My February Reading List!
Hello! Today I’m writing about the 4 books I plan on finishing in Feb, because my main goal for 2022 was to read more and I’m already off to a rocky start!
I loved reading as a child, and I wouldn’t say I’ve lost the passion, just the time for it. But at the moment I’m trying to get into the habit for reading 30 minutes a day, before I go to sleep and before I get up. For the 2 or 3 days I’ve successfully done this, I’ve found it really relaxing and a good way to start or end my day (unless I have a 9am lecture and it makes me late..!).
I would say I have quite a varied taste in books, although my StoryGraph app tells me I only read short, medium paced romance and fantasyy. If you haven’t heard about StoryGraph yet, I’ll honestly be surprised! It’s a reading tracker app, where you add in the books you’re reading, track your progress and rate them. Its very similar to Goodreads, except its better because it’s not owned by Amazon, was founded by the inspirational Nadia Odunayo, and lets you rate books in half and quarter stars. I ADORE it, and I sincerely recommend it for any avid readers who want to see statistics of their reading, or for new readers who need a way to keep themselves accountable!
Now… the books I actually planned to write about.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.
Challenging, dark, emotional thriller
My sister recommended me this book, and less than 50 pages in, I’m absolutely hooked. Firstly there are some trigger warnings that come with this book (grooming, depression), so please read with caution! I’m really excited to read this book, and I think it’ll be a quick read, especially compared to some of the other books I’m going through.
This book follows the story of lonely Vanessa, at the ages of 15 and 32. At 15, Vanessa has an affair with her 42 year old English teacher, but at age 32, she faces ugly truths and complex feelings as it comes to light that he groomed another student. As you read the book, you capture the internal struggle Vanessa is experiencing as she contemplates; was her 15 year old self truly in love? Or was she a naïve victim of the man she believes loves her?
Emma by Jane Austen.
Classic, light-hearted, slow-paced romance
Emma, Emma, Emma. Honestly, I’ve been reading this book for about 2 weeks and I’m not even a third of the way through ☹. I always thought I could be one of those people who loves reading classics, but honestly it’s really difficult! One of my favourite books (ever!) is Jane Eyre, and my comfort film is Pride & Prejudice, so I thought this would be another classic romance I would get on with. But honestly, I’ve found it extremely slow so far. However, I do believe the plot is about to get a bit more ~juicy~ and I’m determined to finish it. I think it has such huge potential, I know lots of people love it, and I really believe Emma could be an amazing heroine. So, come back in March to see if I finish it and what I thought!
Emma is classic romance, following the story of highly-opinionated, charismatic Emma – a young girl from a wealthy family who loves to play matchmaker for the people around her. However, Emma finds herself in a sticky situation when one of her match making attempts goes quite wrong… will she hurt the people around her? Or will she find a way to resolve the mess she’s made without conflict?
Dearly by Margaret Atwood
Challenging, reflective, slow-paced poetry
First things first: I love poetry. I write it, I read it and in case you haven’t read my bio, I publish it! Kind of… I was one of many authors for a fabulous poetry anthology published in 2021 called ‘Resurgence: A Firebird Anthology’ which is a collection of poems from alumni of my high school creative writing group. It’s possibly my biggest achievement so far. So my point is that I really love poetry. Margaret Atwood is, of course, the critically acclaimed author of The Handmaids Tale, which, to my mums dismay I refuse to read, because I find the concept frighteningly realistic. Maybe you can persuade me to finally read it in the comments! So, to gently introduce me to her writing, my mum got me this poetry collection for Christmas! I’m saving it for a week where I’m very busy with uni work, so I can read a poem here and there.
Dearly is Margaret Atwoods first collection of poetry in over a decade, and illustrates an introspective, personal observation of a wide range of topics. She covers love, loss, time, nature and apparently, zombies. Her poetry is unique and intuitive, marking her as one of the great contemporary poets of our time.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Emotional, reflective, sad LGBTQ+ Contemporary
One of my close friends has just given me her copy of this, and said after she read it she couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. Now that is a book recommendation if I’ve ever heard one! I’ve definitely seen this one floating around on BookTok, and am really excited to read something that I probably wouldn’t have picked for myself, because honestly, I tend to avoid books labelled as sad. But this year is all about challenges!
This beautifully tender book takes the form of a letter, written from a son to his mother who can’t read. It addresses masculinity, race and class, while exploring how this young man is experiencing disconnect between his Vietnamese heritage and American Lifestyle. It is raw and forces you to think – what would you write if you knew the recipient could never know what it says?
I’ll keep you updated on how I get on with these books through my posts.
See you later!