February 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

In February I took a hard look at my TBR and the books I’ve been putting off reading – often for years. This led to an impromptu purge of several books. Honestly, if I have had a book on my shelf for over 10 years and still haven’t read it yet then it’s probably time to admit I never will. I also pulled out a few books as priority reads, if I don’t read them in the next 3 months, they will also go into the purge pile. Once that was done, I set aside time to actually read some books. This February 2023 Reading Wrap-Up goes over the books I read during the month along with a mini review for each.

February 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike

This book was picked up completely by chance. I was looking for an audiobook set in the medieval era and this was one of the first ones to pop up in my library search. I’m glad that it did because this book was fantastic. Set in the 6th century in Scotland, the story follows Languoreth, through several years of her life – starting with her childhood years and going into adulthood. She is of the old ways but her world and the world around her are quickly changing. While the focus is on Languoreth, a big part of the book also settles around her twin brother Lailoken. These two have a strong bond and it shows throughout the book. Signe Pike does a fantastic job of bringing raw emotion into the story, and the narrator, Toni Frutin, did a wonderful job of bringing that emotion to the surface and having the reader truly feel Languoreth’s sorrow and joy throughout.

I was completely drawn into the book from the beginning and it’s probably one of my favorite historical fiction reads. I really look forward to continuing with this series and seeing what becomes of Languoreth.

Maul Lockdown by Joe Schreiber

As I continue to work through reading all of the Star Wars Legends books, Maul Lockdown was up next. I had actually read this book when it first came out but didn’t remember much from it. Despite having enjoyed this book the first time through, this time I struggled to get into it. I’ve found it difficult to enjoy Star Wars books lately and wonder if I should abandon the entire series. I honestly don’t remember much about this one. It does put Maul in an interesting situation, that he isn’t supposed to use the Force while on this mission for Darth Sidious, but other than that, I couldn’t tell you what happens.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Vol. 16 by Kore Yamazaki

The one issue I have with this series is that I often forget what had previously happened, so I feel lost when the next volume comes out. Such is the case with volume 16. This is the downside to leaving year-long gaps between reading volumes. Once I backread a bit in the previous volume I was able to properly dive in. Despite a decent amount happening in this volume, the story does feel slow and it’s not until the end does it pick up and then the end was there. I feel like this is a series that is best read as a whole instead of in small individual chunks from each volume.

Komi Can’t Communicate Vol. 21 by Tomohito Oda

This was a fun little volume covering New Year’s and a school trip. After a few volumes that felt lackluster compared to the beginning of the series, I’m really enjoying it once more. The exercise montage with Komi and Rumiko was quite funny. Seeing Rei again was nice, especially since it ties into the school trip and highlights how far she and Komi have come since they were last together. I look forward to the next volume.

My Happy Marriage Vol. 1 by Akumi Agitogi

I picked this one up after heading it was getting an anime adaptation. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of it before then. The story did start off slow but steadily picked up. Watching Miyo navigate the cruel world of her family made me sympathetic to her. Her life hasn’t been easy and even when she goes to be with Kiyoka it’s not an easy transition. However, watching her come out of her shell at her new home and grow as a character was a big highlight of the book. I really liked Kiyoka and Yurie. They both showed concern for Miyo and helped to push her to be her own person. I really look forward to seeing where the story goes from here and eventually watching the anime as well.

I will say, the book did give off some Cinderella vibes, what with Miyo being forced into servitude by her family but beyond that, it didn’t have a lot of resemblance to that story.

New Age by Nicolette Fuller

I’m not sure what to say about this one. I liked it but I felt it was flat in some respects. Post-apocalyptic books aren’t something I read very often but I do like the concept of them. There were times when I was really enjoying the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened next and then other times when it felt subpar. The extreme manipulation of the main characters, especially Hokura felt excessive – though it did make sense given the situation. I do feel like this series has the potential to get better with time so I will read the next book at some point.

The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry by David Musgrove & Michael Lewis

I’ve had an interest in medieval history for some time and when I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. I had heard of the Bayeux Tapestry before, yet I knew very little of it. This book breaks down each section of the tapestry, which ironically enough isn’t an actual tapestry, and tells the story of what each of these panels tells. Of course, the tapestry is quite old and has very little writing on it, so a lot of the scenes are up to interpretation by scholars – many of whom do not fully agree on what each segment depicts. However, there is no doubt that it does chronicle the Norman conquest of England. When comparing the images shown with other historical records, many pieces can be solved. While much is still not fully understood about the Bayeux Tapestry, including who commissioned its making, I did learn a lot by reading this book.

40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead by David Toht

As someone interested in homesteading, I am always on the lookout for more resources on learning skills. This book has quite a few great projects that many homesteaders would need to be able to build or maintain themselves. A lot of the projects are focused on bigger structures, such as sheds, chicken coops, and goat barns, which require a bit more building know-how than other projects. However, it is helpful for knowing what to expect when you are building a homestead from scratch and are looking to do as much of the work yourself as you can. This is certainly a helpful guide to get these projects done along with some smaller ones like building raised beds and some basics with plumbing and wiring.

The Rugged Life by Clint Emerson

I had initially been excited about this book. It sounds right up my alley. However, I would quickly realize it wasn’t very good. The first chapter or so was fine, taking the time to define homesteading while also claiming this “rugged life” wasn’t restricted to people with acres to grow on, that it could, in fact, be done by anyone anywhere. This I agreed with, even if you live in an apartment, you can do your type of homesteading – growing a few plants on your balcony and making meals from scratch. But as I read on, the information given was terrible. I don’t think the author did much or any research on most of the subjects. The information about raising and breeding animals was horribly wrong, to the point, it would be to the detriment of the animal and homesteader. Further on he talks about foraging, especially mushroom foraging, and I am terrified to think how wrong that section is when looking back on the animal section.

If you have considered reading this book as a way to get into homesteading or increase your skills, I beg you to avoid it at all costs. This book is setting you up for failure in far too many ways.

February 2023 reading wrap-up stats

  • Books read: 9
  • Books purchased: 9
  • Books purged: 12
  • Books DNF’d: 1

I hope you enjoyed my February 2023 Reading Wrap-Up. What books did you read this month?

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