February for me was a lot of hurry up and wait. I got my acceptance to graduate school (although I am still waiting rather impatiently to find out if I have funding). I have been trying to sort out the plans for my VERY SMALL wedding in March, which is becoming more and more complicated. Mostly, February was about realigning my focus for the months ahead, and I am excited to see what March holds for me.
in my reading life
This month, I wanted to tackle my pile of physical ARCs, many of which were already released before I had a chance to read them. Shame.
Halfway through February, I decided to sign up for some 2019 reading challenges. As such, I realized that I probably need to come up with a system to keep track of my reading in these monthly updates. I’m borrowing from one of the lovely Elise @ The Bookish Actress, by instituting a system of emojis to represent types of books read.
📚 = #UnreadShelf 🏛= borrowed 📱= e-book 💸= purchased in 2019 👓=nonfiction 🦕=classics (before 1970)
🌈 = lgbtq+ 💫 = diverse (POC, religion, disability)🗣 = #OwnVoices 🙋♀️= Reading Women 🐼=YARC
february reading stats
9 total books read
5 diverse books
5 from the unread shelf
12 books purchased
7 books by women
2 books by men
read in february
(links go to my review/Goodreads)
💫📚🗣ON THE COME UP by Angie Thomas (2019) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – YA Fiction (#OwnVoices POC rep)
🏛📱A RULE AGAINST MURDER by Louise Penny (2007) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Mystery
👓📚🦕📱THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION by C. Wright Mills (1959) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Sociology
👓📚💫🗣THE BOLD WORLD: A MEMOIR OF FAMILY AND TRANSFORMATION by Jodie Patterson (2019) -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Memoir (WOC author + trans son)
🌈📱💸🗣THE SEAFARER’S KISS by Julia Ember (2017) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – YA Fantasy (#OwnVoices bi rep + non-binary side character)
💫📚GOLDEN CHILD by Claire Adam (2019) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Literary Fiction (POC rep)
👓🦕💸THE PRESENTATION OF SELF IN EVERYDAY LIFE by Erving Goffman (1959) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Sociology
💫📚SONG FOR A WHALE by Lynne Kelly (2019) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Middle Grade (Contemporary)
👓🏛GIRL, WASH YOUR FACE by Rachel Hollis (2018) – ⭐️⭐️⭐️.🌙 – Christian Living/Personal Growth
Spotlight: The Bold World by Jodie Patterson
As I talked about in my review, this book was beautifully written and an important story. Not only does Patterson write honestly about growing up Black in a diverse neighborhood, but she also talks honestly about raising a transgender son. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading more diverse nonfiction.
march reading goals
- catch up on #YARC2019 – especially monthly challenges
- actually stop buying buying books until my birthday in May (considering I have purchased more books this year than books read…)
- tackle Middlemarch, which I just realized is 800 pages
(tentative) march TBR
- THE LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin [for work book club]
- MIDDLEMARCH by George Eliot🦕
- PAULINA & FRAN by Rachel B. Glaser🌈
- A WOMAN IS NO MAN by Etaf Rum🐼
- THE ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN by Lisa See🐼
- A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA by Tahereh Mafi 🐼📚
- THE FAMILIARS by Stacey Halls📚
- QUEENIE by Candice Carty-Williams💫📚
- THE READER by Traci Chee🐼
on the blog
notable posts from february
- I talked about what I learned from reading Sarah Schulman
- I got in touch with my hopeless romantic side
- I got pretty personal with my #MentalHealthMonday post about childhood mental health
I really tried to kick my blogging into gear this month. I started out 2019 with the goal of doing at least 2 new posts a month, but as I’m planning ahead I’m coming up with a lot more ideas and ways to get involved. I’m finally reaching a place where blogging—or at least scrolling through my WordPress Reader—is a part of my regular daily life. I miss it when I haven’t checked everyone else’s blogs in a while. I find myself thinking about blogging when I’m doing other things. Which brings me to my next point…
in my writing life
I’ve really been struggling with writing this year so far. At the beginning of the year, I was forcing myself to continue work on a fiction project despite being pretty emotionally checked out. In February, I decided to focus my energy on something I’d been kicking around for a long time: a nonfiction book about my experiences working as a barista for ten years.
I started out just doing research: brainstorming ideas for chapters, questions I can ask my former coworkers, and anecdotes for my personal life, as well as doing some sociological background. As I’ve been doing this research, I’m realizing just how huge of a project this is…and how devoting all my energy to this project right now might not be a great idea. What’s the point of writing this entire book when the only way to get a nonfiction book deal is to prove you have an online presence?
It’s not that I’m giving up on my writing project. It’s more that I’m turning to this blog as a vital part of my writing life.
Starting in March, I’m going to do a series of discussion posts about my writing—what got me started, struggles I’ve gone through as a writer, how I deal with doubt, etc. Beyond that, I’m focusing a lot of my energy on making this blog a part of my life. How can I make this better? How can I grow as a blogger, not just in terms of numbers but in terms of how I’m connecting with other people? It starts now.
around the blogosphere
This is a feature I used in my wrap-ups on my old blog and one that I want to bring back. Basically, it’s a chance for me to spread love to the bloggers who’ve come out with great content this month—whether it’s a stellar review or a discussion piece that really got me thinking.
- Camilla started a discussion chain called The Bloggers in the Attic, where each blogger writes a discussion on a pre-determined topic to share different perspectives. The other bloggers’ posts can be found here in the original post.
- Clo @ Book Dragons asked “do books give false expectations for relationships?”
- Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books made my day with “How to stay positive while book blogging” —seriously, such a delightful post to read!
- Ayah @ Distopian Citizen asked: “is the term self-care being exploited?”
- Wendy @ what the log had to say talked about the flaws in the Goodreads star ratings system.
- Hollie @ Hollieblog wrote about the conflict when it comes to reviewing bad LGBT+ books.
- Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink talked about jealousy in the book blogging community (which made me feel a lot less alone).
- Vicky Who Reads shared some amazing, under-hyped books by Black authors for Black History Month and beyond.
- Laura @ Blue Eye Books did a guest post for Dani @ Perspective of a Writer called “8 Truths Every YA Fantasy Beginner Needs to Know” – this cracked me up but also provided some great recommendations I desperately needed as someone who’s intimidated by the selection of YA fantasy books.