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Children, Reading, Review

February 2023 Reading

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I do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only!

We’ve all really struggled with reading this month. Small boy has an absolute Beast Quest obsession and has read almost nothing else for weeks. Large boy has been suffering with his very sore growing pains and has not really be reading at bedtime this last month. He’s just been so tired and wanting his bed much earlier than usual. I’ve just been so busy and, with the interrupted sleep to look after large boy’s leg, I’ve been just managing 10 minutes at bedtime before feeling too sleepy to focus. So the reviews are few and rather sparse I’m afraid.

Large boy

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkein

I’m not explaining what happened in The Hobbit mum! Everybody knows what it’s about. I liked it because it was long, and it’s the kind of dragony, olden days, fictiony stuff that I enjoy.

We’ve got this edition, that my brother bought for large boy several years ago together with a fabulous graphic novel version. This one is really beautiful with illustrations and a proper, heavy, old-fashioned book feel to it – a real reading experience.

Large boy finally came round to reading it because someone else in his class had started it and was still halfway though three weeks later. He wanted to know what sort of amazing book took that long to read, only to finish it in a week.

Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

He says it’s a horribly book, her really didn’t like it. It says it’s a mixture of Michael Morpurgo and someone else and I really don’t like him either!

Small boy

Karixa the Diamond Warrior by Adam Blade

So, yeah, Tom and Elenna are in a trial against Amelia and Dray. Amelia says Dray is her uncle, but he’s actually a monster created by an evil wizard. They’re on the last beast of the trial when they go to a mine and then they meet Karixa. They all team up and beat Karixa in the end.

Also read:

  • Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney+
  • Adam Blade
    • Styro the Snapping Brute
    • Ronak the Toxic Terror
    • Solix the Deadly Swarm
    • Kanis the Shadow Hound
    • Menox the Sabre-Toothed Terror
    • Larnak the Swarming Menace
    • Jurog: Hammer of the Jungle
    • Naserpha the Cursed Siren
    • Xerik the Bone Cruncher
    • Thoron the Living Storm
    • Soara the Stinging Spectre
    • Skalix the Snapping Horror


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Not so much a DNF as got stuck and haven’t found the mood. I am (was) really enjoying this, but I need some quiet and mental capacity to focus on it so the opportunities to dig in have been few and far between lately.

The one response I have felt so far, though, is that I disagree that our goals should always be to get to the top. The idea of changing jobs frequently to have broad experience and get promoted as often as possible, just doesn’t sit well with me. I do want to be successful at my job, but that isn’t the be all and end all. Being CEO is not part of my plan. I just don’t want to. But so strong is the messaging in the first few chapters, that it’s been a bit off-putting. I feel like this isn’t for people like me.

I even wondered about writing a book myself about how to be successful in the middle or as a technical lead rather than as a manager. Just to make a point that COOs are the only role models, that success isn’t defined by hierarchy and power isn’t about position.

A lot of what Sandberg is saying is about the lack of gender balance and perhaps I’m a symptom of that by not playing the game the way that a man might. But himself is like me, he’s pretty much where he wants to be, he doesn’t want to be captain of the ship either. Surely, there are other ways of rebalancing gender roles and stereotypes than focusing so strongly on women as business leaders. Perhaps, though the book is also rather dated, since it was published we’ve had the wonderful Jacinda Ahern showing just what a woman in power can do and be, and so much better than so many male counterparts.

Trick of the Night by Joy Ellis

Matt and Lis are back in the game and Joy Ellis is on top form. Lots of fabulous atmosphere and mystery, just how I like it. This time they’re working with their old police colleagues to track down the bad guy, untangle his motivation, and seek out a kidnapped boy. There’s mental illness, handled so sensitively, scheming, and plenty of sleuthing. Another typical success and I can’t wait for more.

How about you?

What books have you and your family enjoyed lately?

Love from Smell xxx

4 thoughts on “February 2023 Reading”

  1. I’m sorry to hear that February hasn’t been the best. Trick of the Night sounds like an interesting book, but yea I agree with you about Lean In. You can be successful without being a CEO or manager, so the book would be off-putting for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

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