February Wrap-up + March Reads

Yes, go ahead and side eye me because we’re almost half way into March and I’m just now writing a February wrap-up. I’ve been caught up in watching people play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I want to play so bad.!! Anyway, these books…

Last month I participated in #ReadSoulLit. It’s a daily photo challenge, started by Didi of Brown Girl Reading (she has a blog and a Youtube channel), that takes place during February (in honor of Black History Month). The goal of the challenge is to highlight books written by Black authors and encourage everyone to read them more often. I participated through Instagram, but you could use any of your social media accounts.  This was my first year participating and I had a blast! I found some new book readers to follow and I added a TON of books to my TBR list. Check out my Instagram to see my photos from the challenge; also search #ReadSoulLit on Twitter, Instagram, etc to discover some awesome books!

As for what I read during February, I had a pretty average reading month. I’m not a fast reader, so I usually read one book a week. Here’s what I read and what I rated them:

I had a pretty good reading month!

For March, I haven’t been that motivated to read. I’m listening to Bird Box by Josh Malerman on audiobook. It’s okay. The writing is good, but the plot’s not moving fast enough for me. I’m half-way through the book and nothing is happening. I’m only motivated to listen to it because it holds my attention as I drive to and from work each day. I’m also reading Im Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi. If you follow her on Facebook or read her blog, then you know what her writing style and humor is like. I’m not that far into the book, but I’m enjoying it.
In other book related news, the annual LIBRARY OLD BOOK SALE WAS LAST WEEK. YAAAS!!

librarybookhaul

Spent a grand total of $10 on these babies!

I went on the first day and these are the books I snagged. I wanted to go back on the last day, because the book are half-priced, but I didn’t get a chance to go. I’m a little disappointed but I got some great books out of it regardless.

What was your reading month like in February? What do you plan on reading this month?

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birthday books.

birthdaybook haul

Last month was my birthday and, at my fiance’s expense, I went book shopping!! All of the books I got costed less than $5; I got most of them online at ThriftBooks (I bought one from a local used bookstore). I don’t know about you, but I always get excited seeing what books other people are reading. So, let me show you what I got!

 

The Joy Luck Club-1

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
I’ve been meaning to read this book since 2005/2006. I had to read and analyze an excerpt from this book, titled “Two Kinds,” for a freshman level English class in college. I enjoyed the piece and made a mental note to check out the entire book. Here I am 10 years later and I’m one step away from reading this book: I now own it, now I just need to read the damn thing.

HeLa Immortal

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction)
I remember learning about HeLa cells during college, but there wasn’t much said about Henrietta Lacks (besides the fact that the cells were named after her). I studied health & science in college and I’ve always told myself that I would spend more time learning about Black people and the medicine/science in America. When I ran across this book at work, I instantly knew I had to read it.

I Tituba

I, Tituba, Black With of Salem by Maryse Conde
A Black witch? Say what now?! I stumbled across this book on Goodreads. The title had my attention, but once I read the blurb I knew I had to buy it.

Perfume

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
I watched a YouTuber do a convincing review of this book. My favorite genre of books fall in the suspense/thriller category, so when she described this book I threw it on my TBR list with the quickness. This is the story of a man who has an incredible sense of smell. He goes into the perfume industry, but becomes obsessed with the smell of women.

The Between

The Between by Tananarive Due
I want to read more science fiction novels and in my search for Black science fiction authors, Tananarive’s name kept popping up. I have several of her books on my TBR and decided to pick one at random to purchase and start reading. The Between was the one I picked.

Chokecp

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
Yet another YouTuber is the reason I grabbed this book. She was doing a book haul and gave a quick overview of what the book was about. It sounded good, so I checked it out on Goodreads and the reviews sold me.

Fledgling

Fledgling by Octavia Butler 
Another science fiction writer that I want to get into. I picked this novel because several people I’m friends with on Goodreads have given this book high ratings.

in a dark dark wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
This book has been a bestseller at my job for a very long time. Brand new, the paperback is $16; I got it as a used hardcover for $6 AND it’s in great condition! I bought it simply because I want to see what all the hype is about. I read the advance reader copy of The Woman in Cabin 10 by this author and it was okay (3 out of 5 stars), so Im hoping this book is enjoyable.

Delicious Foods

Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
Yall, I was told that this book is narrated by crack cocaine. I’m not sure if the entire novel is narrated that way or just a chapter or two, but what the fuck?! That’s right up my alley!!

White Oleander

White Oleander by Janet Fitch 
This book was an accidental freebie that I got from Thriftbooks. Instead of sending me Delicious Foods, I was sent this book. When I contacted Thriftbooks to get the mistake corrected, they told me they would send me the correct book and that I could keep White Oleander (or give it to a friend, donate to a library, etc). How cool is that? I’m not familiar with this book (or the author), but it has pretty good reviews so I think I will give it a read. I’ll let you know what I think of it. Not a big fan of the movie cover, though…

 

Let me know if you have read any of these books or if you’re interested in reading any of them. Or let me know what books you recently bought.

book review: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

suffocateyourownself

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans is a collection of short stories whose characters are all lonely (but not alone), confused, and misunderstood. Here is a portion of the synopsis from Goodreads:

Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one’s sense of identity and the choices one makes.

I gave it 3/5 stars. What I didn’t like was I wanted the stories to go on!! All of the stories ended with a dramatic cliffhanger. It kind of pissed me off in the way that you get pissed when your favorite TV show shows ends with a ‘to be continued’ and you have to wait an entire week to find out what happen; except with these stories I’ll never know what happened.

Each story does a great job in covering family relationships, friendships, love life, and sexuality from the prospective of Black Americans. There’s not much else I can say, because the Goodreads synopsis above says what I want to say.  The first story, “Virgins” is great; it follows two teenage girls who are best friends–one boy crazy and the other attempting (and failing) to be the voice of reason,–as they tackle boys, sex, and the emotions that follow.. The next few stories are pretty good, but after “Someone Ought to Tell Her There’s Nowhere to Go,” the stories become ‘eh.’ They were good stories, but I wasn’t as sucked in and intrigued as I was with the others. Danielle ends the book with a bang in the story “Robert E. Lee is Dead.” I have to say this story was my favorite.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and it pulled me out of a reading slump. I like Danielle Evan’s writing style, I can’t wait to read an actually novel by her. If she wanted to turn each of these eight stories into a book she could, and I would read each of them.