What’s on Your Nightstand: February 2018

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:

Books read:

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

We Must Cancel Everyone’s Student Debt, for the Economy’s Sake (nymag.com)

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)

Video break

“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.

Bookish news

Dark Horse Announces New Avatar: The Last Airbender Comics (ew.com)

— 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!!!)

Lupita Nyong’o & Danai Gurira Announce Miniseries Adaptation of Chimamanda’s ‘Americanah’ (afropunk.com)

Adichie’s New Nigerian Publisher, Narrative Landscape Press, Is Releasing Box Sets of Wax-Print Cover Designs of Her Books (brittlepaper.com)

— They will be available in April. (I’mma get me one.)

Firefly Canon to Expand with Series of Original Books (ew.com)

Book Sequel for Hocus Pocus (ohmy.disney.com)

— It will be published on July 10.

Trevor Noah’s Follow-Up To ‘Born A Crime’ Memoir Bought By Spiegel & Grau Imprint (deadline.com)

— 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.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Check out the First-Ever Picture Book (ew.com)

— Quirk Books will publish a Buffy the Vampire Slayer picture book on September 4.

‘Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ Animated Series Produced by Laurence Fishburne in Works at Disney Channels (deadline.com)

Because BuzzFeed is awesome

Which Character From “Black Panther” Are You?

— I got SHURI!!! 😀 My fav character!

Other awesome ‘ish

With $218 Million Haul, ‘Black Panther’ Smashes Box Office Records (nytimes.com)

1,600 Occult Books Now Digitized & Put Online, Thanks to the Ritman Library and Da Vinci Code Author Dan Brown (openculture.com)

These Harry Potter Wands Track Your Spells and Let You Play Magical Laser Tag (nerdist.com)

Even More Usage Limericks: To Annoy Your Friends and Impress Your Enemies (merriam-webster.com)

Another video break


Still Processing

— a New York Times culture podcast

We Sink Our Claws Into “Black Panther” with Ta-Nehisi Coates

— I like their discussion about Black Panther and who better to talk about it with than Coates, who wrote the new Black Panther comics.

We’re Going Black(er) AKA Dear Woke People

— A discussion about blackness, performing blackness, and the Netflix show Dear White People

Nerdist Podcast

— A weekly interview show hosted by actor and stand-up comedian Chris Hardwick

Episode 910: Russell Brand

— 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.

Episode 928: Cress Williams

— 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

#15 I’ve Killed People and I Have Hostages

— On swatting (when people make prank calls to emergency services to make armed officers show up to at a particular address)

#112 The Prophet

— On a sexual assault that occurred in Mexico City that led to the unveiling of a conspiracy

Lit Up

— a book podcasts that features interviews of top authors and writers

Ep. 125: Dr. Meg Jay on Resilience & Childhood Adversity

— 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

Brene Brown

— Author Brene Brown talks about belonging, fear of being alone, feelings of powerlessness and how people react to that, and vulnerability

Dusted: A Buffy Podcast

— 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

Ep. 123: Jasmine Guillory

— 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

Charles VI of France: The Mad King

Myths & Legends Podcast

— focuses on history and folklore

96 – Russian Folklore: Cold as Ice

— 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

PodCastle 509: A Non-Hero’s Guide to The Road of Monsters

— 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.

Game of Thrones Live Concert

— I’m definitely going this sometime this year.

…Aaannndd that’s the end of February. 🙂


25 thoughts on “What’s on Your Nightstand: February 2018

  1. I’m so glad Black Panther was that good!! yay for your first giveaway being successful 😀 Nightlights looks cute. Shipney’s post looks interesting. I loved that article on Hazel Wood- especially because I read it last week and *loved* it!! also- ooh GOT Live- cool!! 😀


  2. Black Panther kicked the crap out of every other Marvel movie. Hands down. I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD to see it again!

    I’m sorry Sing Unburried Sing wasn’t what you were expecting, nor did it seem to knock your socks off.

    It looks like you read some great middle grade graphic novels this month!!! I’ll have to check those out 🙂


    1. Yea, it was so good. There’s much more I wish it did but what it included was good enough. I think they did a good job. I saw it again yesterday actually, lol. I sat too close to the screen on my first watch so I didn’t get to admire the cinematography. That’s why I went back.

      Yea, Ward’s book just wasn’t as awesome to me as it was to everyone else.
      And yea, I totally recommend Shadow Weaver, Nightlights, and Pashmina, though this last one is YA.


  3. Can’t wait for King T’Challa to return in Avengers at the end of April! Saw Black Panther twice myself! It’s definitely a great superhero movie with a better control on its humour than Thor did!!! #WakandaForever!!! 😀 Hope March will be great for you, Z. 😀


  4. Wow, you watch so many podcasts! They all look wonderful. Pashmina seems like a very interesting book. It’s been a while since I’ve read a unique magical realism.


  5. I’m planning to see Black Panther tomorrow! Though we’re getting battered by a nasty wind / rainstorm right now, so hopefully the weather won’t be so bad for driving tomorrow. Especially since this is a movie I’ve been wanting to see for a long time, ever since they debuted T’Challa / Black Panther’s character in Captain American: Civil War. In fact, the last time I was this excited to see a movie was… maybe the last Harry Potter film? 😮


    1. I’m in the same boat…kinda. am getting battered by the wind but luckily not beaten by the rain. Hope you enjoy Black Panther. If it’s not so windy tmrw, I plan to go see it too. I really wanna see it again.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol lol!! That’s how I felt. There’s so much going on in it… I really liked it and loved the focus on Black history and relations between Africans and African Americans. Pure awesomeness. 😀
          Glad you love it too. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I wanna see blank panther now you’ve totally convinced me. And I missed your giveaway!! How did it go? I’m planning on doing a giveaway on my I IG and my Facebook group for writers.


  7. I want to read a Lord of the Rings audio book, but I haven’t found one that I like. I’ve tried the ones at the library, but there’s something I don’t like about them. What I really want is one amazing reader who can do all the voices. Does this even exist??


  8. You’ve had a strong February, Zeezee:). I fully endorse your comments on Shadow Weaver and The Girl with All the Gifts. I’m glad you enjoyed Black Panther so much – we are also wanting to go and see it, but we’ll wait until the country thaws out somewhat… Have a great March:)


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