February Books 13-16 of 2015

So far February has been a bookie month. Having been very restrained in my book buying in December and January I have been the opposite in February. I always find the period round Christmas fairly safe as so many book are published in hardback. But this starts to change as the Christmas buying frenzy finishes. The month started with me by some miracle especially if you know me having money left at the end of the month just enough for a paperback so I bought it. The next day I arrived at the hairdressers book less how I manage to do this quite so often I don’t know but if I go straight from the office it seems to happen so a book I had had my eye on was purchased. This started the pattern for the month. Found myself at Ocean Point terminal after a meeting congratulated myself on my restraint avoiding all clothes shops and the many sales. Then saw Waterstones had a peep in and before I knew it was at the counter with two books for the price of one offer! Son had book vouchers for Christmas so very soon after this we were in our local bookshop and yes came out with not just books for him. I have also added considerably to my wish list over the month as I read book reviews I add to the list. Then today saw a review for a thriller set in the Hebrides I did add to my wish list but couldn’t resist and ordered it from the bookshop. So the bad news is that I have yet a new book pile plus an ever growing wish list and not enough time to read. My ideal job would be as a reader if there is such a thing. The good news is that I have greatly enjoyed my reading choices and as I can’t possibly read them all this month March is set to be good too. But I must try and catch up before new purchases.

Book 13 Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
This is the hairdressing purchase that in all honesty I had had an eye on since the start of the year. It is arguably one of the most unique books I have ever read. The main narrator is an old lady with dementia and you see life through her eyes which gives a insight into how terrible this disease is. Her daughter also is a key player and although she is not the narrator and the old lady can’t understand why her daughter is so frustrated with her. You as the reader can see why. All this would be an interesting book anyway but it is actually about two missing people cases. One in the older lady’s mind set in the present and the other her sister 70 years ago.
This is an innovative and novel book which I loved which gave me an insight into a disease that is all too common whilst also having you turn the pages to find out what had happened to Elizabeth and the sister. Highly recommended.

Book 14 How to Break a Dragon’s Heart by Cressida Cowell
A book that I have been reading for some months to my son part of a series of books. I must admit I had started to feel that the formula of these books was quite formulaic and they were not my preferred read. But my son loves them so we started this one and surprisingly I really enjoyed this one where Hiccup and Fishlegs seem to be totally out of their depth. And Alvin the terrible’s mother makes a frightening appearance. Some laugh out loud moments and I did cheer for the heroes as you do at the end.

Book 15 Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This is the most rated book that I have seen of the year so far. After a radio book review I decided that I needed to know if the hype was justified. My verdict is that it wasn’t. Not that this isn’t a good read it is but just not quite as good as the critics made it out to be and if I compare it to Elizabeth is missing its not in the same league. I also realised who the killer was well before the end of the book so although I wanted to know that I was right the fact that I was disappointed me. There were also parts of the books and characters I could not quite see acting the way the author has them act particularly wife number two and by the end could not believe anyone would act the way she did.

That said it is a good read I am sure we have all sat on a train and wondered about the lives of the people whose houses and flats we pass by. It was also a scary look at an alcoholic . You started the book feeling her wish for a glass of wine on the train home on a Friday was perfectly justifiable and then quite quickly dreaded her next drink. The writer describes the first drink each day creating a desirable picture that the reader wants one too and then you see what happens after the third and fourth.

It is worth reading but for me like Gone Girl which I also found over hyped not quite the masterpiece that the marketing folks are communicating.

Book 16 Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
Love his books and had been waiting for this one to come out in paperback. It did not fail to disappoint in many ways this is a simple story that shouldn’t be as magical a read as it is. Which shows the quality of Toibin’s writing and the strength of the characters in the book. It is essentially about the grief of a women in rural Southern Ireland just before the troubles whose husband dies leaving her to bring up her 4 children on her own. It is about the intensity of her grief inter mingled with her mothering instinct that she needs to go on with a family on both sides who support and also annoy her. It was quite simply a joy to read and I loved it.


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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