What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.
February was a busy month that seemed longer than its 28 days, but looking back, it’s hard to recall all that I did. Part of the reason is that I spent the month so worried about certain financial goals that I didn’t pay attention to much else. Taking a look at my journal would have helped me to remember, if I’d stuck with my goal to jot down journal entries at the end of every week. I keep forgetting to do that. But the one awesome thing I did and remembered is that I SAW BLACK PANTHER AND IT WAS AWESOME!!! 😀 😀 😀
Oh my gosh! Y’ALL! This movie was friggin good! It has all the flashiness of the usual superhero flick but what made it great is it’s depth and the attention to details and acknowledgement of Black history. I love that the majority of actors and creators of the movie are Black. I’m so happy for this film, though I was worried at first because I thought it’d be like Wonder Woman: all hype and flash but not much substance. I’m glad they did the Black Panther story justice. I can’t wait to see it again because I def plan to.
Another awesome thing I did this month was host my first giveaway! 🙂 I’m so proud of myself!!! It took a lot of guts to do it because I was so worried about doing it correctly, though there’s probably no correct way to do it… Anyway, I did it. It was successful, and I plan to host more giveaways in the future.
Anyway, I read a whole lot of stuff this month. Here’s what I did:
Because I want to read the Lord of the Rings books but have difficulty maintaining interest in the physical copy, I’ve decided to instead listen to the audio book. I completed The Fellowship of the Ring early in February and was glad to find an audio version that wasn’t unbearable to listen to. I do not like the BBC adaptation or the version narrated by Rob Inglis. The version I listened to was a dramatization done by NPR in the late 1970s, I think. It was decent, but it went by so quick that I thought it was abridged.
For the rest of the month, I read library books, starting with Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez, a whimsical middle-grade graphic novel about a girl and her imagination. I enjoyed this story, which also touches on fears and insecurities when being creative, and I loved the art style, which is whimsical, a bit cartoony, and totally cute. The illustrations are detailed and colorful but not overbearing.
I then completed Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani, which I’d describe as a YA magical realism graphic novel. It’s about an Indian girl who wants to learn more about her background and culture when she discovers a pashmina that transports her to a vibrant India. This was a heartwarming story that I appreciated. I like the development of the protagonist, Priyanka, who feels insecure about her identity at the beginning of the story, but gains confidence as she learns more about India and family.
Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly also features a protagonist battling her insecurities. It’s a middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl who can control shadows and can communicate with her own shadow. The reviews I’ve read said this book is good and they were right. It’s an engaging, fast-paced story that I could hardly put down.
I completed Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing for a book club and was surprised that I was hooked on the story. It’s a contemporary, literary novel about a boy who goes on a roadtrip with his mother and her friend, who are both drug addicts, and his baby sister. The story was okay. I was hooked, but I didn’t like it as much as many who’ve read it.
I guess it was fitting that I followed Ward’s novel with Juliet Dark’s The Demon Lover since both stories include the supernatural though in vastly different ways. I was surprised that I was hooked on this book. It’s a paranormal romance about a woman who’s appointed to the faculty of college that enrolls both humans and supernatural creatures. Oh, and she has nightly trysts with an incubus. I was hooked and happy and loved this story. It’s almost exactly what I was looking for in the witchy novels I’ve been searching high and low for.
After a week of romance with an incubus, I moved on to couple tense days spent in a dismal future almost overran with zombies — I read The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. It’s a horror novel about an unusual little girl. I friggin enjoyed this story! It’s the first story I’ve listened to on audio that I did not previously read the physical book. It was a weird experience, but the story is so good that I didn’t mind. I have to read the physical book. I think I’ll love how Carey writes.
(That’s a lot of books I read this month, but that’s what I do when I’m worried. I read.)
Other things consumed in February
The Predatory Genius: What Do We Do When Great Artists Are Also Moral Monsters (commentarymagazine.com)
— An article about noted artists of classical art, such as choreographer George Balanchine, who’ve been accused of sexual harassment and how the public will handle such news today in light of the #MeToo movement.
— I also suggest this article on artist Chuck Close: Chuck Close Is Accused of Harassment. Should His Artwork Carry an Asterisk? (nytimes.com)
2017, the Year in Horror (lareviewofbooks.org)
— A look at last year’s horror flicks and what they say about our society
“Sometimes, when we’re moving around in the real world, it’s hard to comprehend how something abstract like a social structure is terrorizing everyday life. A horror movie invites us to slow down and grasp it.”
What The Heck Is Afrofuturism? (huffingtonpost.com)
“What makes Afrofuturism significantly different from standard science fiction is that it’s steeped in ancient African traditions and black identity. A narrative that simply features a black character in a futuristic world is not enough. To be Afrofuturism, it must be rooted in and unapologetically celebrate the uniqueness and innovation of black culture.”
A Tolkien Scholar Examines the Nature of Evil in the One Ring (theportalist.com)
— An excerpt from J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey. In the excerpt, Shippey analyzes evilness in the Lord of the Rings: is it without or within; is the ring sentient or not? It makes me want to read the rest of Shippey’s book, though I’ve only read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring.
The FBI’s War on Black-Owned Bookstores (theatlantic.com)
— On the FBI (when J. Edgar Hoover was its director) targeting Black bookstores as part of a larger attack on the Black Power Movement in the late 1960s
Don’t Put My Book in the African American Section. (nkjemisin.com)
— Sci-fi/fantasy author N.K. Jemisin discusses why she doesn’t want her books to be shelved in the African American section. I agree with her reasons.
“The worst racism is perpetuated not through intent, but through thoughtless, unquestioning adherence to old, bad habits.”
— This article was was recommended to me by Leslie at Folklore and Literacy in her post that profiles the fabulous Didi at Brown Girl Reading and discusses apprehension about reading books by Black authors. I suggest you check out Leslie’s post.
Hairdresser | Ife Olujuyigbe | Nonfiction (brittlepaper.com)
— About a visit to the hairdresser. I could strongly relate to this.
Traveling the Worlds of Fairy / Faery / Faerie / Fey (blogs.publishersweekly.com)
— On reading and enjoying The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (which makes me want to go read the book)
“The Temple of Knowledge” by StoryCorps
— It focuses on a guy whose father worked as a custodian at a branch of the New York Public Library at a time when caretakers and their families lived in the buildings.
— They will be released this fall (Sept. 5 and Oct. 10). One will continue the story and the other will be an anthology. (Guess who’ll get both!!!)
— They will be available in April. (I’mma get me one.)
Book Sequel for Hocus Pocus (ohmy.disney.com)
— It will be published on July 10.
— The memoir will pick up where Born a Crime ends and will be published on November 13.
Record-Breaking Harry Potter Magic Exhibition Goes Online (theguardian.com)
— The Harry Potter exhibit at the British Library is accessible online thanks to Google.
Don’t Panic! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is Back (theguardian.com)
— BBC is planning to reboot the radio series of the book for the 40th anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
The Dark Tower Is Coming to the Small Screen (bookriot.com)
— Amazon might adapt it for a series.
— Quirk Books will publish a Buffy the Vampire Slayer picture book on September 4.
Because BuzzFeed is awesome
— I got SHURI!!! 😀 My fav character!
Other awesome ‘ish
Even More Usage Limericks: To Annoy Your Friends and Impress Your Enemies (merriam-webster.com)
Another video break
— a New York Times culture podcast
— I like their discussion about Black Panther and who better to talk about it with than Coates, who wrote the new Black Panther comics.
— A discussion about blackness, performing blackness, and the Netflix show Dear White People
— A weekly interview show hosted by actor and stand-up comedian Chris Hardwick
— An old episode from October last year that I think I probably listened to before but I like it so much that I had to mention it on here. It’s such a good interview for the variety of topics covered, but I was more interested in Brand’s thoughts on how we live our lives and how today’s culture is driven by baser things and doesn’t provide the spiritual experience that many are looking for. The guys talked about some deep shit man! It’s great.
— Williams currently plays Black Lightning on the CW. (This podcast episode is hilarious at times.)
Reply All Podcast
— A podcast about how people and the internet influence each other
— On swatting (when people make prank calls to emergency services to make armed officers show up to at a particular address)
— On a sexual assault that occurred in Mexico City that led to the unveiling of a conspiracy
— a book podcasts that features interviews of top authors and writers
— Jay also talks about her book Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience.
Design Matters with Debbie Millman
— A podcast that features interviews of creative people from a variety of fields
— Author Brene Brown talks about belonging, fear of being alone, feelings of powerlessness and how people react to that, and vulnerability
— If you love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then this is for you.
First Draft Podcast
— Author Sarah Enni interviews authors and other creators, usually of YA novels
— Guillory is a debut author whose romance novel, The Wedding Date, was published on Jan. 30. (Made me want to immediately read her book)
Stuff You Missed in History Class
— a podcast that discusses lesser-known people and events in history
Myths & Legends Podcast
— focuses on history and folklore
— If you’ve read/liked The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey or The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden or maybe even In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell (not too sure about that last one), then you might like this episode about snow children.
— A weekly podcast that produces audio performances of fantasy short fiction
— I really enjoyed listening to this story by A.T. Greenblatt. The tone of it made me think of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books, and the title made me thing of middle-grade fantasy novel The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy.
Shows I’m hooked on
— I’m back to watching this because an overcast day put me in a supernatural mood and I’ve yet to shake it off. I’m enjoying the show (watching old episodes).
What I’m looking forward to
More Black Panther
— Yes, I will go to the theater to watch this again.
— I’m definitely going this sometime this year.
…Aaannndd that’s the end of February. 🙂