[February: The Best Books I Have Read This Month]

One of my favourite things to do before falling asleep is to read a chapter (or a few, if the plot is really addictive)of a book. In this last month I have read some fantastic stories – fiction and non-fiction – and so I thought I’d share them on my blog.

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‘Crimes of Horror is a study of the chillingly unexpected in crime. The inexplicable, irrational twist in a crime that takes it beyond understanding. This books presents the rare cases in which the cold-blooded brutality, the cunning calculations behind a killing, the callous lack of motive in a murder take the crime onto another level – the dimension of horror.’

Published in 1976, I bought this book at a charity shop and have only gotten round to reading it this month. This completely black and white book contains amazing photographs, copies of articles and written letters from various serial killers and those investigating the crimes. It contains cases focusing on killers, such as Mary Ann Cotton, and victims, such as Elizabeth Short. And because it is so old, it also has that lovely old book smell.

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‘When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…’

I first started to read this book last March, but didn’t get past the first few chapters. I felt – at the time – there was something really off about it, but now, I am glad that I decided to give it a second chance. The relationship between Strike and Robin is so interesting that I can’t wait to see how it progresses in the future.

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‘Mythology is the study of the imaginative traditions through which man attempts to understand and control the world about him. Many myths are tales of gods, ancestors and supernatural beings of the distant past and of how things came to be as they are today.
This comprehensive and accessible survey of the world’s principal myths is the result of extensive research and brings out the distinctive character and force of each individual story and shows its specific link with the social patterns and religious beliefs of the country and/or time to which it belongs.
All the major mythological systems are examined, from non-literate societies to complex cultures and from the ancient world to the present: from Voodoo to Christianity, from ancient Egypt and classical Greece to modern German and Japan.
Over 400 illustrations, many of them in colour, show myths brought to life in art, and feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. In addition, specially commissioned maps illustrate the location and spread of the primary mythological systems.’

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‘Everyone knows that life beyond the pod is possible. But they are trapped – each breath controlled by the ministry.’

‘The Grove was the rebels’ chance of freedom. Now the Ministry has destroyed it and survivors must search for hope elsewhere. Alina leads the way to the only remaining Resistance base, Sequoia. There she uncovers a radical plot that could wipe out the Pod…and all those in it.

Together with Quinn, Alina must escape Sequoia and save the people they love.

A brave new world is at stake.’

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‘One of the most enduringly popular of Romantic poets, William Wordsworth epitomized the spirit of his age with his celebration of the natural world and belief in the importance of feeling. This volume brings together a rich selection from the most creative period of Wordworth’s life – from ‘Tintern Abbey’, an ode on the restorative powers of nature written during his intense friendship with Colderage, to excerpts from his epis autobiographical poem, The Prelude. Also included are much loved short works such as ‘I wandered lonely as a Cloud’, ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’ and the poignant ‘Lucy Gray’. These poems demonstrate Wordworth’s astonishing range, power and inventiveness, and the sustained and captivating vision that informed his work.

In his introduction, Wordsworth’s biographer Stephen Gill examines the personal and political events that shaped his poetic career, and traces the major themes running through his work. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading, explanatory notes and index of titles and first lines.’

 

The next book I plan on reading…

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The #1 “New York Times” bestseller and modern classic that’s been changing lives for a decade gets a gorgeous revamped cover and special additional content.
“You can’t stop the future.”
“You can’t rewind the past.”
“The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.”
“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”

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