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2018 Reading Challenge | February

January was such a good reading and blogging month for me, and I had hoped February would follow suit. Unfortunately it did not, but I cannot totally complain about these twenty-eight days, because otherwise it was a good month (boyfriend’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, seeing Black Panther – just a few of the high points). I am excited for March, though, because it’s another almost-five-week month (oh January, you were so great to me), spring will be arriving, I have a new plan for my #bookstagram, and I have a few book reviews in the works. My energy levels are increasing just thinking about it. Anyway, here is my [quick] February Reading Challenge wrap-up.

Books I Read in February:

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce – I had sort of a tumultuous experience reading this book. I found myself caring, and then not caring, and then caring again about what the characters were going through, and some parts I really enjoyed reading while others I slogged through. I believe the ending was superfluous; it would have made for a nice novella, I think, as an alternative to how [I think] it should have ended. I’d be very interested in knowing how you perceived the story, if you’ve read this book. And if you do start reading, make sure you look up the corresponding playlist on Spotify. Listening to the music mentioned in the book at the end of every chapter was quite fulfilling.

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie – Agatha Christie has wowed me again. This novel jumped around a bit more than the other two AC books I’ve read, but I still found it to be fantastic. Any recommendations as to which Agatha Christie novel I should read next?

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – I love love love love this book. I reviewed it here, but will say for the sake of this post that it’s about a New England cold case, solved case, and supernatural mystery, and deals with small town politics and historical memories and experiences. It’s not out yet (sorry!) but it will be on March 20th.

Books I Did Not Finish in February:

George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl – I had heard great things about this book and was excited to finally get my hands on it. Can you feel the “but” in that sentence? Here it is: But, I got about one hundred pages in and could not shake the boredom I felt. I’d be willing to give it another go if anyone out there loved it and can convince me to start it again, but for now it is on my DNF list.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – This is a very different “did not finish,” because I love this book. I have been reading it in spurts, but I reached the end of my “renew” limit (the copy I was reading is a library book), and it has a hold list, so I returned it and downloaded the audiobook (exquisitely narrated by Bahni Turpin). Hopefully I’ll finish listening by the end of March, or at least before Angie Thomas’ second book On the Come Up comes out.

Books Added to My Bookshelf in February:

The Horses at the Gate by Mary Mackey
The Broken Girls 
by Simone St. James
Reflections: A Mindful Journey by Tony Gardner

Books I Am Keeping:

All! I’m not unhauling any books this month. I’m sort of breaking my rule with The Music Shop, but I think it deserves a re-read before I make a final decision.

Books I Am Not Keeping:

See above.

So goodbye February. I will enjoy the last day of you as much as I can (it’s supposed to reach 50°F today which is unseasonably warm), and March, I’m ready for you!

I wish you, reader of this post, a productive, healthy, and joyous third month of 2018. I hope you met your goals (bookish or otherwise) for February, and will challenge yourself – or give yourself a needed break – in the coming thirty-one days.




  • Lisa Orchard

    “The Hate U Give” is on my list to read, but it seems so long that I want to knock off a couple of other books off my bucket list as well! I’m putting “The Broken Girls” on my list as well. I love mysteries and thrillers. 🙂

    • Kelsey

      Oh good – I hope you enjoy The Broken Girls as much as I do! 🙂 And I would recommend reading The Hate U Give in pieces. The writing (and the narration of the audiobook) is so real and places you right into the story; it can be a little overwhelming (for me, anyway).

  • angelanoelauthor

    In the “unhauling” process do you get rid of books you start but don’t finish? I find myself at an interesting cross-roads with some books. If I don’t HAVE to finish them, sometimes I just don’t. I don’t care enough about the characters that if they live out in limbo and I never know what happens to them I don’t really mind. I trade their fate for my time. How about you?

    • Kelsey

      Yes! This scenario is actually a big driver of my Reading Challenge, because there are plenty of unfinished books on my shelves. Some I enjoy and want to finish (eventually), and some I don’t like and am not looking forward to the chore that will be finishing them. I’m going to give every book on my shelf a chance, but if I don’t have any interest in finishing them I will stop reading and put them in the unhaul pile. Time spent suffering through a book I don’t like is time I could be spending reading a book I do!

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