October Redux: chilling with chillers

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

October began with a holiday in my favourite place (Scotland) and ended with Spooktastic Reads, so fair to say it was a hit from start to finish. However, it included far less reading (and reviewing) than I anticipated – seems I’ve been more burnt out than I really wanted to acknowledge.

Reading Round-up

Mid-October and I was sagging as my chosen Spooktastic Reads weren’t all I’d hoped. Then I read Hold Back The Tide by Melinda Salisbury on a whim and ye gods and little monsters it saved the month. It’s a devastating YA horror with a brave heroine, her two cinnamon roll boys, and a mountain loch full of nightmares. Great stuff.

  • Kushiel’s Dart – Jacqueline Carey  ★★★★☆
  • Phoenix Extravagant – Yoon Ha Lee  ★★★☆
  • Zone One – Colston Whitehead  ★★☆
  • The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson  ★★★
  • Hold Back The Tide – Melinda Salisbury  ★★★★☆
  • AudioRead: Orphan Black – The Next Chapter (Season One) – Malka Older, Madeline Ashby, Mishell Baker et al  ★★★★☆

Additional Reviews

Having fallen behind in September, I began October with a review backlog that is rapidly turning into a log jam. Having ruthlessly focused on ARC reviews, I’ve nearly got my NetGalley score back to 80% (until I next let myself look at the catalogue…), so there’s that! We just won’t talk about non-ARC review status, okay?

Stacking the shelves

Amazon snuck into my inbox at the start of the month with a dastardly offer to give me book credit if I bought some books. Do I look like the sort of bookworm who can resist that sort of thing? Quite. Do I also look like the sort of bookworm who got distracted, didn’t spend the target amount in time and so didn’t get the credit? Yes, well. No regrets, I’m very excited about these books!

I also couldn’t resist pre-ordering the next season of Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, or the final Lychford novella and the final Wayfarers book. Faves will be faves.

Reading statistics

My goal – always – is to read diversely and to love every book.

Books read: 54 / 70 | Game of Books: 449 / 600

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

Authors: 13 male (24%) / 36 female (67%) / 4 trans, non-binary or genderfluid (7%) + 1 collaboration (2%)

  • Authors of colour: 16 (30%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 16 (30%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 9 (17%)

Litsy A to Z

October has been on my Litsy A to Z since January – because a need to read a book beginning with Z was always going to combine perfectly with Spooktastic Reads. My goal for October was 2 letters, which I managed (with gritted teeth; looking at you Zone One), so I now stand at:

Letters completed: 19 | A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Z

…so that’s pretty much the toughest letters of the alphabet left to crack with 2 months to go. Based on what I have on my shelves plus a hastily-researched X that looks entertaining, my TBR is:

  • I is for Infomocracy by Malka Older
  • J is for The Just City by Jo Walton
  • N is for Nova by Samuel R Delany (I have a stack of options, but this seems like the perfect excuse to finally read Delany)
  • Q is for The Quantum Magician by Derek Kunsken or The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton
  • V is for Velocity Weapon by Megan O’Keefe
  • X is for The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
  • Y is for The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Got a better idea? I’m open to recommendations!

What’s coming up?

#SciFiMonth: 1-30 November 2020

A month of nonstop scifi geekery starts tomorrow as SciFiMonth disrupts the timeline to explore all possible futures. As usual, I’ll be accompanied by my excellent co-host Lisa of Dear Geek Place and the best crew in the blogosphere – and you, if you’d care to sign on!

How was your October?