August Redux: good reading weather

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

August has historically seen me hit a book slump, but this year I got that out of the way in July. The month started out hot and humid, perfect for finding a cool spot to read rather than doing anything more strenuous – and ended up cool enough to want to snuggle up under a blanket with a book. I set to on Subjective Chaos finalists and ARCs – and discovered the joy of audiobooks on walks and whilst cooking. Why didn’t I ever try this before?

Reading Round-up

  • Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir  ★★★★☆
  • David Mogo, Godhunter – Suyi Davies Okungbowa  ★★★
  • The Doors of Eden – Adrian Tchaikovsky  ★★★☆
  • The Empire of Gold – S A Chakraborty  ★★★★
  • The Migration – Helen Marshall  ★★★
  • Bitesize Books: Drowned Country – Emily Tesh  ★★★★

Additional Reviews

Much to my own shock, I cleared my review backlog. It’s a weird feeling, folks. Shh, yes, that’s partly because I’ve started giving my permission not to review every read (I will always review ARCs, but bought and borrowed books take lower priority and may only get a few words on Storygraph etc). Regardless, you’ll keep seeing additional reviews listed separately each month end as I don’t always post my review the same month I read the book.

Stacking the shelves

Erm, yes, well. I stacked. One is a new release that had an irresistible offer; another has been on my wishlist forever and I stopped putting up a fight. One is entirely your fault, Wyrd & Wonder crew, and I hope you have no regrets. Several are sequels I am excited for (including The Vela, HOORAY for Serial Box – now can we have Born To The Blade Season Two please pretty please?). And of course Goldsboro Books sent me my monthly box of joy.

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: 46 / 70 | Game of Books: 387 / 600

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

Authors: 12 male (26%) / 31 female (67%) / 3 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (7%)

  • Authors of colour: 14 (30%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 14 (30%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 9 (20%) 


August saw very little progress on the LitsyAtoZ challenge hosted by BookishMarginalia (look at my commitment to reading books that begin with the letter D. Or G. So committed). Consequently, I still stand at:

Letters completed: 16 | A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, O, R, S, T, W

With my Subjective Chaos reading complete, I’ll have to get my reading focused on those elusive mid- and end-alphabet letters… Unexpectedly – because 85% of my outstanding ARCs start with a letter I’ve already read – I have two commitments in September that tick off new letters, so that’s something at least.

I close my 15 Books of Summer at 13 – so not a great showing from me this year, but it’s been a tricky summer and I did at least complete the Dominion of the Fallen, which makes me very happy. Plus with The Empire of Gold I got to tick a series off my Great Series Read Project for the second month running!

This is the point in the year where I can finally consider tackling the challenge I set myself, and pick up some backlist SFF by women. Unfortunately, it’s also the point where I really just want to read on whim rather than to order, so that may not happen. Consequently, I’m going to pop this challenge back on the shelf for now and dust it off in January as a goal for 2021. If I accidentally read a few and score a bingo (I certainly won’t be clearing the whole card), I’ll consider that a bonus.

What’s coming up?

First up, we’ll be announcing our Subjective Chaos Kind of Award winners next weekend! It has been a helluva tough decision this year, with feisty if good-hearted debates (after all, they’re all worthy winners).

The Kushiel’s Dart Read As Thou Wilt read-along commences this week. This is the usual low-stakes Wyrd and Wonder approach to read-alongs, where you can blog along each week or just read to your own speed and swing by the comments. I’ll be hosting the first week’s discussion this Thursday.

While I don’t want to wish the autumn away – it’s one of my favourite times of year – it’s just seven weeks until Spooktastic Reads, our annual Wyrd and Wonder celebration of dark fantasy in the thirteen days (obvs) leading up to Hallowe’en. Will you step into the shadows with us this year?

And – I know, I know, not wishing autumn away – sign up opens for this year’s SciFiMonth blogstravaganza tomorrow!

How was your August?