February Wrap Up

Hi everyone. I’m Rincey and this is Rincey
Reads. Today I’m going to be doing my February wrap up. This month I read 4 books, which
is not as high as it usually is but I’m still really happy about it because I think I just
had a hard time reading books this month, which is totally fine. It happens. First let’s
talk about the videos that I made this month. I did a February TBR-ish type video where
I talked about some of the books that I wanted to read this month. I stuck to that pretty
closely. I think I only read one book that wasn’t on that TBR, which is surprising for
me but also at the same time I feel like that’s part of the reason why I had such a hard time
reading. I also put up two books reviews this month. I did Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson,
which I read in January and really, really loved. If you haven’t read that book yet,
definitely go and check out that review and/or just pick up the book. It’s such a fantastic
book. I think that even if you’re someone who doesn’t normally read non-fiction, it’s
totally readable, totally moving, and such a great book. I highly recommend it. The other
book that I read was Honor by Elif Shafak, which I gave 5 out of 5 stars, so you guys
know that I loved it. Um. Elif Shafak actually tweeted out my video which was crazy. Feel
free to check out that review if you are interested at all in seeing why I love that book so much.
I also did a winter book haul where I talked about basically the books I got for my birthday
and Christmas. So in terms of the books that I finished this month, the first book that
I finished was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. This memoir / self help-y type book that I
read. It’s a really short book. It’s like not even 300 pages. I don’t have a physical
copy anymore, but if you watch the TBR video you can see it’s really like short and like
not even 300 pages so it was such a super quick read. I like that book, I wasn’t like
super crazy about it. But I think it’s a pretty solid book if you are looking for more books
in that sort of self help-y motivational type of genre. The idea that Shonda Rhimes talks
about is how she was basically really succeeding as a television writer but she was saying
no to a lot of things because she was really scared of the situation and she was holding
herself back from a lot of opportunities because of that. So she decided to say yes to more
things that were scaring her, which is a great concept. And she also just talks about, you
know, things like choosing to be healthy and when to say yes to her kids. She’s also very
aware of her privileged and the things that she’s allowed to do because she is a successful
television writer, the things that she has access to, the people she has access to. Like
she’s very aware of all of those things and she writes about that openly, which is a great
and refreshing thing to read because a lot of celebrities act like they do everything
on their own and don’t acknowledge the help that they get. So to see someone acknowledging
the help that they get, I think was very helpful. I’m not a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes writing
style, which is probably why I don’t watch any of her TV shows. She gets a little bit
repetitive. I think this might be a book that works better on audiobook. I read it in physical
form and the whole time I kept thinking of how conversational it was in style and in
might have been better to listen to it. But I also like that I read it in physical form
cause there were some sections that I kind of skimmed. But in general I feel like this
book is just kind of like a TEDtalk. So if you like that style, then you’ll definitely
like this book. The next book that I read was Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi
Adiche. This book actually took me a good like 3 weeks to read, which is not the fault
of the book. I think that was 100% me and where my head was at. I think also I had too
high expectations after reading Purple Hibiscus and I needed to bring them down a little bit.
So this story takes place in Nigeria in the 1960s when there is this sort of civil war
breaking out in the area. You follow a bunch of different characters and you jump back
in time a little bit. Or you jump back and forth in time a little bit. All of those things
are things that are difficult for me to enjoy in general. There are certain books that I
love that pull it off really, really well. But for some reason in this book I wasn’t
super crazy about it. I wish that we were following either specific characters or specific
families very closely as opposed to jumping back and forth between all of these different
characters. Although I know that the point of this book was to show how different people
were dealing with the war and how they were affected by the war and things like that.
So I understood the point of it, but I wasn’t super pleased with the execution of it, which
I think is why it wasn’t a 4 star book for me. The writing in here is still super, super
gorgeous and beautiful the way that I expected it to be. That’s basically what propelled
me through this book even though there were sections of it that I wasn’t crazy about or
like certain narrators or points of views I wasn’t really crazy about. The writing just
kept me going because she just has a way with words that was just so fantastic. So if you
like Adichie and you haven’t read it yet, you still should pick this up. But it’s definitely
not my favorite. Purple Hibiscus is still my favorite, but I still have Americanah to
read so we’ll see how it goes. The next book that I read was I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel
Bjork. Hopefully I said his name correctly. He is a Norwegian crime writer. I believe
that this is his debut novel. This story starts off where this young girl is found hanging
from a tree with a jump rope tied around her neck and with a sign around her that says
I’m Traveling Alone. And then this special homicide unit in Oslo ends up reforming with
the two key detectives being Holger Munch and Mia something or another. I can’t remember
what Mia’s last name is. Something had happened to them in their past. Mia ended up basically
forced to leave the force for reasons that you find out about in the book. And then they
are joining back together for this case and it turns out that this case is actually tied
to these detectives personally somehow, which you find out about. This was a strong debut
mystery. I feel like, especially for mystery novels that are at the beginning of a series,
I’m a little bit tougher on them, partially because I don’t fall in love with the characters
right away. It takes some time. But I think that this is pretty solid for a first in the
series. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future ones. I think that Mia and
Holger are a really strong detective pair. They balance each other out very well. If
anything I wanted more Mia and less Holger, but that just might be a personal preference
thing. And it’s kind of nice to see a Norwegian crime fiction series that has two detectives
at the helm as opposed to just one. And the one is usually a dude. So it was nice to have
a pair as well as a female involved in the investigation. So I really liked that. So
if you’re someone who reads a lot of this sort of Norwegian, Scandinavian type detective
crime stories, this one definitely isn’t as dark as some of the other ones I’ve read.
But it’s still on the darker side compared to like American mystery stories or even British
mysteries. But if you like stuff that is in that style, I definitely do recommend it.
It was a pretty good read. Then the final book that I finished this month was The Good
Lord Bird by James McBride. I just finished this one last night, so just getting it in
under the wire. This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1800s in the
United States. You are following this little slave boy named Henry who ends up joining
in with these abolitionists. They assume that he’s a girl for some reason and he never ends
up correcting them so he ends up basically going undercover as a girl to help get himself
to freedom. And then it all sort of leads up to this famous historical event in U.S.
history where there was this raid by the abolitionists at Harper’s Ferry in 1859, which sort of was
this lead up to the Civil War. This was such a good book. I wasn’t really sure what to
expect out of it. I thought it was going to be a slightly more serious book, but this
book is actually really, really funny. There was a quote on here that compares this book
with Mark Twain, which I can definitely see. Like it has that very pointed sense of humor,
very clever commentary. It was really, really clever. There are parts of this that dragged
a little that while you’re waiting to gets to the events that are happening, but I think
overall I just really enjoy the characters in here. I think James McBride does a really
fantastic job of painting a picture of what life was like during this time, especially
as a slave or as a person of color in this country. The characters in this story are
very much characters. Like they are a little bit over the top and a little bit crazy, but
really fantastic. There are some famous characters in here and a little bit of speculation about
those characters, which I don’t know how true they are. I’ll have to do my own research
to figure that out. But I think that this was just a really fun ride of a book, which
I was not expecting from it. It still is pretty big. I mean, it’s almost 500 pages. So it
took me a little bit of time to read, but I totally enjoyed every page of this book.
I would highly, highly recommend it. So yeah, that is everything that I read in the month
of February. Um. I also did an underhypes readathon TBR video, which I forgot to mention
earlier on. It’s happening from Saturday the 27th up until Friday, March 4th. So I will
link to my TBR video if you want to see the things I picked out that I want to read during
the week. I’ll also have links down below to my Goodreads as I usually do so you can
keep track of what I’m currently reading on there. So I will have a wrap up video coming
up at the end of this week so you guys can check that out to see what I actually ended
up finishing. So yeah, that was my February. Didn’t read a lot of books, but I definitely
read some very good books, which is still all that I care about. I don’t really care
about the number of books that I read. So feel free to leave a comment down below letting
me know how your February went reading-wise. What was your favorite book that you read
this month? I always love reading those comments. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks
for watching.

15 thoughts on “February Wrap Up

  1. Great wrap up! The Good Lord Bird sounds interesting and I might give it a go sometime this year. My favorite book this month was Jubilee by Margaret Walker, which I read with the #ReadSoulLit readalong ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. My favorite book that I read this month was Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish. It blew me away and put me in this reading slump that I'm struggling to get out of. The writing is excellent and it shows two perspectives that I don't often read about, a recent veteran and an illegal immigrant. So good.

  3. Really cool wrap up! I haven't read any of these books so I'm excited to keep watching your videos!

  4. Really want to read the Twain-like book! Finished Americanah last month and it was far more character driven than what you're describing. I liked most of it, though some parts irked me.

  5. The Year of Yes would be a better audiobook in my opinion (since that's how I read it). The actual recordings of her speeches are in there and that definitely enhances it.

    I read too much in February. Looking to dial it back. I think my favorite was The Girl in 6E.

  6. I really liked The Good Lord Bird, too, and was also pleasantly surprised by the humor in it. Definitely want to check out more of McBride's work.

    Probably my favorite book in February was My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. Of course, everyone's been talking about her books for a long time, and I finally got around to the first one and I get the hype – the writing style is so right for me, flowy and dreamy and almost poetic at times. And I'm a huge sucker for just exploring the nitty-gritty of female relationships and how they morph over time and such.

  7. I loved Half of a Yellow Sun, but I definitely agree I wasn't crazy about jumping between characters.

  8. I'm Traveling Alone sounds amazing. I absolutely love thrillers and have been getting into Norwegian authors (well, I have a bunch on my TBR and somehow they are a little different from your typical thriller – can't quite put my finger on it) so I'm stoked to pick it up!

  9. I read "on immunity" in february largely at your suggestion and it was amazing! I'm so glad to have picked it up. thanks for the recommendation! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Great video! you've got me really excited to read purple hibiscus now! I adored half of a yellow Sun (for the reasons you seemed to not gel with it haha) and I've been worried that I wouldn't enjoy its predecessor but you speak so highly of it I think I'll have to pluck it off my shelf soon!

  11. Good to know about the writing style of Year of Yes. Was thinking about picking it up, but I sometimes find her writing style on TV to be too much (I still watch GA probably just because of pure amount of time invested at this point haha, but have given up on both Scandal and HtGAwM), so I was weary. Maybe will continue to hold off for now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Great video! I really want to read The Good Lord Bird! I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. It's been a while, but actually only about 2-4 characters remain strong in my memory of it! I don't recall the jumping a lot to different characters. Maybe I just had a stronger interest in those few. Book I just read that I loved: What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell, a first novel set in Sofia, Bulgaria, that tells the story of a youngish expat teacher and the younger Bulgarian hustler he gets involved with. It's beautifully written, full of so much pain and longing, and at the same time makes some crucial comments on gay life and a legacy of shame and exclusion. I don't usually bang on in the comments here but I think this is a really important book. I also loved So Much for That Winter, two novellas by Danish writer Dorthe Nors (playful, tender, formally inventive), and a memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch, the Chronology of Water (raw, powerful, BS-free).

  13. I've always been a big mystery/thriller fan, but never read any Norwegian/Scandinavian ones. Any recommendations for where to start?

  14. I'm Traveling Alone definitely sounds intriguing and something I'd like to pick up! I never really read crime fiction and I'm in love with Scandinavia in general, so will definitely look into it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  15. I just read I'm travelling alone and it was good but one thing about it is that the author could've improved the book by making it more complex and having more than one murder

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