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

If you’re in the UK or Germany, you can get a free ebook if you sign up for an Audible subscription. Whether or not you continue with the monthly subscription, you get to keep your audio book, and you can choose from 200,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. You can then download the Audible app on your phone and take your book with you wherever you go! (Books have to be purchased on the website – you can’t do it on the app).

Link for the UK
Link for Germany

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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