My Wonderful Reading Year -February 2022 – The Journey Continues.

I made an agreement with myself at the beginning of the year that I would make inroads into my very extensive to be read pile of books and so far I have kept to this resolution! It’s not that I won’t buy new books, but that I’m going to enjoy some of the older novels and non-fiction stories on my bookshelf, because books only really come alive when someone is reading them.

The first Beat The Backlog Book in February is Around The World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh. Beat the backlog is a challenge set up by the wonderful @OwlBeSatReading on Twitter, in which she has challenged readers to show some love to some of the books they have owned for a while.

You feel like you are travelling on the train with them, enjoying the companionship they find with their fellow travelers and the wonder of the places they visit. They don’t sugar coat their experiences which I found very refreshing.

Next came the rather wonderful Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo. I adored this story about the tale of an older man who has hidden his sexuality all through his life, married and had children, all because he faced rejection from the community he loves. What he wants is to live his life honestly, escape a marriage that is making him and his wife miserable and move in with Morris, the love of his life, but does he have the courage? I loved the complexity and honestly of Barry as a character and the way Bernardine Evaristo brings to life the very real struggles he still faces in overcoming his fear of rejection.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was the book chosen by the bookclub I am a member of and I was thrilled, because as part of my degree I read a lot of American Literature and I could remember reading Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, but not Hurston. So I delved into Their Eyes Were Watching God and loved it. The language is rich and powerful, bringing alive the issues of race, gender and discrimination both inside and outside the African American community.

I turned from this to a story of a life growing up in the Northern city of Sheffield. Witten by author Robert Edric My Own Worst Enemy is a moving retelling of his childhood with a father who was vain, controlling and a bully and how acceptance to Grammar school took his life on a different trajectory than that of his solid working class family.

Off Target by Eve Smith is an exciting thriller! I love the way she probed the often-dubious actions of scientists and the violent reactions of the religious right, leaving me the reader to decide if we have the knowledge and the right to play Russian roulette with our children.  She treats her readers to a story that explores the ethics and makes it a stunningly thought provoking thriller, because she is willing to tackle a subject most writers would steer clear of.

Crow Court by Andy Charman is a very clever historical thriller. Convincing historical detail, vies in my mind with a plot that didn’t altogether work for me, but still it is elegant and beautifully written.

My final read of February is the thought provoking A Life On Our Planet – My Witness Statement and A Vision for the Future by David Attenborough. Equal parts scary and worrying, but even better positive and it provides achievable aims for humanity to live happily within the natural world. Without a doubt this is a book everyone should read, especially those who claim to lead us.

It was another wonderful reading month and I have high hopes that March will be equally as good. I like many others need reading to help maintain our sanity in deeply troubling times.

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