Farewell February! It was a sad, tragic month, but with moments of inspiration. I read great books this month – February is perfect for slowing down and sitting by the fire with a book and a cat on your lap. It should have been the coldest month of winter – except that it wasn’t. We had 60 and 70 degree days this month, which I would have loved if it wasn’t sort of creepy (it’s February). Other than that, I’m pretty excited because I just picked up tickets for a July show of Hamilton in a crazy DC lottery.
Here’s what I read in February:
- Crosstalk by Connie Willis
- Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- Gun Love by Jennifer Clement
- The Changeling by Victor LaValle
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- Happiness by Aminatta Forna
My favorite read? I loved my re-read of Wrinkle in Time, and found Sing, Unburied, Sing a moving and at times beautiful read. Pachinko was a fascinating look at Korea and Japan in the last century (and was especially nice while watching the Olympics in South Korea). Happiness was excellent, a happy surprise in a book I knew nothing about. But my favorite was the really thought-provoking Home Fire.
Most disappointing read? I found Gun Love by Jennifer Clement, which will be published March 6, to be rather pretentious. This story about a teenage girl with a very difficult life should have been moving, and it wasn’t.
I did pretty well on challenges this month, and I did especially well reading diverse authors (5 of 8):
- TBR Pile: Crosstalk
- Read Harder Challenge: A Wrinkle in Time
- SciFi/Fantasy Bingo or Swords and Stars: A Wrinkle in Time, The Changeling, Sing, Unburied, Sing
- Reading All Around the World: Home Fire, Pachinko
- Back to the Classics: A Wrinkle in Time
What I’m reading now: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
What’s coming up: I have ARCS of Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao, The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg, and The Red Word by Sarah Henstra. For book clubs and blog events I’ll be reading Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Hunger by Roxane Gay.
Added to my TBR: This month I added books from the just-announced Nebula award nominees: Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey, Autonomous by Analee Newitz, and Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. On March 8, my favorite list will be announced, the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Then I’ll have even more books to add to the TBR.
Things that made me happy this month:
The Black Panther: we’ve seen it twice now, and I was even more impressed with it the second time. It’s a movie that makes a powerful statement and raises complex issues (especially for a superhero flick). The acting and writing are excellent, and the movie is visually stunning. I personally appreciated that the violence is mostly hand to hand combat rather than explosions and gore. All that, and it’s given both African-American and African communities something to cheer about.
Altered Carbon: my husband read this book by Richard K. Morgan a long time ago and was thrilled to see it come to screen. At first I was a bit put off by the violence, and had to skip parts of two episodes because of torture. But that aside, the characters were great and the world it created was fascinating. It reminded me of Outlander at times, in that it felt surprisingly female-centric, which is largely because the show’s writer and showrunner is a woman. The cast was diverse, the female characters strong, and it’s the male characters who are at times the more emotional. And -um – the male stars were not terrible to look at.
That’s my month of reading! What was your favorite read this month?