Arnold on a pile of books
A Christian Life

Books I read in February 2021

What books did you read in February? Lockdown, and not being able to have any other plans has certainly helped me to dig into some great books this month and I am really excited to share them all with you.

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Into a Canyon Deep – James Lindholm

Mystery Thriller – 3/5 stars

This is a really interesting book, packed full of interesting background information about marine biology as we follow Chris Black, a marine biologist himself. It starts off quite slow, but the second half really picks up, and I read most of it in one sitting because I was really intrigued to see what happened. As the reader, you know a bit more about what is going on than the characters, which is frustrating at times but also builds the tension as you are just waiting to see when different elements will come together!

Thank you to NetGalley and CamCat Publishing for letting me read this book! Click here to find Into a Canyon Deep on Bookshop.org

My Best Friend’s Murder – Polly Phillips

Mystery Thriller – 3/5 stars

This book is a roller-coaster. It reads like a fun contemporary, following the friendships and relationships of Bec, but the mystery element of this book is also really interesting. You know from the outset that a murder takes place (it’s literally in the title), but a significant amount of this book is the build up to that happening which meant that there were quite a few sudden moments of tension when you begin to wonder whether this could be when it happens. Then when it has taken place, you have a similar tension of trying to uncover who did it. Plenty of tension and intrigue to keep you reading!

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Audio UK for letting me read this book! Click here to find My Best Friend’s Murder on Bookshop.org.

Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

Historical Non-Fiction/Biography – 5/5 stars

This book tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, American Olympic sprinter turned Lieutenant fighting in World War Two. When his bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean, Louis must survive on thousands of miles of open ocean before facing the horrific Japanese prisoner of war camps.

This is the kind of story that you couldn’t write as fiction, because it would be considered ridiculous. It took me a while to get into the story, because it is very dense – so full of information and clearly so well researched (even the acknowledgements were interesting to read!), but once i got into it I was riveted. This is a heart-breaking and horrifying story but so inspiring, whilst also commemorating all those who died in these awful circumstances so respectfully and powerfully.

Click here to find Unbroken on Bookshop.org.

A Killer’s Daughter – Jenna Kernan

Thriller – 4/5 stars

This story feels like Criminal Minds in a book, and I love it!

In this book, we follow Dr. Nadine Finch, daughter of a serial killer keeping everyone at arm’s length to make sure no-one discovers her secret. Then one day, in her job as Forensic Psychologist, a double homicide pulls her back to her childhood. Unsure who to trust, Nadine must work to catch the killer & work out what is going on.

This book was absolutely gripping and kept the tension page after page. I think I suspected every single character at some point in the book, yet still managed to be shocked by the conclusion! This book took a lot of twists and turns that I was not expecting at all, and really explored Nadine’s feelings around her family, her fears of becoming like her mother, and her unwillingness to let other people in. The ending of this book had a real sense of found family which I am really excited to see continue in the next books in this series!

Thank you to NetGalley & Bookouture for letting me read this book! Click here to find A Killer’s Daughter on Amazon.

Home for Good – Krish Kandiah with Miriam Kandiah

Christian Non-Fiction – 4/5 stars

Home for Good is a book that explores the need in the UK for more people to step up to foster and adopt vulnerable children, as well as discussing how the church is both called to, and so well placed, to respond.

This book makes no apologies for calling you to consider whether you could foster or adopt, and for calling out those excuses that make no sense. However, it does recognise the fact that not everyone can do this and gives some great ideas for how we can all support those who do foster & adopt.

Full of stories, both hope-filled and heart wrenching, this book is honest and brutal and inspiring. Whether adoption and fostering are something you have considered or never even thought of, I definitely recommend checking out this book – as well as Home for Good – a UK charity dedicated to finding a home for every child.

Click here to find Home for Good on Bookshop.org.

Penguin Problems – Jory John, Illustrated by Lane Smith

Children’s – 4/5 stars

Penguin Problems is a hilarious children’s style book. I say “children’s style”, because it has that feel of a children’s book written for adults, in the sense of humour. It’s literally 32 pages long so I can’t say much about it – but it’s about a penguin who has many problems… and it’s funny. Plus, the illustrations by Lane Smith are really lovely!

Click here to find Penguin Problems on Bookshop.org.

Blue Penguin – Petr Horacek

Children’s – 4/5 stars

This book is another childrens book about penguins (are we surprised?)! Again, I can’t say much about this but it has a really lovely storyline, accompanied by incredibly gorgeous illustrations, looking at friendship, and fitting in.

Click here to find Blue Penguin on Bookshop.org.

Three Hours – Rosamund Lupton

Thriller – 5/5 stars

Three Hours is a thriller which takes place over a period of three hours, and I do think you could read this in less than three hours because it is SO fast paced. A school-shooting is taking place at a school in Somerset, pupils and teachers are trapped, the headmaster has been shot, parents are gathering desperate for information, the police are racing against the clock to understand what is going on and how to get everyone out alive.

Following all of these different perspectives makes this a very tense book, uncovering the mystery bit by bit, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing all the way to the end. It also covers some interesting social and political topics and how different groups of people respond to the information being revealed in the middle of such a traumatic event.

Click here to find Three Hours on Bookshop.org.

To serve them all my days – R.F. Delderfield

Historical Fiction – 4/5 stars

I am quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! We journey through the life of David Powlett-Jones as he returns from the First World War and takes up a teaching job in a boy’s boarding school. This book is so gentle and slow-paced, following David over so many years of his life, through stories of his life, and of the many boys who pass through the school.

These stories are all set against, and acutely aware of, the political and social backdrop and in particular the build up to the Second World War. I’m sure many of the political and social references went over my head, but this book was littered with thoughtful reflections on tradition, the purpose of education, pacifism and war, family, community and healing – yet these are so well written, not in your face but completely intertwined within the story and very natural.

Click here to find To Serve Them All My Days on Bookshop.org.

February Statistics

  • Books Read: 9
  • Pages Read: 2593
  • Average Rating: 4.0

To see which books I will be reading in March, you can check out my latest Penguins choose my TBR video here:

To see Arnold’s bookstore on Bookshop.org with recommendation links and more, click here!

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