Bookish Chatter | Wrapping Up January & February Plans

Hello, February! We are a tiny bit closer to spring, but it looks like we will have to withstand some frigid weather before we can get there. I can’t complain because our winter has been relatively mild, so I will do my best to grin and bear it (and to be thankful that I don’t have a dog who needs to be walked!). Today I’m sharing the last three books that I finished in January and what I plan to read in February. It might be a short month, but it’s perfect for staying inside and squeezing in some reading time!

Books Finished This Week:

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is the second book in the Monk & Robot series. In this installment, Dex helps Mosscap venture into cities and villages in order to understand what humans need. The answers – as expected – are various and wide-ranging. Along the way, Robot helps Dex see that they are also deserving of the grace and understanding that they grant others while offering tea service as a tea monk. I am loving this series – the books are short and completely life-affirming. They have been the perfect complement to my word of the year, Less.

Bronwyn and I finished the third Addy book last night, Addy’s Surprise, and oh my goodness! It was wonderful. Addy and her mother are trying to save money to buy a lamp for their room so that her mother can see the sewing work she brings home at night. But they decide that their money is better spent by sharing it with the Freedmen’s Fund at their church – the fund that helped them get on their feet when they first arrived in Philadelphia after claiming their freedom. And the ending? I don’t think I need to worry about spoilers? I’m sorry if I ruin this for you — but her father shows up! He found them after making his way to Maryland once his own freedom was granted. I cried!

And Bryce and I finished the fifth Captain Underpants, The Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman. In this one, Mrs. Ribble (get it? Miserable?) has finally decided to retire and gets tricked into marrying Mr. Krupp by George and Harold. Luckily, she manages to call off the wedding right in time and figures out who was behind the set-up. She gets her revenge on George and Harold by flunking them. So they decide to bring out the 3D Hypno Ring to get her to change their grades back but accidentally turn her into the Wicked Wedgie Woman! That’s okay – Captain Underpants can save the day. Because of course: he’s faster than a speeding waistband, more powerful than boxer shorts, and able to leap tall buildings without getting a wedgie.

I’m currently reading A Place on Earth and am savoring every single word. It’s relatively short but I’m only just over halfway through. I’m finding that I’m completely sated after just a few pages — in all the best ways. Wendell Berry’s writing is beautiful and moving. He makes me want to close the book and live my own life as beautifully as possible. I feel like he just expands my soul? Is that too dramatic? I think so, but Wendell Berry is My Guy*. I don’t read many male writers, but he soars above them all. I might finish it by next week, but then again? Maybe I’ll still be savoring every sentence, every character, every image, everything. I’m so glad I’m reading it.

February Reading Plans:

Here’s a quick glance at my January and February TBR. I have fallen so far behind with my War & Peace reading, but haven’t given up on it yet. I’ve given myself plenty of wiggle room with this one and am hoping to fall into a rhythm soon. I planned to read All Over Creation (to become a Ruth Ozeki completist!) in January but haven’t finished it yet. I’m listening on audio and absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to talk about it! It has so many A Thousand Acres vibes, but is clearly its own Ozeki creation.

I’ve put in interlibrary loan requests for Sula, Norwegian Wood, and Once There Were Wolves — so those will be priorities when they come in because I cannot renew ILLs. My library typically gets ILLs delivered on Wednesdays, so I expect to pick them up this afternoon or in the morning. There’s so much to look forward to!

If you’re in the path of this polar vortex, please do your best to bundle up and stay cozy! What books do you have queued up? I’d love to chat with you in the comments or via email! I hope to be back on Friday. Until then – take good care.

*When I say “My Guy,” I always think of Sister Act – one of my very favorite movies!! And now I’ll be singing this song all day long.


16 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | Wrapping Up January & February Plans

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  1. February is a good month for reading, especially when it’s frigid outside! Don’t forget to put ingredients in the large crockpot for soup so you can read without guilt.


  2. Your February plans look so good! Constellation was one of my favorites last year (added to my lifetime favorites shelf!) and I’m jealous you’ll be experiencing it for the first time!


  3. The Night Watchman was going to be on my February list, but I got too into it and finished it last night! I still need to start War and Peace — that’s going at the top of my list! And I have to check if Chouette is available on audio from my library; I need a new listen, and I’ve been meaning to check it out.


  4. The weather down here is perfect for reading too – gray and rainy and chilly. Many library patrons have said the same thing to me this week. We are all awaiting the coming of Spring. Happy reading this week, Katie!


  5. I have about an hour to go in Constellation and I wish it was longer! (if that gives you a hint about my thoughts on it thus far! Haha!)

    I really loved Foster… it was so thought provoking. Keegan does not waste words, but rather gets directly to the point. Short? Yes, but so meaty!


    1. Keegan is certainly talented to putting a whole lot of meaning into very few words. I think that makes her work so approachable! It’s such a talent. And I’m so glad to hear that you loved Constellation πŸ™‚


  6. That video was such a fun way to start the day! I will be adding the Monk and Robot series to my TBR list. And the Addy series sounds so good, too. As I like reading children’s books, I might just give them a go. Stay warm and snug. If you have Peacock, after the children are in bed, you might want to give “Poker Face” a try. It’s a murder mystery a la Columbo and so much fun.


    1. I think you’ll enjoy BOTH the Monk & Robot series AND Addy. I find myself thinking about Addy a lot! And I do have Peacock, but haven’t watched Poker Face yet — but it looks so funny! Matthew is off tonight… I think we’re planning to watch the new Black Panther movie on Disney+ but maybe we’ll have time to start this one too. I hope you have a great weekend and are able to curl up with a warm beverage and a good book!


  7. Your reading lists look great. Like you I am thankful we don’t have a dog that needs to go outdoors in this cold weather. It’s good to enjoy crafting and reading these days. Stay warm and safe.


  8. Every time you post about your reading – what you’ve read and also your plans looking ahead – I think WOW! I am always amazed at how much you are able to read given how busy your life is. That is wonderful! I’m reading some other books (poetry and novels) along with Middlemarch (which, for me, is a slow read – one to savor).


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