February started out really slow, reading-wise. It’s a short month, and I spent a lot of time with a goblin, and I finished writing, editing and submitting two manuscripts and so my brain was fried, and then I got sick – the kind of sick where I couldn’t read or watch TV cause my head was pounding so hard whenever I was awake. So 10 days from the end of the month, I’d still only read 3 books, and I wasn’t feeling very motivated to read any more.
Normally I get myself out of these reading funks by switching books, which is why I’m definitely an advocate for having a ton of different kinds of reading material in your TBR pile. Reading slumps aren’t generally solved by worthy, serious epics. They’re solved by light, teasing reads which coax you into warming up those reading muscles so you can then jump into heavier, more difficult things. Reading slumps are solved by YA fiction, is what I’m saying.
Last February, I read 16 books. This February, I read 12. Which, considering I didn’t really get going until the 17th, isn’t too bad! 1 graphic novel, which also doubles as my first translated book for the year, 2 male authors, keeping female writing pretty high for the year.
Some recommended reads from February
Katherine Arden The Bear and the Nightingale -draws on Russian folklore and fairytales, and is frosty and edgy and deft.
Riad Sattouf The Arab of the Future 2 – a graphic memoir on growing up in Syria in the 1980s, darkly humorous, dark, relevant.
Meg Wolitzer The Ten Year Nap – on careers after motherhood. I’ve been a fan of Wolitzer since The Interestings – this wasn’t my favourite of her novels, but it was pretty good.
Neil Gaiman The View from the Cheap Seats – non-fiction, inspiring, expansive, generous.
ed. Manjula Martin Scratch: Writers, money and the art of making a living – for anyone who’s ever tried to reconcile making art and retirement savings.
Reading Count for the year so far: 34 books. If I keep this rate up (unlikely, to be honest), I’m looking at 204 books this year.
For now, I’m on holiday! Which means plenty of time to read only fun things, attempt to take good artsy pictures of books, and stuff my suitcase with a few more hard copies during layovers. Onward into March!