In order to complete my Spell the Month Challenge for February, I knew that I’d have to find a book title that started with Y. After reading Yes Please last month, I wasn’t sure that I’d have anything already on my shelves. So. I ended up buying something to fit the bill. Unfortunately there aren’t an awful lot of inspiring books beginning with Y. Or at least not that I was able to get in time. I’ve for a bit of time before I’ll need my next one, so I’ll have to do some proper research. For this month, my Y pick was I book I randomly found on Amazon. It sounded interesting enough and, most importantly, was quick. Meaning that, even if it ended up being terrible, I wouldn’t have to push on through a really long novel.
I honestly thought I’d fall apart on spelling the month out in my books for February. We needed one more letter and the month was shorter. It seemed like a recipe for disaster. It was a bit of a struggle to find something for Y and I had to break my book buying ban. Then there was the fact that I had to find last minute alternatives for R and B because I wasn’t going to finish the two I’d set aside. I found E a bit more of a struggle than I expected but, once again, Agatha Christie came through for me.
After having a slight reading slump this month, I wasn’t sure that I’d manage to make it through a lot of books. I had set myself a TBR list but, inevitably, had to change that around to finish my monthly challenge. The plan is to finish what I didn’t read in February in March. At least there’s only 5 letters to cross off.
Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 0
Number of physical books: 6
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 4
What have you been reading this week?
What a week it’s been. The UK have been given their lockdown escape plan and we have a potential end date in sight. Of course, I’m waiting to see how that actually works out but the idea of seeing people again does bring me joy. It’s a shame that the outdoor rules don’t start to change until 8th March because it’s my birthday on Friday. This will the be the first year when I haven’t arranged to see my twin sister at any point and it’s very weird. I don’t know when we’ll actually be able to meet up. After spending my childhood wishing that I didn’t have to share the celebration with someone else, it’s not great when you’re kept apart for reasons beyond your control. But, people have been celebrating their birthdays in lockdown for almost a year. I really shouldn’t complain.
I meant to read Nancy Mitford’s Christmas Pudding back in December but I never got round to it. I ended up with far too many things to on my festive TBR and something had to suffer. Unfortunately, that was Nancy Mitford. Thankfully this month’s book club gave me the chance to make up for this when her novel The Pursuit of Love was chosen. It wasn’t my first choice but I was more than happy with the selection. In fact, it was probably the best bunch of novels so far. I’ve also learnt my lesson from previous months and not left the reading until the last minute. Of course, the chances are Ill have forgotten a lot of it by tomorrow’s meeting but it’s better than rushing the last third. This is what happens when people give me a reading deadline. I just lose all motivation to get it done.
Considering the obsession with the royal family in last week’s newspapers, it seems appropriate that I’m reviewing this novella. I don’t know what the absolute fascination with the Queen and her offspring is. I’m don’t consider myself ardently anti-royal because I can see some of the benefits of their existence. However, I wouldn’t be sorry if we got rid of them altogether. It’s an outdated institution and they do waste a lot of taxpayers money each year. I know The Crown is trying to make the seem like ordinary human beings but you just need to look at the reaction to Harry and Meghan taking a step back from public life. Given the media response, I can see why they’d want to. The Queen and her family just seem so far removed from the rest of the world. It seems like such an odd dynamic. I realise that they’re meant to be part of our great traditions but do they have to be quite so archaic about it? But I’m digressing. The fact is, there is such a fascination about their lives that people have always used them as a basis for their stories. After all, nobody can really imagine what life as a royal is really like. There will always be a market for books like The Uncommon reader and there will always be writers willing to imagine life behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace.
What have you been reading this week?
Another week and another struggle to get any reading done. Although, I did manage to do more than I did last week I think. I actually finished two books and I completed this month’s book club pick well in advance. My main worry now is that I won’t complete my Spell the Month Challenge for February. I’ve currently still got an R, B, and Y to go. My Y pick isn’t too long but the other two will take me a bit of time. So, I’m planning on getting ahead today. I’ll get as much done as possible in the hope that I finish in time. Thankfully, I’ve run out of things that I’m desperate to watch. Although, I’ll definitely be getting a few viewings of WandaVision in before the season finale on my birthday. It’s so good.
One of the positive side effects of taking part in my friend’s virtual book club is that I find out about loads of great books. Of course, most of the time we don’t end up reading the ones that I’m really interested in, so I have take it upon myself to read them. This book was my pick or February’s Valentine theme and it was one that I knew I had to buy for myself. It just sounded like such a different take on a love story. Although, I did have some fears about it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel about super heroes that I’ve enjoyed. The superhero genre is such a visual one that I think it’s really hard to translate that in words. Could you imagine trying to write a novelisation of some of the most popular graphic novels? It’d be so difficult. As this book didn’t sound quite as bothered about the superhero element, I figured that it might be a bit safer.
I’m a fan of Shakespeare. I think he’s way more accessible than people give him credit for. I can also understand why so many people don’t get along with him. For me, it all comes down to how you first experience him. For most of us, we’ll come across our first Shakespeare play at school. If you go through this with the right teacher then he you’ll be able to embrace the Bard fully. If you don’t have the right teacher then you’ll just think he’s old and boring. Thankfully, the first play that I studied was Macbeth and it ended up being a lot of fun. Then I got stuck into Othello, Hamlet and King Lear. By the time I was 16, I was already pretty hooked on old Willy. Although, I’ve never been a big fan of a couple of his most popular plays. Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Nights Dream tend to be ones that most people are willing to watch. I guess they’re more like traditional romantic comedies, so they might be easier for modern audiences to get behind. Really, I don’t know why people love these plays so much. For me, they’re two of his most tedious plays. And, yes, I have studied the histories. Certainly in the case of Romeo and Juliet. I just think it’s stupid.
What have you been reading this week?
This week I found out that I was being out on flexible furlough, which means I’ll be working 3 out of 5 days a week. It’s not the best news ever but, considering the current economic climate, I’m grateful that it’s not worse. Of course, being the naïve dreamer that I am, I expected to use my afternoons to whirl through my TBR. Obviously, that didn’t happen. In fact, I’d say that I probably read much less this week than I have this year. I’ve just not been feeling it. I guess I’ve finally hit that start of the year slump. I’m going to try and get in a quick read to kickstart my system and see how it goes. I’m trying not to feel too bad about it but it’s hard.