Monthly Roundup – February 2023


Thank you to all who sent good wishes after last month’s roundup. Husband spent a week in hospital, finally released to recuperate at home as his lung infection was so rampant he was too unwell to receive any treatment for his heart issues. After two courses of antibiotics the pneumonia eventually cleared. He still has a cough – a feature since all this kicked off in late October – but, as an outpatient, he is now at the mercy of waiting lists. I have huge respect for the efforts put in by front line NHS staff to look after and treat patients despite the systems under which they work being so obviously overstretched and flawed. With husband’s heartrate still erratic we are considering all options.

It felt strange to attend Parkrun on my own but running helps me cope with anxious thoughts. I managed to get my time under 30 minutes at two events – something that used to be standard before my own fitness took an unexplained hit in the autumn. I also ran my first half marathon distance in many months, before an irritating cold left me feeling wrung out and in need of rest. I took a full week off, also enabling a recurring hamstring injury to be given healing time. It was not sufficient and a longer rest period has been recommended – something I submit to reluctantly.

So, it has been a month of ups and downs. Not knowing what ongoing treatment husband may need, or when this may be made available, we cannot plan ahead. There are worse things, of course, than living what is still a comfortable life, in the grand scheme of things, day to day.

My teddy bear, Edward, has offered stalwart support but mostly quietly, in the background. He too understands this is not a time for adventures away.

I posted reviews for 6 books in February. Robyn made a welcome return to the blog with a further 3 reviews.

As is customary in my monthly roundups, click on the title below to read the review and on the cover to learn more about the book.


Three Gifts  katherine parr
Three Gifts by Mark A Radcliffe, published by époque press
Katherine Parr, The Sixth Wife by Alison Weir, published by Headline


Imperfect Beginnings
Imperfect Beginnings by Viv Fogel, published by Fly on the Wall Press

Translated Fiction

leave your land  the fawn
You Shall Leave Your Land by Renato Cisneros (translated by Fionn Petch), published by Charco Press
The Fawn by Magda Szabó (translated by Len Rix), published by Maclehose Press

Translated Non Fiction

Pharmakon by Almudena Sánchez (translated by Katie Whittemore), published by Fum d’Estampa

Robyn Reviews

thewhis  legen
The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew, published by Gollancz
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree, published by Tor

Mio’s Kingdom by Astrid Lindgren (translated by Jill Morgan), published by Oxford University Press

Sourcing the books

Robyn received a couple of pre-ordered special editions and also accepted her first proof copies of forthcoming releases in many months. Having passed her recent exam (yay!), she now has more time and brain space for leisure reading.

Robyn books february 23

I was very happy with my monthly book post. You may notice I have accepted my first graphic novel and look forward to seeing what I make of that.

Jackie books February 23

As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their books to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.

My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms – your support is always appreciated.

And to everyone reading this, I wish you and yours good health – something we so often take for granted until issues must be faced. Here’s hoping our personal experiences improve with the weather and the year proceeds better than it has started for us all.