February Wrap-Up

Happy March everyone!

February was a short month, but one in which I managed to do more reading than usual. I was in kind of a reading slump in January, but luckily I managed to break out of that in February!

I think part of the reason my motivation to read improved last month was because I was reading with purpose. Due to it being Black History Month, I decided that I wanted every book I read to be written by black authors. Of course, I’d like to note that I strive to read from a diverse selection of authors year-round, but I really wanted to focus some extra energy and attention on this during February.

And WOW! I really discovered some great books this month. I even read some genres that I don’t normally explore!

Without further ado, here is my wrap-up of all the books I read in February:

Stats and Overall Thoughts:

Books read: 9
Physical books: 4
Audiobooks: 5

Fiction: 5
Nonfiction: 4

Average monthly rating: 4.25
Top Book of February: Concrete Rose

5-star books:
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (YA Fiction, Hardcover) – REVIEW
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke (Memoir, Audiobook) – Review coming next weekend!

4.5-star books:
The Story of Human Language by John McWhorter (Informational Nonfiction, Audiobook) – REVIEW
*The above book is not one I read for Black History Month. I actually started it in January, but didn’t finish until early February!
The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food by Marcus Samuelsson (Cookbook, Hardcover) – Review coming in a couple weeks!

4-star books:
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Classic, Audiobook) – REVIEW
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam (YA Fiction, Hardcover) – REVIEW
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston (Autobiography, Audiobook) – Review coming soon!
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Short Story Collection, Paperback) – Review coming soon!

3-star books:
Dispossession by Tayari Jones (Realistic Fiction, Audiobook)

Overall Thoughts:
Not only did I enjoy my reading more than usual this month, but I really feel like I learned a lot as well. Not just about the content of each book that I read, but about myself as a reader. I set a goal to read more nonfiction this year, and I was intentionally vague with my goal because I didn’t want to set my sights too high (I typically don’t read a lot of nonfiction as it’s not my favorite genre). However, nearly half of what I read this month ended up being nonfiction and I LOVED it. I even read a cookbook cover-to-cover which was new for me! I’m so excited to continue reading more nonfiction throughout this year (and years to come)!

I learned about the history of language; love, loss, Italian culture and food; the history of American food and the black chefs who shaped it; and life in the 20th century American south. I also experienced life through the eyes of a black, teenage father; I read Celie’s letters to God as she grew to find power in her womanhood; I felt the anger and hopelessness (and hope) of Amal as he served time for a crime he did not commit; and I ventured into alternate (though not unrealistic) realities through the speculative fiction of Friday Black.

While there was some darkness in what I read, I did also try to focus on black joy; to go beyond just the “slavery” and “Civil Rights” aspects of Black History because there is so much more to learn and celebrate. I still have so much to learn, and I’m excited to continue this journey of finding books that provide me windows into history and the lives of others. It’s incredible how powerful books are and the endless things we can learn from them.

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