Looking Back: February Reading & Writing

February gets me EVERY YEAR, dammit. How can it be almost March?

Despite the shorter month, I had some great reads. I'm feeling a bit burnt out keeping up with deadlines, so trying to get a bit ahead and manage my time better moving forward... plus, I do like to read things for fun, too, not just for review. But that doesn't mean what I have read hasn't been great:

Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman: Ya'll know I'd never pass up an opportunity to read Gaiman's short stories, and this collection did not disappoint. It's like a map of Gaiman's incredible imagination, sure to delight long-time fans and those new to his work alike. Full review.

Find Me, by Laura Van Den Berg: I *still* haven't managed to read VDB's short stories, despite having checked them out from the library multiple times, but I did pick up her novel, and proceeded to devour it. Her words! Her language! Her ideas! The story of Joy's experience in a post-plague United States is not as post-apocalyptic as you might imagine, and therein lies the strength of Van Den Berg's debut novel. Full review.

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China, by Laurie Chang: This was the second pick for Curious Iguana's Our Women, Our World book club, and though it wasn't what I expected, I did enjoy Chang's account of migrant culture in China. Chang's approach is very matter-of-fact: here are the facts, make of them what you will, and at times, I longed for more in-depth exploration of some of the topics she breezes past (prostitution? unwanted pregnancies? the Cultural Revolution?). The book club seemed to agree, but overall, I'd call this educational--and never dry.

My Sunshine Away, by M.O. Walsh: Walsh's debut novel has been getting lots of praise, and for good reason. It's a compelling story of memory and guilt and friendship and first loves and small-town America. Full review.

Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn: I'm reading this for the Estella Society readalong, and I'll be the first to admit I won't be finished in time. I'm still not sure what to make of Dunn's strange story; it's interesting, weird, and a little stand-offish--though I think perhaps that's the intent. More thoughts to come.


So far this year, I've finished:

Of the 27 books I've picked up so far:

  • I've finished 17
  • 4 were DNFs (the rest I'm still reading... shit, am I really in the middle of six books right now?)
  • 16 were by female authors, 11 by male authors
  • 25% were written by non-US authors
  • 22% were written by non-white authors


Other February activity (here and elsewhere):


What were the best things you read in February? 


  1. I read 8 books which surprised me because I felt behind. With my newly broken arm I plan to read and used social media more than my blog. Short writing on iPad is easy. One handed laptop use is a pain.
    Hope March is good to you.

  2. Isn't it funny how it is so easy to feel "behind," even when reading so much? I suppose that's a chronic symptom of the so-many-books-so-little-time phenomenon. I saw about your arm on Twitter; how are things going? Hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. That's a good reading month! I've been hearing great things about My Sunshine Away.

    I read about 2/3 of Geek Love and found it quirky and interesting. Then I put it down one day and never ended up picking it up again. This was years ago, but I still have oddly fond memories of that book despite never finishing it.

  4. I've been feeling a bit burned out on deadlines, too. I'm longing for some free-range reading, but I have to get through March first! Here's hoping the next month is less stressful.

  5. I have Find Me on my TBR - it was on the Book Riot podcast and sounds great! Hopefully I can "find time" to get to it soon...amongst all the other reviews! March is jammed packed, but April is a bit lighter for me. And - I also loved My Sunshine Away - still my favorite book of the year so far!

  6. I can't wait to read Find Me - I've been looking forward to it all month!

  7. Emma @ Words And PeaceMarch 1, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    thanks for mentioning these other bloggers and interesting posts. I wish I had time to listen to some podcasts. actually using all my listening time to audiobooks, so many good ones out there.
    here is my wrap-up: http://wordsandpeace.com/2015/03/01/2015-february-wrap-up/

  8. I've gone back and forth between podcasts and audiobooks lately... I don't commute every day anymore so I spend less time with audio in general, and sometimes find it hard to start an audiobook and then not pick it up again for another week or two, so podcasts have been better for my recent driving patterns.

  9. I really liked it--hope you enjoy it!

  10. Yeah, I'm feeling a bit frazzled by deadlines lately, but Find Me is SO worth the time if you can squeeze it in amidst all the other releases. And I loved My Sunshine Away as well, though it wasn't my favorite of the year I don't think.

  11. Yes! Free-range reading sounds so appealing right now.

  12. It's really, really good. I devoured it but also wanted it to last so much longer.

    I'm having a similar experience with Geek Love; tech issues meant I had a two-week delay round about Chapter 14 and am just now getting back to it. I didn't think I was loving it, but I found it kind of stuck with me when I couldn't get it to download, so that must mean something... right? But it doesn't seem very plot driven; more an exploration of the oddities and strangeness of humans and human nature.


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