Monthly Round-up

Monthly Round-Up: February

It turns out, my reads for February were not quite the books I had envisaged in mid-January. Also, I ended up only reading five, not six, and three of those were unplanned for. But still, I’m more than happy with having read five books given how short a month February is, even if one of those books was a novella at 224 pages long. Of course, length is no indicator of a good read and, thankfully, the last book I read was a totally riveting read.

So, just what did I finally get around to reading this month? Well, let’s see.


First up was Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich, which turned out to be a solid police procedural and decent debut to what I think will be an interesting series. The plot was well thought out and the characters were, for the most part, interesting enough, as was the overall plot. Well worth checking out.

I followed up Schleich’s police procedural with what I had hoped would be a a good crime thriller but, No Second Chance by Harlan Coben was, in the end, a bit of a let down. I really couldn’t get into the story never mind didn’t really like the MC, who came across as something of a narcissist flake. Hardly a good start and, unfortunately, for me at least, it never really improved.

Next up was the highly anticipated fourth book in the Sydney Parnell series, Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless. And, as anyone who reads this blog regular will know, has been a series I’ve been raving about since I discovered Nickless, last year! I love her writing style, love, love this character, and more, the plotting, writing, and stories really resonate with me. I have literally raced through this series—which, I should mention, is now heading for the small screen as TV series. And rightly so, it really is that good.

How do you follow up after reading a book that was really a cut above the rest? Sad to say, I went for another of my highly anticipated reads: The Survivors by Jane Harper. I really enjoyed her last book, The Lost Man, which for me, was the best of the previous three. Though I did thoroughly enjoy The Dry and Force of Nature. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into Survivors and found the writing stilted, and the characters wholly unsympathetic.

Not a good start. So, I did like any good reader would do. I put it back on my TBR pile, but at the bottom, hoping that, given enough time, I can attempt another read at a later date.

My next read was a peculiar one. I got into reading A Game for all the Family, by Sophie Hannah, fairly quickly. And while I was zipping along at a fairly fast pace, I was puzzled by the read more than I was enjoying. And read it, I think, more to try and figure out why it wasn’t clicking for me rather than irritating me. The writing was straight forward enough, easy flowing and the characters were, for the most part, well sketched out. But it was the insertion of a secondary story, written by the MC, Justine Merrison’s daughter, Ellen, that was used as a misdirect (a kind of an annoying one) and a set-up, in part, for the ending. Which, in and of itself, was problematic for me. Definitely not my kind of read.

Thankfully, I had picked up a copy of Lee Goldberg’s new series, Lost Hills, when it was on special and, as my review will show, I thoroughly enjoyed the short, sharp, murder-mystery featuring a new character, Eve Ronin, who I’m going to enjoy reading more about.

— WHAT’S up NEXT —

As always, I aim big so that if I fall short, I will at least have read a good number of books. And so it is with March. I want to read not only a couple more book off my backlog, like The Alice Network, but also a clutch of new books coming out this March.

Books like:

  • The Bone Maker by Sarah Durst, which I have on preorder and I am looking forward to reading. I really enjoyed reading Race the Sands, which was a fun fantasy read.
  • The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, which has a stunning cover and a really intriguing premise. A debut that really has me excited to read this one.
  • The Paris Library by Janet Skeslein Charles, a novel set in Paris during WWII that screams heartbreak and intrigue.
  • Who Speaks for the Damned by C. S. Harris, a series recommended to me. I love a good historical with plenty of angst thrown in for good measure.
  • Darkness for Light by Emma Viskic, the third installment of the Caleb Zelic series, which will catch me up on what’s been happening down under.
  • The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray, again, another period drama and again, set in France, with a premise that stretches across generations.

Again, a very ambitious reading slate for March but, I think, doable. Well, at least, that’s the plan, but we all know how plans can go out the window pretty quickly. We will just have to see if I manage it, or not. And you, what have you got lined up, if anything, for March?

2 comments on “Monthly Round-Up: February

  1. Avatar

    I am very curious about The Lost Apothecary! And I always set up a tentative TBR as I know I’ll never stick to it LOL

    • Alex

      Oh, my wish list changes over the course of a month, books I thought might interest me end up being chopped, and others added. As for The Lost Apothecary? I just ordered it not 15 minutes ago, along with 3 other books. So looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the premise.

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