February 2021 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 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.

Still under lockdown, my biggest expedition that month was to visit a bunch of Belgian megaliths with the hardy J.

As well as musing on Northern Irish referendums, I researched the history of Patience Kershaw, heroine of a well-known song.

And I kept up my ten-day postings about the plague, though only two this month.

That month’s Worldcon crisis was the unprecedented revocation of Guest of Honour status for a publisher whose website hosted far right discussions, in the context of the 6 January coup attempt in the USA. More Worldcon drama was to come in future months (this was by far the most dramatic of the seven Worldcons I have been involved with).

Stuck at home, I read 22 books that month.

Non-fiction 4 (YTD 8)
The Last Manchu: The Autobiography of Henry Pu Yi, Last Emperor of China
A Buzz in the Meadow, by Dave Goulson
Ties That Bind: Love in Science Fiction and Fantasy, ed. Francesca T. Barbini
Goodbye To All That, by Robert Graves

Non-genre 2 (YTD 4)
Sugar and other stories, by A.S. Byatt
Three Daves, by Nicki Elson

SF 13 (YTD 23)
The Kappa Child, by Hiromi Goto
Koko Takes a Holiday, by Kieran Shea
Ring Shout, by P. Djèlí Clark
The Autumn Land, by Clifford D. Simak
The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin
Bold As Love, by Gwyneth Jones
Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, by Gary Wolf
Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold by Māori Writers, edited by Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, by T. Kingfisher
Who Framed Roger Rabbit, by Martin Noble, based on the screenplay by Jeffrey Price & Peter Seaman
Club Ded, by Nikhil Singh – did not finish
Ivory’s Story, by Eugen M. Bacon
Science Fiction: The Great Years, eds. Carol and Frederik Pohl

Comics and photo books 3 (YTD 5)
My Father’s Things, by Wendy Aldiss
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor – Old Friends, by Jody Houser
A.I. Revolution vol. 1, by Yuu Asami

5,400 pages (YTD 10,900)
13/22 (YTD 21/41) by women (Aldiss, Barbini, Byatt, Elson, Goto, Jemisin, Jones, Hereaka, “Kingfisher”, Bacon, C Pohl, Houser, Asami)
8/22 (YTD 11/41) by PoC (Puyi, Goto, Clark, Jemisin, Ihimaera/Hereaka, Singh, Bacon, Asami)

Of these, I particularly loves Wendy Aldiss’ elegiac My Father’s Things, commemorating the possessions of Brian Aldiss after his death. You can get it here. I also really liked Graves’ Goodbye to All That, which you can get here, and N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, which you can get here. On the other hand, I totally bounced off Club Ded, by Nikhil Singh, which you can get here.