February reading round-up

Woman reading c.1890
UK National Media Museum (c. 1890) via Wikimedia Commons.

I feel like I have done a lot and also very little this month. That doesn’t make much sense but it’s a pretty accurate summary of how I feel about the past four weeks! I’ve managed to read a decent amount, and I’d say my favourite read this month was The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey.

I also realised that I am terrible at giving book recommendations. I’m pretty good at knowing what I’m going to like but I’m also aware how much taste varies and it’s a rare book indeed that I would say no-one could like or that everyone would like. And yet people always ask me for advice, which is perfectly reasonable because I not only read a lot but I have this book blog thing…

How do you feel about recommending books? Do you have special favourites that you always recommend? How did you come to select those? I seek advice!


Books read

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (review here)

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey (review here)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (review here)

Code Monkey Save World by Greg Pak (I haven’t reviewed this comic because it was just a quick read for fun but do check it out if you can)

Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood (review here)

13 Things That Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks (review to follow)


Short stories read

“Break it down” by Lydia Davis (Guardian Books podcast)

“Meet the president!” by Ali Smith (New Yorker, available online)

“The heron” by Dorthe Nors (New Yorker, Sep 9, 2013)

“Concerning the bodyguard” by Donald Barthelme (New Yorker Fiction podcast)

“A village after dark” by Kazuo Ishiguro (New Yorker Fiction podcast)

“Bluebell meadow” by Benedict Kiely (New Yorker Fiction podcast)

“A different kind of imperfection” by Thomas Beller (New Yorker Fiction podcast)

“I see you” by Harry Harrison (from his short story collection 50 in 50)

“The mistake” by Martín Kohan, translated by Nick Caistor (Guardian, available online)


How was your February? Has it finally sunk in that it’s 2014 now?