Well, friends, February has been a highly productive month if you consider writing several articles, a handful of half-essays, and defeating several new bosses in Final Fantasy X productive.
My reading life, on the other hand… well, compared with January it’s been a pretty slow month in terms of reading. After finishing a few really good January reads, I fell into a bit of a book slump, unable to decide what I was in the mood to read next.
Still, I managed to get a good couple of books under my belt. Here are my monthly mini-reviews, for your recommendation pleasure! As a reminder, links are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through said links.
Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas by Alexi Pappas
Format: Audiobook (LibroFM)
Why I Read It: Women’s Running announced a brand new book club, and this was their first pick. I didn’t sign up early enough to get a free print copy and ended up opting for audio instead–best way to guarantee I’d finish before the webinar with Alexi
The day I finished this book, I told a friend I have never had such a complicated reaction to a book. At least, not in recent memory.
The title Bravey caused me to raise an eyebrow–what a silly, made up word, I thought. I did not know who Alexi Pappas was prior to picking up this book, and when it started with musings about growing up without a mom, I considered making it my first 2021 DNF (that’s did not finish).
I felt myself resisting the book, but something kept me going, even as I met the interstitial poems with pretentious judgement.
I am so glad I kept listening to this audiobook. As much as I could not at all relate to Alexi’s upbringing, there is so much wisdom and inspiration to be found between these digital pages. I actually got home from finishing the audiobook and immediately purchased a print copy because I want to go through and highlight some of the best quotes so I can reference them as needed.
Truly, I think this book changed my life and shifted my relationship to my dreams. She talks about this idea of being interested in your dreams versus being committed to them, and since I listened to that essay, I’ve been writing and publishing and pitching because I realized I was behaving as if I was interested in, but not committed to, writing.
You do not have to be a runner or a fan of Alexi’s films (Tracktown and Olympic Dreams) to get something from this book. Highly recommend.
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia, Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
Format: Print (Comic)
Why I Read It: If I’m being really honest it’s because my reading spreadsheet for 2021 looked too homogenous so I impulse bought a YA comic to break up the format and audience pie charts. Chose this one specifically because I loved the Teen Titans cartoon back in the day.
I confess my relationship to comics is so fleeting I often don’t really know how I feel about them. I read this in one sitting during a sick day from work, when my occipital neuralgia pain flare made looking at screens basically impossible. This take on Raven’s story felt fresh and modern in a way that I enjoyed, and I’m glad I took the time to read it. I’ll probably even pick up the others in this run of the Teen Titans. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a quick, fun read, especially if you’re a Teen Titans fan already.
And that’s it. That’s the list. I’m still working my way through Helen Macdonald’s Vesper Flights, which is amazing, so I’m savoring it one essay at a time. Hoping to amp the reading back up in the month of March and get through this one and a handful of others so I have a nice, robust recap to bring you at the end of my birthday month.
Let me know what you’ve been reading lately in the comments–always looking for more recommendations for my never-ending TBR!