Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Things I Read in February

And another month has gone byyyyyyy! I tend to kind of hate winter, and by the time we get to February I'm just so ready for it to be over. And now it is, and everything's great! So. I didn't get a whole lot of reading done in February, which I pretty much put down to busyness- I worked three Sundays out of four (please kill me), found myself busy on most of my Wednesdays off, and Saturdays I had to do household things usually that prevented that much reading. Still, I made an effort and crammed a few books into my brain. Voila:

Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa
I am so into Ogawa's writing that I can't even tell you. Although I started with The Housekeeper and The Professor, which is beautiful and sad, I've come to discover that her typical style is something slightly more disturbing and unsettling- a Japanese Shirley Jackson, if you will. Hotel Iris is about surface impressions and about what's going on underneath, about inappropriate relationships and teenage obsessions, and then everything gets a little bit S&M-ish and I was shocked and intrigued. Very interesting, very unsettling, definitely worth a read (did everyone see the Japanese Shirley Jackson part? EXACTLY.)

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
I read The Shock of the Fall in about four days, and by the end I was sobbing quietly. The Shock of the Fall is a story about encroaching mental illness, at the same time as being the story of how someone tells a story. It contains such insights as "I think people who are generous with food have a goodness about them" (same) and "I think she decided to become a teacher to give her life a meaning, or to distract her. I don't suppose there is much difference" and I am into books with insights and shit. If forced to criticise this book (which no one is forcing me to do, and yet here it comes!) I'd just say that I didn't necessarily LOVE the writing style, but there aren't that many writing styles I do love, so it's only really a minor point, especially when you consider the crying at the end. I got attached to this character, and wanted good things for him in the end. What more can you ask for from a book?

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson
I have legit written a review of this already which is very rare and also exciting! So yeah. This was what I was reading for the majority of the month, and it was totally worth the time it took to read, trust me.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
I think it would be fairly redundant for me at this point to once again say how much I love Rainbow Rowell's writing and storytelling and literally everything about her, plus this book deserves a full on review, but I will just say this: I was really nervous about the premise of this book when in fact I should have given Rainbow my full trust because she has never steered me wrong before. If you've been putting off reading this because you're not sure about it then you need to stop and read and oh my GOD you're going to have so much fun, I can't even tell you.


  1. Saturdays definitely feel like householdy days (still harking back to when we had a holiday flat and I used to clean it every Saturday, probably!), and Sunday working is the WORST. Why can't people stay at home and eat roast potatoes on Sundays like they did in Ye Olden Days?!

    I wept at The Shock of the Fall too. It was just SO beautiful and SO strangely innocent and SO lyrical and... ugh. Dammit Filer, breakin' ma heart.

    My stepdad has One Summer so READ THAT I SHALL... sometime... and also I've got Fangirl on my TBR for March (finally) so once I've read that I'm sure I'll be buying myself a copy of Carry On! I'm anticipating that being one of my favourites of the month tbh. I'm reading a lot at the moment because ZERO LIFE AND ALSO MUCH ANXIETY AND LONELINESS so I think a little Rainbowy goodness will be just what the doctor ordered.

    Hope March treats you a little more gently, sweetness. :) xx

    1. Dude, I don't even know. I at least don't have to deal with people, except for my colleagues, if I work on Sundays, and it's only for when we're really behind. But STILL.

      VERY strangely innocent. I think that was a teeny bit a thing I didn't like actually haha but I did still really enjoy it. PLUS the crying. Important.

      OMG OMG OMG you will actually love Fangirl. (I didn't even realise you hadn't read it yet!) I actually don't even think it's necessary to have read Fangirl to read Carry On (cause that kind of confuses what Rainbow has done... Imma try and talk about this in my proper review...) but it also doesn't hurt at all! (ps come to me with your anxiety and loneliness I love youuuuu and also like a bridge over troubled waterrrrrrr... [you see where I'm going with this, right?])

      I wanted to have a lovely sunny March but now I hear it's going to be shitty weather! BOO.

    2. I JUST FOUND CARRY ON IN PAPERBACK ON 2 FOR £7 IN TESCO YASSSS. Now I'm all ready to read BOTH in the near future. Hoorah for handily placed tempting book displays!

      You sang Simon and Garfunkel over the internet. Awwww, that makes me happy. I'm just feeling sorry for myself, with The Incident and the anxiety and the rain and the raging PMT and the diet (sometimes a girl just needs pizza) and sometimes this happens but it SUCKS so thank you is what I'm saying. :)

  2. Yeaaaaah, I'm gonna have to read Hotel Iris.

    1. You are! Do you want my copy? (My getting rid of it says nothing about its quality but lots about my lack of space and really really trying to get rid of books I don't adore more than life, ya know?)

    2. I mean, if you're offering... :)

      I really need to clear out my bookshelves