What I Read in February

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory was a treat. I’m a fan of Jasmine already, mostly via her weekly newsletter and her Twitter feed. Her debut novel is a romance about a Black protagonist who falls for a white dude. It’s fun but not mindless, and mentions delicious food a lot. It would be perfect if you wanted a vacation read or a palate cleanser after something heavy. I almost wish I’d saved it for one of those occasions, myself, but of course there’s always next time.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton took me a while to get into – and once I was into it, I was into it. All I knew going in was that it involved a researcher completely isolated in the Arctic. I love to read things about cold places in the winter, so that was all I needed to know. Once the story began unfolding I was transfixed. The descriptions of some of the Arctic settings were so rich. Get ready to think a lot about loneliness, love, family, & redemption. The ending left a lot of questions unanswered, and I’m glad.

Made for Love by Alissa Nutting was 100% the weirdest thing I’ve read in a while, and I absolutely loved it. The protagonist is a dirtbag, the plot is absurd, the writing is hilarious and often profound. It made me uncomfortable often, and at one point I thought about stopping because I was so grossed out by something, but I also couldn’t stop – I had to know what was going to happen. So weird, so delightful. I definitely want to read more by Nutting.

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix – Technically I finished this re-read the morning of March 1, but let’s count it for February anyway. I used to buy into the popular opinion that this was the worst HP book, but I’ve come around, largely thanks to a friend who pointed out that all of Harry’s shouting/insufferable behavior is an achingly accurate portrayal of what adolescence feels like. It’s fun to read these with full knowledge of the plot; I find myself turning out the lamp and going to sleep during some of the most suspenseful parts, knowing what I can look forward to (or dread) when I pick it back up.

Maybe not finishing: I have to confess that I bought the scurrilous Michael Wolff book when it came out in January (I couldn’t resist!), but I haven’t touched it in several weeks. It’s just not easy to read about so many completely terrible people (even though – or maybe especially because – I read about those same terrible people in the news literally every day).

Up next: The theme of March is “hello every library hold you have ever placed is now available,” so I’m drowning in books and uncertain how many of them I can possibly read before they’re due back. Only one way to find out! 📚

What I Read in January

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. I’m re-reading the series, for the first time in way too long. There’s something so cozy & wintry about these books; the ideal way to read them is obviously in a comfy armchair with a hot chocolate. Bonus points if it’s snowing outside. For now I’m focusing solely on the books and trying to just enjoy the warmth & nostalgia, but after I finish my re-read I’ll probably revisit some of my favorite episodes of the fantastic podcast Witch Please. I am also eagerly awaiting the Binge Mode Harry Potter series!

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. Well, this sure was a book and I sure did read it. I didn’t give it a star rating on Goodreads, which is how you know I was feeling ambivalent about the experience. The writing was evocative and sometimes beautiful. The characters were deeply unlikeable and frustrating. I would probably read another thing by this author.

Total Cat Mojo: Everything You Need to Know to Care for Your Favorite Feline Friend, by Jackson Galaxy. My friends bought me this for my birthday and I surprised myself by devouring it in like 3 days. I’ve read a handful of books on cat behavior, but this was the most useful by far. I’ve already incorporated some of what I learned from it, and I was truly surprised & delighted by some of the things I didn’t know. There were places where I could’ve used more details, and it was repetitive in some ways, but I think that’s understandable for a book that’s striving to do as much & be as useful as this one does and is. I know I’ll turn to it with my cat questions, at least whenever it’s not being borrowed by a cat-loving friend.

Abbott #1 by Saladin Ahmed. It is extremely cool that you can count single issues of comics as books on Goodreads, this is going to help my 2018 read count a lot! And I didn’t know this before because this is my first ever single-issue. I even subscribed to it through my local comic shop! I’m so excited!! Anyway this story rules so far and I can’t wait for the next installment. It’s especially dreamy to see 1970s Detroit in the beautiful artwork. You can see what I mean, and read an excerpt, here.

Up next: continuing and maybe finishing my Harry Potter re-read; new releases The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory & Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh; #Abbott #2The Turner House for book club; hopefully some other surprises. 📚