#February2021ReadingWrapUp

Today I bring you my February reading wrap up.

As always books are listed in the order that I read them and are linked to my StoryGraph reviews.  Screenshots are also from StoryGraph.

For the month of February, I read four books.
February Reads:
Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man by Emmanuel Acho- https://app.thestorygraph.com/reviews/ac39fa33-2745-42c1-b061-c64930a014e6
Across The Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire- https://app.thestorygraph.com/reviews/cf365eaf-23c0-4fba-8b67-ea149aee00d0
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease-https://app.thestorygraph.com/books/a0e709f7-3086-4866-8713-c135d37ccb3e
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi-https://app.thestorygraph.com/reviews/cc8b3dc4-4fb2-43f6-a8ea-747fb87d7a5c

Stats:
# of days that I read: 10

Book haul:
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

#YAIsNotAGenre

Today’s discussion might be a controversial one, but sometimes those are the best ones. I’m going to discuss something that I often get annoyed with and that’s YA as a genre. YA is not a genre it’s a category or age group. Fiction and Non-Fiction are genres that fall under categories.  Genre is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.” Also according to the New Oxford American Dictionary category is defined as “a class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics.” Books in the YA category (not genre) usually have different shared characteristics depending on the genre. In contemporaries, you won’t have characters wielding swords and fighting monsters, and you won’t see characters in a fantasy novel riding their bikes to the nearest book store (except for maybe Urban Fantasy or Magical Realism). These two characters could be the same age which would be the shared characteristic. I see the YA category as readers ages 18-26.

I know that this is confusing. Maybe I will write another post that goes a little more in-depth and break down category vs. genre more and then get into sub-genres if it will help.

Please discuss in the comments!

#FridayUpdate96onSaturday

If you are new to my blog, I have decided that I am no longer going to do Friday 56. Friday Update is a feature in which I provide an update on what I read during the week, sometimes what I’m currently reading and what book/books I plan on starting over the weekend.

For the week of 2/12/2021-2/18/2021 I read:
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease– 67 pages which brought me to the end of the book

Stats:

I’m currently not reading anything, and don’t know what I’m gonna pick up next.

#February2021Review3

Today’s review is for Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease.

This book was just beautiful and magical.  I loved seeing the growth of the characters, especially Camille.  I also loved seeing Camille and Lazare’s relationship develop and Sophie come into her own with her dress shop.  Everything That Burns takes place during the French Revolution where magic is persecuted.  Speaking of magic, Camille, who no longer wants to do magic, uses it unintentionally when printing pamphlets using her father’s old printing press to tell the stories of a group of girls that she meets called The Lost Girls.  The Lost Girls were an intriguing group of characters, each with their own special talent.  I loved reading about The Lost Girls and their stories.  I loved how the story ended, it wasn’t rushed and everything came together nicely.  I can’t wait to read more from this author. 

#DestressYourReadingLife

Today’s short discussion is about how I de-stressed my reading life, as in making it not be stressful. This post also coincides perfectly with the one I posted yesterday, which you can read here.

The first way I de-stressed my reading life was by setting my reading goal to one book and keep it at one book throughout the year. This has worked immensely as I don’t feel the pressure to read x amount of books and then feel like a failure because I had to lower my goal.

The second way I de-stressed my reading life was not joining a lot of challenges or doing a lot of readathons. I’m only doing two challenges, Modern Mrs. Darcy and the Library Love Challenge. They are the only challenges I’m committed to doing.

The third way, I’m paying less attention to what everyone else is reading and reading what I genuinely want to read. Part of this is also not getting so caught up with which books are hyped and what ones aren’t. This is a problem that I’ve had in the past, where I was reading books because that’s what everyone else was reading, therefore, feeling like I had to read them and not necessarily enjoying them. PSA: You don’t have to read what’s popular and new to be relevant in the book community.

What do you do to make your reading life less stressful? Let me know in the comments!

#February2021ReadingGoalsandChallengesUpdate

I’ve done these posts in the past to keep me accountable for my goals. However, seeing as how I decided to do things differently this year with my goals and challenges, I still thought it would be great to do these monthly updates.

You can read what my goals are and the challenges that I’m participating in here.

Reading goals:
Goodreads/Storygraph: Read one book. I’ve already accomplished this goal. I have no regrets about setting my goal of reading one book and not changing it once I reached it.  I feel much freer in my reading life.
Read more backlist books: I am doing okay with this goal.
Read more books about social justice written by Black authors: I’m doing a decent job with this goal.  

Challenges:
Modern Mrs. Darcy: I’ve done quite a few things from this challenge.
Library Love- Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books. For this challenge, I have read nine out of 12 books.

Blogging Goals:
Post weekly reading updates: I have stuck to this
Post reviews weekly: I have to say, I’m doing pretty well with this goal.  It helps me when I read a book and then review it as soon as possible. I have also gotten better at cross-posting my reviews to Barnes and Noble.
Try to post more discussion posts: I have now added to the list of discussion post ideas that I created at the beginning of the year.  By the time the year is over, I will have had a discussion post for every week.

#FridayUpdate95

If you are new to my blog, I have decided that I am no longer going to do Friday 56. Friday Update is a feature in which I provide an update on what I read during the week, sometimes what I’m currently reading and what book/books I plan on starting over the weekend.

For the week of 2/5/2021-2/11/2021 I read:
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
Everything That Burns by Gita Trelease
– 333 pages

Stats:

Weekend reading plans:
Finish Everything That Burns

#February2021Review2

Today’s review is for Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire.

Yet another masterpiece in the Wayward Children Series.  McGuire created such a unique world with this book with Centaurs, Unicorns, Kelpies, and other mythical creatures.  As for the characters, I loved Regan and the Centaur herd that found her when she went through the door.  Regan’s friendship with Chicory, one of the Centaurs was so pure and heartwarming.  While reading, I found myself being able to relate to Regan just wanting to belong with a group of friends.  I also found that I could relate to Heather too, feeling unaccepted because she liked different things than the other girls.  Across the Green Grass Fields is very much a unique character-driven story, and I loved it.  I can’t wait to read Where the Drowned Girls Go.

#TheStoryGraph

Today I am going to discuss an alternative to Goodreads for those trying not to use Amazon’s services as much.

If you were not aware, Goodreads an Amazon company, and if you follow me on there, you may have noticed that I haven’t updated it in some time and that’s because I’ve been using StoryGraph. I was introduced to StoryGraph reading the blogs of Misty from Misty’s Book Space and Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books. StoryGraph is similar to Goodreads in the way that you can still keep track of what you read.   StoryGraph is also much different in the sense that it goes deeper than just the number of books you read, how many pages you read, your highest rated book, your lowest rated book, your longest book, and your shortest book. The StoryGraph tracks your mood, pace, categories, and genres you read. StoryGraph has more options when reviewing books. There are options for whether or not the book is character or plot-driven, a mix of both, if the characters are likable or not, how diverse the cast is, character development, and whether or no the flaws of the main character are the main focus.  Another feature of StoryGraph that I   As I’ve been using StoryGraph more, I’m liking it much better than Goodreads, and I’ve been using Goodreads since 2010-2011ish.

Do you use StoryGraph? Why or why not?  You can also follow me here.

#FridayUpdate94

If you are new to my blog, I have decided that I am no longer going to do Friday 56. Friday Update is a feature in which I provide an update on what I read during the week, sometimes what I’m currently reading and what book/books I plan on starting over the weekend.

For the week of 1/29/2021-2/4/2021 I read:
Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu
Rebel Rose by Emma Theriualt

Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

Stats:

Weekend reading plans:
Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Whatever I’m in the mood for.