April Redux: life under lockdown

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

April started with an unexpected honour: I was invited to take part in WiFi SciFi and moderated my first panel! The rest of April has been much less exciting – gardening, baking, and a nostalgic visit to Baldur’s Gate. Sadly, my reading and blogging have slipped as my concentration is poor. I’ll keep trying…

WiFi SciFi

UK author Anne Corlett organised two WiFi SciFi mini-cons during April for those of us missing the spring conventions. Each event featured panels, kaffeeklatsch and a quiz – resulting in a sociable afternoon hanging out with our SFF friends. I only expected to help promote the proceedings, so I was delighted and terrified in equal measure when Anne invited me to moderate one of the panels. For those who couldn’t join the events, you can still enjoy recordings of the panels on YouTube:

Many thanks again to Anne for all the hard work putting the events together – and keep your eyes peeled, there’s rumours there may be more in future…

Reading Round-up

I had grand plans for April that involved a handful of ARCs as well as closing out two categories of my Subjective Chaos reading. Instead, I went days at a time without reading – not so much bouncing off books as not being compelled to read, or not managing more than a chapter at a time. Turns out global pandemics can be a bit distracting.

  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow  ★★★★★
  • Bite-size Books: Triggernometry – Stark Holborn  ★★★★
  • Devolution – Max Brooks  ★★★★
  • Goldilocks – Laura Lam  ★★★☆

Additional Reviews

Reviewing has suffered even more than reading this month, so just the one back review made it to screen. I did write two more, but for various reasons they have been rescheduled. I’ll accidentally written posts for June!

  • Throwback Thursday: Darkspell – Katharine Kerr  ★★★(★)

Stacking the shelves

I have no self-control, so the books are flying on to my shelves far faster than I’m reading them. In my defence, I thought I already had copies of The Ruin of Kings and Wanderers, so this is just reality catching up, right?

In addition to this lot there’s The Black Coast by Mike Brooks, but that doesn’t have a cover yet! Who needs a cover when you have war dragons?

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. Amazingly, I seem to be on track for both Goodreads and my Game of Books challenges (April may have been messy, but 2020 got off to a strong reading start).

Books read: 25 / 70 | Game of Books: 207 / 600

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

Authors: 9 male (36%) / 13 female (52%) / 3 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (12%)

  • Authors of colour: 3 (12%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 8 (32%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 3 (12%) 


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 6 for the April #BookSpin challenge – which was Burial Rites by Hannah Kent for me. I’ve been longing to read this Icelandic historical drama forever, but this was not the month for it, so it remains unread. One day…

My goal was to make it halfway through the alphabet this month because yay progress – which I’ve not quite managed in the end. My LitsyAtoZ challenge (hosted by BookishMarginalia) now stands as follows:

Letters completed: 12 | B, C, D, E, F, G, H, L, O, S, T, W

Still, that’s not bad for being just 4 months into the year, so I’m not worried. I was tempted to make my next goal the first half of the alphabet, but the letter I is likely to hang out almost as long as X before I mop it up – I have a couple of candidates on my TBR, but nothing I’ll be rushing into.

What’s coming up?

Wyrd and Wonder starts tomorrow! We’re saddled up and ready to ride the length and breadth of the fantasy realms for another May. Today is your last chance to enter the competition to win our first Quest Reward: winner’s choice of The Goblin EmperorThe Bone Ships or The Library of the Unwritten. Be sure to sign up before midnight PST tonight and get involved in the first week of festivities.

How was your April?