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.
There are few people so obstinate as the man who half thinks he is wrong.
Yet it seems to me that most people, in most situations where the best means to proceed is unclear, will favour a careful, restrained approach over wild impulsive action based on an assumption that all of one’s darkest suspicions are the unvarnished truth. How often does a person shrug off the most bizarre events as mere coincidence, or happenstance, or good or ill fortune, without giving any serious consideration to a deeper meaning, or a deliberate design, or sinister intent? So it was for me.
Is that what real acting is, that moment you stop pretending? And if so, can a person ever be sure, even offstage, even in the parlour of his own house, that he isn’t simply acting a part? All the world’s a stage etc, etc. You don’t have to be the son of a Shakespearean actor to have such thoughts. Everyone has them.
Booth by Karen Joy Fowler (2022)
I squeezed my eyes shut before I could stop myself. I have always been free, I reminded myself. I have always been free. I knew now that slavery was nothing to be ashamed of, that being born free meant I was lucky, not special, but horror was still my gut reaction.
Theatre of Marvels by Lianne Dillsworth (2022)
Everything was believed except the truth.
‘There will never be the neat ending you crave, Betty; we cannot go back to how things were, only forward to how things could be. Else why have we suffered so much?’
We fret and sweat over the choices that seem certain to tip the balance of our fortunes, but in truth it’s not the crossroads of our lives that determine their lengths. It is the unseen thorn which poisons our finger, the forgotten key we turn back for, the single careless step.
Traitor in the Ice by KJ Maitland (2022)
“A dream, your father states, is like a poem. It invents and reinvents its own language. It’s lyrical, ambiguous. And most importantly, it never quite gets to the point.”
Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead (2022)
Since my return from Aulis, I had thought the world empty of surprise. To be surprised, you had to have a belief that the world would always follow its rhythms and patterns as it had always done.
Elektra by Jennifer Saint (2022)
It was one thing to challenge a legend. It was quite another to challenge reality.
The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting (2022)
Favourite books read in February:
Booth and Death and the Conjuror
Authors read for the first time in February:
Mathew West, Karen Joy Fowler, Lianne Dillsworth, Alexandre Dumas fils, Tom Mead
Places visited in my February reading:
England, USA, Ireland, France, Greece, Norway
Reading notes: I’ve continued working through the books on my NetGalley shelf and am up to date with the ones being published in March and April now (reviews to follow nearer publication dates). I also managed to fit in a book for the Classics Club Dare and a book from the British Library Crime Classics series, although I decided not to take part in the Read Christie challenge this month as the February book was Death on the Nile, which I’ve already read.
In March, I’m hoping to take part in Reading Ireland Month at 746 Books and Reading Wales Month at Book Jotter, read at least one or two books from the Walter Scott Prize longlist ahead of the shortlist announcement in April, and possibly join in with the next Read Christie book, which is After the Funeral.
How was your February? Do you have any reading plans for March?