February 2016 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

In the real world, this was the month of Ireland’s 2016 parliamentary election, in which Fianna Fáil did not quite regain the top spot that they had previously had, and ended up supporting a minority Fine Gael government.

I had three trips that month – one to Belgrade again, where I don’t seem to have taken pictures, and two to London, in both of which I nipped out to see exhibitions: one about John Dee, at the Royal College of Physicians, with Shana and Alison, and one about the Soviet space programme, at the Science Museum. (Some will remember a very pleasant dinner at Mele e Pere in London.) I followed up on John Dee by analysing a hand-written horoscope that he had done. Back in Belgium, I explored the sculptures of Woluwe Saint-Pierre. Here’s St Martin-in-the-Fields, at dusk.

I read rather fewer books than usual this month – the consequence of several trips where I wasn’t able to read much either in transit or when I got there. Also to be honest the accelerating Brexit debate was developing the bad habit of doomscrolling.

Non-fiction: 3 (YTD 9)
A People’s Peace for Cyprus, by Alexander Lordos, Erol Kaymak and Nathalie Tocci
The Sinn Féin Rebellion As I Saw It, by Mrs Hamilton Norway
The Insurrection in Dublin, by James Stephens

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Fiction (non-sf): 1 (YTD 3)
Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver

SF (non-Who): 5 (YTD 17)
Tik-Tok by John Sladek
Europe at Midnight, by Dave Hutchinson
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin
Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson
The Magic Cup, by Andrew Greeley
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Doctor Who, etc: 4 (YTD 8)
Short Trips: The Muses, ed. Jacqueline Rayner
Citadel of Dreams by Dave Stone
The Sword of Forever, by Jim Mortimore
The Legends of Ashildr, by James Goss, David Llewellyn, Jenny T. Colgan and Justin Richards
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3,300 pages (YTD 10,600)
7/15 (YTD 25/44) by women (Tocci, Hamilton Norway, Kingsolver, Jemisin, Wilson, Rayner, Colgan)
1/15 (YTD 6/44) by PoC (Jemisin)

The best of these was Europe at Midnight, which you can get here, followed by Prodigal Summer, which you can get here. The Magic Cup has not aged well, but you can get it here.