February was a difficult month. Our beloved cat Harley got sick, spent a whole day in an animal hospital, and never fully recovered. She was 18 so this was expected and we had many years with her, but we miss her terribly. I’m trying to manage work anxiety on top of that, which is probably why I spent the rest of the month with a nasty head cold. The only thing I can say about February is I spent a lot of sleepless nights reading.
Here’s what I read in February:
- How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
- The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan
- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (audio)
- Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
- A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
- The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher
- Blind Justice by Anne Perry (audio)
- Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
My favorite reads: Angie Thomas has written another fantastic book in Concrete Rose, a prequel to The Hate U Give. I wasn’t sure how much I would like a book about a teenage boy who carelessly gets a girl pregnant, but the brilliance of Thomas is how much she makes you care for characters you have little in common with. I also loved Shuggie Bain. Courtney Milan’s The Duke Who Didn’t was a romance that worked on many different levels, though I did have some issues with it. And I absolutely loved Talia Hibbert’s latest book in the Brown Sisters trilogy, which I’ll write about soon.
Most disappointing read (or DNFs): I was very excited to read Mbue’s follow-up to 2016’s Behold the Dreamers, a book I absolutely loved. This novel about a village in Africa destroyed by an oil company should drew me in but faltered in the second half. I’m also struggling with Than Viet Thanh Nguyen’s sequel to The Sympathizer, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish it.
Books for challenges:
- Beat the Backlist: Blind Justice by Anne Perry
- Nonfiction: A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
What I’m reading now: I was very excited to receive an ARC of The Firekeeper’s Daughter, a debut novel about a Native American teen, by a former colleague Angeline Boulley. I’m also reading Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin and listening to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
What’s coming up: This month I’ll be reading Nadia Hashimi’s The Pearl That Broke Its Shell for my book club.
Added to my TBR: My sister recommended Jessica Pan’s Sorry I’m Late: I Didn’t Want to Come, which intrigues me. I also added The Women in Black, based on a review by You Booked Me All Night Long, and Recursion based on a review by Literary Lindsey.
Things that made me happy this month:
- One of my favorite bloggers, Lory at Entering the Enchanted Castle, gave me a shout out on her list of favorite blogs this month, so I’m returning the favor! You’ll find a list of blogs here that are well worth checking out.
- Have you heard of the Moomins? This showed up in Ruth Ware’s One by One, and now I seem to be hearing about Moomins everywhere. It’s a series of books and comics by Tove Janssen, and it brings to mind my some of my favorite children’s book characters like those of Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry and the Letter People (my kindergarten reading curriculum in the 70s). I even went to their website and took the Which Moomin are You quiz (I’m Snufkin).