February Wrap-Up

Another solid month of reading for the month of February! I made it a personal goal to read more poetry this year, and I read two books by poets I now love!

Here’s what I read in February.

The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman

Well. :-/ Sighhhhhh. Unfortunately the final book in the Beartown series let me down. It was very, very, very, very, very, very, very long. So much was happening. Too many storyllines. Every chapter was *something* and I felt like there was no closure whatsoever even though the book was nearly 700 pages. Sigh.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Finlay Donovan #3) by Elle Cosimano

These books are so, so silly and I can’t get enough. BUT … I kind of wanted the series to end here? What else can be done here?

Why I Wake Early: New Poems by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s poems are like breathing naturally. I feel immediately calm when I read her poetry. Can’t get enough.

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

An amazing debut with lyrical prose that read more like poetry. Very insightful and powerful and emotional.

The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty

This one certainly took a while to read, but I loved the pacing. These books are so fascinating and while I didn’t care for any of the characters at first, I really enjoy Nahri and Ali. Once the book ended, I had to get the third book, which is more than 750 pages long.

Good Bones: Poems by Maggie Smith

I thought her poems were just okay. I am glad I read them, but I don’t like hawks as much as she does … and all of her poems were about hawks … so…

What did you read in February?

Monthly Musings | Lots o’ Luck


It’s funny. It has been the mildest winter in my life, but we’ve had two winter storms at our house over the past two weekends. We probably have eight inches of snow outside as I write this.

In October, I went to about 4 stores looking for a snowsuit for my baby. She was starting daycare, and I needed to get her a winter coat, and while I was there, I would get her two snowsuits; one that she can bring to daycare and another for home. Shopping for those snowsuits caused a panic attack and a very embarrassing “young Karen” moment in Barnes and Noble. She did not put that snowsuit on until Feb. 25.

Anyways, happy March! February was a bit of a whirlwind – I don’t really remember what happened much.

We celebrated our baby’s FIRST BIRTHDAY! Both of our family parties were a hit. After the celebrations, we returned to our regular, boring, parents of a toddler lives. We coordinated work schedules and triaged daycare drop-offs and pick-ups. We made meals and cleaned our kitchen and did laundry and fed our cats. We fixed our vacuum and put out the compost bin and brought down the recycling every other week. You know, normal things!

Nora had her one-year shots in February, which led to 2-3 weeks of fever, rash, irritability, etc. We’ve nursed a cold over the past 2 weeks (I have it now), and Ian just got back from a work trip in Puerto Rico. Now, it’s time for another month!

I’m happy to say that I read 6 books in February as well:

  • The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman
  • Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Finlay Donovan #3) by Elle Cosimano
  • The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty
  • Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades
  • Why I Wake Early: New Poems by Mary Oliver
  • Good Bones: Poems by Maggie Smith

What I’m up to this month

We’re already on the 5th day of March and I’m booked every weekend well into June. Spring is going to be a busy one, my friends, so I am soaking in the weekends when I have no plans and snuggling my baby and husband.

I started going back into the office 3 days a week (when we’re all not sick), so I’ve begun buying more work-appropriate clothes that fit my one-year postpartum bod. I’m happy to say that I am one pants size bigger than my pre-COVID size, so that’s a win. Exercise has been a luxury these days (I get in a groove and then I get sick and then I get in a lull until the cycle begins again), and my diet has been all over the place. But, what does my therapist say? Grace. Give yourself some goddamn grace, Kass.

So, grace it is. I’ll get there.

Work is extremely busy, which I like. Spring is going to be bananas when it comes to projects, supporting my accounts, and traveling for one of my clients, so, see ya in June! I’m super excited and it gives me a chance to buy more clothes and for that I say HOORAY!

What I’m currently reading

  • The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

What I’m watching

  • Parks and Rec (third time … best show ever)
  • Daisy Jones and The Six

What I’m listening to

  • New Paramore album on repeat
  • Sad girl winter playlist (Lizzy McAlpine, Phoebe Bridgers, Maggie Rogers, Maisie Peters, Gracie Abrams, Taylor Swift)
  • The 1975

Thanks for reading!

February Musings | I have a one-year-old?!

Happy February!

Somehow … I have a one-year-old daughter.

I’ve spent the last two weekends partying it up and celebrating Nora’s first birthday. When it comes to a baby’s first birthday, it’s also a celebration for the parents. You literally kept a little human alive for a year while simultaneously keeping yourselves alive, staying employed, feeding your pets, cleaning your house … jeesh. It’s really an accomplishment. I plan on writing a much longer year-in-review post where I talk about postpartum, what I’ve learned, etc., but let’s keep these musings posts for what they are intended for. Musings.

So. January was a blur and lasted forever all at once. We were winding down from the holiday season (we didn’t put away all of our Christmas decorations until last week .. oops) and just working and living our best mom and dad lives all January. I got to see a friend who was visiting from Germany (Hi, Cecilia!), and I went to Phoenix for work. OH! I got the worst stomach flu of my life … nothing too special.

Here’s what I read in January (I forgot two books in my wrap-up post)

  • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)
  • Adult Assembly Required (The Bookish Life of Nina Hill #2) by Abbi Waxman
  • Have I Told You This Already?: Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember by Lauren Graham
  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden
  • Bloodmarked (The Legendborn Cycle #2) by Tracy Deonn
  • The Winners (Beartown #3) by Fredrik Backman
  • Felicity: Poems by Mary Oliver

What am I up to this month?

Nora turned one on the 3rd, and it was the best day ever. We took the day off, got breakfast, went to a bakery, and just enjoyed the day as a family of three. Then, on Saturday, we hosted a big family/friends party. It was chaotic and fun and amazing all at once.

February is going to fly by. No big work trips this month, but work will be very busy and we will continue our daily grind of daycare drop-off, coordinating schedules, meetings, work, daycare pick-up, exercising and meals and cleaning and repeat. Whew! Never gets old!

What I’m reading

  • The Kingdom of Copper (by S.A. Chakraborty (The Daevabad Trilogy #2)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (bookclub!)
  • The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (another bookclub!)
  • Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun (Finlay Donovan #3) by Elle Cosimano

What I’m watching

  • Gilmore girls
  • Love is Blind … apparently, a new season is coming out this Friday!

What I’m listening to

  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy
  • We Can Do Hard Things
  • Midnights
  • Anything by Phoebe Bridgers
  • The Head and the Heart
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Metallica cover songs

January Wrap-Up

Goodness! What a month. January took forever …

I share more about my month in my February Musings, but here we are talking about books.

Like last year, I do not have an annual reading goal. Instead, I am looking at quality over quantity and just enjoying my favorite hobby. As a mother of a toddler, finding time to sit down and read can be rare, but I did a great job this month sneaking in pages where I could, whether it was on the couch before bed, on the treadmill or Peloton bike, or even up in the air (I traveled for work!)

I read 5 books in January. Here they are!

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)

I started this one in 2022 but finished it riiiiight before the worst stomach bug I’ve ever had plagued our household (thanks, daycare). This series came highly recommended, and I’m glad one of my good friends bought me a copy for my birthday. I was hooked from the very first page and immediately ordered the sequel once I finished.

This is certainly a book for well-seasoned fantasy readers. I love the storyline and the story world. I am also finding that I can read books where I do not particularly like the protagonists — something that I couldn’t handle before. I am well into the second book, and anticipate finishing it in February.

Adult Assembly Required (The Bookish Life of Nina Hill #2) by Abbi Waxman

Well…they can’t all be winners. The first thought that crossed my mind while reading this one was “did they publish this book by mistake before they were done editing it?” Felt like a first draft. Dialogue and love story was so corny and flat and just …. eeeeek *shudders* I’m glad I got this through Kindle Unlimited and didn’t pay for it.

Have I Told You This Already?: Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember by Lauren Graham

I love Lauren Graham, but this memoir wasn’t as memorable as her other one. Some of the essays were lighthearted and interesting, but others I just shrugged at or sped through (I did the audio through an advanced listener’s copy influencer partnership). Overall, meh.

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden

Um…Russian folklore is terrifying? This is definitely one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. MY ONLY COMPLAINT is that it’s very slow to start and then there is rapid movement at the end. I’m lucky to have the next two books on my bookshelf, so I plan on picking up the sequel very soon.

Bloodmarked (The Legendborn Cycle #2) by Tracy Deonn

Is it possible that I already found my favorite book that I read this year? Probably. I’m glad I gave Bloodmarked a chance because Legendborn didn’t really leave an impression on me. I felt like the world-building was confusing and plot points were rushed, etc. Bloodmarked, however, is a triumph. I loved every second of it.

What did you read in January? Share in the comments!