February 2014 Reading Wrap-up

Image found at College Social - click through to read an interesting article on reading.

Image found at College Social – click through to read an interesting article on reading.

If it weren’t for all the great reading that happened this month, I might’ve succumbed to despair during the never-ending streak of brutal weather we got here in the ‘burgh. Everyone I know was miserable; otherwise strong women were cracking like walnuts, bellowing “NOOOOOOO” as the dismal weather reports just kept coming. Reading bubble denial is, in Februarys like this one, highly useful.

This month’s tally is somewhat smaller because I spent most of February reading some pretty heavy non-fiction about the history and theory of Black feminism. A really smart person, methinks, realizes that no matter how well-informed s/he is, there are always going to be things of which s/he’s ignorant. Not willfully so–at least, one hopes–but by virtue of your natural blind spots. In this case, it’s white privilege. I’ve always been pretty savvy about class privilege, since I didn’t have it until fairly recently, and readings in that area were always on my mind. But no matter how nice a person you think you are, you really don’t know how much you’ve benefited from your privilege until you start reading things from the pov of people who have never shared it. I’ve got a hefty review backlog this month, because there’s so much in the books I read that bear thinking about. Especially the Words of Fire anthology, which you should just click on over to your favorite online book space and buy, if you’re remotely interested in social justice issues. It’s like the American history most of us were never taught, and don’t know to seek out.

But now you know.

I had a hard time picking a favorite book this month, too. I want everybody to read all of it, so we can talk about it. With an eye to my book club, however–they did not sign up for a consciousness-raising group and I will not force that on them–I will pick 32 Candles, by Ernessa T. Carter. I always thought I didn’t like chick lit; it turns out I’ve just been reading the wrong chick lit.  Carter’s writing is smart, funny, and delivers the genre-required happy ending, but not until after the characters actually change and grow. And yes, I’m aware that Carter’s other book was my favorite earlier this year. What can I say? I have a new favorite genre author, and a huge bias. The fact that she’s got a Pittsburgh connection just makes it better.

And now, the monthly numbers:

Fiction: 4

Non-fiction: 5

Drama: 1

Poetry: 2

February total: 12

YTD total: 35

Better weather might mean less reading, but because I like to have my cake and eat it too, here’s hoping not. Though I hear it’s supposed to start snowing again… *shudders*


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