Life goals: More books please

I’m still working on draft two of my novel, but I’m also diving into reading more, and being intentional with reading goals, particularly reading or listening to more books in the mystery and non-fiction genres, and books by writers of color.

So in that vein, here are some quick thoughts on my reading and writing in 2021 so far, and goals for March.

January and February Wrap Up

5 star books!

Three of the books I’ve read so far this year were fantastic, and I give them 5 stars! I definitely recommend these.

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (non-fiction)
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (historical fiction/family saga fiction)
  • Wings of Ebony by J. Elle (young adult fantasy)

Other reads (all mysteries):

  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • The Red House Mystery by A. A. Milne
  • Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
  • The Ambitious Card by John Gaspard

Of these, I most enjoyed the two Horowitz books. I accidentally read them out of order, which spoiled some twists and turns when I did read book one. (Magpie Murders). I don’t think they will go on a list of favorites to re-read, but they were fun and engrossing. The Sayers and Milne books were fine, but neither gripped me as much as I had hoped.
Death at Wentwater Court was a pretty good 1920s British aristocracy cozy, but I found it problematic the way the characters described people living in Brazil, so I won’t read the rest of the series. They were minor comments, but unnecessary, and they turned me off.
The Ambitious Card was a fun, contemporary cozy with a magic shop owner/magician/debunker. I enjoyed it, but also found it fat phobic in how the larger characters were described, so I won’t read the rest of the series.

DNF (Did Not Finish) and Possible DNF

I also tried to read Splintered Silence, by Susan Furlong, but DNF’d it after her protagonist used transphobic language.
I’m also about a quarter of the way through Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, but I haven’t picked it back up for a few weeks, so I may DNF it.

March TBR (To Be Read)

Since we are already five days into March 2021 (how??!), here is my goal list for March TBR based on community recommendations:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (historical fiction, saga)
The Fire this Time edited by Jesmyn Ward (essays/poetry)
Magical Negro by Morgan Parker (poetry)
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (mystery/thriller)
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (self-help)
Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely (mystery)
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (non-fiction)
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (autobiography)
plus – try at least another 50 pages in Such a Fun Age

Oof! That’s a lot of books! That is as many as I read in the first two months, so I may be over-reaching for March. It’s worth aiming for though! 🙂

Writing Goal

I’ve been facing some writing insecurities these past two months, so hopefully I work through them in March. I’m excited to be attending a webinar tomorrow by Writing the Other called “Should Authors Write Characters Different From Themselves?”

As for a writing goal, I’d like to send three chapters to my writing coach and beta readers by the end of the month.

Now to get to reading and writing!

What is on your TBR list? Do you have a writing goal? Any books that you recommend or have DNFd? Any favorite Booktube channels or people I should follow on Twitter?

Be well!

~Leo

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