February 2021 in Books

By March 4, 2021Personal
February was a funny month for reading when compared with January.  I didn’t have that hunger to finish as many as I did last month, and there are some that I have been trying to get through that I just couldn’t muster the motivation to.  There is one standout book though….guess which.

How I rate books

5  star   I loved it and would recommend it to everyone without hesitation

4 star   I would recommend it depending on what the person is seeking

3  star   It was OK

2 star   It wasn’t to my taste at all and didn’t enjoy it

1  star   It was terrible – you will never get this time back, so don’t waste it!

I rarely rate anything really low as I tend to do my due diligence before I buy.  Sometimes, though, I am influenced by others’ recommendations and then really regret the hours I spent on it!  I generally finish all books that I start…eventually.  Unless they are 1 star…

I have finished 10 books this month and waved the white flag on one.

The one I am telling everyone to read

5 star          Greenlights

WOW.  A lot of people are raving about the audio book, but while I fancy the pants of Matthew McConaughey I really don’t love his accent.  If I were to marry him in another life he’d have to remain silent.  The hardback copy of this book is a absolute must investment.  Before I even read it I fell in love with the quality of the production.  It is in colour when greenlights are referenced.  I loved hearing about his life, which didn’t include exploits at all but centre around his family life and values, the beginnings of his career and what success did to his mindset, and then falling in love and starting a family.  No spoilers there.  I am in hige admiration of the fact that he has kept journals notes and poems for so long and used those to write this book which is says is not an autobiography, but it sort of is.  You can see the originals in the book which is another reason I would recommend it over an audiobook.  I devoured it in 2 sittings in 1 day over the weekend.  It is a book that I imagine I will pick up again and again.  It is far too beautiful to highlight, but there are standout statements in there that you must read to benefit from.  Buy it immediately!

The one that disappointed me

3  star        The Midnight Library

There is no getting away from the Author’s relationship with suicide.  Front and centre the story opens with Nora and her desire to die.  While it was a slightly novel concept it was a bit too depressing and simplistic for me.  I was surprised as it has very high ratings.  Yet he is also a children’s author, so maybe that explains the level of story telling.  I found it very irritating although I did enjoy the philosophical references given my degree in Philosophy.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book.  At least it is short though if, despite this you ignore your gut and buy it anyway!

The one I just couldn’t bring myself to finish

1 star       Mythos by Stephen Fry

Having studied Tragedy as part of my literature degree and spent a year on Modern European Mind, which was basically a lot of Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Aeschylus, I am pretty well versed in stories based on the Gods.  Mythos was like an old-fashioned dictionary style list where the author was trying to get down with the kids with his tone of voice.  And sadly, looking like a Dad dancing on his own at the school disco.  I mean it really was terrible.  I dragged myself through the descriptions of who the Gods were and what their names have come to mean in our everyday life.  The problem is it is all delivered so awkwardly that you still only remember the gods you knew off by heart before, so there is really nothing to be gained from reading this book.  I honestly do not understand the high ratings for it.  The good news is it made me pick up one of my many copies of The Iliad again and was immediately reminded of how brilliant it was just 3 pages in.  Do yourself a favour and skip this one and go to the source.  There is a reason people still know who Homer is.  Although if you want a lighter version of the stories with confusingly different (roman) God names, then I would recommend The Aeneid by Virgil instead.

The other books were OK, but not amazing, with the exception of Cows, which made me think about so many things like how social media and blogs are used and the opportunities and costs that come with that.  Dawn O’Porter is a high standard writer of every day relatable content for women.  I love listening to Bob Proctor – the recording in decades old and it shows, but he is still inspiring as ever with some simple techniques about vision and expectations that I will be putting to use.  I loved Oli Doyle’s book on mindfulness that I bought years ago and only just read.  He is definitely on the same personal development page as me, and so I liked the language a lot – nice and simple.

If you would like to engage in discussion with me about books, which not join my book club on Goodreads – we meet on average every 4 weeks and we are currently picking 2 books a month – partly because half the people will already have read 1 that we pick, and partly because we are making such good choices and people have the time to read right now.  Join us: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1120124-susie-ramroop-s-book-club

On 12th April at 7pm UK timewe are reviewing American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (audio for me)and The Guest List by Lucy Foley (kindle for me).

If you would like to see what else I read in March before I reveal my book of the quarter, make sure you are “following” me on socials to get the updates, or you can join my community here with a chapter from my own book as a gift: www.susieramroop.com/chapter.

Until next month!
Susie

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