what i read in february: a monthly wrap up


Goodmorning booknerds!

I honestly cannot believe it is already March. Though February did feel longer than 28 days.

This month was an interesting one (if you don’t care about personal stuff, then ignore this part!). This month was where my many hats that I’ve decided to wear this year, technically began. Has it been stressful? Tremendously, but I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Early this month, I had what we call here, a second milestone presentation for my PhD – which is basically both an oral assessment and a written one where I submit a few chapters of my thesis and present to an audience and a panel of academics (this case, two) to demonstrate satisfactory progress. I passed! But to get to that point was incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing. And afterwards, I literally fell into an exhaustion for a week.

At the same time, my role as student representative began.

The amount of meetings I have per week now is ridiculous.

I’m the student rep of my ‘college’, so it acts like an umbrella with six (?) schools within the college – like, School of Education, School of Fashiona and Textiles, etc. – so as a result, I’m in all these meetings with academics and administration and it’s slightly intimidating.

Added to that, I am the Book Review Editor for a feminist history journal and part of the editorial team/collective.

There isn’t enough time in the day!

I still need to work on my thesis haha.

Anyway, that has been my february so I am interested to see how March goes.

Let me know how your february went in the comments, if you want! I would love to hear about it.


Let’s actually get started with the wrap up!!!!

I didn’t actually read that many books this month. I have read five books and am currently reading the sixth (though, I don’t think I will be finishing the sixth book this month but early March whoops). In terms of genres, I have read:

  • one non-fiction
  • one adult romance
  • one sci-fi
  • one classic
  • one adult horror?psychological?thriller?speculative?

According to my Storygraph, my average rating for this month was 3.5 stars and I’ve mostly read books under 300 pages with a medium pace. I love Storygraph purely for the stats! I also asked my twitter what colour I should base my tbr around, and the colour pink one! So i mostly read books that had pink on the cover with the exception of two!

The first book I read this month was Perfume: The story of a murderer by Patrick Suskind. This book was a wild ride. I did enjoy it – even though I got slightly bored by the middle of it, I thought the writing was quite beautiful and the author did an incredible job in engaging the senses of the reader. What I mean by this is that Suskind’s descriptions, especially of scent, was so masterful that I was able to completely immerse myself within the setting. The opening chapter of the book spends a few paragraphs describing the scent of Paris and it was written so perfectly, I was nauseous.

I also thought that the ending was absolutely perfectly horrid and I loved it. It was the pefect ending for a terrible person. It was so random and ridiculous that I couldn’t stop laughing but it was honeslty, the best way for the book to end.

Would I recommend it? I don’t know. I think I would only because the ending was so out of this world, I need everyone to read it.

3 stars.


I then finally read Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas. I had so much hope for this book and though the writing was quite good and engaging, I was largely unsatisfied. It tried to do too many things at once that it created a superficial story with no real depth and no real purpose. It just fell too flat for me which was incredibly disappointing. And the main character was ridicilously annoying as a protagonist and could not engage with her voice at all.

2 stars.


Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer blew me away. I had absolutely no idea what to expect but was it what I read? Nope. It was better. Annihilation is book one in the Southern Reach Trilogy and we are introduced to Area X, a relatively unknown landscape within what I believe is the United States of America, that Southern Reach (a secret governmental agency) has been trying to map and understand for years to no avail.

Cue a group of four women who gave been chosen for another expedition in an attempt to understand this very strange land that seems to be expanding every year. Expanding for what purpose? Why is it expanding? How is it expanding? Who lives here?

The reader quickly comes to understand that there were many other expeditions that were sent to Area X, and every one of them ended in tradegy.

This was so wonderful. I had so much fun reading it and I am wanting to read the other two books in this trilogy. I had no idea what was going on most of the time, but I was disturbed, I was immersed, I was on the edge of my seat. If you are able to read this, do it. It was one of the best surprises and am looking forward to-reading it.

4 stars.


Reading The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary was an unexpected addition to my tbr. Mostly because I wanted a romance but also because a friend of mine from bookclub recommended it (thank you ashlee!). I really enjoyed The Flatshare. I remember it got heaps of hype when it came out and I understand why. I really loved the fact that this book had more to the plot than just a romance. It actually tackled quite intense and emotional topics that weren’t all that solved by the end of the book, but it added much to the plot. I enjoyed reading from the characters’ persepctives, especially since the voices were so different.

I did, however, have a few issues with some of the topics that were discussed. There were some weird mentions of feminism that I think was meant to be satirical but actually came across as tone deaf. There were a few instances of fatphobia, where ‘fatness’ was equaled to something terrible. There was also instances of weird slut shaming or brining other women down.

SPOILER: There was also this scene in the beginning where Tiffy leaves a voicemail for Leon, expressing interest in the flatshare, and Leon labels her as annoying. For what? The voicemail? It was strange.

But it was good and I enjoyed reading the development of a relationship between Tiffy and Leon.

4 stars.


Then I read Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe for a university reading group that I ended up forgetting to attend. Dark Emu is a historical text that puts forward the contention that the way we label pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians as ‘hunter-gatherers’ is wrong as evidence demonstrates that Aboriginal Australians were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours that are inconsistent with the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag.

This book was fantastic. I learnt so much and I finished reading this book feeling as though I had some sort of intellectual experience. Pascoe is such an engaging writer, I was hooked to the page even when I read a chapter about aquaculture! If you are Australian, this is mandatory.

4.5 stars.


I also want to quickly talk about the books that I am still reading. The sixth book that was on my original tbr, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, is one that I am still currently reading. I am over halfway through and am hoping to either finish it today or tomorrow (the 1st of March). Am I enjoying it? Yes. But is it without its flaws? No. But I will talk more about it in my March wrap up.

I am also still reading The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens for the Dickens Vs Tolstoy: The Great Debate – a bookclub run by Emma from *emmie* and CarolynMarieReads. I have to finish this book by the end of March as we got two months to read it! So I am slowly making my way through it. I am enjoying it, it is one of the most comedic classics I have read, but I am still trying to figure out the purpose of the book; that is, where the story is going. Again, I’ll talk more about it in my March wrap up.

That’s it for today, friends!

Until next time, happy reading!

All the love,

allie

xx


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2 thoughts on “what i read in february: a monthly wrap up

  1. That selfie gave me such a serotonin boost!! tbh, there’s never enough time in the day lol- i hope you get through all of those meetings successfully!!

    Like

  2. Sounds like you had a great reading month! I loved The Pickwick Papers when I read it – very funny for its time. I’m really interested to read Perfume; I remember (years ago) my friends studied it at school and all loved it/thought it was very interesting 🙂 x

    Like

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