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Confession time: I have not finished this month’s challenge book, which for me was Possession by A. S. Byatt. I blame the fact that February only has 28 days. Yeah, that’s it. While it may be enough time to get sober or for a virus to spread across the globe, it was not enough time for me.

Actually, I got distracted by reading three books for my latest book salon (Books and the Bookish) and the end of the month did sneak up on me. Yes, Possession also fit into that category, but I put off starting it until too late. However, I’ve read more than a quarter of it in the last few days, so I hope to finish it soon. I’m pretty sure this one will end up staying on the shelf because, besides being a pretty hardcover, its very structure and subject lend themselves to repeated readings.

The “books” book salon was one of our most spirited discussions yet. (“Spirited” in many senses as my martini count reached the exalted heights of four, which is why I did not post about it the next day as per usual.) Books discussed included The Book Thief, The Historian, On Beauty, The Secret History, The Shadow of the Wind, The Thirteenth Tale, and Under the Net, all of which I had either already read, or now want to. It was the perfect example of the quotation that stood out to me in one of my selections, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:

None of us had any experience with literary societies, so we made our own rules: we took turns speaking about the books we’d read. At the start, we tried to be calm and objective, but that soon fell away, and the purpose of the speakers was to goad the listeners into wanting to read the book themselves. Once two members had read the same book, they could argue, which was our great delight. We read books, talked books, argued over books, and became dearer and dearer to one another.

While it was great to have such an animated discussion, I think that perhaps our next topic (War, What Is It Good For?) will, and should, be more sobering. Again, in many senses of the word. It’s coming up quite quickly, so I really do need to finish Possession so that I can move on to Suite Française.

How about you? Did you make the most out of the shortest month of the year? Have you pulled down your next book from the shelves?