So here are the books which I read in February.
Books read in February 2017
I started with Getting Started with Beautiful Soup by Vinneth G. Nair ( Packt Publishing) 130 Pages
In parallel with 52Books, I am also into month two of my #100daysofcode challenge. You can read my progress log here: http://apperdeen.org/100-days-of-code/log.html One of my projects that I worked in was a scraper to free data from a website which gives monthly performance updates for Scotrail who operate the Scottish rail franchise. I’d started this short but useful book in January (as I use the Beautiful Soup library for Python in that project) and only finished it in early February. This is an easy hands-on guide to getting started with it.
My next book (if you can call it that) was Anti-Inauguration by Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Naomi Klein and Owen Jones (Verso Books) 40 pages.
This is a very short collection of speeches (or calls to action) by speakers at an anti-inauguration rally in the USA. I picked it up as a free ebook download from Verso books after I bought a number of political titles over the holiday period. These essays are to varying degrees thought provoking and worth reading and provide some left-wing perspective to the state of politics in the United States right now.
My first novel of the month was The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith (Allen and Unwin) 384 Pages. I really liked this novel, its format, plot and characters. I’ve grown to enjoy novels which jump between decades or centuries and offer contrasts of viewpoint. A recent ex
ample was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr in which the timespan was much shorter than in this one.
In this case we have a 17th Dutch painter, a mid-20th century forger and the painting’s then owner,
then an early 21st century perspective on the original painting and its doppelgänger (with an update on some characters 50 years later). The characters were convincing and their relationships and interplay credible. The main plot had many of the aspects of a whodunnit even if we know the forger’s identity. But we are kept guessing to the end how it will be wrapped up – and in a next twist the present sees the unravelling of what actually became of the original artist.
My final read of February was The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador) 464 pages. I’d had this on my Kindle for quite a while without getting around to reading it. I very much enjoyed reading Burton’s first novel, The Miniaturist which was original, and laden with period atmosphere. The Muse just didn’t live up to this – and was not nearly as gripping as The Last Painting of Sara De Vos. While some of the characters were well fleshed-out others were ill-defined and the plot felt at some points rather implausible. Maybe if I hadn’t read these overtly similar titles back to back I would have thought more of The Muse.
In addition to these I have started or dipped into several other books but not finished those. So if, or when, I finish them I will add them to my list of books read for that month.
As always, with it being a shorter month than the preceding one, and not having the luxury of the tail end of the holiday season in which to switch off and settle down with a book, the amount of reading has dipped!
Total pages read for Feb is 1028