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Hi, friends! Thanks for joining me today; I’m so glad you’re here 💙. Today I’m sharing my February 2021 Wrap-Up and my March TBR. February started out rough with a week-long slump followed by a week-long super snowstorm that left me without power and water for 5+ days. It ended on a good note though, with a week-long binge to catch-up. Ultimately, I finished four books this month, which keeps me right on track! 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 cow, 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 military history, early 1800s Russian society and culture, or the so-called “greatest books of all time” (whatever that means, anyway), War and Peace might be for you!
What I’m Currently Reading
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot 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.
Support a local bookstore (and this blog!) by purchasing Hood Feminism on Bookshop.org.
My March 2021 TBR
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
- Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall (continuing)
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
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. My favorite book I read in February 2021 was Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and my most disappointing read was probably The Nickel Boys. If I had to say what book I’m most excited about reading in March, it would probably be Crime and Punishment.
What about you? Let me know what your favorite book from this month was, and what you’re most excited to read in March.
I’ll be back soon with a new blog post, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime, you can keep up with my reading on Goodreads, or follow my other social media. I’m @simplespines on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
As always: thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon. 💙