Books Read in February 2013

I enjoyed all the books I finished reading in February and my Pick of the Month goes to two excellent books – Dead Water (Shetland series 5) by Ann Cleeves and The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona MacLean, both books being crime fiction.

Dead Water & Alex Seaton

The other books I read are also fiction, although Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon is fictionalised autobiography. Two of the books are from my stock of unread books bought before January 2013, two are books from my local library and one is an e-book borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

The links are to my posts on the books – I have yet to write my thoughts about Agatha Christie’s Cat Among the Pigeons.

  1. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (from TBR books). This novel tells the story of Harrison Shepherd, the son of a Mexican mother and an American father. It’s told through his diaries and letters together with genuine newspaper articles, although whether they reported truth or lies is questionable.
  2. Dead Water by Ann Cleeves, crime fiction continuing the Shetland series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this –  a mixture of mystery and the creation of totally believable characters, set in Shetland Mainland.
  3. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sasson (library book). Sassoon was born in 1886 and in this book he relives his childhood, youth and experiences as an officer during the First World War. He comes across as a likeable young man, shy, reserved, and modest, happy-go-lucky but aware of his own shortcomings. But all this changed with the onset of the First World War.
  4. The Redemption of Alexander Seaton by Shona MacLean (library book)  I think this is one of the best novels I’ve read recently. It’s historical crime fiction set in Scotland in the 1620s, mainly in the town of Banff, where on a stormy night Patrick Davidson, the local apothecary’s assistant collapses in the street. The next morning he is found dead.
  5. Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn (Kindle) – this is crime fiction, the first in the Daisy Dalrymple series and it’s a quick and easy read, a mix of Agatha Christie and PG Wodehouse, set in 1923
  6. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie (Poirot)

I’ve also been reading two non-fiction books in February and am still reading them –  Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain and Wildwood: a Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin. It takes me longer to read non-fiction than fiction as I read it more slowly, especially these two books that are packed with facts and ideas. But I’m nearing the end of both of them.

After that I’m planning to finish reading The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell, which I first started reading last year and put to one side. I’ve had to start reading it again!

Other books waiting to be read, if not in March then later in the year are Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon, which I’ve borrowed from my local library. This is the next book in his fictionalised autobiography  I’ll also be reading (because it’s my book group choice for March) The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas, a story of wartime, family secrets and forbidden love, set against in the 1940s in Kashmir.

I’ve got a pile of other books from the library which I’m itching to read soon – I think I’ll do a separate post on these books. I’m always tempted to borrow more books than I can possible read in the loan period, but that’s me! As if I don’t have enough of my own unread books to keep me going all year and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Books Read in February 2013

  1. I must give Anne Cleeves another try because so many people whose opinions I respect recommend her. I couldn’t get on with the Vera books. The woman annoyed me so much. Perhaps the Shetland series would be the better place to try again.


  2. I’m exactly the same, I have 5 library books out and 5 on request, and hundreds of my own to read. I have the first of that Ann Cleeves series on request and a Catriona McPherson book too – thanks to you.


  3. I know… the library thing is ridiculous isn’t it? I too borrow far more than I can possibly read in 3 weeks and depend upon being able to renew. As you said, I have heaps of my own books to read and should make an effort to read some of them.

    Wildwood sounds rather good. I too take more time to read non-fiction, it always seems a shame to rush it.


  4. Margaret – You’ve picked some winners this month! I love Cleeves’ work, and I’ve become a MacLean fan too. Both are great series.


  5. I didn’t know a 5th Shetland series is out! I have the first four, need to read the last two. I was saving them, but now I don’t have to. I really enjoy them. So you know Dead Water is added to my list of books to get….same with Shona MacLean. I really enjoy historical mysteries, and this sounds good. We can book one over here. At least I own Death at Wentwater Court, finally, which I still have to read. I’ve been hearing a lot about this series too.

    Books from the library vs books I own – I have the same problem, I take out so many, and have so many already to read. I feel spoiled by choice, I love it, but it means sometimes I wonder where to start!


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