The February book challenge was to read a book in a day. This is not so much a challenge for me as much as an indulgence. For me reading a whole book in a day is one of those perfect relaxing days when I have the time to do something I enjoy best, reading. So I confess I over did it and over the course of the month ended reading 3 books in a day.
As well as my reading challenge for the month I also decided to have a month of crime since we were still in deepest darkest winter which I did bar the last book which carried on with another challenge I set myself to read the Elena Ferrante family saga over the course of four months. So my reading list for February taking me up to 24 books for the year is:
- No Stranger to Death and 2. Too soon a death by local crime writer Janet O’Kane.
3. Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves.
4. Follow you Home by Mark Edwards
5. A Game for all the Family by Sophie Hannah
6. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
7. The Murderer in Ruins by Cay Rademacher
8. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
9. Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris
10. In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward
11. In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware
12. Those who leave and Those who stay by Elena Ferrante
Taking the challenge first. I confess I cheated in that the first book I read in a day was a short book so I knew I would be able to read it. It was “Too Good to be True” by Ann Cleaves a stand alone book with the wonderful Perez but not in Shetland but the Scottish Borders. I have read all her Shetland novels and was always intrigued by the ex wife living with her new family in the Scottish Borders partly as its where I live but also could never understand anyone divorcing Perez. As a stand alone quick novel it filled a role and I could relate to the tale of Borders Village life and how it can often feel like living in a goldfish bowl. But I hated the ex wife she was a social climber and I guessed very quickly who the murderer was. The other two books I read in a day was Dark Places and Behind Closed doors. Behind Closed Doors is one of the hyped up novels of this year. I did enjoy it and enjoyed it so much I had to finish it. I couldn’t fault the storyline although I tried to figure out how anyone could actually hold someone a prisoner like this but the writer did have all angles covered. But the book that I loved was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn the writer behind Gone Girl. I didn’t expect this as I hated Gone Girl. This is actually one of her previous books now republished but for me far superior and held me all the way through the book as I stayed up till the wee small hours to finish it. A 6 year old girl see’s her family killed and is responsible with her testimony for sending her brother to prison for the murders but as she grows up she suddenly realises that she’s made a mistake and sets out to find out what actually happened. It keeps you guessing right to the end.
Two books that didn’t keep me guessing but kept me wondering how they got published were “A Game for all the Family” by Sophie Hannah and “The Quality of Silence” by Rosamund Lupton. I read both these books when I was ill back to back and neither of them helped the recovery process. The Sophie Hannah book just was awful I kept reading it thinking surely since she’s a famous writer this will get better but it didn’t. It’s about a family who move to Devon and the wife starts this conspiracy theory about a family in her daughter’s class which is so bizarre you think can’t be true but then you find the other family are bonkers too at which point I gave up all hope in the book though did manage to finish it but I won’t be reading another. Rosamund Lupton I had high hopes for as I loved her previous books but this was also far fetched. A mother and child arrive in Alaska to visit the father who is working out there. They are told at the airport that he’s dead but don’t believe it and then start this mad dash across Alaska in a storm in a lorry that they have effectively stolen. Quite honestly what Mother would honestly do this and then we are lead to believe that in terrible weather conditions she manages to get over mountains as an avalanche blocks the way back. I failed to extend belief this was a huge fail for me with a capital F.
Special credit to Janet O’Kane who is a local Borders crime writer who I tweet with. It’s really because of her that I started my month of crime. I loved both of her books yes partly as the location I could relate too but also because they were a riveting read and I am looking forward to the next one.
So my challenge for March is to read a book that I have been meaning to read for awhile this gives me endless possibilities with my book pile so watch this space….