July Redux: the sound of screaming

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

July has been wall to wall work, with interludes of Oh My Word It’s Hot, emergency furniture shopping, and a long weekend splashing about with my nieces and nephews out-law. I’m looking forward to my August interlude: my first Worldcon! But first: more work.

It’s likely to be very quiet round here on the review and regular post side through August, until the next phase of the project I’m working on is complete. However, there will be some exciting news to share over the next few weeks so I won’t be totally disappearing!

Reading Round-up

There’s been a lot of screaming this month, mostly induced by books. Because oh my word, there have been some excellent ones. The first half of the month was wall to wall ALL CAPS FEELINGS, from El-Mohtar and Gladstone’s poetic romance to Kowal’s feminist alternate history (I AM RUINED) and the devastating climax of The Bitter Twins read-along. I limped to the end of the month on novellas, because I was all wrung out.

  • This Is How You Lose The Time War – Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone  ★★★★☆
  • The Calculating Stars – Mary Robinette Kowal  ★★★★★
  • The Bitter Twins – Jen Williams  ★★★★☆
  • The Psychology of Time Travel – Kate Mascarenhas  ★★★
  • Bite-size Books:
    • The Survival of Molly Southbourne – Tade Thompson  ★★★☆
    • The Tea Master and the Detective – Aliette de Bodard  ★★★★
    • Penric’s Demon – Lois McMaster Bujold  ★★★
  • Shadows of the Short Days – Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson [DNF]
  • Jade City – Fonda Lee [DNF]

Two DNFs this month for two imaginative urban fantasies that weren’t for me. Those with more stomach for utterly hateful POV characters will find a fabulous Icelandic setting in Shadows of the Short Days; those enjoy mob stories may adore Jade City‘s wuxia take on warring gangs. Sadly, just not my cup of tea.

Review Round-up

Work still isn’t leaving much time for blogging at the moment, so just the one backlog review this month:

Stacking the shelves

I, uh, got very overtired and rather emotional to the point where I couldn’t even decide what to read. Making NetGalley requests and buying a lot of novellas was the obvious thing to do about it. I have no regrets (and I don’t even feel guilty, really. Yay, novellas!). I should probably feel slightly guilty about the sheer volume this month but I’m going to stick with being excited about all the things I’ve got to read this autumn. I don’t feel guilty. Just indulgent. Yum.

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: 42 / 75 | Game of Books: 245 / 400

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

Authors: 13 male (31%) / 26 female (62%) / 2 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (5%) and 1 collaboration

  • Authors of colour: 9 (21%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 12 (29%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 3 (7%)

9/20 Books of Summer

Still looking more like I’ll hit 15 than 20, as I’ve only made so much progress due to reading novellas this month. I have some ARCs lined up for August, so shall be back to a more sedate pace (not least because so much busy on all fronts will continue eating into my reading and blogging time!)

What else is going on?


Ahem. Sorry, I’m a bit over-excited.

In other news: we are planning to finish our Winnowing Flame read-along by tackling  The Poison Song in September, so keep an eye on @SFFreadalongs for more details.

Last but not least, Lisa, Jorie and I are also planning our annual autumn blogstravaganzas! Spooktastic Reads will be back for the last 13 days of October, and SciFiMonth will be back in November – watch out for sign up posts coming very very soon…