February 2016 Monthly Round-Up

As many of you know, February has been an incredibly slumpy reading month for me. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s me or the books. I have some logistical time suckers in my life right now…is this making it extra hard for books to stick? Or, am I just not picking the right books? 

I’m also incredibly unmotivated to write reviews of what I do read. I’ve always written at least something about every book I read and that’s changed lately. Not reviewing some books wasn’t a conscious decision…more of an “eh, don’t really feel like doing this and can’t find the words, so I’ll just skip it” type of thing. I don’t read as many books a year as some bloggers, so I really felt like I had to write about every single book. But, I’m not so sure anymore because this feels kind of liberating! Do you review every book you read?

February Reading

Tender, Why They Run the Way They Do, Quiet, Be Frank With Me, Work Like Any Other, The Blue Hour
Well, amid a sea of DNF’s and samples that didn’t stick (which I won’t go into here), I really liked/loved a third of my February reading. I’m trying to stay positive here, people! Tender mastered intensity of feeling and Why They Run the Way They Do came out of nowhere to become only the second short story collection I’ve ever really enjoyed. And, because I want this book to get more attention, I’ll say it again: if you’d like to try short stories, this is a great collection to start with! Quiet was a bit of a slog, but did contain some fascinating nuggets that got me thinking (discussion post coming). Be Frank With Me served its purpose, but didn’t blow me away. And, Work Like Any Other and The Blue Hour were flat out disappointments.

Best Book of the Month

Tender by Belinda McKeon (February 16, 2016)
Fiction, 416 Pages

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

March Releases I’m Excited About

As close to us as breathing, the nest, association of small bombs, never open desert diner

As Close to Us As Breathing
 by Elizabeth Poliner (March 15)
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (March 22)
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (March 22)
The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson (March 22)

Top Backlist Books on my “To Be Read” List

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Mudbound by Hillary Jordon

Most Popular February Posts

Anti-Valentine’s Day: Ten Disastrous Literary Relationships
Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Outside My Comfort Zone
Are Your Book Ratings Biased Early in the Year?

Favorite Posts by Fellow Bloggers

Get Weekly Email Updates!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Beth F wrote:

    I loved Be Frank with Me but I listened to the absolutely outstanding audio. I can see how the print version would be only okay

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  2. Sara wrote:

    Nope, I don’t write reviews at all anymore, one of the best decisions I ever made! Reviews started making reading a chore and it sucked the fun out of it. Definitely don’t feel bad that you’re not reviewing every book you’re reading-if you’re not excited to review them, then there’s no point to doing them!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  3. I would quit blogging in about an hour if I had to write about every book I read…it just wouldn’t happen. Hope March goes better for you! I’m looking forward to all these great books, too.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  4. Kay wrote:

    I think reviewing every book you read sounds incredibly tiresome. And when I began this second blog, I decided that choosing to review or write about what I wanted was the main thing. It’s my blog – I can do as I please. It has been much more fun this time around. So, no, I don’t review every book I read. I reread a lot of books and it works well in that area. If you have something to say, write about it. If you don’t, move along to the next book. It’s all good. 🙂

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  5. I don’t review every book I read. If I don’t feel like I have anything worthwhile to say, then I just put the book away and be done with it. I also don’t really care about how often I post, so I don’t feel pressured to put something up just for the heck of it. I hope your slump goes away soon. It’s the worst feeling, especially if it’s on top of having your time eaten up by other things. I see that you have Mudbound on your backlist list; that is a good one, and I hope you enjoy it.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  6. Judy wrote:

    I have also been in a review writing slump. Just don’t feel like it. I quit posting reviews at all last year for a while but was summoned back into it by a couple fans of the blog. Now I am weary of it again. I just want to read!
    I am looking forward to Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta and Shelter by Jung Yun this month. I seem to be in a Korean author phase.
    I thought Salvage the Bones was an impressive debut but the writing in Mudbound left me unimpressed.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  7. I try to review every book I read, but sometimes reviews just don’t happen. I hope March goes better for you!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  8. Carmen wrote:

    I review every book I read; that said, the most I’ve read in a month is five books if they are under 300 pages, so I don’t think it’s an extraordinary feat.
    Sometimes I start my review not knowing what I’m going to write about because the book has been unimpressive and then I surprised myself having a few things that I didn’t know I had to say.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  9. Heather wrote:

    I don’t review every book. I think February is a sloggy month in general for most people. I’ll be interested in seeing your Quiet discussion. I learned a lot from that book too.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  10. Eva wrote:

    I definitely do not review every book. I’m struggling with getting ANY reviews up these days though. You captured the feeling I have about it really well. I decided at some point that since fiction wasn’t doing it for me, I was going to switch to more non-fiction. That seems to have helped but now I’m simultaneously loving non-fiction and pining for fiction. We just can’t have it all, can we?

    Hope March is better!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  11. Shaina wrote:

    I used to push myself to write about everything but realized it was making me dread blogging. Even if my blog is a little quieter, I’m a much happier person. 🙂

    I completely know what you mean about not being sure if it’s you or the books. Still, it sounds like February’s books weren’t doing you any favors. 😉 I hope March is full of good reading and that you feel less slumpy all around!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  12. Heather wrote:

    I used to write about every book I read, but it got a bit tough after a while so then I just started writing proper posts about the books I had something decent to say. But I always have some thoughts on a book, so last month I did a post of “little reviews”, that was basically my thoughts on books I didn’t have much to say about. It felt good just to get out a little bit about them.

    I think slumps are a combination of the book and the reader. With the amount of reading we do, it’s guaranteed that we’ll suffer burnout eventually, and I think at that point even the best books can be mediocre for us. We just have to persevere I guess!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  13. I can identify with the review slump. It’s actually more difficult for me to write a review of a book I loved beyond exceptional than to write about a book I hated. I used to write a review for every book as a log of thoughts, but I’m finding it more difficult to do that, so I started either video reviewing or mini reviewing because it’s just so much easier.

    I think that slumps for reading and review are inevitable at some point. We tend (or I do) to read book after book without breaks sometimes, which can put us in a slump fast. I have to remind myself to sit back and digest a book before opening another one. Audios have helped a lot with my slumpish reading lately, so that’s a plus. I hope March is better for you!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  14. Catherine wrote:

    Big surprise- we’re looking forward to the same books!

    I don’t know what is going on, but I’m not doing much better with reading or writing. When I do work on a review it’s like pulling teeth- my brain is filled with mud.

    Here’s hoping March explodes with great reading and writing for all of us!

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  15. I’m not a book blogger, so I don’t review every book I read. I usually put a little blurb on Goodreads, tho.

    I haven’t read anything outstanding since Bull Mountain. Sigh.

    Posted 3.4.16 Reply
  16. I don’t review every book I read unless it is a book that I requested to review, and then I do try to put those out. Sometimes I feel that the time I spend writing up a so-so review is time I could have been reading 🙂 I have read Mudbound and really enjoyed it.

    Posted 3.4.16 Reply
  17. I am so excited about The Nest! My month wasn’t fabulous (7 books) but I blame it on there being less days (despite Leap Day) because it makes me feel better.

    Posted 3.4.16 Reply
  18. Sorry you’ve been a bit slumpy…. me too, unfortunately. I DEFINITELY don’t write about every book I read in a “full length full review” kind of way. I tend to always at least mention it, and write a short blurb of my thoughts in my monthly wrap-ups, if nothing else. I used to have the goal of at least one “proper” review per week, but that too has fallen by the wayside. I went from reading 8+ books per month, to more like 4-5ish… which I’m sure will drop even further after my bun in the oven premiers. Ah, well, such is life. Sometimes I think it’s important to just roll with it, and let the blog (and yourself) evolve naturally… that’s what I’m trying to tell myself anyways. 🙂

    I have As Close To Us As Breathing on my radar this month too! Hope your March picks up 🙂

    Posted 3.6.16 Reply
  19. Athira wrote:

    I definitely plan to review every book but I end up reviewing only the ones I felt strongly about. Probably because it’s so hard to feel inspired to write a meh post about a meh book. Hope your March turns out to be better in reading!

    Posted 3.6.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Agreed – review about a meh book usually just ends up being a meh review…in a lot more words. Could’ve just said “meh”.

      Posted 3.7.16 Reply

Get Weekly Email Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive all new blog posts in one weekly email. Plus, news of special updates and offers!

You have Successfully Subscribed!