March Redux: world narrowing

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

I spent half of March in Dublin (yes, I’ve spent a lot of time in Dublin recently – good food, good craic, and a successful project deployment, hooray) and half of it enjoying my glorious new home office set-up and trying not to panic about the coronapocalypse. About which the less said the better. Stay safe, friends.

Reading Round-up

March was the month I swore I’d make a start on my Subjective Chaos commitments and promptly got tangled in the sticky web of Children of Time and stopped making any progress. To all of you who said you hated or feared spiders but loved this book: lucky, lucky you. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse for my phobias, a person got eaten from the inside by an enormous ant. GAH. Look, there’s a reason I’ve avoided Tchaikovsky’s books. He’s a lovely chap who I will cheerfully support because he’s a damn fine writer, but his work is Not For Me (although I have two three of his books on my shelf, so apparently I’ll be reading some more anyway. Send tea).

  • Darkspell – Katharine Kerr  ★★★(★)
  • Bitesize Books: Silver in the Wood – Emily Tesh  ★★★★★
  • Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky  ★★★(★)
  • Lexicon – Max Barry  ★★★★
  • The Deep – Rivers Solomon  ★★★★
  • We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff – Isabel Waidner  ★
  • Dawnspell – Katharine Kerr  ★★★☆

Sadly The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi was a DNF for me – while I was hoping it would tick the box for light, diverting entertainment, I was underwhelmed by, well, most of it so I tapped out before it started actively irritating me. I’d done enough gritting of teeth to deal with the bloody spiders.

Additional Reviews

I made some foolish remark last month about how I might close my review backlog in March and I’m only half a review short (although they’re not all published yet). So I guess lockdown is good for something (I’ve also caught up a shocking amount of life admin). Of course, now I’ve got a new review backlog of March reads… but that’s okay.

Stacking the shelves

This month started out with the intention of just acquiring Subjective Chaos nominees, but well you know how I am with temptation and opportunity… I’ve ended the month being sent a copy of Empire of Gold by S A Chakraborty so excuse me, I need to go dance around the kitchen screaming happily.

Reading statistics

My goal – always – is to read diversely and to love every book. This year, I’m also planning to read more backlist. I have joined some challenges, but this year they’re more about fun and helping me pick my next read than pushing me to read specific things.

Books read: 21 / 70 | Game of Books: 178 / 600

  • 6 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2020)
  • 6 ARCs
  • 7 bite-size (excl. short stories)

Authors: 8 male (38%) / 11 female (52%) / 2 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (10%)

  • Authors of colour: 3 (14%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 6 (28%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 3 (14%)


Nope, still haven’t started my Contrition of a Bad SF Fan Backlist Bingo challenge. Shhh. This one is on the back burner until after Subjective Chaos. And as I’m doing so well at challenges (ahem) I’ve joined the Great Series Read Project too!

TheAromaOfBooks selected the number 20 for the March #BookSpin challenge – which meant Lexicon by Max Barry for me. A thriller where words are weapons and poets are spies? Yes, of course I read it.

My reading remains focused on books that begin with the same letters (WHAT IS GOING ON), but I managed to cross a couple more letters off my LitsyAtoZ challenge (hosted by BookishMarginalia). At this rate, the first letter of the title is about to become a Thing when I consider what to read next…

Letters completed: 11 | B, C, D, E, F, H, L, O, S, T, W

What’s coming up?

I have finally started tackling the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards nominees. Chaos as usual: I changed my mind on what categories I would read in this first round, and am now halfway through the novella and fantasy shortlists. I am still keen to tackle series too, although it remains to be seen just how much reading I manage to get done as I’ve definitely struggled with concentration.

Have you signed up for Wyrd and Wonder yet? We’ll be back in May for another month of celebrating the fantasy genre in across as many forms and media as our adventurers fancy! Sign up before May 1st and contribute a post during the first week to have a chance at winning our first Quest Reward: winner’s choice of The Goblin EmperorThe Bone Ships or The Library of the Unwritten. Need some inspiration? Here are some content suggestions.

Last but not least I got tempted into a new project by the delightful Anne Corlett, who has come with an exciting proposition to keep us all entertained whilst housebound. Watch this space – we’ll be taking the wraps off any day!

How has March treated you?