It might only be a short month, but we have been racing through our books. Maybe because there's nothing good on the telly and it's still too cold to go out. Here's what we've been reading this month.
Sian: I'm still reading Great Expectations, but only because I keep putting it down to read something else (since Dickens serialised his books, it feels quite natural to take a break). I'm a bit miffed at The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, I felt emotionally manipulated through the whole thing, despite it being fairly dull. I've also read Dan Rhodes' Marry Me, after picking up a copy at Book Slam (that event was the best six quid I've ever spent in London). This short story collection isn't as good as Anthropology, sadly. I've also been dipping in and out of New York Stories. Most excitingly, I started my MA reading! I kicked off with The Man Who Was Thursday (great book, the cover DOES NOT look like tampons). Next up? The Turn of the Screw and To The Lighthouse. Oh, and the rest of that Dickens.
Hazel: I went to stay with an old friend of mine who's dad is Ralph Steadman, an incredible artist and writer, he gave me his inimitably illustrated "Book of Cats" which is wonderful in its total lack of soppy cat sentimentality, its hardcore kitty rage and brilliance. I'm still carrying Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman in my bag and dipping into it whenever I find myself in a coffee shop. I've also just been given Elizabeth Ayrton's The Cookery of England which is full of long forgotten regional dishes like Hindle Wakes which is a chicken dish that dates back to the Middle Ages, my kinda cook book.
Sel: I made the conscious decision to make more time for reading this month which has meant that I have finally finished reading A Dance With Dragons, the latest in the A Song Of Ice And Fire (or more commonly, Game Of Thrones) series. I don't normally read fantasy books but these are so brilliant, you don't even question the magic and dragons. If you've enjoyed the TV version, you'll love the books even more. Next on my list is finishing Parade's End. I'd only vaguely heard about it before I watched the BBC adaptation but that made me want to read it. So far, it's incredibly dry humoured and best enjoyed reclining with a gin.
Caleigh: I've spent much of this month in airports or hospital waiting rooms so I've mostly been reading short stories from Christopher Brookmyre's Jaggy Splinters. They're easy to dip in and out of when I need to and they all have Brookmyre's usual dark humour and delightful twists. I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving, after catching the end of the movie on TV. I decided that it was the sort of book I should have read and I'm glad I did, it's a lot of fun. I'm still reading Marvel Comics: The Untold Story and I'm enjoying it. Hopefully I'll have some time next month to finish it!
Laura B: This has been a bumper reading month for me. I started the month with Jonathan Franzen's book of essays, Farther Away, a mix of articles on far-reaching topics, both amusing and thought-provoking. I then devoured his novel Freedom, a brilliant portrait of contemporary American family life. I also re-read The Great Gatsby in anticipation of the movie (I can't wait!), and Nabokov's Pnin - so funny and endearing.
I was late to The Art of Fielding party, and Chad Harbach's college 'n' baseball story swept me up and kept me captivated until the final page (I hate baseball, but the book is so much more than that).
My absolute best February book purchase is Chris Ware's Building Stories, a massive box filled with 14 stories centring on the inhabitants of a Chicago brownstone, all printed in different formats - newspapers, pamphlets, even a fold-out board. Dip in and be amazed. I'm finishing the month with my head in Zadie Smith's NW - I'm not thrilled yet, but I am only a few pages in!
What books have you had your nose stuck in?