A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Books read in February


Girls in love – Jacqueline Wilson
I felt the need for something really easy to read while I was recovering from a migraine and this was it. I quite enjoyed it. I don’t mind a bit of Jacqueline Wilson now and then, especially when it gets me a bit closer to my target of completing The Big Read list.

The Collector – John Fowles
This was excellent. A man who is obsessed with a girl wins the pools and then puts into action a plot to kidnap her. He seems to have the plan of making her love him over time. I liked the way you first heard his version of events and then hers before getting to the conclusion. It was creepy in parts and sad in others. He was an odd chap, with his butterfly collection and the way he took that a huge step further by collecting a girl. I really liked this.
(1001 books)

Death threads – Elizabeth Lynn Casey
This is the second in the Southern Sewing Circle mysteries and I was hoping that it would be as enjoyable as the first book. It was. It picked up a few months after the last story finished and continued to develop the characters nicely. I do love some of the people who populate this book. Originally we started with the main cast, but now a few more people from the town have appeared and/or been fleshed out. There were a few different things going on in this story and several of them came together at the end. I like how there’s some sleuthing in these books but it’s not the main part of it. There’s so much about the characters, their lives and their interactions. I love reading about the goings on in the town and the eccentricities of some of the people. I’ve already got book three to read but I think I may have to pay another visit to Amazon for more of these.

Operation Shylock – Philip Roth
I didn’t like this one as much as all the other books by the author that I’ve read. It seemed a lot more dense, and maybe a bit too political for my taste. That said, it did engage me for most of the book and there were only a few sections where I felt the need to skim a bit. His books can vary so much in their style that maybe I need to be more careful in which ones I select in future. The plot against America and Nemesis remain my favourites by him.
(1001 books)

Song of the Quarkbeast – Jasper Fforde
I’ve been wanting to read this for a while as not only do I love pretty much everything that Mr. Fforde writes, but I really enjoyed the first book in the series, The Last Dragonslayer. Unfortunately, the library didn’t get this in until it came out in paperback so I’ve had to wait. Not that I’m complaining about our library system. There’s very little that I want to read that they don’t have.
So, having finally got my hands on it, I read it straight away, and all in one go. It’s classed as YA so is a fairly quick read, and was terrific fun. I love Fforde’s sense of humour and his way with words. It was so easy to get back into the story and the characters, in this alternative UK, or unUK, as it is in the book. Now I can’t wait to read the next book so I do hope it comes out soon. Or maybe there’ll be another Thursday Next book first. I’d love that.

Stranger in a strange land – Robert Heinlein
I had no idea what this was going to be like, or indeed just how chunky a book it was. My library had the unabridged edition which comes in at around 650 pages and it was superb. It’s about a young man who is born on Mars and raised by Martians, before being brought home to Earth. The book follows what happens to him and as well as being a brilliant story, has some very interesting concepts in it. So much so, that it caused some outrage when it was originally released. I really enjoyed it. It was something a bit different and was so well written that it was hard to put down at times. I’m not sure if I’ve read anything else by Heinlein so I may look for more now that I’ve read this one.
(1001 books)

The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making – Catherynne M. Valente
I loved this! It was so whimsical with a lovely story and absolutely fabulous characters. Fairyland was cute and quirky and definitely had echoes of Oz, as did parts of the storyline. This was no bad thing as I enjoyed spotting the similarities and loved how they’d been taken somewhere new. The way the book ended wrapped the story up nicely, apart from one minor detail, so I’m hoping that there might just be a sequel. September will be having more adventures and it would be lovely to hear about them. I did so like the way this story was narrated.

Steamed – Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant
This is book one in the Gourmet Girl mysteries. I found it in my wishlist on Amazon and bought it from the Marketplace a couple of weeks ago. I have a vague recollection that it was recommended by Stacey over on Havoc and Mayhem at the same time as another series that I enjoyed, so I had high hopes.
From the blurb I expected it to be a bit more chick-lit and a bit more ‘fluffy’ than it actually was. Not that I’m complaining, as I rather enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite what I’d expected. I did love all the food descriptions, which made my mouth water, but there wasn’t as much detective action going on as you usually get in cosy mysteries. It was quite funny in places, and I’d like to get the next book to see how the series develops. I may see if I can get it cheap on the Marketplace. So, a promising start and I’m still hopeful that this series will turn out to be a winner.

Recipe for love –  Katie Fforde
I was only going into the library to drop off a couple of books that I’d finished with. That’s all. I had no intention of picking up anything else. That lasted as far as the library entrance which is where I spotted the latest Katie Fforde on the Rapid Reads table. These are books that have a loan period of just one week and usually I walk straight past them as I prefer to reserve the books that I want, but somehow that Katie Fforde leapt into my arms and refused to be put down again. Once I got home, it refused to be ignored and demanded to be read the same evening. It was very, very good. I don’t read much chick-lit, but I do like anything by this author. She strikes just the right note. Not too slushy or romantic, just a nice read. This one had characters in it from earlier books, which was lovely as it felt familiar, and was about Zoe who was in a cookery competition. There were some nice descriptions of food, and the storyline, although slightly predictable, was good. Mostly I just like the style of writing and the characters in Fforde’s books.

Pinned for murder – Elizabeth Lynn Casey
The third book in the Southern Sewing Circle mysteries, and a nice light read, which was just what I needed yesterday. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first two as I could see quite early on whodunnit. It was just that little bit too obvious. It was still a nice read though and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Moonlighting in Vermont – Kate George
I got this for the Kindle in the Christmas sale and thought I’d see what it was like. I didn’t think I was going to be able to read it at first as there were so many typos in it. Lots of spelling mistakes and it was badly formatted. It improved slightly as it went on though, and I got interested enough in the story that I could almost ignore the errors. I rather liked it in the end, although I’d be wary of getting any more by the author simply because typos annoyed me so much.

The hundred-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
I loved this! It grabbed me from the very first page. It was charming and funny and a joy to read. You see the last hundred years of history through the eyes of one man as he has several adventures, mostly through being in the right place at the right time. I’d recommend this to anyone. It’s just something a bit different and a lovely read, with one of the best titles I’ve come across.

The Water Room – Christopher Fowler
This is one of the books that Tree sent me last year, and the second in the Bryant & May mystery series. I rather enjoyed it, just as I did the first one in the series. Bryant is great to read about, he’s such a character, and the other detectives are just as much fun. I loved all the snippets about London, true or not, and it was an excellent story with a good ending.

Between the lines – Victoria Pendleton & Donald McRae
I wanted to read this when it first came out, as I was still fascinated by the Olympics. As the library didn’t add this title until recently, and there was a queue for it, I only picked it up yesterday. I was going to read about half of it this morning and save the rest for tomorrow, but I just couldn’t put it down. It was extremely well written and took you from Victoria’s childhood, when she would cycle with her father, right up to her final competition at the 2012 Olympics. I loved reading about her path to the British team and what she endured to get to the top of her chosen sport. There has been a lot written about her in the press, but you so often get a one-sided version so it was good to read a chronological description of events from her perspective.
I’m quite getting into bios lately. I may read more.

Deadly Notions – Elizabeth Lynn Casey
I was a bit wary of reading this as I feared that I was going off this series after book three wasn’t such fun to read as the first two. This one was much better though and I quite enjoyed it. I was certain I’d figured out whodunnit quite early on, but I was wrong. The plot twisted just a little more than I anticipated and kept me interested right to the very sweet ending. Life does seem a little too perfect in this town, apart from the murders, but I do enjoy all the Southern expressions that keep popping up as Leona attempts to educate Tori in the way of Southern Belles.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

2 thoughts on “Books read in February

  1. I had forgotten about the Song of the Quarkbeast but I’m sure I have it – glad to hear that it’s good, might go hunting on the Kindle for it later on. I think I’ve one more Bryant and May to read and then I’ll have to go a-hunting on Amazon Marketplace again…what a shame!


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