February 2020 Reading

February consisted of some heavy reading as uni starts in March and I had to read books for my English class (engaging with literature). So, here we go.

The classics I read this month were mostly winners, but they all took a lot out of me. Pygmalion, the play by Bernard Shaw, was fantastic when I got into the rhythm of the speaking. It also helped having seen ‘My Fair Lady’ with Audrey Hepburn, so I could visualise what was being said (even though the ending was different to the movie… very unexpected yet appreciatively realistic); 5 out of 5 stars.

I read Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), as my friend and I are both reading and reviewing this novel for a zine we sell on Etsy in which we write book reviews. I gave this a 4 of 5 stars because of the genius that is Mary Shelley, but the story didn’t do much for me. If I could have dinner with anyone, I’d choose Jesus, Audrey Hepburn, Natasha Richardson, or Mary Shelley, but if I had to read a book during dinner it would not be Frankenstein. There’s so much distress and anxiety and I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like all the tragedy and evil and desperation.

Next classic was To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf) which I gave 4 of 5 stars. I struggled through the first 100 pages, but in part 2 I found myself relaxing into the story and I actually loved the characters and the writing style. It lost a star for losing me at the beginning.

And last of the classics was What Maisie Knew (Henry James), 3 of 5 stars. Some chapters were a struggle, but overall I found the idea intriguing. It surrounded young Maisie navigating life as her parents are divorced in a time when it wasn’t common. She’s constantly torn between households, and things get complicated with step-parents and affairs. A complicated book, but not completely unwelcome.

I read three poetry books this month; Peluda (Melissa Lozada-Olivia) which I gave 3 of 5 stars, Date & Time (Phil Kaye) and New American Best Friend (Olivia Gatwood), both of which received 4 of 5 stars. All poetry books had a few stand-out poems, several I didn’t particularly like, and many that fit in between.

While I was staying with my sister a couple of weeks ago I borrowed a trilogy of Christian fiction. Grace in Strange Disguise, Grace in the Shadows, and Grace in Deep Waters (Christine Dillon). I gave all three books 4 of 5 stars. They were easy to get into and get through, as well as being set in Australia which was refreshing. (None of that Amish busines.) Quick and enjoyable while holding Biblical nuggets.

After watching the TV series Big Little Lies at a friend’s place, I was curious to read the book and see how much was true to the novel. While I still prefer the TV series (maybe because I saw it first?), the book of the same name (Liane Moriarty) was still worthy of 4 stars. Great one-liners, satisfying, mysterious. On top of this, I read another novel, Foolish Hearts (Emma Mills) which I gave 5 of 5 stars. Emma Mills has yet again (I reviewed her book First & Then here, also 5 stars) found the perfect balance of family relationships, school life, and outside events. The characters she writes feel as though they could live next door to you; they’re tangible, like they exist outside of fiction. Captivating and lovely.

I’m also currently reading numerous books, some for uni and some for leisure, so March is shaping up to be a big month of reading as well.

Happy Sunday!

Sarah xx

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