2021 Monthly Status Update: February

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The months fly by during my traditional “busy season” and here we are already into March. It’s been almost a year now since the world basically turned upside down – and things finally seem to be getting back to normal. People are starting to get the vaccine, things are opening up more again. I expect I’ll still be working from home most of the rest of the year but I kind of like working from home. I’m looking forward to some warmer spring weather in March and getting some home projects done after April 15th! Anyways, here is my progress for reading in February:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 6
# pages read this month: 1,784
# books read year-to-date: 16
# pages read year-to-date: 5,510

Other Posts this month:

February Spotlight: Valentine’s Day

Favorite books from this month:

Nothing amazing this month, had some solid reads but nothing I’d say was a favorite!

Next Month TBR List:

I don’t have any scheduled reads for March. I did this kind of on purpose as March is one of my busiest months for work and I am not sure how much reading I’ll actually be able to get done. I am still planning to read a backlog book and one from my library to keep up with my goals for this year but other than that we’ll see where the month leads me! Happy reading everyone!

February spotlight: Valentine’s Day!

In honor of this day of romance, and obviously based on my generally high regard for the romance genre, I started doing a little thinking about Valentine’s Day and the meaning behind the cultural significance of the day. There’s a various amount of history behind the day, both involving the original romantic history we are all familiar with and also many other types of events that have happened since.

St. Valentine’s Day has been around since approximately 500 AD. The day has Catholic origins, and Saint Valentine is still considered a saint in the Catholic church to this day. He is the patron saint of lovers, epileptics and beekeepers. Supposedly, he went against the Roman emperor and married couples that were in love. He was condemned and beaten to death and beheaded (which seems like overkill to me). There are a number of theories as to why he was marrying people in secret, seemingly romance is the first thing that comes to mind, but why was it done in secret in the first place? Well, during this time period the emperor Claudius had banned marriages in Rome to try and recruit more soldiers for his numerous wars. People in love don’t want to be kept apart though and so Valentine risked his life to continue to unite people in love.

Due to the original history of the day, with it’s obviously romantic if somewhat gruesome beginnings, it started being commercialized as a romantic celebration in the 19th century. Prior to that, many authors capitalized on the romanticism of the day, including both Chaucer and Shakespeare, but it was really the production of massive amounts of Valentine’s Day cards that pushed this day into becoming what it is today. Hallmark began mass-producing Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 and today there are 190 million Valentine’s Day cards sent each year – not even including those exchanged by kids in school. In the U.S. alone, in 2017 there was a whopping $18.2 Million spent on celebrating this holiday. Some think of this day as Singles Awareness Day just because of how much of a spotlight there is on couples and romantic love. And while many are celebrating in couples, there are so many kinds of love to celebrate that the commercialized aspect of it has expanded to celebration of love within friendship and family also.

One of the more common symbols used on Valentine’s Day cards and decorations is cupid, a familiar cherub with wings and a bow and arrow. Cupid is a figure from classical mythology – he’s the son of the love goddess Venus and war god Mars. He is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection, which makes it odd to me that he is often depicted as a baby.

Fun fact too – Valentine’s Day is the most common wedding anniversary in the Philippines! There are many people who share an anniversary date, as this highly romantic holiday is so commonly picked for wedding day celebrations.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day this year, whether you were celebrating with a significant other, with other loved ones, or just celebrating love for your self! If anyone has any fun facts or stories about Valentine’s Day, please feel free to share!

February Reading Challenge – Romance Novel Bookish Bingo – Wrap Up Post!

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Here’s how I did on my February Bookish Bingo Reading Challenge! I can’t post the titles of all the books since some of them were ones I’m judging for the New England Readers’ Choice Awards and I can’t talk about them until after the finalists are announced. I was still trying to stick with my reading schedule and tried to fit them into the bingo card where I could, so I didn’t end up getting bingo unfortunately. If I’d had a little more time for reading I might have been able to manage but it’s a busy time at work right now! I still had fun participating in the reading challenge though, I can’t wait for the next one!

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2016 Status Update: February

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Ugh. I can’t believe it is March already! Its tax season for me right now so I am definitely finding myself falling behind schedule a little bit. That and I am requesting WAY more than I can possibly manage to read on the various ARC sites.  Anyways, here is my status update for progress I made on reading challenges this month and some highlights of my posts for this month.

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 7
# pages read this month: 1,988
# books read year-to-date: 15
# pages read year-to-date: 4,793

Favorite Books I Read:

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert
Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Books I Didn’t Particularly Enjoy: 

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Slaughter House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – Was just too much weird stuff all thrown together for me

Other Posts this month:

Friday Finds (Feb 5)

Status of 2016 Reading Challenges:

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016 Checklist – 5/20 books read
Book Riot Read Harder Reading Challenge – 1/24 books read
Penguin Random House: Challenge Your Shelf A-Z Reading Challenge – 0/26 books read
Holiday Bingo 2015 Reading Challenge – 13/25 books read – this challenge is over as of 2/29/16, look for my wrap-up post on this coming in the next couple days! My next challenge I will be doing is the Bout of Books in May

March TBR list: 

-Wedding Night with the Earl by Amelia Grey (NetGalley)
-I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen (rolled from Feb TBR – didn’t get to) (NetGalley)
-The Last Girl by Joe Hart (NetGalley)
-The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (rolled from Feb TBR – didn’t get to) (NetGalley)
-A Sudden Crush by Camille Isley (The Reading Room)
-Tales of My Childhood by Anna Lillian Young (author request)
-Little Bee by Chris Cleave (book club)
-Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky (NetGalley)
-Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges (NetGalley)
-Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor (Reading with Robin book discussion)
-A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams (BookBrowse)

So I have a full schedule for March and I’m sure I’ll still end up requesting more as we go through the month because (a) I’m addicted to books and (b) I love reading. I have to say though I am looking forward to my post-tax season time when I can take a few days off and hopefully get caught up! Maybe even read one of the 300 books that I own and haven’t read (a girl can dream). Specifically if I have time I think I’ll be picking up The Glass Sword (sequel to The Red Queen) since I pre-ordered it and it came during Feb but of course I couldn’t read it because of all my other books I already had scheduled. Hopefully this month!

So! That was February overview and my plan for March! Hoping to find more time for reading this month! Happy reading to all!