Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

February 2022 Wrap-Up 🐕

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

February’s been a little chaotic, but again, in comparison to last year, it was a good month. I’m leaving it feeling a little tired, but I’m excited for spring!

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

I’ve had a lot of studying to do this month…feels like I’ve had a quiz or a test every week to every other week. Yeesh. But at least I can say that I’ve done well on all of them, so I suppose there’s that going for me.

As far as reading goes, I started the month out with a week-long slump, but once I found some better books, the month improved so much! I read a lot of great books for Black History Month and discovered some new authors that I’d love to read more of. I ended up re-reading a little, and it felt lovely to immerse myself back into the Pioneer duology.

Writing-wise, I’m nearly done editing my second draft! I got in lots of good editing time and polished up a whole lot of my WIP. I haven’t been able to write much in the past few days, but we’re getting to short stories in my creative writing class, which I’m super excited about!

But by far, the highlight of the month was getting Ringo, our new corgi puppy! He’s 8 weeks old, and he’s just the SWEETEST LITTLE GUY 😭

WHO COULD RESIST THAT FACE

READING AND BLOGGING:

I read 21 books this month! More re-reads than I expected (I forgot to connect my Kindle to the wifi while I was away in Florida so I read some of my old books), but a good bunch for the most part. I read a lot of books for Black History Month as well and discovered some new authors!

2 – 2.75 stars:

Beasts of Prey

3 – 3.75 stars:

Home

4 – 4.75 stars:

The Pioneer

5 stars:

Memento

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH (NOT COUNTING RE-READS): Skin of the Sea4 stars

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

SONGS/ALBUMS I’VE ENJOYED:

the queer joy this song gives me
I haven’t been able to stop listening to this for WEEKS
WHAT AN ALBUM!
what a haunting, absorbing song…obsessed
not my usual vibe, but I can’t get over how atmospheric this one is!
this album took a second listen to fully grow on me, but there’s no doubt there are some gems—like this one! it grew on me afterwards (I was in a weird mood when I listened to it the first time through). still not the same without Graham Coxon, though.

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY FEBRUARY GOALS?

  • Make another Black History month list—I’ve read so many amazing books by Black authors since last February!—did that! See “Some posts I’m proud of”
  • Review some of the albums that are coming out next month!! (So many!!) rip to Everything Was Beautiful getting pushed back, but both my album reviews from this month can be found under “Some posts I’m proud of”
  • Actually post some art here, if I get the time…it’s about time

well

uh

oops

GOALS FOR MARCH:

  • Read at least 20 books
  • Spend some time with Ringo (of course)

Today’s song:

That’s it for this month in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: February 21-27, 2022

Happy Monday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

I’ve had a bit of a chaotic week; I visited family in Florida over the long weekend, and we got back home on Tuesday—2/22/22 (happy Twosday, everyone!) My routine was all thrown off for the rest of the week, but now I’m settling back down.

I forgot to connect my Kindle to the wifi while I was away, so most of my reading this week was re-reads—the Pioneer duology and Memento, all of which were just as good as they were when I first read them. I got some more books from the library, and I’m looking forward to reading them all! I also had an unexpected book haul because my English teacher was cleaning out his room and was giving out some of his extra books. Got some poetry and Ray Bradbury in there…

I did a lot of editing while I was in Florida, and I’m in the final stages of cleaning up my second draft! I wasn’t able to do much later in the week because of all the homework I had to make up from the week before, but I think I’m making good progress.

Other than that, I’ve just been bundling up for the freezing weather (nothing like coming from 87 degree weather to 0 degree weather amirite), listening to Think Tank (great stuff!), and eating leftover Valentine’s Day cookies. And we have a new addition to the family—meet our corgi puppy Ringo!

PRECIOUS BOY
BABY BOY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Survivor (The Pioneer, #2) – Bridget Tyler (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Road – Cormac McCarthy (read for school) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Memento (The Illuminae Files, #0.5) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Blackout (anthology) – Dhonielle Clayton et. al. (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Beasts of Prey – Ayana Gray (⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Home (Binti, #2) – Nnedi Okorafor (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

THE ONE, LONELY POST I MADE THIS WEEK:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Devil in the Device (Goddess in the Machine, #2) – Lora Beth Johnson

What We Don’t Talk About – Charlotte Kristensen

A Psalm of Storms and Silence (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, #2) – Roseanne A. Brown

Today’s song:

a little presumptuous to name a song “Good Song” but nevertheless it is a good song

That’s it for this (short) week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your week, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (2/8/22) – Noor

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

I’ve realized that Nnedi Okorafor is an author that I end up coming back to frequently—I’ve piled a whole lot of her books on my TBR over the years, and I’m almost never disappointed by what I read, whether it’s Remote Control or Lagoon. She’s an incredible sci-fi and Afrofuturism author, so I jumped at the chance to read Noor. I picked it up last week, and although it had some flaws, it was an endearing and immersive novel!

Enjoy this week’s review!

Amazon.com: Noor: 9780756416096: Okorafor, Nnedi: Books

Noor – Nnedi Okorafor

Originally, AO’s name stood for Anwuli Okwudili. But she prefers the name Artificial Organism; over the years, she has gained several prosthetics and synthetic organs due to a birth defect and a car crash in her teenage years. AO is proud of the person she is, but the rest of the world is not so kind—especially when she’s caught in the middle of a violent conflict. While on the run, she meets DNA, a herdsman and a fugitive who is willing to aid in her escape. But the desert is full of dangers—the biggest of all the infamous Red Eye, said to swallow all who enter it.

jupiter's red spot great red spot gif | WiffleGif

TW/CW: murder, violence, ableism (internalized & treatment of protagonist), catcalling

[looks at this cover] why did I ever question that I like girls

Since I started on the Akata Witch series way back in middle school, Nnedi Okorafor has always been an author that I come back to. Her worlds are consistently filled with rich detail and endearing characters, and Noor was no exception. Okorafor’s newest novel is filled with cutting commentary, immersive worldbuilding, and no shortage of unique characters!

Nnedi Okorafor has a writing style that I adore; her worldbuilding and characters are stellar as they are, but she has such a way with words that everything that I mentioned practically jumps off the page. Her metaphors are often humorous and highly specific, and in Noor‘s case, they served to flesh out the characters and world even more so. Her writing never fails to impress, and Noor is another testament to the fact.

Okorafor’s characters are always endearing, but the protagonists of Noor especially shone! AO was such a unique and complex character; her backstory was more in-depth than a lot of protagonists that I can think of, and the intricacies of her history and personality were delved into without steering towards info-dumps. She and DNA had great chemistry along their journey; they bounced well off of each other both in terms of banter and personality. Even the side characters were given so much care, from the Oz-like Baba Sola to DNA’s cows.

As much as I loved all of these elements, there were a few facets that brought Noor down in some places. I have mixed feelings about how AO’s disability was portrayed; while it was clearly depicted that AO is proud of being disabled (and it’s so cool to see a Black disabled character!), there’s a lot of internalized ableism that goes unaddressed. In particular, the way that AO describes herself as “broken” and “crippled” rubbed me the wrong way. I may not have a physical disability, but the latter of the two has been known as outdated language for quite some time, and beyond that, it seems a little contrary to the part of the blurb about AO embracing herself. It’s…a good start, but it’s got some holes.

In addition, Noor had a lot to say, but it suffered from trying to cram commentary on so many different topics in a relatively short span—only 224 pages for my hardcover copy. All of the commentary was fantastic—corporate greed, environmentalism, the Western world’s misguided belief that all of Africa is “poor” and “diseased,” and how society treats disabled people are just a few of them. Problem is, while all of these are mentioned, there is so little room in the plot for them that they ended up being underdeveloped snippets. 224 pages was enough to sustain the plot, but the commentary, which was clearly meant to be the forefront, was forgotten in the dust, for the most part.

But all in all, a highly creative work from a sci-fi author who never misses. 3.75 stars, rounded up to 4!

Desert GIF - Night Canyon Timelapse - Discover & Share GIFs

Noor is a standalone, but Nnedi Okorafor is also the author of Remote Control, Lagoon, the Nsibidi Scripts (Akata Witch, Akata Warrior, and Akata Woman), the Binti trilogy (Binti, Home, and The Night Masquerade), and several other books for teens and adults.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: January 31 – February 6, 2022

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

It’s been a bit of a long week for me—very cold, filled with studying, and topped off with a reading slump. But, miracle of miracles, our school district called a snow day on Wednesday AND a 2-hour delay the next day! Freezing as it was (and it got well below freezing in the middle of the week), it was so nice to sleep in.

As far as my reading, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. I ended up having three 2-star reads in a row, so most of the week was a bit of slog. Fortunately, The Grief Keeper seems to have temporarily broken me out, and I’m excited for the books I got at the library yesterday.

Writing-wise, I’ve been getting deep into the weeds of editing, with…varying degrees of success. I’m in the process of both cutting out and resurrecting scenes, which involves trawling through my almost 600-page first draft (OOPS), so that’s been a bit of a struggle. All in the name of making things more coherent.

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing a bit, practicing guitar, watching the new season of Raised By Wolves (interesting start??), listening to the new Lucy Dacus single (SO GOOD) and the new Mitski album (hit or miss…expect a review soon), and hovering around the fireplace to warm up.

hearts&magic

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Binti (Binti, #1) – Nnedi Okorafor (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Binti (Binti, 1): Okorafor, Nnedi: 9780765385253: Amazon.com: Books

Master of Poisons – Andrea Hairston (⭐️⭐️)

Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston

This Is Our Story – Ashley Elston (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: This is Our Story: 9781484730898: Elston, Ashley: Books

Odd One Out – Nic Stone (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Odd One Out: 9781101939536: Stone, Nic: Books

The Grief Keeper – Alexandra Villasante (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Grief Keeper: 9780525514022: Villasante, Alexandra: Books

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Redemptor (Raybearer, #2) – Jordan Ifueko

Amazon.com: Redemptor (Raybearer Book 2): 9781419739842: Ifueko, Jordan:  Books

Noor – Nnedi Okorafor

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor: 9780756416096 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves – Meg Long

Amazon.com: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves: A Novel: 9781250785060: Long,  Meg: Books

White Smoke – Tiffany D. Jackson

Amazon.com: White Smoke: 9780063029095: Jackson, Tiffany D: Books

Today’s song:

I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO THIS

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!