I’ve been doing this themed TBR for the past couple of years, where I try to read only or mostly black authors in the month of February, and I guess it’s becoming an annual tradition! These books are all on my TBR anyway — some of them have been on there for a very long time — so this is a good chance to prioritize them. There’s ten books on this list, some of them sizeable fantasies, so I highly doubt I’ll be able to read all of them, especially since my reading so far is much slower than it was last year, but at least I’ll have a nice selection to pick from!
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Roseanne A. Brown
So I’ve kind of been drifting away from YA secondary world fantasy for these past two years, but I’ve heard so, so many good things about this book in particular that when I found the Kindle edition on sale I decided to buy it and give it a shot. It’s about a princess and a boy with opposing goals who are…enemies? Sort of? I’ve heard this pitched as enemies to lovers in a West African inspired world. Even reviewers I know who don’t usually read or like YA have read and enjoyed this, so that bodes well! And the cover is so stunning — I usually really don’t like models/realistic faces on covers but it works so well here with all the other details.
Another YA fantasy, and another one I’ve heard only great things about. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen one single negative review of this book. It’s supposed to be Arthurian-inspired, which doesn’t usually interest me, but I’m intrigued by the fact that the book discusses grief of a parent and racism, and it takes place on a college campus (dark academia vibes maybe???). My lovely friend Julia just gifted me a physical copy of this one!
This historic fantasy set in 19th-century Philadelphia features a murder mystery and a female underground railroad conductor with magical abilities. It sounds so different and fresh and brings together so many things I enjoy!
When No One Is Watching
I’ve never read any of this author’s romance but this thriller of hers has been hyped up so much this past year! I’ve heard really intriguing things about it, and there’s supposed to be some commentary on gentrification in Brooklyn, which sounds very interesting. I’ve heard it’s a very unconventional thriller. I hope it’s scary!
I figured since February also has Valentine’s Day it would be nice to read some romance. This is a f/f romance (!!) about a Ph.D student who gets drunkenly married to another woman in Vegas. This feels like it’s a mixture of contemporary and romance, with some more hard-hitting topics, which I do tend to prefer, so I have high hopes!
Get a Life Chloe Brown
This is another romance book, one that I’m sure most people have already heard about, because everyone adores this book. Yet another one that I’ve not seen a single negative review about! I have heard such great things about this one even from people who don’t often read romance. It’s supposed to be very sweet and wholesome with some great rep!
This is one of my most anticipated fantasy releases of 2020, featuring a sullen ex-soldier and a sullen princess who kind of maybe fall in love in an empire consumed by war. I adore political fantasy and this is supposed to be North African inspired??
I read this in high school and remember very much enjoying it; this was unusual because I didn’t enjoy most ~classics I read back then. I have been wanting to reread it for years now, and I think now is a good time, because it’s in conversation with the next book I want to read (below) and also a movie is coming out! It’s a lot shorter than I remember it being, so hopefully it shouldn’t take me too long to get to it. I’m going to be reading this edition specifically, which features a lengthy introduction by Emily Bernard, a scholar of 20th-century African-American history.
The Vanishing Half
I’ve had this book on my TBR for a looooong time, and then I got sent a gorgeous finished copy via a Goodreads giveaway, and then I was meant to buddy read it with a friend but…didn’t, so it’s really high time I get to it. It’s about two black twins who are separated, and one of them decides to pass as white, and it follows them and their children as they reconnect. So, as I said, it’s in conversation with Nella Larsen’s book, and I think reading them side by side will be interesting.
The Rage of Dragons
I bought a copy of this book last summer and just kept putting it off, but I’d really like to at least try it! I’m a bit hesitant because it might be a bit too military fantasy for my taste, but I know RF Kuang really enjoyed this and talked about how there’s similarities between it and her own series, so that bodes well!
And that’s a wrap! Are you planning on reading any of these books in February? Have your own themed TBR for the month? Let me know!