Thoughts on my February 2022 Reading

I struggle with late winter. It was nice to find moments and curl up with Dot on a couch with a blanket and a book. With this regular practice, I managed to finish reading fifteen books last month; they had an average page count of 323 pages, and were published between 1970 and 2022.

The Book List

In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff (2009), 385 pages, Historical Mystery, Simon Ziele (#1), Library ebook.
This was a delightful mystery set in New York City in the wake of the General Slocum disaster. But it’s not about that horror, not directly. But it did shape Detective Ziele and his decision to move to a new department outside of the city. Together all of that factors into how he works to solve a murder.

Son of the Storm (The Nameless Republic, #1) by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (2021), 446 pages, Fantasy, Library book & ebook.
I picked this up from the new books shelf and the following blurb on the back caught my eye: “Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls.” It’s an interesting story with colonialism, ecological disaster, class/caste divisions, and characters who are all very imperfect. This is a novel that alternates at time between a slow world building slog and scenes that fly. I’m curious to see how the middle book of this epic fantasy shapes up, it’s due out soon. Some readers may take issue with the name of a certain group of people in the story, it definitely caused me to pause, Okungbowa wrote this in response.

Joys and Sorrows: Reflections by Pablo Casals by Pablo Casals, Albert E. Kahn (1970), 314 pages, Memoir; Music, Library book.
I discovered this title in a Marginalian article (possibly this one or maybe this). This wasn’t the easiest of reads at times, but overall Casals was a fascinating man who lived a long and interesting life during a period of massive global change. One thing I learned about him is on a topic I’m hoping that discussion about is becoming more common. He was open about his performance anxiety. What would my childhood have been like learning that I was not alone in my stage fright? Books like these fascinate me as they bring to light new parts of a world and time I thought I knew.

This long thread : women of color on community, craft, and connection by Jen Hewett (2021), 366 pages, Crafting, library ebook.
The book is stunning collection of interviews, essays, and survey responses by a variety of makers that discusses their experiences as crafters of color. You can read my complete review at little acorn creations.

Fated (2012), 295 pages. Cursed (2012), 293 pages. Taken (2012), 313 pages. Chosen (2013), 294 pages. Hidden (2014), 293 pages. Veiled (2015), 295 pages. Burned (2016), 326 pages. Bound (2017), 336 pages. Alex Verus Series (#1-8) by Benedict Jacka, Urban Fantasy, Library books & ebooks.
I found the fourth book of this series at the library and decided to give the series a try, for the sole reason there were at least ten books in the series. I’m still unsure my overall thoughts on it. Parts feel forced, parts feel far too timely. As of today, I think Bound the best of the series that I’ve read so far.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (2017), 342 pages, Science Fiction, Thriller, Library ebook.
After being invited to review Crouch’s new book coming out later this year, I checked this out because I felt I should read his other works to see what I was in for. It surprised me to discover I really enjoyed reading it. This science fiction thriller hooked me in with relatable characters and a problem that felt possible.

How to be a Productivity Ninja : worry less, achieve more, love what you do. Completely Revised and Updated. by Graham Allcott (2019), 368 pages, Productivity, Library ebook.
I first read this book when the first edition came out, back in 2014. That first copy was a review copy, received through NetGalley. At the time I thought it was an amazing book, yet struggled to write the review. I discovered the new edition while perusing new library acquisitions and read it with some trepidation. This new edition was rewritten and published before the pandemic. Would it read well in light of the extreme change to … everything? TL; DR — Yes, for the most part. You can find my complete review at PSG Studio.

Servant Mage by Kate Elliott (2022), 176 pages, Fantasy, Library ebook.
I’d love to read more of both Fellian and this world — my only complaint was the short length. Which was by design as it’s a novella!

Current Reads

This morning I picked up the remaining paperbacks at the library today to finish the Alex Verus Series. I’m apparently on a cookery book kick, not terribly surprising since I’m desperate for good and fresh young veg. aI’m also working my way through a book that’s been gathering dust on my TBR shelf for ages through the magical addition of having someone else read it to me. I listen while snuggling Dot and working knit and crochet swatches every afternoon.

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