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Bert’s February 2021 Reads

I’ve decided I need to actually keep track of the number of books I read each month – and what better way to do that than blogging about them?

In February I read 9 books – and I enjoyed them all, but for those that care about that sort of thing, I’ve ranked them!

They’re all available to purchase – or pre-order. If it sounds like your thing, or if you’d just like to find out more, then just click on the links


9. The Sunshine Kid by Harry Baker

This is book of collected poems – and I’m not normally a poetry fan, but these are very modern, very funny poems.

I saw Harry Baker live at the Edinburgh fringe and I was blown away.

I since watched all his stuff on YouTube. You should definitely check him out – seeing him perform the poems is better than reading them yourself!


8. What’s the T? by Juno Dawson

This is a book aimed at young adults who are confused (or perhaps even certain) about their gender. It explains everything they might expect from starting their trans journey as well as sensitive advice that being trans isn’t a one size fits all situation.

This is a perfect book for the target audience, but I read it wanting to learn more about what it means to be transgender and it also helped me understand what other people might be going through and just how I can help. This is the kind of book we should all read, because you never known when a young person in your life might need your help.


7. Final Cut by SJ Watson

Final Cut features Blackwood Bay – an ordinary place. It’s a seaside destinatin where tourism has dwindled thanks to the economic downturn.

Alex decides it’s the perfect place to shoot her documentary, but she faces suspicion when she arrives from the locals. Why is she there? Nothing exciting ever happens in Blackwood Bay. Does it?

I thought I was so clever when I worked out a twist early on – but when it was revealed just a few short pages later, I realised I had an exciting ride on my hands. This is a great read!


6. Beast by Matt Wesolowski

Beast is the fourth book in Wesolowski’s Scott King series in which the investigative journalist looks into complicated cases and broadcasts his findings in a podcast.

Three people have been convicted of Elizabeth Barton’s murder, but through six interviews King begins to dig deeper into the case for the truth.

This one is set during 2018 when the Beast from the East descended on Britain leaving a blanket of snow behind and even though it’s told after the event, it feels incredibly realistic. You can really feel the cold wind blowing through – and it’s almost as chilling as the story itself.


5. Deity by Matt Wesolowski

Zach Crystal is a cultural phenomenon, rock star, enigma, Deity. Or at least he was.

Now, he’s dead, burned in a fire and the world is mourning. But among the mourners there is an ever-increasing number of dissenters, people claiming that the truth behind his charitable work may be darker than it appears.

Scott King is out to investigate in the latest series of Six Stories.

This explores our relationship with popular culture, how we blindly worship people we don’t really know… and how we continue to do so, despite the truth suggesting we really shouldn’t. This is such a great series and I can’t wait to read more.


4. Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Anjelica Henley is taken from desk duty and put back on a live case when body parts are found along the Thames. They bear the hallmarks of notorious serial killer Peter Olivier, but he’s safely locked up in jail. So is this a copycat killer?

Henley heads to the prison to seek Olivier’s help in catching this new killer, but seeing as she was the one who put him inside in the first place, helping her is the last thing on his mind…

Like all detective stories, this one works really well, not because of the crime story, but because of the detective investigating it. I loved getting to know Henley as she battled to save future victims – as well as her own personal life. Definitely a character I’m looking forward to seeing more of in the future.


3. Common Ground by Naomi Ishiguro

Stan is being bullied at his new school and it’s making him miserable. Each day after school he spends time on the common, away from the boys at his school and his mum at home.

It’s on the common where he meets Charlie, a charismatic boy a few years older than him and they become instant friends. Charlie is a traveller and while Stan has no problems with that, there are plenty of people do and their friendship is cut short… until years later when they meet up again in London.

This is a great book and Charlie is an instantly likeable character in the first part, so that by the time you meet him in the second you are really drawn into what’s changed for him to make him so downbeat.


2. The Secret life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

When Albert Entwistle is told he must retire, he starts to reflect on his lonely life and realises how alone he truly is.

He starts to look back on his life, how his father’s negative reaction to gay men forced him into a closet he never left, and he realises that in order to move on and finally start living, he needs to track down George, the boy he fell in love with nearly fifty years ago.

I really enjoyed this gentle, uplifting story about a man who has let his secret dominate his entire life. Ultimately, it’s a story about community and finding people around us who we can let in and enhance our lives.

And reminding us, it’s never too late!


1. The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

In 1972, three lighthouse keepers vanish from the tower in the days between Christmas and New Year. They’ve been living there on their own for weeks, waiting for the next relief to arrive, but when he does, there’s no sign of them.

The clocks are stopped at 9.15 and the door is locked. So where are they?

Twenty years later, a writer approaches the women left behind to try and help them settle the mystery. But do they know more than they’re letting on. And why aren’t they speaking anymore?

This is a brilliant, atmospheric read. I could feel the wind and the waves around me as I tore through the pages, desperate to get to the end and solve the mystery. I think this will be one of my favourite books of the year.