The five books that I read in February

So, it’s time to look at the books that I read in February. A bit of a mixture again!

As always, I’ll try to provide links to audio books as well, as that’s how I read most of my books. If I read a book in German, I’ll look for the English version too!

1. Still me

Author: Jojo Moyes
Available in various formats on Amazon.

This is the third book in the series that started with “Me before you”. I wanted to see what happened, but I began to lose patience with the main character. She finally finds love for a second time, walks away to pursue happiness in another country and wonders why things don’t go well with that?! And even when things finally look as though they’ll turn around, she still doesn’t learn! Is there any hope?

I’m still interested in other books by this author because I like the characters that she creates and the issues addressed in the books (exploitation of staff and coming to grips with a new culture feature in this one), but it’s hard to be invested in a character if you don’t like them very much!

2. 19 Minuten (19 minutes)

By: Jodi Picoult
I got this from the German library, but it’s also available on Amazon.

In contrast to my first easy read of the month, this is a gripping and thought-provoking book that explores gun violence in schools. The reference to 19 minutes is the amount of time it took for a high school student to shoot a number of his classmates and a teacher.

I wanted to read the book because I had read “my sister’s keeper” by the same author and I wanted to find out what else she’d written.

It’s not a detective novel. The suspect is taken into custody afterwards and there is no question that he did it. This book didn’t change my views on ownership of and access to weapons, although recent events have brought this topic to the forefront of discussion again in the US. For me it was more about the relationships between the characters. The pressure to belong and not be seen as different. The consequences that being different can have. How everything spiralled out of control. The people left behind and how they came to terms with the situation. The history from a number of perspectives.

I don’t ever remember peer pressure being so strong in my school. Maybe I missed it. Maybe I just didn’t care enough about what people thought to be affected by it. But as well as the obvious issues around guns, there are other topics here such as bullying in schools, and those who can only feel good about themselves when they are making others feel bad.

3. (The husband’s secret)

By: Liane Moriarty
I read this as “Geheimnis meines Mannes” from the German library, but it’s also available in a number of formats from Amazon.

This was the February book for the online book club that I joined recently. The idea is that we all read the book and then discuss it in the Facebook group at the end of the month.

I hadn’t read anything by this author before. It starts off by being a bit confusing because it keeps switching between the three main characters, but it soon becomes clear how their stories fit together. It portrays small-town life in a way that I would find rather stifling – everyone seems to know each other and have kids or want to be looking after kids, which made me ask the question “is there nobody like me in this community?”

But that’s not the focus of the book. Instead, we follow what happens when a happily married mother of three finds a note from her husband that should only be opened after he has died. He reacts badly to the news that it’s been found – so should she open it? What secrets will come out if she does? Will her marriage survive?

I found parts of the narrative a bit far-fetched, but again I thought it was good to see a book from different perspectives so that we had a better insight into all the characters and how their decisions and actions have an impact on those around them.

4. Oath of gold

By: Elizabeth Moon

I was given this as a Christmas present and read it on iBooks and it’s also available on Amazon.

According to the website: “Paksenarrion – Paks for short – was somebody special. Never could she have followed her father’s orders and married the pigfarmer down the road. Better a soldier’s life than a pigfarmer’s wife, and so though she knew that she could never go home again, Paks ran away to be a soldier. And so began an adventure destined to transform a simple Sheepfarmer’s Daughter into a hero fit to be chosen by the gods.”

I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read the first two books, but this is the most dramatic of the three books in this fantasy series. After everything falls apart towards the end of the second book, Paks has to put her life back together and whilst doing so, discovers some important secrets that could change the history of the world as she knows it.

Introducing new characters and bringing back familiar faces, the book comes to a dramatic and rather violent climax. There are scenes of torture, which some may prefer not to read. I did read on till the end and would like to know what happened next – but although there are other books set in this world, this was the final book in the series about Paks.

5. Sheltering rain

By: Jojo Moyes

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

I am an Audible member and as well as getting one credit each month, there is a daily deal, which means a book is chosen by Audible and it’s sold for £2 or £3, which is much cheaper than the normal price.

As I’d read some other books by this author, and as this one featured horses, I decided to get it.

It’s a family novel – about broken relationships, generational conflict, learning to understand people whose world is completely different from your own. It’s about how even the perfect love story isn’t perfect, and how you need to work at relationships if you want them to work out. Plus there are dogs and horses!

How about you?

So, have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Your chance to get a free audio book from Audible

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Link for the UK
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1. This offer is open to people in Germany and the UK. Remember to use the correct link for your country.
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Author: englishwithkirsty

I have two blogs. Unseen Beauty is my personal blog. English with Kirsty is my business blog for people who are interested in languages or learning English.

19 thoughts on “The five books that I read in February”

  1. I haven’t read any of these books, but they sound interesting especially 19 Minutes since school shootings have become alarmingly common in the US.

  2. I love Liane Moriarty. You should read Big Little Lies.

    I finished The Dry and Force of Nature, which I’m recommending to EVERYONE! x

  3. Wow, good effort for reading 5 books in February! I never seem to find the time to pick my pile of books up (saying that, i just finished Behind Her Eyes in a day, it’s a real thriller with a CRAZY ending). I loved The Husbands Secret (and she has a few other books I’ve read that are good too!) Still Me was a tricky one I agree, especially after I didn’t love the film of Me Before You (I loved the book). xoxo

    1. I haven’t seen the film, although I’m usually a “the book was better” kind of girl! Sounds as though I should get out some more Angela Moriarty books then! Thanks for stopping by

  4. I’ve recently read ‘Paris for one and other stories’ by Jojo Moyes. It’s a novel of about 150 pages, followed by about 10 short stories. I loved reading it, also the short stories, which were great when I didn’t have much time to read.

    1. That’s interesting – I haven’t read any of her short stories yet, but another of her books, the Peacock Emporium, was on special offer, so I’m reading that now!

  5. I am currently reading Still Me, and I’m enjoying it! There is calm but real approach to life in her later books that I find nice 🙂 The Girl You Left Behind by Moyes was amazing, I can’t recommend it enough!!!

  6. I keep meaning to sign up to audible, and keep forgetting, do you enjoy it? I wondered if it would work in the car to and from work.

    1. Yes, I like it a lot – the books are well-read and you can try before you buy and listen to a bit of the book to make sure the voice won’t drive you crazy! I read a lot of the books on my own, but sometimes my boyfriend and I get one out for us both to listen to as an alternative to Netflix. Streaming on the go could be patchy and expensive, but if you download the books to your phone, you could then play them in the car, either on your phone or by connecting the phone to your car’s speakers.

  7. What a great list! I haven’t gotten around to read all of these, but I saw a copy of “Still me” at my sister’s apartment and read some of it, it seems to be really good. x

  8. I enjoyed me before you but I was happy enough with how it ended and had no desire to read anymore, I felt the author succumbed to pressure from readers to continue on. Maybe I’m completely wrong. But the female lead was not a strong enough character I’m my opinion to pull off more books.
    I would like to read more by the author though cause I like how she thought outside the box with her characters.

    1. Yes, I think it’s interesting how she brings people together in her books where there is some kind of contrast in terms of their background or life experience.You might like her other books more than the rest of this trilogy.

  9. These actually all sound like book I would enjoy. I have Me Before You, but have not got round to reading it yet. I find Jodi Picoult often writes books that challenge you to make a moral judgement, which I quite like, they make me think. Thanks for sharing x

  10. Reblogged this on English with Kirsty and commented:

    This is something that I’m reblogging from my personal blog, Unseen Beauty – the one to follow if you are interested in my beauty and lifestyle posts.
    I’m sharing this information here because it’s about books, and I thought that might also be interesting for those of you who are interested in learning English.

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