February felt like groundhog day. I generally struggle to remember what I did every month, but it’s been even trickier recently because there’s been little variation in our routine.
I’m not complaining though. I’ve discovered some really thought-provoking books and have had a chance to write a few blog posts on subjects that I’ve wanted to cover for a while. I spent a couple of weeks playing with bookshelf styling ideas in our library room, researched bookish apps and shortlisted online book festivals for 2021. All good prep for the year ahead. Here are the summaries for each family member:
My reading took on a life of its own this month. I’d only planned to finish Oliver Twist (as a buddy read) and Transcendent Kingdom (a Netgalley request). The other titles took me by surprise, especially The Water Dancer, which my mum recommended. This ended up being my favourite book in February and I’m aiming to share my thoughts about this, and Transcendent Kingdom soon.
Dune Messiah was the only title that I managed to knock off my TBR pile, but an important one as this has taken me almost two decades to complete (I have DNF’d it about 3 times). Despite admiring the complexity of the themes, the story was a bit too obscure for me. I’m going to look out for the sequel, Children of Dune though.
- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (4/5)
- Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (4/5)
- The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (4.5/5)
- Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (4.25/5)
- Chatter by Ethan Kross (4/5) – audiobook
- Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon (3.75/5)
- Elidor by Alan Garner (3.75/5)
Al actively made time to read in February, and finished three books. The Ian McEwan was his top choice, although he rated the other two (slightly lower than me, but we generally agreed about the content). I can see us both fitting in a few more Maigret novels before the end of the year.
- Maigret at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon (3.5/5)
- The Children’s Act by Ian McEwan (5/5)
- The Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty (4.5/5)
The bedtime routine is still working really well, with M reading her book for at least half an hour before she goes to sleep. She also reads for the same amount of time during the day, especially now she’s discovered Harry Potter and the Scarlet and Ivy series. M loved receiving the Tales by Mail subscription box (PR product) during half term and I wrote a review about this.
All ratings below given by M 🙂
- Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison (5/5/)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (continued from January) (5/5)
- Scarlet and Ivy: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly (5/5)
The scope of our daily lives isn’t going to change massively in March as lockdown continues. The big changes are that I’m working more hours and that M is returning to school so everything will have a different feel even though we’re stuck at home.
On the reading front, I’ll aim for 7 books again, which will include 2 NetGalley advances, a middle-grade read and an audiobook. I’m finding that we’re being offered more review copies at the moment, which is great, but I have to be really careful about what we accept because as much as we love books, we only have so many hours in the day and we like to fulfil any promises we make.
On the blog front, I have lots of ideas for posts lined up so I’m going to see if I can turn a couple of these into reality. I’d also like to resurrect the Interview with a Bookstagrammer series – if not for March then definitely April.
How are you coping with lockdown? Is it helping or hindering your reading? Sending bookish love wherever you are!
Mel, Al & Little M