too, Jackie. Haven’t read any of your February books though I’m quite keen to try the Michael Christie.

    The highlights of February for me were the final chunky volume of Paul Scott’s magnificent Raj Quartet, and Alex Miller’s near perfect short novel about a stag hunt on Exmoor, ‘The Tivington Nott’. Two very different novels: one encompassing dozens of characters and the sweep of history as a country is torn apart; the other a tightly controlled meditation on landscape and nature, largely focused on the events of one single day; but both hugely impressive and affecting.

    I also very much enjoyed Anne Tyler’s ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ (though I’m not wholly convinced by the way it was structured with the family ‘backstories’ almost as lengthy addenda to the main narrative rather than being interwoven).
    Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘The Sacrifice’ was a good enough novel but not – for me – one of her best.

    And I actually abandoned a novel in February – a rare event! David Connerley Nahm’s ‘The Oceans of Ancient Kentucky’ featured on a few best-of lists at the end of 2014, but much as I enjoy poetic/lyrical writing this was just too much. Every single sentence seems honed to perfection and often they are things of beauty that you want to read aloud, but some are decidedly purple, some just impenetrable. There is a character in there somewhere and a mystery if not quite a plot, but they were swamped by literary prettiness. I quickly lost interest.

    I also read five short story collections: DJ Taylor’s ‘Wrote for Luck’ was okay with some lovely descriptions (a sky like smeared egg yolk) but ultimately a bit underwhelming; Karen E. Bender’s ‘Refund’ featured some superb stories, but also a few mediocre ones; Charles Baxter delivered (as he always does) with ‘There’s Something I Want You to Do’ – I’d give each of his collections I’ve read five stars but he always trips me up with one or two stories that go way over my head!; Katherine Heiny’s ‘Single, Carefree, Mellow’ is a delightful and very funny debut in the tradition of Laurie Colwin; and Ali Smith’s ‘The First Person’ displayed all her usual wit and playfulness but a couple of the stories felt rather academic, writerly exercises that seemed written to amuse other writers.

    Anyway, I look forward to your March reviews – hope it turns out to be the great month you expect it to be :)

    1. Jackie says:

      David, I’m really hoping the Ishiguro and Hall live up to my high expectations. The Hall sounds exactly like the sort of book I’d love so I am especially looking forward to that one.

      I’m glad the Raj Quartet ended well. I know I’ve been saying this for several months, but I really do plan to pick it up soon. All those characters are so daunting though.

      I won a copy of ‘Tivington Nott’ from Kim at Reading Matters a while ago. I trust her recommendations, but it is good to have a glowing second opinion. I’ll push it up the list.

      It’s good to hear that you abandoned a book. I highly recommend it as a way to ensure you spend more time reading great books :-)

      Hope you have a wonderful March!

  6. Everything I Never Told You was one of my favorites last year! Definitely not a feel-good book, but it will make you think. I hope you love it, too.

    1. Jackie says:

      JoAnn, You were one of the ones who pushed me into reading it :-) I’ve seen so many positive thoughts about it and so added it to my library reservation list. I’m currently in number 1 position so hopefully I should get my hands on a copy soon. I hope I love it as much as you did.

  7. Charlie says:

    I haven’t heard a bad word about The Martian; I’ll get round to reading it myself at some point. Definitely seems a good one to be starting the book with, and I hope March is indeed a good reading month for you :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Charlie, Sorry I missed your comment. I loved The Martian! I hope you do too!


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