Friday 2 April 2021

Books read in March

I can't believe another Easter is already upon us, it only seems like five minutes since Christmas! Lockdown is easing in the UK but our Easter will still be a quiet one, not least because they're forecasting wintery showers. Daffs and primroses in the garden, magnolias and camelias are everywhere magnificent, the blossom on the greengage tree is so pretty ... and it might snow. Only in the UK.

Anyway. March was an excellent reading month for me. I read eight books and these are they:

16. Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey 

17. Post Captain - Patrick O'Brian 

18. Diamonds and Dust - Carol Hedges 

19. Death Has Deep Roots - Michael Gilbert 

20. Heavy Weather an antholgy edited by Kevan Manwaring 

21. A Time to be in Earnest - P.D. James 

22. The Abominable - Dan Simmons 

23. Emma - Jane Austen (to be reviewed)

So, eight books - seven fiction and only one non-fiction. A motley mix, three murder mysteries, two historicals, a collection of weird short stories, a classic, and an autobiographical work. And they were all good. I don't know what's happened but I seem to be enjoying every book I pick up this year. Whether this is pure 'luck' or whether my skill at choosing books I will enjoy has been honed to the point where I'm now rarely mistaken, I'm not sure. I do know that I will now happily abandon books if I'm 30 or 40 pages in and not enjoying it, but even that has not happened a lot lately. Oh well, one of life's little mysteries.

A favourite books from the eight is hard because they were all so good and I would recommend any of the them to the right reader. But I think this just had a 'very' slight edge on the rest:


Emma really took me surprise. I knew that I liked the book but I had no idea that a third read of it would be quite so enjoyable... to the point where I just couldn't put the thing down. I have a couple more Austen  rereads coming up over the next few months, probably but not definitely starting with Persuasion.

Happy Easter to the lovely people who visit my blog, and especially to those who take the time to leave a lovely comment or two. It is so appreciated. And not only 'Happy Easter' but 'Happy Reading' too. 


DesLily said...

Yikes! That's a lot of books! I think we always enjoy our "rereads" because we enjoyed them enough the first time to save them for another read!!

Lark said...

I'm glad March turned out to be such a good reading month for you. I love when I hit a string of really good books to read; the reverse, when it happens, is not quite so fun. Wishing you a very Happy Easter weekend! :D

Sam said...

Nicely done, Cath. Some of us may have struggled to get through only Simmons book in four weeks...that's a doorstop, for sure.

We are going to have a quiet Easter celebration here, just me, the one grandson, and my wife. I'm fully vaccinated now, but my wife's second dose does not come until a week from today, so we are definitely going to play it safe and let the rest of the family celebrate without us. We're hoping this is the last holiday we have to miss...maybe a July 4th BBQ is in the works. Here's hoping.

Take care, and keep on reading.. :-)

TracyK said...

I love the photos of the flowers (primroses) at the end. I will have to check the nursery here but from what I read, they won't work as perennials here. I am going to have some questions about marjoram sometime soon, you recommended it once at my blog. You can tell I am in gardening mode.

What a good group of books. I haven't read any historical fiction for a while but I will finish Post Captain soonish.

Persuasion is one of my favorite books by Austen, up there with Pride and Prejudice. I look forward to hearing what you think of Emma and whichever one you read next. Someday I will come back and reread those books.

Cath said...

Pat: Yeah, I think I've become a slightly faster reader but am not sure how. Possibly eReaders, I always read quicker on those. I'm still not as fast as Peter, he reads about 3 times more books than me in a year. Mind you I've seen him skip the boring bits, pages of them, I couldn't keep track of the plot if I did that.

Lark: I genuinely feel that I'm getting better at choosing what to read. And that's not so easy when there are *so* many good books around. By the way, I bought The Cold Vanish. I think I'll be reading that sooner rather than later. You're a bad influence. LOL!

Cath said...

Sam: Well I ploughed on and on with the Simmons book, determined not to be defeated. I wish it could've been slightly more supernatural though. There was a hint, but not enough for me. Mind you, some of the climbing stuff was terrifying enough!

We're being safe too. The government has asked people not to go crazy and we had no intention of doing that anyway. We've both had our first doses but there are now supply problems so we don't know when the second dose will be. But it's good that over half the adult population in the UK has now had at least one dose. I feel a lot safer because of that but I would like my husband, with his health issues, to get his second dose.

Tracy: Glad you enjoyed the primroses, that was taken a few years ago but they're lovely again this year. I imagine it would be too hot for them where you are, they're a Feb. to April plant here, chilly months, they don't do well in the summer. Good luck with the marjoram, that's a Mediterranean plant so should do fine there and you will get 'bees'!

I think I will probably reread Persuasion as my next Austen. Pride and Prejudice has always been my favourite but I feel a bit too familiar with the plot to want to read it again soon. I've never read Mansfield Park so that is definitely on the list.

Mary said...

UK isn't the only place where spring and winter get confused. A week ago Friday we had a high temp of 28c and yesterday it only reached 6c and we had frost last night as it dipped to -2c. Just a few miles north of us had snow showers, too. As said in T.S. Eliot's poem, "April is the cruelest month."

Just finished Persuasion (Emma next). Very enjoyable even after multiple reads. The 1995 film followed the book quite closely. Amanda Root and CiarĂ¡n Hinds were so good. One of my favorites. Finished O'Brian's The Thirteen Gun Salute, too. Onward to The Nutmeg of Consolation.

Happy Easter, Cath, to you and your family.

Peggy Ann said...

A nice list of books, Cath. Can you believe I have never read an Austen! Happy Easter to you and your family too!

Cath said...

Mary: April is indeed the cruellest month. We have a really sharp northerly wind blowing at the moment and it isn't really that unusual for us to have snow at Easter. Possibility for us on Monday I gather. One year we were on top of Mam Tor in the Peak District with a blizzard suddenly descending on us and a large group of boy scouts. Their leader suggested we get into a bit of a huddle and we were fine and it's not even much of a mountain, more a big hill, but even so...

I think Persuasion will be my next Austen. I've seen that 1995 film version and surely an earlier BBC series but I'm not sure about that, maybe not. My favourite version of Emma is the TV series from 2009 starring Ramola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller and Michael Gambon. I gather there was new film version out last year. Must try to see that.

I've just started HMS Surprise and only a chapter or two in I already love it. Have you read any of O'Brian's standalone novels? And the biography by Nickolai Tolstoy? (I gather he was O'Brian's stepson.)

Thank you, Happy Easter to you and yours too.

Cath said...

Peggy: Well yes... there are plenty of classic authors I've never read too, Peggy. George Eliot and Thomas Hardy to name but two, although I have tried with Hardy, I think he's just not for me.

Happy Easter!

Judith said...

Hi Cath,
Beautiful photo of your...primroses, I think??
We have had a very early spring here. Warm. And now down to 30 degrees with six inches of snow over the next two days. Wild times!
I read Time to Be in Earnest and loved it. I own it and have kept it, thinking I would like to read it again. And Emma!! I haven't read it, though I've read multiple times most of Austen's books. I think the movie starring G. Paltrow put me off reading it. How silly is that!
Sorry if I've missed it, but I do hope you are both fully vaccinated now and will be able to be more "out in the world," and if nothing else, at least be able to be with your grandchildren.
We just came out of 14 months of hiding this week. Overwhelming and joyous.

Cath said...

Judith: Yes, those are primroses, taken a few years ago but this years were just as lovely. A real tonic to look out on this spring.

Oh heavens, snow in April? That said we had some here a couple of weeks ago, came down quite heavily for half an hour but didn't stick.

Funnily enough, I thought the movie of Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow was not bad, Jonny Lee Miller made rather a good Knightly I thought. The book of course is much better. I'm thinking of rereading Persuasion next month.

14 months of hiding is a long time, isn't it? We're the same and yes it is overwhelming though we're not quite there yet in the UK.