For a short month, February seemed to move really slowly. I’m feeling very conflicted these days; life is going well, but at the same time our country seems to be falling apart. Same with work; my colleagues are fearful of what changes the administration will bring, but I’m also really, really happy with my job.
February is a month I spent obsessing about food. I decided in January to try reducing my sugar intake. I followed a few basic suggestions and surprisingly, giving up desserts wasn’t that hard. Then I completely binged on cake and cookies at work on Valentine’s day and was rewarded with a severe migraine. I’ve been reading about how excess sugar causes inflammation, and it makes sense to me that it could be causing my migraines, or at least adding to them.
I read a book called The Sugar Crush, which gives you a lot about the science of sugar, carbohydrates, cholesterol, etc. The introduction to this book described me to a T. Only the diet plan (ketogenic) was confusing and felt impossible. So I found some cookbooks (I love, love cookbooks) on anti-inflammatory diet and clean eating, and that feels manageable to me. I spent last weekend shopping for organic and gluten-free products. I made homemade granola and hummus, and a week’s worth of lunches. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here’s what I read in February:
- The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
- Riven by Brenda Crawford
- The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
- Finding Molly: Adventures in Catsitting by Justine Prado
- News of the World by Paulette Jiles
- Sugar Crush by Richard Jacoby
- Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
I posted reviews of The Wangs vs. the World, All Our Wrong Todays, Wishful Drinking, and a discussion of Little Women. I also posted about the books that shaped me, ten books that disappointed, and reading in the news.
My favorite read? I loved News of the World, from start to finish. I really enjoyed The Wangs vs. the World, Binti, and Another Brooklyn. Also, I read my first graphic novel, Finding Molly, and absolutely loved it. I was nervous about accepting a review copy for a genre I know nothing about, but now I’m really excited to write about it.
Most disappointing read? I didn’t finish Madeline Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, and I feel bad about that because I’ve heard only great things. I just struggled to stay engaged in the story.
Books for challenges: Not so good this month. No books set in other countries (the Wangs spend some time in China but not enough to count) although I did read four books by authors of color, which is very good for me. No classics finished, but I’m reading 1984.
ARCs/Review Requests: This was a lot of my reading this month. Riven, Finding Molly, and The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley were all review copies.
Books to TV: The husband and I finished Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (sigh) but right now we’re really enjoying this season of The Expanse. We’re also watching Zelda, which I’m feeling mixed about, but looking forward to reading some Fitzgerald.
What I’m reading now: 1984 by George Orwell. It’s fantastic and seriously disturbing.
What’s coming up: I’ll be reading Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild for a book discussion group, and I’ve got two advanced review copies to read: The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova and The Last Days of Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan (both out in April). I also really want to read Homegoing, and memoirs by Trevor Noah and Diane Guerrero. So little time…
I’d normally say I can’t wait for spring right about now, but our weather has been oddly spring-like. We were in shorts and sandals last week. I don’t know whether to celebrate the glorious February we’re having or to be terrified by it. Just one more contradiction in my life right now.
Happy spring, and happy reading!