Friday, March 1, 2019

Books I Read in February 2019

ARCs clearly defined in accordance with review policy here.
Links to buy are affiliate links.


Having spent the last few months in some sort of reading related slump, I'm over the moon that my reading mojo has finally returned. I read 16 books in February, a 1600% increase on the big fat zero that I finished in January.

To go to my full Goodreads review of any book, just click the cover. I don't do spoilers!



Becoming by Michelle Obama
I received this as a Christmas gift and I took my time reading it. It's not a political book, although of course there are political anecdotes included. It's really enjoyable, a very real and open story of a young determined woman from Chicago who was driven to do something important with her life. I loved it - so much so that after finishing my hardback, I bought it on Audible so that I could listen to her reading her story. Her voice is so soothing and strong, I'd highly recommend the audio version.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository | Audible 

Brutally Honest by Mel B
I borrowed this from the library - it's a really harrowing look at some of the darker periods in Melanie B's life, documenting her awful relationship with her ex-husband Stephen and looking at other significant relationships and how they affected her. It's a hard read, but one that shows that nobody is immune to a damaging relationship.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

I'll Be There for You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller
I saw this on someone's social media (I can't remember who) and downloaded it on my Kindle. It's a look at what the TV show Friends means to people, and an examination of some of the more controversial storylines. I enjoyed it a lot, and I learned some new things about the show.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


In America: Tales from Trump Country by Caitríona Perry
I bought this the Christmas before last and just never got around to reading it - I wonder if I had read it earlier would I have taken more from it? It's composed of stories collected from Trump supporters living in different States in the US. It's all presented as is, with little personal input from the author. I didn't take a lot from it, but die-hard lovers of US politics may be interested in stories from the ground.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Notes to Self by Emilie Pine
I had pre-ordered this and then left it on a shelf for months - I feel bad that I neglected it for so long, because it's one of the most powerful books I've read in a very long time. The author writes so beautifully about the most tragic events, from fertility to illness, sexual violence, teenage depression - the subject matter is really heavy but it's so raw and real, it's impossible to not take something from it. I cried several times (shocker).
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Rebel Dad by David R.I. McKinstry
I received this as a digital ARC from Netgalley (I've a post about how to use Netgalley here). It's about David, a gay man from Canada who always wanted children but was declined as an adoptive parent because of his sexuality. He decides that nothing will stop him from becoming a parent, and travels to India to try and bring a child back. I didn't love the writing style here, I felt that I didn't get to know much about David as a person, just that he was driven to become a Dad. I really enjoyed his friend Susan's story and I admire the determination in trying to give a child a better life.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository


Suck Less: Where There's a Willam There's a Way by Willam Belli
Drag Race Alum Willam Belli has written a guide, not on how things get better, but on how to make things suck less. It's witty and quirky, but if you're not a fan of Willam or you don't get his dry, sardonic humour, then you may be better off avoiding this one. I enjoyed it, but even knowing what kind of jokes he makes I still wasn't prepared for some of the advice. Or is it really advice?
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
Like most people, before discovering Busy Philipps on Instagram stories, I only knew of her from TV and Film roles a few years ago. I listened to this on audio and I'd highly recommend you do that too if you're interested in it - her stories are so interesting and she has no problem calling someone out on shady behaviour. The story about Blades of Glory was shocking, I can't believe that her using a particular word to describe James Franco got more media coverage than that entire debacle. I really like her and I really liked this book.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository | Audible

The Cow Book by John Connell
At the time of writing, the author is twenty-nine years old and has just returned to his family farm in Longford after living in Canada and Australia. He tells numerous stories about life on a farm, but also weaves in some of the history and lore about cattle and looks at his relationship with his father. Unfortunately I didn't like this one, I appreciate that it exists because I think it's important to document the farming lifestyle, but I didn't personally take anything from it.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository 



The Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood
I'll have a blog tour spot and a giveaway for a copy of this one on Saturday March 2nd. It's a really good thriller about a woman who wakes from a coma to realise that her daughter has died, her husband has vanished, and it's all her fault. Or is it? Somebody must know something, surely? I really liked this one a lot.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
This is a tale about a group of friends who travel to a remote cabin to celebrate New Years Eve. When one of the party dies, everyone's a suspect. A messy tangle of secrets and deceit, I didn't love this one and it took me ages to get through.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

The Nowhere Child by Christian White
I received this as a digital ARC from NetGalley. It's a crime/thriller set between Australia and Kentucky, about a woman named Kim who is approached by a stranger one day and told that she is, in fact, Sammy Went, who vanished in 1990 aged 2. The book goes back and forth between then and now to find out what really happened. It's one of the best books I've read in ages.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Young Adult


Enchantée by Gita Trelease
I took part in the blog tour for this one, you can read that post in full here.
Set in Paris in 1789, right on the cusp of the French Revolution, this is a tale about a young woman trying to ensure the survival of her family. All that Camille has to offer is the magic that her mother used to use - she infiltrates the Palace at Versailles and tries to con the rich out of some of their wealth. But Camille is not the only one there under pretence, and things get messy. I enjoyed this a lot, plus it's a standalone so you don't have to worry about being left with a cliffhanger.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
I really enjoyed Karen's first book, One of Us is Lying, a Breakfast Club style YA thriller, so when I saw that she had a new book I bought it immediately. This one is about twins Ezra and Ellery Corcoran, who are sent to live with their estranged Grandmother in Echo Ridge, a small town with a troubled past. 23 years ago a young woman went missing. 5 years ago, another was found dead. Now, someone is on the prowl again. I really enjoyed this, I got a little confused between the different generations of crime victims but overall I thought it was brilliant.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository

Other Fiction


Ready To Fall (Wingmen #1) by Daisy Prescott
This was free on BookBub, so having read and enjoyed some other books by this author I snapped it up. It's a light romance about a soon-to-be-divorced woman who moves next door to a big gruff sexy lumberjack. Unfortunately I didn't love it - I felt that the male lead was needlessly growly and possessive, and I didn't enjoy reading the entire book from his POV.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
I was very kindly sent a review copy of this last year, and just never got around to finishing it. I read it from the beginning the other day and I loved it. It's about Keiko Furukura,  a young woman who has worked in the same store for eighteen years, and her desire to appear "normal" to society. It's a witty, sharp look at the pressures on young women and the expectations they face from society, plus it's darkly funny in parts. I really enjoyed it. Plus, it led me to a very pleasant half hour YouTube binge to hear some of the Japanese words read aloud, followed by an eBay order of 20 Japanese KitKats.
Buy: Kindle | Book Depository 

So, there we have it - a nice little 4x4 collection of very diverse books this month. My favourites were Nowhere Child, This Will Only Hurt a Little, Becoming, and Notes to Self. If you've read anything good lately that you think I'd like, pop me a comment below or on my Instagram.

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