Blame it On the Books: Carmen Gee's February Reads

Hi fellow book enthusiasts. 2023 is in full swing and February was another successful month of reading. However, there was one book in particular that put me in a bit of a reading slump. I am currently reading book #16, so hopefully, I’m well on my way to achieving my reading goal of 100 books for the year.

Here’s what I read in February:

#8/100 “The Promise” by Damon Galgut ****

The 2021 Booker Prize winner, “The Promise”, is a book that has been on my TBR for while. At first, the shifting POV frustrated me greatly but I soon became accustomed to Galgut’s unique and innovative style that allows you to see deeper into the lives of each of his all-too-human characters. While the book’s subject matter is rather morose, Galgut’s sense of humour shone through in every chapter.

#9/100 “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid ***

BookTok made me do it. Taylor Jenkin Reid’s books have been all over social media and I was ready to join in on the conversation. At first, I was disappointed by the interview-style format of the book and I found it difficult to keep up with some of the band members, but by the end, I was a total fan. The fictional celebrity world that Reid has created is utterly believable, and many say that the band in the book is based on Fleetwood Mac.

#10/100 “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier *****

The only regret I have about “Rebecca” is watching the movie before I read the book. I find the simple twist in the tale to be exceptionally clever and even though I knew what was coming, I enjoyed every second of this read. Our nameless narrator endures emotional turmoil after emotional turmoil and by the end, I was thoroughly invested in her well-being.

#11/100 “Sistermoon” by Kirsten Miller ***

Based on the cover and somewhat whimsical title, I did not expect this book to be quite as heavy as it was. Miller bravely tackles the difficult subject matter with a touching sincerity in this story of two sisters with very different struggles.

#12/100 “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid *****

Ever since I heard this title and saw the iconic cover, I knew I had to read “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”. The seven husbands make up the seven ‘sections’ of the book and I was always at the edge of my seat waiting to hear about the next husband. This is a juicy read that explores different types of love and relationships, all set in an era of old Hollywood glamour. I demolished it in a day. 

#13/100 “The Last American Man” by Elizabeth Gilbert **

As much as I can appreciate Eustace Conway’s unique ideals and love for nature, I do not appreciate his ‘coaxing’ of women into physical intimacy. Certain passages in this book made me want to throw it across the room. “The Last American Man” put me in a reading slump that I had to lure myself out of by reading ‘MOXYLAND’ at the same time. However, I do appreciate Gilbert’s accurate and objective portrayal of an American ‘pioneer’. 

#14/100 “MOXYLAND” by Lauren Beukes ***

Set in a futuristic post-pandemic Cape Town, ‘MOXYLAND’ follows the lives of four young adults all hell-bent on sticking it to the man. It took me a little while to get into the story with the changing POV, quick-witted writing style, and a whole range of terms I’d never heard of before, but once I got a grasp on things I thoroughly enjoyed my time in MOXYLAND.

#15/100 “Where Angels Fear to Tread” by E.M Forster ****

This silly and ridiculous classic little comedy was the perfect way to get me out of my reading slump and end off my February reads. I haven’t read anything by Forster before this and I was pleasantly surprised by how accessible the language and the story were. Filled with utterly annoying and flamboyant characters, I laughed out loud more than once.

My top picks for the month have got to be “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and “Rebecca”. My least favourite February read was certainly “The Last American Man”.

That’s all for now! See you in March!