I somehow read 15 books in February. I was pretty impressed by that, because a) I usually read more like 12 (admittedly still more than a lot of people, but I don’t watch a lot, so swings and roundabouts), and b) although there were two weeks where I was absolutely zooming through books, in the other two, it took me most of the week to read one book because I was especially sleepy and kept falling asleep whenever I tried to read.
I’m starting a new job on Monday - will I still find the energy to read in the evenings? And will I single-handedly save Essex Libraries by suddenly boosting their issues by 100+ books a year? Maybe I should order my books to a slightly-less-convenient-but-under-threat village library to make a point…
Number 11, by Jonathan Coe - 4.5*
Dark Hollow, by John Connolly - 4*
The Murders at White House Farm, by Carol Ann Lee - 4*
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid - believe the hype - the only thing I didn’t love about this book was the unsatisfying ending. 4.5*
The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves - 4.5*
The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater - 4*
The Foundling, by Stacey Halls - started it on Saturday night, finished it on Sunday morning. Magnificent. 5*
Liar Liar, by Mel Sherratt - 3.5*
Welcome to Night Vale, by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor - 3.5*
Rage and Retribution, by Lorraine Mace - I’m on a blog tour (my very first!) for this one! 4*
Unbelievable, by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong - good, but I thought the female gaze of the Netflix series was superior to the male-authored book. 4*
Confusion, by Elizabeth Jane Howard - read this 500-page book in a weekend. 5*
Traces, by Professor Patricia Wiltshire - super-interesting as I previously had zero realisation of how much pollen and fungi could tell us about where a person lived and died, but the ways victims are described in forensic investigators’ memoirs (‘pretty’, ‘illegal’) makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes. 4*
My mission to read everything Jonathan Coe, Barbara Erskine, and Elizabeth Jane Howard have ever written continues apace!
In fact, one of the many leaving gifts my lovely (now ex-, sniffle sniffle) colleagues gave me was a book voucher, and I put it towards all of Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles novels. Even though I’ve read three of them from the library already, they just feel so re-readable - if I was looking for a comfort read, I would return to them the same way I constantly re-read Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books and Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books as a teenager. For that reason, I have to own them so they’re always there for me.
Ghostcatcher is the third and final title in my former colleague Sophie Green’s excellent series and I’ll totally be buying a copy, even if I might not be able to get this one signed like the others!
As for The Address Book, by Deirdre Mask, I spotted it on Netgalley and it totally appealed to the historian that will always be within me. Having done a historical demography module as part of my Master’s (and referred to the sub-discipline in my PhD, even if it was to say why I wouldn’t be going down that route!), been an avid viewer of series such as The Secret History of Our Streets and A House Through Time, and always wondered why some houses on my road have ‘A’ appended to their numbers, it looks right up my, er, street.