February Reading Roundup

I know, I know. February has been over for a week already. I get it, I’m behind. But I had three pretty big assignments due at the end of February and into the beginning of March and those occupied all of my mental space for the last week of the month.

This Month’s Blogs

This month has hit me pretty hard in terms of extra time to work on things because classes started at the beginning of the month so I’m back to balancing full-time grad student life with part-time library assistant life (with a schedule that rotates every two weeks which prevents the routine stability that I’d like when it comes to finding time to complete course work).

All of that is to say, I didn’t get any blog posts done in the month of February. However, inspired by work I’ve done in classes already this semester, I wrote my monthly post for Hack Library School: Who Are Today’s Young Adults? And How Do We Serve Them?

Books I read this Month

For CHL 413 – Realism, I’m reading two young adult novels which is keeping me pretty busy, but I’ve also managed to get a few books for fun this month bringing me to a total of 14. As always, reviews and ratings of the books I’ve read can be found on my Goodreads page.

Books for Fun:

  • Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
  • The Fire Never Goes Out by Noelle Stevenson
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Berry
  • Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
  • Trowbridge Road by Marcella Pixley
  • The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Yes, this is the Bridgerton book. I listened to it on audio)

Books for Class:

  • I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Favorite book of the Month: Winterkeep by KRisten Cashore

cover photo courtesy of Goodreads

I’ve been a fan of Kristen Cashore’s Graceling books since late middle school or early high school, when I first read them. Bitterblue, the last book of the Graceling series before Winterkeep was published when I was a freshman in high school and I have visceral memories of reading it on my kindle in the back of a dark school suburban on the drive from Hugoton to Wichita when several of us were going from a softball game to the 3A state forensics competition. So when I heard last fall that Cashore would have a new book in the series, I squealed and promptly placed a hold at the library so I could have it in my hands as soon as it was released.

I will say, I did not like Winterkeep as much as other entries in the series. My favorite is still Fire (the second book). However, Cashore does some really incredible things with the world building in this novel and it was great to catch up with familiar characters and to meet new characters as well. There’s a species of sentient, mind-reading blue foxes that were weirdly wonderful delights. The introduction of technology into what has previously just been a fantasy world made for some really interesting plot dynamics.

If you love the Graceling books as much as I do, you should read Winterkeep. If you’ve never read Graceling, Fire, or Bitterblue now would be a great time to start. The whole series has been published in editions with new covers to match the cover design of Winterkeep and they’re gorgeous. It’s a great series that takes on female sexual agency in a pretty important way as an added bonus to a great fantasy world!

Runner Up: We Ride Upon Sticks

Favorite Non-Book Things

Sea Glass Collecting (and the Ocean in General)

On Valentine’s Day, Jake and I took to the North Shore where we collected sea glass (ok I collected sea glass, and he skipped rocks) in Gloucester and enjoyed a winter walk and some coastal rock hopping in Rockport. It was just a really wonderful day and it makes me look forward to returning in warmer weather!

A Delicious Lemon Donut

My cat Zorro had to get neutered earlier this month, and I had to drive him clear to Revere to get it done (don’t get me started on the hassles of veterinary care in Boston). So, after an early morning drop off, I went to Kane’s donuts and bought a delicious lemon donut that I am honestly still craving weeks later. I’m so thankful that I have access to a car right now because it made getting my cat neutered (and my computer fixed later in the month) far easier and less stressful than it could have been, the donut was just a cherry on top.

The Tik Tok Tomato Feta Pasta

I am not even on Tik Tok which tells you have pervasive this pasta recipe is. Basically, you roast cherry tomatoes and a block of feta in the oven for 40 minutes, mix them together, and add pasta and fresh basil. I’ve had it twice this month and both times it turned out great! I would highly recommend if you’re looking for something simple that feels super fancy!

Wizards in Space

I got my copy of Wizards in Space issue 06 which has my poem “Nesting” published in it! I was published in WiS last year and one of the last “normal” things I did before COVID quarantining was go to Providence, RI for a day trip so I could go to the issue 05 launch party, so it’s a pleasure to have a poem in issue 06 too! Plus, it’s a beautiful journal filled with work from incredible writers and artists! It was so exciting to get my copy in the mail earlier this month

Thanks for Catching up on My February Happenings! See you at the end of March for a roundup that hopefully isn’t a week late!

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