Sunday 1 March 2020

Books read in February

I can't really believe that in the shortest month of the year I've managed to read 11 books (and it's almost 12). How on earth that happened I don't know, my average is generally 6. And I have to say, quality-wise, which after all is the important thing, it's been an excellent month.

February books:

7. The Icelandic Adventures of Pike Ward - K.J. Findlay

8. Howards End is on the Landing - Susan Hill. I think this is my 2nd. or 3rd. reread of one of my favourite books about books.

9. The Returning Tide - Liz Fenwick

10. The Giant Rat of Sumatra - Richard L. Boyer

11. Unnatural Causes - Dr. Richard Shepherd

12. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club - Dorothy L. Sayers

13. St. Peter's Fair - Ellis Peters. Cadfael helping to solve the death of a Bristol Merchant at the annual St. Peter's Fair. Quite good.

14. The Leper of St. Giles - Ellis Peters. Cadfael investigates when a prospective groom, much older than the bride, is murdered. Suspicion falls upon one of his squires who it is thought is in love with the bride, his disappearance seems to give credence to the theory. This one was really excellent.

15. The Stone Circle - Elly Griffiths

Archaeologist, Ruth Galloway, is called in when the skeletal remains of two young girls are found on a henge site on the Norfolk saltmarshes. One turns out to be a Bronze Age burial, the other is Margaret Lacey, a 12 year old girl who disappeared some 30 years ago. The case is reopened and Nelson is heading the investigation with Ruth's help of course. Michelle has had her baby, a boy, further complicating everyone's lives but strangely, pulling her into the investigation too. Another excellent Ruth Galloway instalment. I'm not keen on the child abduction theme if I'm honest, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the book. I read this series not just for the murder mystery but also for an update on the lives of Ruth and Kate, Nelson, Michelle and their kids, Judy and the wonderful Cathbad and so on. The books are a joy.

16. Beyond the Footpath - Clare Gogerty. This non-fiction is all about pilgrimages, not just of the religious variety but also to other spiritual sites, mountains, forests, lakes, ancient trees, locations of favourite books etc. That last one was my favourite section in a book that was interesting in parts but not so much in others. A pic of the cover is in my header photo.

17. Evening Class - Maeve Binchy

So there we are, 11 books of which 4 were non-fiction, 7 fiction. I majored as usual on crime fiction, 5 of those, all very good. But really it was a mixed bag and although the murder mysteries were good, my favourite two books turned out to be these:

I'm not sure what this kind of fiction is called now, 'modern' fiction? Whatever, I'm rather surprised that I enjoyed these two so much that they ended as favourites of the month. I can see that it means something and that something is probably that I should read more of these family orientated stories that often concern secrets from the past. I didn't know I had such a taste for them and am truly surprised.

So, onwards into March and hopefully more good books. I'll do a separate post on what I plan to read this month, the problem is there are so many of them...



Kailana said...

That's a wonderful reading month! I hope March brings you many wonderful books. :)

DesLily said...

And I was glad I read 4 ! lol lol

Cath said...

Kelly: Thank you... I'm quite hopeful. :-)

Pat: Well, it's not about numbers and I hope you enjoyed the ones you read, that's what counts.

Nicola said...

Evening Class sounds good. Will look out for it.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

I know what you mean. There are now so many genres and sub-genres of books, that it is often difficult to know where to put the label on most titles which are not immediately obvious. I would probably class those two books as contemporary fiction, but then where does contemporary stop and historical begin? Is there some magic date in time when there is a big switch over?

I have quite a few Liz Fenwick books in my pile, but I have yet to read any of them, whilst I always used to enjoy a good Maeve Binchy story, although I haven't read any of her books for many years now!

You also feature a good mix of murder / mysteries among your choices, which I am always on the lookout for, as it probably my most favourite genre.

I hope that you have some good reading planned for March and I'll be interested when you decide to take up the knitting needles again :)


Cath said...

Nicola: It is a very good book, took me quite by surprise.

Yvonne: Well years ago books like The Returning Tide and Evening Class would have been labelled 'Women's Fiction' but that tends not to be used any more and yes, probably they're 'contemporary' now. But I would say that The Returning Tide is borderline historial as it deals a lot with WW2. It's all very confusing and it's quite easy to upset people if you use the wrong label I notice. I'd like to know whether there's a certain date for the switch too!

I'll certainly be reading more by both authors. Interesting that you've read a few by Maeve Binchy, I'm often behind everyone else I notice. LOL

Well, the knitting has begun. I got some wool and started on a scarf for myself and have (guessing here) about 14 or 15 inches done. I'm doing it in a lovely dark blue wool and using double moss stitch. So far I'm very pleased with the result.

Thanks for dropping by. xxx

Anonymous said...

February was an excellent reading month for you! I don't know where the time has gone for me - not so much reading as usual - we've had family to stay and I've been trying to get to grips with family history and a Future Learn course on Hadrian's Wall.

Years ago I loved the Cadfael books and think I have one still to read on my shelves - must look for it. I am so behind with the Ruth Galloway books - I have a lot of catching up to do! I like the sound of Beyond the Footpath - hope the library has a copy.

I go by the Historical Novels Review's definition of historical fiction - a “historical novel” is a novel which is set fifty or more years in the past, and one in which the author is writing from research rather than personal experience.(

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

For some reason my comment came over without my name etc - so the Anonymous is me - Margaret @ BooksPlease - sorry!

Cath said...

Margaret: It sounds to me like you're doing some interesting things and your books will still be there when you're more free.

My copy of Beyond the Footbath is currently in the charity shop box so if you would like it just pop your address to me by email at nanquidno2001 at

And thank you so much for the definition of a historical book, so pleased to now know that!

No problem about the 'anon' comment, the ways of technology passeth all understanding at times. :-)

TracyK said...

That does sound like a good month, and with good variety in the reading. I find that helps me a lot to change types of books I am reading.

You have read books from two series that I want to continue. The Cadfael series and the Ruth Galloway series. I hope to continue the Cadfael books soon because I have books two and three, but I will have to be looking for more of Ruth Galloway series. I have two used books stores I will try and then the book sale later in the year, although for some reason I have never seen them there.

Cath said...

Tracy: I sometimes think I like too many genres of books and it is probably so, but for me it helps to keep my reading fresh and stops me from getting bored.

I rarely ever see Ruth Galloway books in used book stores or charity shops. I think people who buy them tend not to part with them as they are rather good.