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February books-2019

I have read some super books this month and many are thanks to the recommendations I receive here or read on blogs. Please tell me if you have read any of these or have found any good reads recently.

Natasha Lester- The Paris Seamstress- an enjoyable book set in Paris and New York, blending real and fictional characters and two-time spans- the 1940s and the present day. There is romance, spies and fashion.

Heather Morris- The Tattooist of Auschwitz- gosh what can I say, other than read it. The real story of Lale Sokolov who was given the job of tattooing the numbers on the arms of the people who were taken to Auschwitz. One day he looked into the eyes of the young woman whom he fell in love with and married after the war. Just read it, and have some tissues by your side. Onto my Top 100 list. A very well written book , you feel as if Lale was talking direct to you, one to one.

Stuart Turton- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle- Cluedo meets Groundhog Day! A murder happens in Blackheath House, can Aiden Bishop discover the murderer. Only problem is he only has eight days to solve the mystery otherwise he has to start again. On each of the  days he wakes up as a different person staying in the house. It’s a very complicated and well executed plot, the map of the house and the list of characters help you keep track of what is happening and to whom. It felt like being inside a computer game, where you can start over but you obviously remember what happened. It isn’t one by the way, if it had been it would have been a more satisfactory explanation at the end. It was an enjoyable read, but you do need to have set aside big chunks of time to read it, not one for the journey to work, be great on holiday. And if you don’t like it don’t blame me blame Doris.

Peter Toohey- Boredom, a lively history- I attend a monthly group through the U3A which looks at psychology. This month it was my turn to run the session for the group. I choose Boredom as my theme. My question underpinning things was Is Boredom useful? So I read this book as part of my research. It covered a lot of ground from a Boredom Proneness test to looking at how boredom has been portrayed in art and literature. I found the whole subject totally fascinating and guess what, I am not prone to boredom. If you enjoy things psychological this was very accessible and interesting read. I am thinking of looking into the psychology of shopping next, what do you reckon, interesting or boring?

Julie Kibler- Calling me home- two love stories across the racial divide set in the present day and the 1930s in America. Well written, but knowing that the 1930s story could not end well , made it quite harrowing at times. A good read. The best part was the developing friendship between the elderly white woman and her hairdresser and friend who is a black single mother as they travel to a funeral.

Sally Rooney- Normal People-This book won the Man Booker Prize 2018. It examines a rather weird couple and their non relationship  -friends with benefits really. Marianna is clever, but has a troubled home life, bullied by her older brother, father is dead, Mother is a shadowy presence who fails to make any meaningful contact with her daughter. At school she is a misfit, bullied by the other pupils. Connell is the son of their cleaner, also very clever and popular, he enjoys the sex and power he has over Marianna but ignores her at school. They go off to Dublin to uni, he to read English she to read History. Marianna is now pretty, and popular, but goes beyond being a doormat to her boyfriends and becomes masochistic. Connell is the misfit now, being the boy from the poor background, but their relationship comes and goes, and sometimes they have significant others and sometimes they don’t. It all ends abruptly. I mean Connell gets the offer of a place in New York to do creative writing and the book stops. My advice is don’t bother with this one. However if you already read it I would love t know what you made of it?

And that’s it for February. Love to know what you are reading? I am reading about some Remarkable Creatures…

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Comments on: "February books-2019" (25)

  1. Have you just spoilt the Seven Deaths for me? Reserved from the library, but it seems you’ve said there is not one but several murderers?! Do I need to cancel the ‘hold….

  2. The seven deaths of evelyn hardcastle is on my list of to read books. It sounds like such a great idea.

  3. cherielanglois said:

    Thanks for the recommendations, Cathy! I haven’t read any of these and will add a few to my “To Read” list. I’m a speculative fiction fan, and this year so far I absolutely loved the Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Oh, and I just got around to writing my belated Feb Valentine’s blog–a love letter to books 🙂 Book lovers’ minds think alike 😉

    • I love being able to connect with book lovers through our blogs. I have been able to read and enjoy books I would never have tried otherwise.

  4. Amsterdam by Ian Mcewan. I give it 5 stars. Really good.
    I haven’t read any on your list, yet

  5. Thanks for the review! I’m adding the first 2 to my list!

  6. I am reading The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser. A winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

  7. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    You have read two that are on my too read list, one being Salley Rooney’s. I don’t like books that end abruptly so may give it a miss now!!

  8. I tend to steer clear of Man-Booker books now – they like that too clever for their own good kind of thing – which is not the cup of tea of most readers. I like the sound of your boredom book – it wold be interesting to see what studies have turned up about that subject. Not so much shopping – I think I have that one sussed or I might be scared I haven’t 🙂

    I’ve finished reading Markus Zusak’s ‘Bridge of Clay’ a remarkable book – a huge read physically and well worth the effort to stay with the obtuse, slow moving beginning. It’s beautiful. I also finished Liane Moriarty’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ about a health resort stay which kept me avidly interested all the way through. I can’t say too much without giving it away – but she’s a great writer, worth the read. And now I’m reading Freddy Silva’s history of the Knights Templar which is a scholarly read, but very well written and interesting.

    • I agree about prize winning books, but I have read some good ones recently that I thought I would be ok. I am beginning to think I like the ones that were long/short listed but not the winners.
      I am going to have ahunt for the books you mentioned, they sound good.

  9. Another intriguing list. Problem for me is that I’ve not even been keeping up with book group books since Harry arrived! Really must get back into reading again.

    • Volunteering at the library I see what the book groups in the area have and if they look good, get my request in for when they come back. I read a lot I know and have surprised myself with how many I am currently getting through.

      • I run our group and the librarians always ask what we thought of them, so I assume they too are looking out for good reviews for their own personal reading as well as to recommend.

  10. Stuart Turton- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle might be my sort of book except for your comment about the ending. If the ending is poor I tend to wish I hadn’t bothered. Might try it. I am getting to the end of the Kate Ellis and Ann Cleeves series of books but have found the latest by Lyndsey Davis and Cynthia Harrod-Eagle so don’t have to look for a new series yet!

    • It’s lovely when you find anew author and there are lots of books available by them. I have only read Ann Cleeves, so I shall make a note of the other three you mention.

  11. I have ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ lined up on my Kindle I think. I nearly bought ‘Normal People’ recently as it has such good reviews (apart from on here!!) but I’ll wait until I can get it cheaply now, just in case.
    As for looking into the psychology of shopping – let me know what you find out – I’d definitely be interested, speaking as a recovering shopaholic.

    • Now there’s a thing, a recovering shopaholic. It’s going to make interesting research, I am especially interested in what happened to all the people who used to love shopping they called it a hobby, and loved trawling round those appalling shopping centres and now apparently have deserted them for online shopping. Normal people is ok but it just goes on and on with very little to get your teeth into. It will turn up in charity shops and car boot sales shortly.

  12. The only one on that list I’ve read is Normal People and I was…underwhelmed, shall we say. I only kept reading because I was expecting something to Happen, right up to the rubbish ending.
    I would also advise others not to bother!

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