Books, Real Life

February Wrap-Up: Reading is Difficult, Friends

No one stormed the U.S. Capitol last month. Things are looking up!

I had a GIANT energy drop during the last two weeks of February and didn’t get much done.

Then again, I am not defined by my productivity.

I don’t know. It’s been a weird time.

February Life Updates

I started the editing certification program at the University of Washington.

So far, I’m enjoying it!

I’m actually interested in the content, though the reading and assignments are somewhat intimidating.

Anyway, I think I’ll make an amazing editor some day. It feels like a natural fit.

Oh, I switched from Goodreads to The Storygraph. I’m having a MUCH BETTER TIME on the new site.

The Import from Goodreads option takes a long time. However, it’s WORTH IT. I love the review function on Storygraph – it lets you pick the book’s vibes. THIS IS WHAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED.

According to Storygraph, I tend to pick fiction books that are emotional, reflective, and adventurous. I feel seen.

That’s about it. I got some really excellent belated birthday presents from my brother and my friend Claire (a Noelle Stevenson print and an Avatar: The Last Airbender-themed ramen bowl, whaaat.) I cooked some things. I ordered a lot of takeout.

Also, I tried my hardest to read some books.

February Stats

In February, I completed 12 books and DNFed 7 books.

It was a heavy DNF month. I started so many books that I just did not enjoy reading.

Of the books I read,

  • 74% were fiction
  • 16% were nonfiction
  • 10% were poetry/verse
  • 74% were physical books
  • 21% were audiobooks
  • 5% were e-books
  • 42% were Young Adult
  • 58% were Adult
  • 74% were new books
  • 26% were rereads

I really thought I reread more books last month.

Turns out nope.

I tried my best with the new books – I was still pretty bored with most of them. (More on that later.)

My love for audiobooks decreased (it’s a big time commitment) while my love for e-books increased.

If you’ve been around for a while, you might be surprised by the genre breakdown.

Genre breakdown pie chart:

Fantasy: 10.5%
Science fiction: 10.5%
Classic: 5.3%
Romance: 21.1%
Contemporary: 21.1%
Memoir/essay: 15.8%
Horror: 5.3%
Literary: 10.5%
February 2021 genre breakdown

Look at that puny fantasy slice! Fantasy normally makes up at LEAST 25% of my monthly reading experience!

Instead, I read a ton of contemporary and romance!

I like romance now. Who knew?

Notable Books

As I mentioned, I DNFed a few books last month. The real bummer is that these are books I was really excited about.

My four most disappointing DNFs for the month were

  • Girl, Crushed by Katie Heaney
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  • Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Each of Us a Desert had a slower pace than what I normally read. Though I liked the ideas, I had a hard time staying focused.

The other three were very dialogue- and joke-heavy, a style I normally enjoy. However, I didn’t buy any of the dialogue or laugh at any of the jokes. That made reading painful.

I listened to all three on audiobook, which perhaps played a factor.

I started the month by reading The Black Flamingo and I loved it.

The Black Flamingo: A Novel by Dean Atta

The thing about loving books is I never know how to describe them.

The writing is beautiful! The character relationships are strong! The book sticks the landing!

I say again, it was very good.

I reread a few favorite books, including Many Love and Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s)

Many Love was just as moving the second time. I would love more books from Sophie Lucido-Johnson. If she wrote a pie-themed memoir, I would lose my mind.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Do you belong here or Elsewhere?

I LOVE Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I loved revisiting it. That said, I’m more aware of its flaws this time. Like, it’s not great that the story uses other cultures’ myths and symbols for flavor. I think hamsas are cool as shit and also think white fantasy authors should avoid using iconography that isn’t theirs. I recommend this series with caution.

National Bestseller The Seas by Samantha Hunt; Introduction by Maggie Nelson

My friend Claire (of the ramen bowl) lent me a weird surrealist literary novel called The Seas. I liked it even though I’m not sure I understood it. Storygraph has a pretty complete list of triggers – the one I’ll mention is an adult/minor relationship. It’s one of those “technically legal” relationships that might gross some people out.

The Lost Village: A Novel by Camilla Sten; Translated by Alexander Fleming

My aunt slipped me a horror novel with comps to Midsommar and The Blair Witch Project. The Lost Village started out really well and affected my sleep. Then it took a turn for the ableist. I was DISPLEASED. Aside from that, the ending made absolutely no sense.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

My genre-challenged friend lent me The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and it upset me more than I knew possible. For the record, I really enjoyed it. Go read it but DON’T look up the plot synopsis or read any reviews. Trust me.

On a more positive note: I found some new favorites!

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had the best characters. It made me feel so many things for a spaceship’s AI. I fully scream-sobbed for the last 100 pages. 10/10.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

I finally finished Tweet Cute after putting it off because it STRESSED ME OUT. The emotions and romance are great; I’m going to gloss over those to talk about the DESSERTS. I don’t really want to start my own business or bakery or cooking blog or what have you. I DO want to eat magical, special desserts made by the most wonderful girl in the world. YOU HEARD ME, UNIVERSE. Make it happen.

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn: Some signs are impossible to ignore...

I picked up Love Lettering for a Seattle-wide book club and I DID NOT EXPECT TO LIKE IT. I REALLY, REALLY DID. When I say it took a VERY UNEXPECTED TURN….TRUST ME. 10/10!!! MOM, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, YOU SHOULD GET THIS ONE.

That was February!

Today is the first day of March and it’s sunny in Seattle.

I’m going to keep trucking with school stuff and occasionally buy celebratory French pastries.

Stay safe, everyone.

4 thoughts on “February Wrap-Up: Reading is Difficult, Friends”

  1. That course on editing sounds really interesting and an exciting adventure! I started using The StoryGraph too this year and I’m not only in love with the star rating but the stats it provides are just great!
    I 100% agree with you on Each of Us a Desert; I wanted to love it, but man I just found it so hard to because I didn’t connect with the main character and as you mentioned just really slow paced.
    Yessss to the Black Flamingo!! It was just so well written and the story arc, UH! My heart! ๐Ÿ’—
    Happy March! I hope you have a great month filled with great reads ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m on week 3 and it’s interesting and VERY INTIMIDATING STILL! And aaaagh, I love the stats AND the personalized aspects.

      I was so disappointed!! I feel like not a lot happened until suddenly it did.

      I CRIED!!! I want to buy copies for everyone.

      Happy March! I hope the month is going well for you! โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure you’ll do well! I agree the stats are amazing! I get excited at the end of every month to see my reading stats ๐Ÿ˜‚
        Thank you, March has been good, I hope it has been for you too! ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

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