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Well Read|| A Quick Book Review


These two books ended up on my reading list by accident! I’ve been reading some heavy things lately. And while well written, I needed a break from all of the intense emotions I was feeling as a result. I have been making a more conscious effort to read more books by POC, more specifically WOC, but I haven’t found anything comparable to a beach read by a black female author that interested me. One afternoon I googled “black chick lit” and Jasmine Guillory popped up! I had seen The Wedding Date in Target. I made a metal note to add it to my TBR but somehow in news that would shock no one it never made it to the list(because my memory is non existent!). I picked up both The Wedding Date and The Proposal and got to reading.

I loved them both! I actually finished reading both of them within three days. They are easy reads but that doesn’t mean they are fluff. Both novels feature accomplished, independent and witty black women. I appreciated that Guillory avoided the strong black woman trope by making them vulnerable as well. Both novels also feature interracial relationships and one that we don’t typically see featured- black women with men of different races. In the Wedding Date, the main character, Alexa strikes up a romance with a handsome white doctor, Drew. While, The Proposal focuses on the romance between Nik and Carlos, a swoon worthy latino pediatrician. I liked that the the complications of interracial dating weren’t glossed over. Ms. Guillory deftly crafted stories which touched on issues gentrification, the loss of a parent, abuse, and some of the challenges of being POC in all white spaces with a skilled hand. It never overwhelmed the story or made it feel out of place in the romance. I believe these are going to be series much like Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad(but, you know without the dead bodies). which feature a group of characters instead one main protagonist. The Wedding Date features a romance between Alexa and Drew but the romantic hero in the Proposal, Carlos first appears as Drew’s best friend. In the next book, The Wedding Party, to be released this summer, the story centers around Maddie and Theo. They are both friends of Alexa and had supporting roles in The Wedding Date. I can’t wait to pick it up next!

If you need a light read, a bibliophile palette cleanser of sorts, I highly suggest both of these books!

February. And, it's lit!


This year I’ve set 45 books as my reading challenge. Last month I managed to read two books. Not as many as I hoped to finish but I enjoyed both of them!

That being said, I’m ready to dive into my February TBR(to be read)stack! Because this is black history month I’m focusing solely on reading black authors. I’m also broadening my horizon in terms of the kinds of books I’m reading. I tend to favor mysteries, non-fiction and as of late, historical fiction. This month I’ve added two YA novels to my list and one, while not technically science fiction-something I never read- per se, is set in the not so distant future with some sci-fi elements.

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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead This novel won a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and was on the NYT best seller list for weeks! It’s also been on my TBR since it debuted in 2016. It twlls the story of Cora, a run away slave from Georgia and reimagines the Underground Railroad as more than a metaphor. It is an actual network of tracks and tunnels where engineers and conductors operate beneath the country’s soil.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi This is a Pride and Prejudice remix! The author balances “cultural identity, class and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic”

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo This one has received much critical praise and is a favorite new release among a lot of my favorite booktubers. A young girl discovers slam poetry as way to understand her mother’s deeply held religious beliefs and as a way to make sense of her own relationship to the world around her.

The Red Queen Dies By Frankie Y Bailey This is set in 2019 and there are pharmacutical advances that offer soldiers the ability to take a pill and erase PTSD. Murder and mayhem ensue as a detective races to make sense of clues linked to Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and the assassination of President Lincoln in order to stop a serial killer.

Black Water Rising by Attica Locke A thriller set in Houston during the 1980. Big oil, racism, politics and of course, murder. I can’t wait to dive into this one!

I’m currently on the wait list at the library for a few more novels authored by black writers and I’m not sure how soon I’ll move up the list. I’m excited to check out some new to me authors!

What are you reading this month? Have you read anything lately that I should add to my list?

Psstttt….join me over at Goodreads

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February Reading Goals


The other day I was catching up on some of my favorite YouTube channels when I stumbled across several #FEMMEUARY videos from a few booktubers. One of the things I committed to doing this year was reading more books by women authors. February also happens to be Black History month in the states. This month is the perfect time to dive into my TBR list of books authored by women of color. 

This list is also fairly ambitious for me,sadly, I haven't read this many books in a month in a very long time! 

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson


The only author on this list I'm familiar with is Zadie Smith. I read White Teeth years ago when it was originally published. I have seen Octavia Butler mentioned more frequently in light of today's political climate. The others are new to me authors. I've never been more excited to dive into a pile of books! Feel free to join me and add some books by WOC authors to reading list this month.  





Here are two of my favorites discussing their plans for reading this month.

bookshelf{may edition}

bookshelfcourtnee2 Comments

in january, i set a reading goal. at the time it seemed perfectly reasonable to read a book a week for the year, however, i've fallen so far behind. 

now is the perfect time to play catch up. there is nothing better than sitting on the porch on a gorgeous spring evening with a glass of wine and a good book. 

these are my latest library picks.


not gonna lie, i noped out of ELIGIBLE after about 75 pages. i'm totally bummed because i love curtis sittenfeld! but, if it's not doing it for after 75 pages then i sadly have to admit defeat! i've replaced it with the nest by cynthia d'aprix sweeney. i'm cautiously optimistic.

my kids gifted me with a barnes and noble gift card for mother's day. it was an unexpected and sweet surprise. i've been a faithful library book reader for several years now. it felt so indulgent to actually buy a book. particularly these two gorgeous coffee table books! 

i'm always looking to add to my TBR list so if you have any great book recommendations please leave them for me! 


bookshelfcourtnee2 Comments

last year i set a 40 book goal for myself. i managed to read 35. so close! i thought that i would be able to rally those last few weeks of the year but ultimately i'm happy with my results. i also learned that there is no shame in walking away from a book. if i'm not feeling it it's okay to put it down. the book police aren't going to come and arrest me! it's kind of freeing to say i don't have the time or mental space to finish something that doesn't interest me. this year i'm challenging myself to read 52 books. one a week seems completely reasonable. i think.

here's what i've got to keep me company this month.

the first two books are recommendations from one of my favorite podcasts, all the books.

thirteen ways of looking by colum mccann is a collection of short stories and made plenty of "best of" lists in 2015. i've never been into short stories. they always feel so...short. abrupt. but these days my attention span is not that great and my days are full. a wonderful collection of short stories may be just what the doctor ordered.    

i don't remember why i added girl waits with gun by amy stewart to my list. or should i say i can't recall why i thought i would enjoy it other than liberty hardy's enthusiastic recommendation. it looks interesting so i remain hopeful that even though it's not my typical read it will be a good one!

for interesting non-fiction that often reads like a novel erik larson is kind of a no brainer. i'm a few chapters into his latest offering dead wake: the last crossing of the lusitania and i'm enjoying it.

do you have anything interesting to read this month? are you excited about any upcoming releases?

pssttt...are you a user at goodreads? follow me here.




bookshelf {october}


there's a slight chill in the air.the leaves are beginning to change. the days are getting shorter. pumpkin spice is everywhere! it's officially fall and it's the perfect time to grab a book, a mug of tea, coffee, hot chocolate....burboun(no judgement!) and sit in a cozy nook and read.

i'm reading these three among others. 

house of thieves by charles belfoure

the cruelest month by louise penny

the unchangeable spots of leopards by kristopher jansma

the cruelest month is the third book in a series by louise penny which features chief inspector gamache. i'm really enjoying this series. they focus on a small town, three pines, in a canadian province. the characters are interesting and the mysteries are thoughtfully plotted and unfold slowly. they're kind of a throwback to agatha christie novels. a welcome change of pace to the graphic thrillers that occupy the bestseller list.     

i'm several chapters into the unchangeable spots of leopards. i really, really like it! it's the kind of book that i usually want to read in one sitting but i'm forcing myself to read at a slower pace to take in all the little details.


what's on your reading list this month?


bookshelf {september}


one of my goals this year is to read more and internet less. the less internet-ing thing is a work in progress but i'm making a decent dent in my reading list. 

i finished dear daughter by elizabeth little last night. i enjoyed it despite the main character's celebutante like persona. the mystery is engaging and there were a bunch of twists up until the very end. 

i've also fallen down the podcast rabbit hole which are perfect to listen to while i'm hanging out with rowan. one of my new favorites is all the books. it's expanded my reading list exponentially. i read a lot of the same kinds of books-thrillers,mysteries and a little non-fiction. thanks this podcast i've added a few different genres-historical fiction, short story compilations and fantasy, to my list. i'm excited to jump into some their recommendations. 

my reading goal is 40 books this year. in the past i've read a two books a week but lately reading comes in at the bottom of my list of priorities. goodreads has informed me that i'm 4 books behind! i'm forcing myself to finish these books before i'm allowed to add any new ones to my list. up next a window opens by elisabeth egan. the little blurb on goodreads compares it to where did you go bernadette which i HATED and the storied life of aj fikry which i LOVED. i'm about 60 pages in and i'm not sure where on the spectrum it's going to land.

is there anything you're excited to add to your must read list?