If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.–Haruki Murakami-4

Second month of the year completed already, so it is time for my end of month reading review.

Specifically, this is my report in relation to my goals to read 50+ books in 2016 and to work my way through the ModernMrsDarcy (MMD) 2016 Reading Challenge.  You can find out more about the background on these in my January reading round up post if you have not been following this aspect of my blog.

Since that post, there have been highs and lows with my reading.  Let’s start with the good news:  total number of books finished so far this year = six, five of which I finished in February.  All the books I have read have been great in their different ways – more to follow on this below.

Not so good news: I have not yet managed to finish my MMD February book, Guernica (Gijs van Hensbergen).  Although a fascinating book, it is also quite a heavy read and so is taking me longer than I had hoped.  More below on my plans for organising my reading time better in March.

In addition, I have not finished the books I highlighted in my January post, namely We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves  (Karen Joy Fowler) and Do No Harm (Henry Marsh).  These are still work in progress – both excellent reads which I am enjoying immensely.  Lucy and I are also making good strides with The Cat Burglar (Tamsin Cooke).  This is a stretching read for her, which is great, and we are both enjoying the story.

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Overall, I am happy with where I am in my life reading-wise. 🙂 None of this is meant to be pressurised or stressful.  I have given myself permission to deviate and read different books from those originally anticipated.  The main point of having my goals is to encourage more reading generally, which I feel I am achieving, although I would like to do more.  So….

February’s finished books

So Much For That (Lionel Shriver)
It is no exaggeration to say that this book has been life-changing for me.  I will be writing a separate review of this because it needs its very own post.

The Lie (C L Taylor)

A light but engaging page-turner.

The Winter Ghosts (Kate Mosse)
A very quick read (I started this one bed-time and finished it in a couple of hours the following morning), and entertaining.  It had the tone of a late 19th century/early 20th century ghost story.

Daring Greatly (Brené Brown)
I have written various posts about my reason for reading this book, which as expected is brilliant.  If you would like to know more about my involvement with it and Brené Brown, please do feel free to search for my related posts.

The Other Son (Nick Alexander)
An interesting story about different facets of family life.  Relatively light, but enjoyable.

Goals for March


  • Finish everything currently in progress, as mentioned above;
  • Finish my March MMD pick – Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
  • Read one other non-fiction book from my very long ‘must-read’ list



How will I achieve all this reading?  I have been thinking about my reading habits, or rather the lack of them.  I have decided that I would like to be a bit more organised with identifying specific time for my more challenging reads.  It is no good trying to snatch brief bits of time with a book like Guernica in between other things.  Nor can I read this kind of book at night before going to sleep – I am just too tired.  In neither case can I do the book justice.

I have therefore decided to attempt to find a ‘reading hour’ every day at a time when I can devote quality time to more difficult reads.  It will not always be possible to do so, and I won’t beat myself up for any days when I don’t achieve it.  There will be compensations on the days when I do manage it and can make good progress with books that I really want to engage with properly and cannot otherwise so do.

I would be really interested to hear what you guys think of this.  Do you have any special reading habits that you would recommend?  Let me know – I am always open to suggestions.  And of course, I remain interested in recommended titles too. 🙂