February: the list

In January, I managed to read all four books on my list plus the 658-page novel Skagboys by Irvine Welsh, which is a prequel to the cult classic Trainspotting. For February, in addition to my list below, I’m going to be reading Roots by Alex Haley along with Shell @ Books by the Cup. I won’t review Roots at Grab the Lapels, but I will jump in the comments on Shell’s discussion posts. Here is what I’m planning to read in February:

#1 The Oldest Book on the List: Arrow’s Fall by Mercedes Lackey

Again, it works perfectly that Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I are reading two books per month for the first three months of the year for our #ReadLackey challenge. I received the “arrow trilogy” books in 2001!

Brief Synopsis: With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen’s Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth’s future. But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar.

Spoiler alert on the cover! Talia gets shot! Yeesh.

#2 The Newest Book I Own: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

When I received a gift card to Barnes & Nobel for Christmas, I chose to spend it on books that would teach me about something other than the U.S. I also bought A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo.

Brief Synopsis: . . . follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population.

So bleak.

#3 A book for my reading about fat women challenge: Soft in the Middle by Shelby Eileen and You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar

Eileen’s book is a collection of poetry, so knowing it would be a speedy read I chose to pair with Tovar’s latest book, which is also quite slim.

Brief Synopsis of Shelby Eileen’s book: A debut poetry collection about love, heartbreak, body image, how absolutely breathtaking girls are, flower blooms and starlight.

Brief Synopsis of Virgie Tovar’s book: In concise and candid language, she delves into unlearning fatphobia, dismantling sexist notions of fashion, and how to reject diet culture’s greatest lie: that fat people need to wait before beginning their best lives.

#4 A slot just for #ReadingValdemar: Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

We finally get to the book that started it all for me in 2001 with my high school friends! *total freak-out dance!*

Brief Synopsis: Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well.

SO tragic!


    • I just skimmed the synopsis of the Suki Kim book and imagine it touches on many of the same themes. I’m 50 pages into Nothing to Envy, and people are surprisingly uneducated about everything, from sex to standards of living in other parts of the world.


    • I’ve been talking with Kim, who read all the Valdemar books there were when she was in high school. She’s joined us on our read along and gotten so into it that she’s reading past and around us. She’s almost to the end of the three Magic books, plus she read a trilogy not even on our schedule! There have been books published about Valdemar since she was in high school, so I know she’s eager to read those, too.

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