In roundabout, single girl on Valentine’s ways, I guess you could say the February theme of my bookshelf was love. I’m slowing down in my list of books to read in 2022. But it’s giving me time to insert myself into the story and to ask questions about what influence these words are having on me. I also discovered I should probably figure out the genre of the book before launching into it.

But it was a month filled with new and glorious reads. And it’s inspired conversations with friends where we talk about everything from grief to glorious sex. Here’s what I read this month.

1. A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

It probably would have been beneficial for me to read the blurb on the back cover before the book itself, where I would have discovered that Ghost in the Throat was a blend of memoir and literary criticism, rather than simply an intricate novel, but I think that made the story all the more intriguing.

The duality of the lives shared by the two women are both in stark contrast, but have many similarities, and I understand the authors fascination with her history.

To be completely honest, much of the book didn’t make sense to me – but realising that it wasn’t, in fact, fiction definitely explains it. So that was my fuck up. Incredibly well written and beautiful lyrical prose to tie together a thorough literary investigation.

It’s niche, but beautiful. Would recommend to people with a keen interest in literature but perhaps not someone looking for a holiday read.

2. Free Love by Tessa Hadley

Every now and then I have to reach for a book that I know will pull me back into the land of literary obsession. To be honest, I had a challenging time regaining my strength after the last read, but this book was a beautiful way to ease into it.

A classically simple novel, with a twist that literally had me guffawing, it was the perfect read for an afternoon spent in the sun – and may inspire you to be a little more reckless.

3. Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

Oh my god. This book was so ridiculously smutty I had to put it down at moments. For lovers of Sally Rooney or perhaps E. L. James, make this your next read. It’s Conversations with Friends meets Bellessa in just the right amount. If there’s one title on your books to read in 2022 list, name it this.

Although I found myself speeding through the flashback chapters like I do with the Frodo & Sam scenes, it’s an interesting journey to go on with the character, and one that pulls back the layers of why we are the way we are. It’s one of those stories where you’re glad there’s a happy ending, even if it’s not the ending you expected, and by god I want more.

Sign me up for the sequel please. I want to see this happily ever after in all it’s filthy action.

4. Winter In Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin

The last days of summer were spent with my nose smothered in this book.

Almost reminiscent of Korean arthouse cinema, and the comic books that inform it, this gentle read was poetic and a joy to read. It’s one of those novels where nothing much happens, which can be a shock in a world where we’re so conditioned to expect dramatic events, but that made it even more enjoyable. To just accept that sometimes life simply is.

Very much looking forward to reading more of Elisa’s works.

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