Recent Reads: February

Another month has passed, and I haven’t read nearly as much as I’d hoped to. I hate to sound like a walking cliché but where does the time go?! I swear one of these days I’m going to take a reading holiday and be done with it. 

Enough rambling. Here’s what I read.


[The book selection in our cottage in Rutland Water this past weekend. The scenery was a lot better]

A Nurse Abroad, Anne Watts **** ¦¦ I decided to read the follow on to Always The Children (which I read last month) because it was on Audible and I enjoyed the first book so much. This book attempts to go back in and fill in some of the gaps that Anne left during her first book. It’s a bit of a shift towards a true autobiography, which the first book wasn’t so much. Again the choppy narrative was a bit frustrating at times but it did feel more cohesive than the first book. Overall I enjoyed it, although I don’t think it’s as good as the first.

What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty ***** ¦¦ Thanks to Kristen for the recommendation of this one. I loved it! The story centres around Alice who wakes up one day having forgotten the previous 10 years of her life. The story follows her trying to understand what has happened in those lost years; in some cases trying to make amends for what has happened and in others just adjust to the new reality. It’s a really powerful tale and it definitely stayed with me

That Quail, Robert, Margaret A Stanger ***** ¦¦ Alright this is a re-read for me and I’m not ashamed. It’s a classic Nice Book About Animals (the favourite genre of my Mum and I when we need cheering up). It’s the true story of a couple who rescue a wild quail egg which hatches. They raise the baby quail who quickly becomes a central member of the family, and one full of character at that. It’s just heart warming and cute and that’s about it really.

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway *** ¦¦ My First Hemingway. I figured it was about time. This is about a motley group of expats in Europe in the 1920s and nothing much really happens other than them getting drunk, travelling around a bit, flirting awkwardly with each other, drinking some more, being snobby, watching some bullfights, and a lot more drinking. I appreciated reading a book written in a style that’s different to what I’m used to, and although at times the narrative was a bit meandering and frustrating I liked that not every detail included was leading towards some dramatic climax. Mainly my issue was that I didn’t like the characters at all. I realise that’s sort of the point; it illustrates the foolishness, hedonism and futility of the lives of these privileged expats. However, I struggle to enjoy books when I don’t like at least the main character. That’s just me.

The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin *** ¦¦ This is written by OG travel writer Bruce Chatwin, who started the “quit your job to travel the world” craze back in the 1960’s when he left his very successful job at Sotheby’s at the age of 26. Seeing as blogs weren’t around back then, he wrote books about his travels instead. This is one such book and follows his journey across Australia, focusing heavily on indigenous peoples and their traditions and current ways of life. It seems he was obsessed with nomads and kept finding tribes to pester throughout his life. After a slightly meandering start, the book descends into a total chaos of notes and quotes in the second half, which really put me off. I actually think it’s a really good book, which is why the second half is such a shame. It’s also important to note that even though the book follows someone called Bruce who has the exact same life story as Bruce Chatwin, he maintained that the book was actually fiction. So make of that what you will.

What did you read this month?