Books 2014: February

Last month was a busy month, book-wise. I read quite a range of books, but my focus was largely on short stories as I decided to enter a couple of competitions and needed to brush up on my technique. I’m also on a book buying rationing again- I went a bit mad buying new books! (Also- tomorrow is World Book Day; I’ve done a special post here and would love it if you had a go on your own blog!)

All photos are, as usual, from Waterstones.

The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Attwood (work’s library)

The Handmaid's Tale (Feb)

I was put off reading Margaret Attwood after studying Surfacing at A-level and HATING IT. However, I knew that The Handmaid’s Tale was considered a classic of feminist literature (and science fiction) and so I decided to take the plunge and read it. It’s a very enjoyable- if creepy, in a Nineteen Eighty-Four way- book that looks at the way society can and does shape the view of women.

Flights of Love- Bernhard Schlink (library)

Flights of Love (Feb)

This was my Blind Date A Book choice. I would never have picked it up otherwise. It’s a collection of short stories by the author of The Reader (another excellent, if uncomfortable book). All of the stories deal with love in its various forms and can often be quite surprising. I found myself drawn to the characters, although sometimes I felt a little… let down by the endings.

The Farenheit Twins- Michel Faber (library)

The Fahrenheit Twins and Other Stories (Feb)

Another collection of short stories, this time by the author of one of my favourite novels of recent times, The Crimson Petal and the White. This collection looks at the quirks of human nature and has a range of, at times, really quite bizarre and heartbreaking stories. I found it a bit hit and miss, though, in places.

Running Like A Girl- Alexandra Heminsley (library)

Running Like a Girl (Feb)

Benn is a very dedicated runner; it’s something I’ve thought about doing but never had the confidence. I knew that the author lives in Brighton and thought this might encourage me a bit (as she did herself on Twitter). It’s a book of two halves: a running memoir (if Caitlin Moran wrote about running, I think she’d write like this) and a handy guide to the basics. I liked the humour and the fact that every time I read about Alex’s achievements I could think ‘Oh my God- she sounds a bit like me at the start and now she’s, like, super runner!’ A really motivational book- although I haven’t started to run yet!

Holy Fools- Joanne Harris 

Holy Fools (Feb)

Apparently Joanne Harris was one of my friend’s English teacher. Anyway, I’d never read any of her books, but as this was a combination of a) 17th Century France, b) nuns and c) slightly criminal elements, I thought I’d get on quite well with it. It was an easy, predictable read that I did enjoy, but not enough to go mad and read all of her other work.

Keep Your Friends Close- Paula Daly (review copy)

Keep Your Friends Close (Feb)

A while back, I reviewed Paula Daly’s Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? and was excited to be offered the chance to review her next book. I couldn’t put this down (in fact, I got into trouble for staying in the bath too long while I read!) It’s a tense thriller, which is all the more scary because I could actually imagine the events happening in real life. It was also really nice to see some of the characters from the previous book pop up here! The book is out on March 13th (next Thursday) and is well worth a read.

What did you read last month?

If you want to keep up with what I’m reading, you can follow my Books 2014 Pinterest board!

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2 thoughts on “Books 2014: February

  1. Alice says:

    Sounds like you’ve had a great month for reading! I completely understand the book buying ban, I’m on a similar one myself at the moment.

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale – I had attempted Atwood before and hated it as well. Flights of Love is on my to read list, The Reader is one of the best books I have ever read, but I’ve found his other fiction – while brilliant – not as engaging.

    I read a fair bit last month, I think Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood was my favourite, followed by The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barns and I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

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