Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting From the Arab World by Zahra Hankir (Editor) (★★★★★)
White Ivy by Susie Yang (★★★☆☆)
How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price (★★★★☆)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (★★★☆☆)
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (★★★☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 6 YEARLY SO FAR: 6
I think I read so much in December that my brain kind of rebelled in January and was like, I’m gonna take a break. So I only read six books, and half of them were quite short. Which is fine! I also watched a lot of TV this month and am working on revising a book, so I have other things going on that are taking away from my reading time.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (★★★★★)
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (★★★★★)
Virgins: A Cultural History by Anke Bernau (★★★☆☆)
Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World by Khaled El-Rouayheb (★★★☆☆)
The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg (★☆☆☆☆)
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (★★★☆☆)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (★★★★☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 8 YEARLY SO FAR: 8
It’s been, if nothing else, a productive reading month. I finally read The Hate U Give, a buddy read with Rachel, and got started on finishing up the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I also finally got around to Furyborn, which I’ve checked out of the library like twice before but never got around to it. I also read some non-fiction (which was meh) and a short story collection (which was abysmal).
I am currently reading:
Remember my 2019 reading resolutions, when I said I wouldn’t read more than one book of the same genre at a time? Look how well that’s turned out. In my defense, these are technically different fantasy genres (high, historical, and urban/portal). I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with Promise of Blood, to be honest – the first chapter was very meh and I don’t know if I have the patience to read a 400+ page book about old white men. We shall see.
I just got back from Seattle, where I was attending a leadership symposium for aspiring library professionals. The symposium was part of the requirements for one of my library school fellowships/scholarships, and it was focused on entering the library profession as a person of color. It was a fantastic experience; I met so many wonderful people and gained so much confidence. It was truly rewarding and enriching.
While at the symposium, I also received the news that I had been rejected by Fulbright. Which is fine. I think what bothers me most is that I didn’t even make it past the first round – I think I had a fantastic application, if I do say so myself. But I suppose it’s better, logistically, to be rejected now rather than in April. So much of my life had been put on hold in case I had to uproot my life to another country. Now, at least, I can focus on the present.
I began my final semester of library school this week. I’m going to be writing my thesis this semester, and I am going to be writing it on fandom. Specifically, I’d like to focus on how certain fandom spaces like AO3 are essentially community archives because they have been set up in response to censorship (Livejournal strikethrough, the Fanfiction.net purge, the Tumblr purge, etc). Gathering sources has been so nostalgic and so much fun; I’m basically wading through Fandom Days of Olde to tell all this history. I have no idea how I will structure my paper yet, but I’m excited that I found a topic I’m passionate about.
Finally, I am awaiting responses from many, many agents. The waiting………is excruciating. Five agents have my full manuscript at the moment, while about fourteen others have my query. Truly………the waiting and not knowing is the worst.
But in thinking about agents and writing I also spent the month thinking about my Online Brand™ and trying to make it more cohesive. Essentially, that meant deciding what was going to be my Professional Writer Brand and what was going to be my Fandom Brand. In the end, I decided to bring the two together, which meant linking this blog to my professional website, and linking both of those to my Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. My personal Tumblr, that is – I deleted the “professional” Tumblr I had created, which I wasn’t using and didn’t want to use, and decided to just stick with my regular Tumblr. This doesn’t seem like much, but it’s brought me a lot of sanity. My online presence is a significant part of my life, so it’s comforting that I am finally happy with how I am presenting myself.
TV + Film Update:
On New Year’s Eve, I binge-watched Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, which I can honestly say I would never have watched had it not starred John Krasinski. It was fun, though, one of those addicting series. I also started Castlevania, which has really beautiful scenery artwork and appeals to my aesthetic in so many different ways. I also binged You, which was sufficiently creepy and disturbing. At the moment, though, I’m majorly obsessed with Salem and working my way through the second season.
I spent quite a bit of time and effort setting up a new Television Masterpost because I watch an ungodly amount of television and I need it to be organized in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
I watched two films that were majorly WTF: Angelica (2015) and Muse (2017). I watched the latter because it starred my bae Elliot Cowan and also it seemed appropriately Gothic? But it was just confusing and kind of boring. Angelica I watched with my mother of all people after she had randomly pulled it up; y’all know I can’t resists something set in the Victorian era so I powered through even as the film kept getting weirder and weirder. I also watched To All the Boys I Loved Before (2018), which I enjoyed waaaaaaay more than the book (which I DNF’d).
Well, this has been a long one, but it’s been a rather eventful month for me! Happy February, and happy Black History Month! In honor of the month, I will hopefully finally get around to reading So You Want to Talk About Race, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, and White Fragility. I’m pretty certain I have them all on my Kindle. The rest of my TBR is pretty much up in the air; all I know for certain is I will be finishing the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy as well as Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy and hopefully reading another collection of short stories.