Happy World Book Day (at least for the UK & Ireland)! In celebration of this (though I never really need a reason to celebrate books and reading!), I figured I’d share my completed February reading list. There is really no rhythm or reason to what I read or when I read it, I just go with what catches my mind’s eye or lights my fancy. With that in mind, here we go…
First up is The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.
While this was a quite enjoyable read, I found it to almost be lacking in depth. There were so many things I wanted to know about, several characters I wish had been fleshed out a bit more, and a couple of very rich story threads that I felt were not given the space to develop. To me it was like a tease – I could sense the vast layering, yet couldn’t quite touch it. The cover art for this particular edition is stunning and I have to say it’s what first caught my eye when I spotted it on the sale shelf. While I’m not one to solely judge a book by it’s cover, I do enjoy eye-candy!
After that I read Because I Loved Him, The Life and Loves of Lillie Langtry by Noel B. Gerson.
This was also a light and easy read, especially considering that it’s a biography. Lillie Langtry is/was such a fascinating individual who rose to World fame during the turn-of-the-century. She was a professional beauty (or PB), the muse of many an artist, an actress, a fashion icon, a rule-breaker, a business woman, and something of a sphinx. This biography provides facts and shines a bit of light upon her, yet so much still remains a mystery, since first and foremost, Lillie was a lady who knew how to kiss and not tell!
Then I read Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
My friend had been recommending this book to me for ages and after finally reading it, I can see why (and I really can’t believe I took so long to actually read it!). Margaret Atwood has such a compelling way of getting into her character’s heads and since this was based on true people and a true murder, it was all the more compelling. It centers around Grace Marks, a woman who supposedly aided in the 1843 murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Did she actually help to plot and then complete the horrible crimes when she was but 16 years old or was she a pawn, a victim of circumstances, or something else entirely? Margaret Atwood manages to combine facts, interviews, differing versions of the crime and even Grace’s own versions of what happened into a very dark, somewhat disturbing, yet possible outcome. This was a high point for me and I’m looking forward to reread this in the future!
After that it was Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain.
Sigh, this book. It made me feel so Stabby! I mean, seriously, between Mildred and Veda I didn’t know who I disliked more. I only read it because I really enjoy the movie of the same name, yet not quite the same story, Mildred Pierce. The movie surprisingly provides more likable characters and a much more satisfying outcome then the book. The characters in the book felt so unreal, and I really disliked how the women were portrayed. It was almost farcical how almost one-note and over the top they were (or became), while the men, even with their faults, were steady, almost wise and, in my eyes, were the stoic victims of the women around them – blurg.
Lastly, I read The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.
This was one of my #YearOfHappy thrifting scores (which I bagged for a quarter since it was half-off – btw, why, oh why do they stick the tags where they are all but impossible to get off without damage?!?). I have been wanting to reread this since high school and now I have. Helen Keller was amazing, and even if this did verge on almost too sweet, it’s forgivable since she was only in her early 20s when she wrote it. To think that she managed to over come such hardships is quite uplifting and her spirit is an amazing one, to be sure.
I’m still reading the Colette stories and Rest in Pieces and numerous articles and whatnot. It’s funny that in the short month of February I managed to read more then I did in January, but then, that’s what February weather is made for, I suppose! I’m already two books into March, though my reading may slow down a bit as the month goes on since there will be so much to celebrate between birthdays and Spring! Happy reading everyone!
Namaste ~ Ella