A selection of words and pictures to represent February’s reading:
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
Seredith turned away and dropped the knife into the open drawer by my side. ‘Memories,’ she said, at last. ‘Not people, Emmett. We take memories and bind them. Whatever people can’t bear to remember. Whatever they can’t live with. We take those memories and put them where they can’t do any more harm. That’s all books are.’
There was only one Drake, but also there was only one Beauvallet. The Spaniards coupled the two names together, but made of Beauvallet a kind of devil. Drake performed the impossible in the only possible way; the Spaniards said that El Beauvallet performed it in an impossible way, and feared him accordingly.
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer (1929)
Alas, in love, it is not enough to have the same desires; they must also be expressed at the same time.
The She-Wolf by Maurice Druon (1959)
‘I am so fixed upon my own struggles I confess I barely give the plight of Africans a thought. Tad had his troubles too, yet he cared only for the enslaved, the dispossessed.’
‘He saw the world as a sculptor sees a block of stone. Not how it is. How it could be.’
“Things are never so frightening in front of you as they are behind you. Remember that. Anything seems frightening when it’s behind your back and you can’t see it. That’s why it’s always better to turn and face things – and then very often you find they are nothing at all.”
A vast golden valley of sun-bleached grass, speckled by scrub and flat-topped thorn trees and seamed with dry gullies; hemmed in to left and right by the two great barriers of the Kinangop and the Mau, and dominated by the rolling lava falls and cold, gaping crater of Longonot, standing sentinel at its gate.
Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye (1958)
“I am going to dictate, and I hope that this time you will not interrupt at what I consider a dramatic moment. Let me think. I must repeat the first part, I suppose. Another time, sergeant, warn people at the beginning. It saves them from boring themselves, which is after all the most heinous of crimes.”
And Death Came Too by Richard Hull (1939)
Until then I had thought each book spoke of the things, human or divine, that lie outside books. Now I realized that not infrequently books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves. In the light of this reflection, the library seemed all the more disturbing to me. It was then the place of a long, centuries-old murmuring, an imperceptible dialogue between one parchment and another, a living thing, a receptacle of powers not to be ruled by a human mind, a treasure of secrets emanated by many minds, surviving the death of those who had produced them or had been their conveyors.
Favourite books read in February:
Giant’s Bread and Beauvallet
New authors read in February:
Bridget Collins, Laura Shepherd-Robinson
Countries visited in February:
England, Italy, France, Spain, Kenya
Have you read any of these books? Which books did you enjoy in February?