Books, Fiction, Reviews

Books read in February 2015

Here are the books I read in February and my favourite read of the month! (Synopses from Amazon)

Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood


In the dazzling summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley travel from their home in Paris to a villa in the south of France. They swim, play bridge and drink gin. But wherever they go they are accompanied by the glamorous and irrepressible Fife. Fife is Hadley’s best friend. She is also Ernest’s lover.

Hadley is the first Mrs. Hemingway, but neither she nor Fife will be the last. Over the ensuing decades, Ernest’s literary career will blaze a trail, but his marriages will be ignited by passion and deceit. Four extraordinary women will learn what it means to love the most famous writer of his generation, and each will be forced to ask herself how far she will go to remain his wife…

The Winner’s Curse


Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

The Honeymoon Hotel


The Bonneville Hotel is the best-kept secret in London: its elegant rooms and discreet wood-paneled cocktail lounge were the home-away-from-home for royalty and movie stars alike during the golden age of glamour. Recent years haven’t been kind, but thanks to events manager Rosie, it’s reclaiming some of its old cachet as a wish list wedding venue. While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t; her focus is fixed firmly on the details, not on the dramas. She lives with a professionally furious food critic and works tirelessly toward that coveted promotion. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to help run Rosie’s department, she’s suddenly butting heads with the free spirit whose predilection for the unconventional threatens to unravel her picture-perfect plans for the most elaborate—not to mention high-profile—wedding the hotel has ever seen, a wedding that could make or break not only the hotel’s reputation, but also Rosie’s career.


Book of the month:

The Opposite Of Loneliness


Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’, went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord. Even though she was just 22 when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle we all face as we work out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

This collection of essays and stories are wrapped up in the tragic death of the author who had just graduated from Yale and was just twenty-two and as such, the collection is sad – some of the work even more poignant because you know what happened to the writer, but it is also inspirational. Even though she died far too early, she was extremely talented and left behind a brilliant collection of works. I feel like each time I read them a different one will stand out depending on what I’m feeling at the time. The best works for me were the fiction featuring characters of a similar age to Keegan, set at college but she could create characters of all ages and in all kinds of situations. The best of the non-fiction essays is the opener to the book and shares the same name. You can read it online here.


What was your favourite read this month?





7 thoughts on “Books read in February 2015”

  1. I’ve just finished Sophie Hannah’s Poirot mystery, a bit disappointed, not anywhere as good as Agatha, too long-winded. Never mind, I’m going to dip into some Robert Heinlein pulp sci-fi again, Time Enough For Love.


      1. Just a quick story about that: I was in a position once of resuming work on a novel I had started over ten years earlier, and I found I couldn’t write in the same voice anymore. My style had developed in all that time. I could have faked it — probably pretty well — but I didn’t want to do that. I ended up switching to first person for the rest of the book (which worked for other reasons, too). So, yes, everyone has a unique voice, and that’s in motion, too.

  2. That Amazon description of Mrs. Hemingway is amazingly overwrought. It may be very true to the book, and it may not — I have no idea — but it doesn’t correspond very closely to what I’ve learned from reading two or three Hemingway biographies. Yes, passion and deceit were present, in ample quantities, but is that actually unusual in marriages?

    This really sounds like those portentous voiceovers that used to come at the beginning of every episode of Dark Shadows. 🙂

  3. I just finished The Winner’s Curse myself, as well as its companion The Winner’s Crime, which was just released. I loved the first, wasn’t as desperately in love with the second, but I’m excited for the third!

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