February 2021 Wrap-up|Life Update, Books I Read, Blogging Milestones

I’ve noticed a weird effect of quarantine: time seems to pass a lot more quickly when you’re home all day. I don’t know how I feel about that, but at least the most depressing month of the year is over, and I can quite literally feel spring in the air.

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I’ve noticed a weird effect of quarantine: time seems to pass a lot more quickly when you’re home all day. I don’t know how I feel about that, but at least the most depressing month of the year is over, and I can quite literally feel spring in the air.

I love this picture

What did I do this month…? (Life update, sort of)

  • I spent most of the month working on a group project for making an Android app. I had fun with it, but the deadline is approaching and I’m excited to move on to some new programming projects that have been in the back of my mind for a while.
  • Like everyone else, I’ve been watching WandaVision. It was my first foray into the Marvel universe, and I really like it. I think the concept is super creative, it’s just the right amount of creepy, and it’s really interesting to see the parody sitcom for each decade.
  • I found a new favorite school subject: discrete math! (Physics is also turning out to be really interesting)
  • I finally realized that I need to get my life together because it really has not been together lately.

Okay, let’s move on to what you probably clicked on this post for…

Reading:

February wasn’t my best reading month; I have found myself becoming more and more of a mood reader with every passing day, and I think I’m going to need to bring back reading multiple books at one time. But it’s not just mood reading with specific book genres; I’ve noticed that my enthusiasm for reading ebbs and flows on a weekly/two-week cycle. It’s almost predictable. I guess, like pretty much every other hobby or project I’ve ever worked on, I’m always in one of two modes: 1) complete apathy or 2) complete obsession.

I read 7 books this month, 5 fiction and 2 non-fiction. The ratio is getting a little closer to 50%-50%, so I’m proud of that.

Fiction:

1- 1.5 stars:

Admission by Julie Buxbaum (YA, contemporary)– Yes, this book was on my most anticipated YA new releases post, but the only thing I felt when I finished it was… angry. It wasn’t the lowest of low one-stars, though. More like 1.5.

2-2.5 stars:

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor (YA, historical fiction, contemporary)– I saw someone compare this book to Code Name Verity and yes, I’d say this is a fluffified version of Code Name Verity and I did not like it very much. There was way too much romance (intense insta-love) and the one of the dumbest main characters I’ve ever encountered. It just felt like a simplified version of a story that could have been really good; I gave it an extra star because I loved the idea.

3- 3.5 stars:

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (YA, contemporary, mystery)– I’ve been hearing about this book for a while. I gave it 3.5 stars because the timelines were confusing and I didn’t love the writing style. Also, though it’s technically classified as a mystery/thriller, it’s more of a dark contemporary.

4-4.5 stars:

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (YA, contemporary)– I’ve been hearing about Elizabeth Acevedo for the past year, and I finally jumped onto the hype train and read one of her books. About 5 years ago, depressing free-verse books were my favorite, for some reason, but I hadn’t read one for a while. When I got older I found that many of them were just normal text with pretentious spacing. BUT the writing in this book was really good. I also thought it was really interesting to read a book that was partially set in the Dominican Republic.

The Martian by Andy Weir (general/adult, sci-fi, survival)– I am in awe about the sheer amount of technical research Weir must have done to write this. It’s one thing to write a book with some loosely described futuristic science that’s really more like magic, but apparently most of this was accurate, and it was all very well explained. This is only getting 4.5 stars, though, because the writing was not super great, especially during the third-person sections. It was a lot of telling instead of showing, which made sense at some points considering the technical nature of some of the plot events, but at other points it just became awkward and had strange shifts between perspectives.

Nonfiction:

Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju LeeEvery Falling Star is Sunju Lee’s memoir of his childhood in North Korea and how he ended up escaping the country. It was really eye-opening and I’m glad I read it.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore– this book was horrifying. It is the true story of the “radium girls”– women who were employed at radium dial-painting plants in the early 20th century and were severely affected by radiation poisoning, and how the tragedy was covered up by the corporations that dominated the industry.

Blogging

Yeah… this was kind of a sad blogging month. But at least I was proud of both posts I published, and I also reached 400 followers at the beginning of the month!

Blog posts:

Discussion: Writer’s Block and Blogging Burnout

5 Reasons Ebooks Are Better Than Physical Books

(and today’s post)

Goals:

Time to bring back my old goals format! (I’m not going to reflect on old goals because I didn’t really set any)

1) Have a healthier routine

Read: go to bed before 1 AM, don’t scroll on your phone for 20 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning. The usual.

2) Continue to read a wider variety of genres

I’m proud of myself for keeping this up pretty well in January and February, but I still want to make it a goal to read more general/adult and non-fiction books! And within fiction too, I want to prioritize reading books of different genres. Why limit yourself to just one type of book?

3) Don’t make blogging a chore

I’ve been frequently lapsing into unplanned hiatuses, for which I apologize, but I also think I have been very burnt out and needed the break(s). This month I only want to blog when I really want to (meaning I’ll try to post at the same frequency but try to write my posts throughout the week instead of forcing myself to write one every Saturday). The fact is that the quality of my posts goes up when I actually feel like writing and I’m not completely overwhelmed– shocking, I know.

Also… I need to figure out what to do about book reviews. I haven’t been writing reviews lately, but my wrap-up posts are pretty much mini-reviews. Maybe I should post weekly mini-reviews. Maybe I should just start posting full-length book reviews again because that used to be my entire blog. So many decisions. I guess I kind of forgot that my blog was almost completely book reviews for most of its life. If I prioritized book reviews again, would you read them? Or do you prefer more general/recommendations/discussion content?

That’s it for February’s wrap-up! Thanks for visiting my blog. Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you think of them?

Some self-promo:

23 comments on “February 2021 Wrap-up|Life Update, Books I Read, Blogging Milestones”

  1. Seven books a month is amazing. My reading pace has its peaks and troughs, and I’m currently at a low. Radium Girls looks interesting though, especially seeing how I like watches, which was the exact reason why the Radium Girls came to be (a fact I learned much later in my timekeeping hobby). Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay, a fellow discrete math lover! 😁 And I’m so happy you loved The Martian (writing aside πŸ˜‰) because I adore that book!
    Also, concerning book reviews – I normally only read them when I’ve read the book in question myself, because I have an irrational fear of spoilers and am also just not that interested if I don’t have anything to add to the conversation πŸ˜… But if I’ve read the book, I’ll be reading that review first thing! So I guess it depends? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you liked The Martian overall, I saw the film version with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, and it was really good – as it’s a movie, you don’t technically have all of those technical third-person parts… πŸ™‚ Great mid-winter round-up though! I haven’t done much reading either, if it makes you feel better!

    Liked by 1 person

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