I am managing my expectations for 2021, which started with me noticing on New Year’s Day that I had acquired a large and rather painful bruise on my knee: 2020’s final gift. It seems as good a metaphor as any for this year. In case I was hoping for better from 2021, I promptly head-butted a door handle. Yes, ridiculous household accidents are my superpower. At least I remember this one…
I got off to a slow start, partly because I became obsessed by Bookburners in the final week of 2020 and partly because I wanted to hammer out outstanding 2020 reviews before I got lost in a new read. This backfired, of course, resulting in me struggle to settle in to read anything for the first two weeks of January. Sadly, that put a stop to my plan to take part in Vintage SciFiMonth as by mid-month I had ARC deadlines coming due. Next year… On the plus side, my reading picked up in the last ten days of the month so it’s not a bad start to the year in the end!
- The Echo – James Smythe ★★★☆
- The Obsidian Tower – Melissa Caruso ★★★★
- The Forever Sea – Joshua Phillip Johnson ★★★★
- Bite-size Books: Fireheart Tiger – Aliette de Bodard ★★★★
- Audio reads:
- Bookburners – Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Amal El-Mohtar, Andrea Phillips and Brian Francis Slattery ★★★★★
- The Vela: Salvation – Ashley Poston, Maura Milan, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Sangu Mandanna ★★☆
My January BookSpin was Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy, which should have doubled as a Vintage SciFiMonth read. I struggled to settle into it; while I admire Piercy’s character choices, the downbeat tone and slow pace wasn’t what I was looking for this month. I’m keeping it on the back burner for now.
I kicked off the year with the second half of my Twelve Days of Bookmas: a round-up of overdue 2020 reviews. I didn’t quite manage a post per day in the end, but I did put a satisfying dent in my review backlog. We’ll see how long that lasts…
- Bite-size Books:
- The Empress of Salt and Fortune – Nghi Vo ★★★★☆
- Drowned Country – Emily Tesh ★★★★
- Series Shout-out: Witches of Lychford – Paul Cornell ★★★★
- Audio read: The Vela – Serial Box (written by Yoon Ha Lee, SL Huang, Rivers Solomon, Becky Chambers) ★★★☆
Stacking the shelves
New Year sales are the
bane delight of any bookworm, and the year got off to a strong start on the 2nd when Alix E Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches went on offer (I couldn’t resist The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, either, in spite of the mixed reviews). I also requested All The Exciting Things on NetGalley over Christmas; I’m taking it as a Good Sign for 2021 (rather than another confirmation that no, I never learn) that they have all been granted. Yay!
My goal – always – is to read diversely and to love every book. I decided not to set any particular targets for my reading this year – no Goodreads Challenge or even Game of Books – although I continue to monitor my reading mix.
Books completed: 6 | DNFs: 1
- 3 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2021)
- 2 ARCs
- 1 bite-size (excl. short stories)
- 2 audio reads
Authors: 2 male (28%) / 3 female (43%) / 0 trans, enby or genderqueer (0%) + 2 collaborations (29%)
- Authors of colour: 2 (28%)
- LGBTQIA authors: 3 (43%)
- Non-US / UK based authors: 1 (14%)
BookSpin: [1 WIP]
What’s coming up?
My birthday! Other than that, February promises to be a quiet month focused on reviewing new releases and reading down my backlist. We’re still locked down here in the UK, so I expect very few distractions.
How was your January?