Here Come The Books! It’s Time For My February Reads

Time is a funny thing. We’re only one week into March and already February seems so far away. As I refreshed my memory and looked back and what I read last month, it felt like it had been much longer since I picked up those books. It doesn’t help that the book I’ve been reading this past week and a half is taking forever to get through and is just “okay” compared the books I enjoyed and powered through in February. I did lose some reading time here and there as I worked to figure out my new schedule and routine, but at least I’m able to read on the bus for short trips again. I’m hoping by the time I’m ready for my next bus trip across the city I’ll be able to read without getting nauseous. I still have three weeks to build up to that, so wish me luck.

In the meantime, here are the books from my February reading list:

In Love & Pajamas by Catana Comics: This book wasn’t originally on my list, but how could I resist when Mark gave it to me as a Valentine’s Day gift this year? This short collection of comics didn’t cause too much deviation from my list, however, as it was easy to power through this in less than a day. Each individual comic is short, and I had already read many of them on social media before picking up this book.

What’s so endearing about these comics is that they’re so honest. Not only do they give readers a glimpse into the life of Catana and John, but it’s hard not to see yourself in the stories. Mark and I regularly send each other posts from Catana Comics with only the caption: “That’s you”, “That’s me,” or something along those lines. Not every single comic is an exact representation of my personal relationships, but there have been more than enough that hit the nail on the head. Whenever I laughed at a comic, it was partly because of Catana’s story telling, and partly because I realized “Oh god, Mark and I do that too!”

Really, what’s not to love about a comic that portrays the reality of romantic relationships in such a funny and accurate way?

A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry: I’ve been working my way through the William Monk novels for the past 10 years or so, but it’s been a while since I last picked one up because I tried out that Indigo reading list last year. But it just goes to show how memorable the characters and situations are that I was able to pick up this book and know exactly where I was in the overall story without any confusion. There is just of a recap throughout the beginning of the novel to jog my memory about what happened in the last book, and there wasn’t so much that I felt the need to skim ahead.

One of my favourite things about Anne Perry’s murder mysteries is that I love guessing who the killer is. And even if it’s painfully obvious to me, I still get a thrill from reading the book. Even if the solution to the crime is obvious, the way Perry works towards the grand reveal is still immensely entertaining. I even stayed up a few hours past my bedtime one night to finish the book. I was tired the next day, but it was worth it.

But the murder mystery was not the aspect of the story that intrigued me the most. It was the character development. I have enjoyed reading about Monk and Hester, and the evolution of their relationships with the other characters in the novel, but it was Sir Oliver Rathbone who held most of my attention in this novel. After the events of Acceptable Loss, Rathbone’s marriage is falling apart as he deals with the consequences. But even that’s not the most interesting thing that happens to him.

The sinister inheritance he receives from his late father-in-law is something that I think will become a much more significant plot point as the series continues. In A Sunless Sea, we see Rathbone grapple with the moral issue of keeping such a thing in his possession before finally using it for good. But I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. Sure, Rathbone used it for good this time, but there are more books in the series. My mind is already concocting possible scenarios in which Rathbone could become an antagonistic force. I’m eager to read the next book in the series.

But that just goes to show how good Anne Perry is at what she does. When you have a series that contains over 20 books, you need to show that things aren’t over yet, and you need to make that promise as enticing as possible. It’s all about keeping your readers reading.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King: Back when I first started collecting Stephen King books, I hoarded about 10-15 of them before I actually started reading. Looking back, it seems like a risk to take so many books into my collection without knowing if I would like them or not. But my family was convinced I would enjoy King’s work, and a few of them were willing to take me into book stores for shopping sprees.

Once I had a healthy amount of Stephen King books in my possession, there was only one issue: Which one should I read first? The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon almost won that battle, but lost to Carrie when I decided I wanted to read King’s books in the order he wrote them. Looking back, I’m glad I decided on that particular reading order. Specifically, I’m glad I read Tom Gordon after Gerald’s Game.

I really enjoyed Gerald’s Game, and also enjoyed the Netflix movie adaptation. Needless to say, the plot of that particular story has cemented itself in my mind. So I was a little disappointed when I realized that Tom Gordon has A LOT of similarities with Gerald’s Game. Woman/girl trapped in a life or death situation with little to no hope of rescue is haunted/hunted by an ominous force, all while she reminisces about everything wrong with her life and her relationship with her father. It’s basically the same plot, but told from the perspective of a 9 year old.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading Tom Gordon. But there wasn’t exactly anything new or exciting about this story. And honestly, compared to King’s previous “sacrificial children”, Trisha doesn’t even suffer all that much. Sure, she suffers plenty, but not as much as some of the other character’s I’ve come across in Stephen King novels. She even gets rescued and lives to tell the tale, and that was slightly disappointing because there was a section of the story where I honestly wondered if Trisha was going to make it out alive.

Overall, not a bad read, but not King’s best either.

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