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Hi there! 👋🏽 Today I’m sharing my February 2021 Wrap-Up and my March TBR. February started out rough, but after a week-long slump, a week-long power/water outage (way to go, Austin infrastructure 🙄), and a week-long catch-up binge, I finished four books! Keep reading to see what I’ve been up to!
⏮ What I Read in February 2021
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
In February, the first book I read was Marlon James’s sweeping African Fantasy novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf. I finished this in the wee hours of the 27th, but we don’t need to talk about that part 👀. The story took a bit to start on what the premise promised, but I was totally on board once the games were afoot. James creates an incredibly unique world in this story, and it’s one I can’t wait to spend more time in. 🚨 Reader beware, there are several potentially triggering things in this book, so take care of yourself if you pick this one up.
If you like epic, high fantasy adventures, but have always felt the genre could use a little more melanin, Black Leopard, Red Wolf might be for you!
The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor
The Body is Not An Apology is partly a Feminist manifesto, part social justice call-to-arms, and part self-help book. That is, if self-help was Sonya grabbing you by the shoulders, shaking you violently (yet lovingly), and telling you to shut up and love yourself, dammit! The Body is Not An Apology is a profoundly encouraging and deeply intersectional tutorial in radical self-love. It gives us actionable steps for loving ourselves deeper. It shows us the tangible outcomes of moving this radical love out into the world.
If you are a living, breathing person and you want to learn how to form a deeper connection with yourself (and your fellow humans), The Body is Not An Apology is definitely for you!
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys follows a boy named Elwood Curtis in the Jim Crow South before, during, and after his time at a juvenile reform school called The Nickel Academy. This book was, at times, extremely heavy; at other times, the events of the plot floated past me in an almost dreamlike way. Although this book is both timely and necessary — and despite Whitehead’s unmatched ability to toe the line between poet and journalist — I occasionally found myself disconnected from the story’s events, even knowing their inherent emotional weight.
If you have a strong stomach and want to learn more about the systemic cruelty enacted upon Black bodies during the Jim Crow era, The Nickel Boys might be for you.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Holy 🐄 you guys, I actually did it! I finished War and Peace! I can definitely see why this book has remained in the public consciousness for over 150 years. Tolstoy writes with emotional depth — without getting carried away in his own genius. He writes with the passion of a historian and philosopher — without leaving his reader behind. Personally, I was much less interested in the War and much more interested in the Peace. However, both sides of the story were incredibly well written, and both had their exciting (and dull) moments.
If you are interested in either (a) Military history, (b) early 1800s Russian society and culture, or (c) the so-called “greatest books of all time” (whatever that means 🙄), War and Peace might be for you!
🔁 Currently Reading
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
Reading for Prompt #34 of the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.
So, remember how I said I’ve been catching up on a month’s worth of reading during the last week of February? Yeah, at the time of writing this, I still haven’t started Hood Feminism. I thought it would be a perfect transition book between Black History/Black Futures Month and Women’s History/Women’s Futures month. Regardless, this will be the first book I finish in March, so I promise you this will be on next month’s (this month’s?) wrap-up.
⏭ March 2021 TBR
- Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall (continuing)
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain 💔
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
⏹ Wrapping Up the February 2021 Wrap-Up
And there you have it! This is everything I have read recently, am currently reading, or will be reading soon. Almost everything I plan to read this year is for the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. You can check out the full list of my selections here! You can also keep up with my ratings and reviews on Goodreads here! Remember to check back every Tuesday for new book reviews (or wrap-ups, if it’s the first Tuesday of the month… which was yesterday, but we don’t need to talk about that either 👀)!
Since you made it to the end of this post, I’ll tell you what I’m reviewing next week. Next Tueseday, I’ll be reviewing … 🥁 drumroll, please 🥁 … Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates! 🎉
So, have you read any of the books on my February 2021 Wrap-Up and/or my March TBR? If so, what were your thoughts? 📣 Sound off in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading!