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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.

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! 

the weekly{vol 2.}

the weeklycourtneeComment

the podcast that ignited a frenzy is back for season 2. to listen week by week or to save a few episodes and binge listen. decisions. decisions. 

another week, another mass shooting(or two). sunday is the anniversary of sandy hook. moms demand action for gun safety in america are hosting orange walks across the country. we'll be at the cincinnati walk. you can find one in your community here

binge watching jessica jones and master of none (netflix is killing it this year!)

like every other person on the planet listening to adele

reading the heart-breaking, brutal and very necessary the new jim crow:mass incarceration in age of colorblindness

this viral video that every instagrammer/blogger husband can relate to gave me much needed LOLZ 

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?