a life with style blog


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.

october reading #SoGothtober


hello, october! the season of ghosts and ghouls is upon us! here's a small confession-i'm not a fan of horror or halloween. it ranks as one of my least favorite holidays. i may have felt a little relief when my kids outgrew the need for costumes and what not. 

all of my favorite booktubers have started posting their TBRs for the month and i'm finding there are so many great challenges on booktube for october! but, i wanted something that would encourage me to read, especially now that fall tv has occupied lots of my time! so, i decided to create my own challenge for the month!

i'm declaring this month southern gothic october or #SoGothtober. i've always loved books about the south and southern culture and this seemed perfect! southern gothic literature often has supernatural, magical or mystical elements. authors use these elements to shine light on or explore social issues. decay and the grotesque provide a vehicle for writers to reveal the unpleasantness that lies in the underbelly of southern gentility. this challenge is also giving me the opportunity reread some favorites and to read for the first time some of the genre defining classics. 

here's what i'm reading this month!

the classics:
the heart is a lonely hunter by carson mccullers
wise blood by flannery o'conner

favorites that i'm rereading:
to kill a mockingbird by harper lee
the little friend by donna tartt 

new southern gothic:
galveston by nic pizzolatto
my sunshine away by m.o. walsh
miss jane by brad watson

southern gothic true crime:
in cold blood by truman capote

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?