Books 2014: March

Ah, Time, you sneaky monkey- creeping up on me unawares. I can’t quite believe that it’s April tomorrow! As usual, here are the books of the month, slightly fewer than the last couple of months due to an epic biography I read.

All photos, as usual, Waterstones.

Rasputin: The Last Word- Edvard Radzinsky (my own copy)

Rasputin: The Last Word (March)

Old Russia fascinates me and I read this at the time as the latest Crimean crisis was erupting (it’s very interesting/scary to see how events a century ago can mirror what’s happening now). Rasputin’s one of those historical characters we sort of know about but don’t REALLY know about. This book is a peculiar beast; on the one hand, it tries very hard not to glorify him and on the other occasionally refers to him as a miracle worker. He was, in fact, a git. A smelly, alcoholic git. Anyway, this book was interesting, but a bit of a slog due to poor grammar choices made by the translator.

Kiss Me First- Lottie Moggach (my own copy)

Kiss Me First (March)

I’d seen rave reviews of this and picked it up a few weeks back in Tesco. When I first started reading it, I was a bit bewildered by the hype but then found that I was completely sucked in after the first few chapters. As I read it, I couldn’t help thinking that the main character had some form of autism spectrum disorder and this made it hard to get into her head and settle for the ride. No matter, a good read, if a little frustrating at times.

Beautiful For Ever- Helen Rappaport (my own copy)

Beautiful For Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-artist and Blackmailer (March)

I got quite a few Amazon and book vouchers for my birthday and I ended up buying three books by the same author (I wanted her book about the Russian Grand Duchesses). This appealed to me because, despite my love of reading about women throughout history, they tend to be noble or royal- and I have a soft spot for a ne’er do well too. This book tells the true story of Madame Rachel, one of the first beauticians in London who had a shady sideline in blackmail with a liberal sprinkling of personal tragedy. I enjoyed it very much.

The Shining Girls- Lauren Beukes (my own copy)

The Shining Girls (March)

After reading Tereza‘s review of this a couple of months ago, I picked up a cheap secondhand copy. My word, it’s a strange book. I’d like you to cast your mind back to The Time Traveller’s Wife (which I loved when I first read it, but oh the film was a letdown. But then why am I surprised.) Now, imagine that the time traveller in said novel isn’t a passionate man in love, but a raving violent lunatic who gets his kicks by using a Chicago house to travel through time and torture and kill women. The novel is told from various points of view but mainly focuses on Harper (the murderer) and Kirby (the girl who didn’t die). It’s gripping, gory and I loved it.

What have you read this month? If you’d like to keep up with what I’m reading, you can follow my Pinterest board here.



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