February Redux: big decisions and too few books

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

February has been a big book haul month for me, but it’s been a dreadful reading month. I got distracted by some unplanned work re-insulating the house and a sudden flurry of work opportunities. So it’s been dashes to the DIY store and big decisions about my future; punctuated by a much-needed and rather extravagant weekend retreat to Scotland for my birthday.

Reading Round-up

Being overtired and stressed (having the house in uproar really unsettles me, quite apart from being very busy) didn’t make for a good reading month. I struggled to settle, and didn’t derive as much enjoyment as usual – but I think that was partly me, rather than the books (well, partly. I stand by that DNF).

  • Shadow Captain – Alastair Reynolds  ★★★★
  • The City in the Middle of the Night – Charlie Jane Anders  ★★☆
  • I Still Dream – James Smythe  ★★★★☆
  • Bitesize Books: The Vela – Serial Box

Plus a DNF for Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I gave up after 200 pages, which is – let’s face it – a significant percentage of a book by any other author. His writing just isn’t for me.

Review Round-up

It wasn’t a great month for reviewing either, as I didn’t have the mental space required. I managed to catch up on a few recent reads, but at this rate I’m going to need a plan for my backlog. Maybe it’s time for some microlit.

Stacking the shelves

The birthday bookshelf bloodbath was a joy. There has been much NetGalley and Edelweiss indulgence this year (stars help me, more review commitments. I CAN DO THIS), plus I was spoiled rotten by Titan Books and a Litsy bookswap! …and then I treated myself to Trail of Lightning and the gorgeous US edition of The Traitor Baru Cormorant (along with a subscription to Uncanny Magazine) as a birthday present. Good times. I consider it an effort of will and a test of character that I didn’t buy 3 volumes of Lady Trent on sale in Forbidden Planet this weekend, but I don’t promise not to sneak back next weekend to see if they’re still there…

Reading statistics

My goal – always – is to read diversely and to love every book. This year, I’m determined to read more books I own, but I am taking it one book at a time!

Books read: 10 / 75 | Game of Books: 62 / 400

  • 5 / 18 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2019)
  • 3 ARCs
  • 2 bite-size (excl. short stories)

Authors: 5 male (50%) / 4 female (40%) / 1 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (10%) + 0 group efforts

  • Authors of colour: 2 (20%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 2 (20%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 2 (20%)

I’m not including my progress in the Dancing With Fantasy and Sci-Fi reading challenge in my end of month Redux – watch out for separate posts with prompt suggestions and progress updates!

What have you been reading?