February 2024 Books – Part 5

Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kodano, Emily Balistrieri (Translator)

As a fan of Studio Ghibli, I was excited that this book had finally been translated into English. Originally published in Japan in 1985, this middle grade novel is quite similar to the movie especially at the start and has the essential characters. I really adored this lighthearted coming of age story which felt like a classic to me. In fact, it reminded me of E. B. White, Mary Norton, and other classic Western children and middle grade stories. Kiki and Jiji go on some low stakes adventures with mostly friendly folks along the way. It made me smile and laugh. It was very cozy to read on a Sunday morning. Recommended for young readers and for Ghiblli fans.

Setting: Alternate light fantasy / magical realism.

Feb 24-25, 2024.

All Creatures Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot

Read by Nicolas Ralph. I really like these audiobooks. They are very lighthearted yet there are some sad and reflective stories too. They are funny. One of my favourite lines in the book was something like “Herriot may be limited in other ways but he sure knows how to wrap a cat!” The narration is fantastic. I am going to take small breaks between the books now due to other audiobooks, but I would like to keep going.

Setting: Yorkshire, UK.

1.25x. February 20-28, 2024.

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity with Christopher Baldwin (Illustrator)

I think this was recommended by the Storygraph based on the similar books I had read. Very cute young adult graphic novel about a girl who falls into another world which has elements of her favourite gothic novels. It’s fun, diverse, and subversive. It’s made all the better by the various literary references in it.

Setting: Fantasy.

February 29, 2024.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell (Corfu Trilogy, #1)

Recommended from a book club friend after I mentioned the James Herriot books. I immediately
found the BBC Radio 4 Full Cast Dramatization on Libby. I love Libby. Most of my audiobooks are from there now. I did read the Alexandria Quartet by Laurence Durrell many years ago and vaguely remember it as being boring. Unsurprisingly, I found Laurence “Larry” the most annoying character in this book. He was a condescending prig and most of the book was ruined by him. I did like Gerald and his obsession with animals. The dramatization was good. I do not think I will continue with this series though.

Setting: Corfu, Greece.

1.0x February 29, 2024.

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