Well, I managed to stick to my TBR in January, for the most part, so here’s hoping February goes as well! This month is, of course, Black History Month, and while I think we should all read books by Black authors year round, there are some books by Black authors languishing on my TBR (because they’re not romance novels). So, I thought I would use this occasion to finally get around to some of those! This means there are two parts to this month’s TBR, five books I purchased last year (and I’ll note that some of the physical books on my shelf wound up added into this month because I don’t actually remember when I bought them so this is very much not exact) and then the books I’ve selected to celebrate Black History Month.
1. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
This is the only book from this list that I’m positive I bought in February 2018, but setting that aside, I’m really excited about this one. Mariana Zapata is an author known for her slow burns and I’ll be honest and say they’re excruciatingly slow, but she won me over on The Wall of Winnipeg and Me so now I have so many of her books. This one has the audio in the Audible Romance package so I’ll probably try to listen to it since I really liked the narration for Kulti. All I know about this one is that it has to do with ice skating, so I intend to just imagine Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir the entire time because I’m trash for them.
2. The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe
This is the first book in the series that really started me down the path of my love for Joanna Shupe and I started reading it not long after I bought it, but then I got sidetracked and never picked it back up. Well, February is apparently going to be the month I do so. The Courtesan Duchess involves a duchess taking lessons from a courtesan on how to seduce a man because she’s been left alone by her husband for YEARS and she’s over it. So she goes to seduce him. It’s rather brilliant, really, as far as set ups go. Hopefully this time around I’ll get so sucked in, I don’t set it down.
3. Baron by Joanna Shupe
I decided to just stick all of my unread Joanna Shupe books from last year that I didn’t know when they’d been purchased onto my list for February so I’ll also be picking up Baron. This is one of Shupe’s books set in America Times (aka in this instance, The Gilded Age). This follows William Sloane, who is honestly a bit of a pretentious asshole, as he tries to get Ava Jones to stop “swindling” the man Sloane is backing for some kind of political office. I have also started this book and then got side tracked, which I’m hoping was due to my mood at the time. I will say though that while the enemies to lovers aspect was already looking intriguing, I’m really over asshole heroes right now so this could be a bit of a struggle.
4. Mogul by Joanna Shupe
The conclusion to The Knickerbocker Club series, Mogul follows Calvin, who is the head of this paper, and Lillian, who is an heiress with a missing brother. The two used to be married, but Lillian’s dad blackmailed Calvin or something? I don’t quite know. What I do know is that this book specifically talks about the Chinese Exclusion Act so I’m pumped. I have also started this book and know for sure I only put it down because I got sidetracked and now I’m agog I haven’t picked it back up yet. That’s absolutely ridiculous.
My copy of Mogul also includes the novella Tycoon that is a prequel and follows Ted and Clara as they wind up trapped on a train together. I’m really looking forward to this novella!
5. Scorched by Laura Griffin
A Tracers novel, Scorched follows Kelsey Queen, a forensic anthropologist, whose search for answers puts her at the scene of her ex-fiancé’s murder. Gage Brewer, who is for some reason a suspect in the murder and broke Kelsey’s heart, is the only person who she can turn to. I really love Griffin’s romantic suspense writing and I’m looking forward to reading another Tracers novel.
And now, turning to the books I’ll be reading to celebrate Black History Month…
6. Beloved by Toni Morrison
I included this title on my TBR for last February and didn’t read it, which is not particularly surprising given how horrible I am at following TBRs, but I’m determined. Toni Morrison is an author I absolutely should have read by now and it’s shameful that I haven’t. Beloved is not going to be an easy novel to read. It’s about a former slave, Sethe, who despite living free in Ohio is haunted by her past and her deceased baby who is resting in a grave marked beloved.
7. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Yes, I am going to read both Toni Morrison titles on my shelves. It’s happening. This one is a coming of age novel and I usually like those so here’s hoping. I’m nervous about reading both of these works outside of a classroom or book club setting because of the fact that these books are essentially classics. I hated The Great Gatsby so much when I read it by myself and I’m pretty sure I missed things (also pretty sure idgaf about missing things in that one), but I want to understand Morrison’s work. So if you know of any podcasts or articles or something that you think would be helpful reading for me, please feel free to send me the links!
8. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Based on Becoming, I feel like it’s safe to say that Barack Obama’s memoir about his time as President of the United States is likely to be a long time coming. I mean, if anyone reads Becoming and thinks it’s a surprise her book released first, did we read the same thing? Anyway, I figured to tide me over, I could read The Audacity of Hope, which I haven’t read before. I fully expect this book will have me wishing he could come back and serve as President again even more than I already do, but you know, why not torture myself with the reminder of what we used to have? But given the title, I’m hoping it will also fill me with hope for the future we have on the horizon with all the women who have started exploratory presidential campaigns and all the women who entered Congress this year.
9. Kindred by Octavia Butler
In 2017, I read the graphic novel adaption of Kindred and have been wanting to read the source material ever since. Butler had a huge influence on the SFF genre and although I know very little about that, I’m really excited to read her work. This particular novel is about a woman who is randomly sent back in time to pre-Civil War days and rescues a white boy, before being transported back to the present. I don’t want to spoil the story in this so that’s all I’m going to write about this one.
So there you have it! My February TBR. Send me all the good vibes that I can actually stick to this TBR because Lord knows I need to get these books read. In addition, I wanted to mention that I also have three pre-orders this month, On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas, and An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole. I’ll probably also be picking up Crashing Into Her by Mia Sosa and Cherokee America by Margaret Verble. Send even more good vibes that I actually manage to limit myself to only five books this month since last month I definitely didn’t. Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What’s on your February TBR?