What is this most accurately called, February reading plans? February reading goals? I called it plans. Goals seems more accurate, because when you say goals, it’s kind of implied that if it doesn’t happen it’s like oh, I meant to, I was aiming for it, but then it didn’t happen, and oh well, it’s good to have goals. When you say plans, it’s very firm, it’s very I intend to do this, and if I do not do this, I have FAILED to carry out my PLANS.
Fortunately, I answer to no one but me, and I am extremely lenient with myself, as I am my favorite.
So these are my February reading plans, as they stand at the moment.
First, some anticipated new releases:
Other People’s Clothes – Calla Henkel
This is a debut that just came out this week. I’ve had it on hold at my library since I heard about it. Following the death of her best friend, the main character Zoe goes to study abroad in Berlin. She pairs up with another exchange student, Hailey, who finds them an apartment on Craigslist without realizing it’s owned by a famous thriller author, who is supposed to be on a writing retreat. However, apparently, she’s not, because she’s watching them, and it seems like she’s writing her next novel about them. So Hailey decides that their lives need to be spiced up to make them worthy subjects.
I’ve got no idea what to expect from this one, seeing as how it’s so new, but I think it’s billed as a thriller. The whole aspect of the writing spying on them and writing about them gives me sort of grown up Harriet the Spy vibes. I also saw someone mention early 2000s millenial vibes and twisted female friendships, so this is definitely in the plans.
To Paradise – Hanya Yanagihara
What I know about this one is that it’s nothing like A Little Life, which I suppose is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you want to look at it, but I guess if you are one of the people who truly hated A Little Life, there’s probably not much I can say to convince you to pick up another Hanya Yanagihara book again as long as you live. That’s fine. You should probably know that I’m one of those people who has read A Little Life multiple times, though. Like, more than twice. More than three times. On purpose. Anyway, this is a chonky boy, and it’s due back to the library on 2/10. Reading plans, reading goals. Well, the title is already typed in the bar up there. That’s permanent.
The Nineties – Chuck Klosterman
I hate nostalgia. Well, that’s not true. I like nostalgia, but only for myself. Like, I only want to enjoy it alone, on my own very specific terms. It is impossible to enjoy nostalgia in the wrong social contexts. You try to mention something specific, or something with a narrow focus, and before you know it, people are just naming random toys and food items at each other. Remember this? Remember that? I can’t stand it. Yes, things existed. I mean, I get why that sort of reminiscing is enjoyable for people, I am not trying to be a curmudgeon. I’m not trying to be one. It comes naturally to me, I was born like this. Anyway, I’m happy to indulge in book form, alone, by myself. And maybe you will also read the book, and we can say whether we liked it or not, but very specifically not talk about the 90s with each other.
Assuming I can tolerate Chuck Klosterman for a whole book. That’s hit or miss, depending on my mood at the time for men speaking at length.
A second try:
Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir
The blurb on the front of this book says “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” What more am I expected to say?
Last year, I asked for recommendations for books with enthusiastic fandoms and Lex suggested this one and look, I wasn’t going to say anything, but I was pretty sure she was necromancer-romancer, party of one, because I had never heard of such a thing, but I am game to try anything, so I did.
Unfortunately, my request for suggestions and attempt at this book was very poorly timed with a 6 month run of spending so much goddamn time back and forth to the hospital for ritual blood washing (plasmapheresis, but let me have this), that I immediately stopped reading anything at all, because I was either at the hospital, feeling like garbage from being at the hospital, salty about feeling like I just left the hospital, salty about feeling like it was almost time to go back to the hospital, wildly irritated that the tubes sticking out of my chest fully ruined baths, just a generally irritated person.
Now, however, I am tube free, haven’t set foot in the hospital in — well, not that long, but that’s just where my regular doctor is — and just regular levels of irritated, so I am ready to give Gideon a fair shot. If I don’t get it this time, though, I am probably not meant to be necromanced, and that’s all right, but I won’t be happy about it, because I was WRONG, Lex is not a lone weirdo, there are TONS of them out there, and I HATE not being able to wiggle my way into an enthusiastic fandom. I want to be on every bandwagon. I WOULD LIKE TO RIDE THE WAGON (unless it is going to a sport).
I have checked very carefully and the Skyward series — I read the first two books last month — really is the only series I have on the go right now that I’m interested in keeping up with. I read the first book in a LOT of series last month, and it does seem like a whole lot of things I pick up are part of a series these days, probably because I’ve been leaning toward so much fantasy and sci-fi and that seems to be the way those things go. If that pattern keeps up, I can imagine staying on top of series, especially those that have multiple books already published, will get to be pretty difficult. For now, though, it’s just Cytonic, which is book three in what I think is planned to be a four book series. There are some novellas available as well, but something about the word novella bothers me, and I never read them, it’s on my personal crest.
There are actually a bunch of these. There are always a bunch of these, aren’t there? I’ll be happy if I get to a couple of them this month. Here is a selection of them and how they were pitched where I found them:
We Are Satellites – Sarah Pinsker – near future sci-fi dystopian about making choices for ourselves and our children in the face of advancing tech that eventually becomes opt in or become left behind, whether it’s right for you and your family or not.
The Forest of Stolen Girls – June Hur – YA mystery set in Joseon era Korea in which two young girls go missing and are eventually found next to a terrible crime scene with no memory of what happened to them. Years later, several other girls go missing under the same circumstances, and the girls’ father, a detective, returns to the location to investigate, only to go missing himself. Hwani, the older sister, follows to find him, reconnecting with her estranged sister, and begins the investigation herself.
The Echo Room – Parker Peevyhouse – A YA sci-fi time loop story, with the protagonist repeatedly waking up in bloody clothes, in a locked room, someone banging on the door to get in, and very slowly surfacing memories piecing it all together.
The Appeal – Janice Hallett – Small town murder mystery thriller told in mixed media format, with the idea that you, the reader, are being asked to figure it out from the pile of angry emails, texts, letters, etc, as you go along.
This book has been pretty everywhere lately. It’s about two ex-cons who pair up to seek what I understand to be some pretty bloody revenge after their sons, who were married to each other, are found murdered. The men, who I believe were both estranged from their sons and regretful about that as well as their own personal past mistakes, have never met before one shows up on the other’s doorstep.
I’ve never done a book club before, but I’ve decided to give at least the February pick of Booksandlala’s Literally Dead Book Club a shot. I don’t know if book clubs are for me, I am kind of a lone wolf book reader but — hang on a second, I need to go look up a more appropriate animal for myself. I’m lone, but I don’t feel very wolf.
Ok, I’m back. Anyway. I don’t know if book clubs are for me, I’m kind of a lone desert tortoise book reader, but we can’t know these things until we try, and by trying, I commit myself to reading Razorblade Tears in February.
Investigation is a weird way to put this:
Spoiler Alert – Olivia Dade
The Charm Offensive – Alison Cochrun
Boyfriend Material – Alexis Hall
All of these are just examples, really. I might read all of them, or none of them, and I actually have more similar books stacked on the shelf next to me. They are what I am investigating.
All last year, I kept requesting contemporary romances from the library, whatever I would see people talking about on Instagram or Goodreads, whatever was popular, because I’ve been a romance reader forever. Historical romance since middle school, contemporary romance since forever. I’d have stacks of them checked out, and then just never be in the mood to pick them up. I’d renew them until I couldn’t renew them anymore, and they’d get sent back unread. Weird for me, since sure, I can generally read some of everything, but I can always read romance.
So I thought okay, maybe I’m one of those literary fiction people now, you know, the stuff Oprah and Reese pick for their book clubs and the ones that come in the Book of the Month box, but listen, I’ve been judging those by their covers for a while now. I might like historical fiction, but I haven’t tried it, because that sounds like eating vegetables. I do like a lot of vegetables. I’m talking about the concept of vegetables. The concept. Then there’s fantasy and sci-fi, which I keep blindly stabbing at, and missing more often than I hit.
Anyway, seeing as how it’s February, and everyone on Instagram was posting cute stacks of romances, I decided it was a fine time to just get a whole giant bunch of them, a really big variety, and try as many as I possibly can throughout the whole month. I’ll put down any that don’t grab me and pick up the next one and see if avoiding them last year was just a factor of what a shit year I had, or if I really do need to just let them go for a while.
Ideally, over the next however long it takes, I will work my way through enough genres to know exactly what kinds of books I like. Right now, it is contemporary romance. Eventually, with enough investigating, and more and more narrow focus, I will know exactly what I like and only read books I like and only ever rate things 5 stars AND BE KING OF BOOKS.
Open your Kindle, you desiccated carrot slice.
I don’t know yet. I want to read X number of books from my ridiculous Kindle library every month, starting with this month, but I don’t know what a good number for X is yet, so I will start with 2, because I picked a lot of other books for this month already.
I’ve had my Kindle for a long time, and it’s old and slow, and I don’t really prefer it, except for when I do, and I’ll use it a lot, and then I’ll set it down and forget it for a very long time. I’ve had it for something like 10 years now? I’m not sure. I tend to default to physical books from the library, though.
However. However. I get a lot of those Kindle deal emails? Or sometimes I’ll be looking a book up on Amazon and happen to notice it happens to be on a really good sale for Kindle, just something where it would be dumb not to one click it? $2.99 or $.99 or whatever, you know? And when Penny was very small and didn’t want to play with me but I still had to be extremely nearby, I used to gather up all those free books all the TIME. I do this email scanning, “oh, that’s a good deal” and Amazon browsing, “I’ve been meaning to read that and it’s $1.99? One click, done” all the time and I’ve been doing it for ten YEARS.
Anyway, there’s 2300 books in my Kindle library.
Sometimes I wait on hold for weeks for a book from the library and after I’ve finally received and read it, find it on my Kindle, where it lives, because I ALREADY BOUGHT IT.
So while I have listed all these plans for February — and actually, to be more specific, these are kind of only my reading plans for the first two weeks of February, because I live by the library book cycle — if I could see my way clear to choosing two, just two, any two books from that beshitted Kindle graveyard, perhaps I would feel like I accomplished something with my life.
I will probably do some random Trash my Kindle TBR-style polls over on my Instagram next week to choose a couple of candidates.
Anyway, that’s it, those are my reading plans for [the first two weeks of] February. Let me know if we match up on any of our plans, or if you’ve read anything I’m planning to read and it’s trash and I should scratch it off immediately, even though I probably won’t change my plans because I’ve used the word plans instead of goals, and that’s much less flexible since I’ve already written it down here in internet ink.
January Wrap Up Posts:
❧ Reading Stats and Everything I Read
❧ Favorites and Least Favorites
❧ February Reading Plans
Thank you for your attention, goodbye.
The Calla Henkel thriller sounds very intriguing.
I am envious of your plans because I am such a mood reader I can never plan things. But I have a whole stack of library books and looming return deadlines so I am going to at least try to get through the stack.