June Redux: take a breath

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

I devoted June to revisiting Dominion of the Fallen and catching up on the works of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which bought me time to catch up on a few overdue reviews and made me as happy as a pig in mud. Which I’ll take, as the world is otherwise an overwhelming trashfire.

In other hobbies, there are weekly culinary adventures. Getting a subscription Oddbox of random vegetables means needing to cook our way out from under it before it goes off (because THE GUILT if you fail to use up reject vegetables is acute, let me tell you), so we have rediscovered our love of fruit salad, potato salad and baba ganoush. I’ve even got some pickling going on.

Reading Round-up

  • Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia  ★★★
  • Dominion of the Fallen – Aliette de Bodard  ★★★★
  • Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia ★★★★

Additional Reviews

I finished May with a stack of outstanding reviews piled up, having really struggled to pull words together recently. I swore I’d sort that out in June – and thanks to a focus on rereads I won myself some breathing space. However, other things have intervened and my deficit still stands at 7, although half of them are half-drafted! Still, safe to assume I’ll be fretting about this through July.

Stacking the shelves

I was more restrained this month, although I wasn’t going to hold back from using my buying power to boost some black authors given everything going on right now. Then in a weird kink of synchronicity, I discovered that The Hair Carpet Weavers is getting a rerelease (having not thought about it for years until a recent Top Ten Tuesday) and promptly requested an ARC.

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: 36 / 70 | Game of Books: 302 / 600

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

Authors: 10 male (28%) / 23 female (64%) / 3 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (8%)

  • Authors of colour: 11 (31%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 13 (36%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 7 (19%) 


First up, the LitsyAtoZ challenge hosted by BookishMarginalia! Given my Dominion of the Fallen focus (and my rule that rereads don’t count) it was just one additional letter this month, so my score stands as follows:

Letters completed: 15 | B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, O, R, S, T, W

I have an overwhelming urge to read a book beginning with A next month just to tidy up the beginning of the alphabet…

My 20 15 Books of Summer score stands at 3 – while I declared my intention to reread the Dominion of the Fallen over the summer, only the first-time reads count for this challenge. I was hoping to squeeze in one more read this month, but I haven’t so the bar is now set quite high for the rest of the summer.

…on the plus side, I’ve now completed two series for my Great Series Read project – the Books of Ambha duology (last month) and now the Dominion of the Fallen. Here’s to accidentally crossing off another next month, maybe?

What’s coming up?

July will see us announce the finalists in each category for this year’s Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards – right now, it feels like every category is wide open, so I’m very excited to see how this shapes my reading for the rest of the summer.

I have no specific plans for July beyond paddling along with reads, reviews, running and domestic pursuits in my ongoing efforts not to let 2020 get the better of me.

How was your June?