June Redux: required reading

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

Recent months have been dominated by work, and June was sadly no different (so much for this being an ‘easy’ job, what was I thinking?). Blogging has taken a back seat to documentation, with reading a much-needed diversion and a chance to take a break from trying to craft words myself. Before I knew it, I’d had a little unplanned hiatus – and I have no regrets.

Reading Round-up

I started June with the urge to go off piste and read on a whim; and the duty to finish reading through shortlists before awards deadlines. It put some books at a disadvantage, although I don’t think there was ever any real chance I was going to enjoy David Levithan’s SFnal teen romance. 84K cut a bit too close to the bone for me to enjoy (thank you, Ms North, for pinning all my current near-future nightmares about Brexit) and – whilst it is magnificent in its extravagance – I didn’t like Space Opera even half as much as I would have done 20 years ago when I still actually enjoyed Douglas Adams.

Thankfully, Sue Burke and Martha Wells came to the rescue with thoughtfulness and stylistic restraint to get me back on track.

  • Another Day – David Levithan  ★★(★)
  • Semiosis – Sue Burke  ★★★☆
  • Space Opera – Catherynne Valente  ★★(★)
  • 84K – Claire North  ★★★
  • Bite-size Books:
    • The Freeze-Frame Revolution – Peters Watts  ★★★☆
    • All Systems Red – Martha Wells  ★★★★☆
    • Artificial Condition – Martha Wells  ★★★★

And now I am free and clear of obligation and can READ WHAT THE HELL I LIKE FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMER HELL YEAH. Specifically, my neglected ARCs and the amazing new releases due out over the next few weeks.

Review Round-up

There’s not been many reviews round here for a while, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon. I promise, they are coming back! However, given the real life pressure I’m under, I’m not going to commit to ‘catching up’ on writing long form reviews for everything I’ve read this year (unless I reread some of them, which I may) – or even to writing up everything I read for the next few months (although I will, of course, ensure I review any ARCs I read). Normal service will, eventually, be resumed.

That said, I found time to jot down some thoughts about one recent read:

  • Throwback Thursday: Vicious – V E Schwab  ★★★★

Stacking the shelves

This month has featured some offers I couldn’t resist that will help me fill in some gaps in my required reading, as well as Independent Bookshop Week. I was more than happy to buy books to support a good cause (especially when it was a gorgeous special edition from Goldsboro Books, YAS QUEEEEN).

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: 35 / 75 | Game of Books: 213 / 400

  • 6 / 22 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2019)
  • 9 ARCs / Hugo packet
  • 9 bite-size (excl. short stories)

Authors: 12 male (34%) / 21 female (60%) / 2 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (6%)

  • Authors of colour: 5 (14%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 11 (31%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 2 (6%)

4/20 Books of Summer

I’m off to a decent start: 3 out of 4 of the award nominees on my original TBR are now read (I’ll be picking up The Calculating Stars next month), plus a bonus novella as somehow I forgot to include Artificial Condition. I’m tracking a little behind as I’m not counting rereads towards my 20, but comfortably on track for 15.

What else is going on?

This month has been all about reading for Subjective Chaos and the Hugo awards. Amazingly, I got four categories completed for Subjective Chaos, which means I have very little further reading to do in the final round (phew). I think that means July can be utterly self-indulgent and I am SO EXCITED about reading whatever the hell I like!