February Redux: much books, good

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

I will never outgrow my love of snow (as I don’t live in a place where we get much of it) so a cold snap and my birthday delivered much glee this month. As it seems I’m getting too old for that much excitement, the second half of the month was spent mostly exhausted, which was at least a solid excuse to just curl up and read.

Reading Round-up

While I feel I’m reading more slowly than usual at the moment (this isn’t true; I’ve just read longer books and juggled them with a big read-along), February was a consistently excellent month for reading quality. I also seem getting more reviews written (if not necessarily published) recently; either reading ARCs keeps me honest or my New Year detox worked!

  • The Edge – James Smythe ★★★★
  • The Black Coast – Mike Brooks ★★★★
  • Call of the Bone Ships – RJ Barker ★★★★
  • Bite-size Books:
    • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho ★★★★
    • Ring Shout – P Djèlí Clark ★★★★☆
  • Audio reads:
    • Bookburners: Season Two – Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Amal El-Mohtar, Andrea Phillips and Brian Francis Slattery ★★★★☆
    • Born to the Blade – Michael R Underwood, Marie Brennan, Malka Older, and Cassandra Khaw ★★★★

One DNF this month: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, which did absolutely nothing for me. I yawned through the opening act, then called it a day – too many other exciting titles are calling to me.

Additional Reviews

  • Bite-size Books: Fireheart Tiger – Aliette de Bodard ★★★★
  • Audio read: The Vela: Salvation – Ashley Poston, Maura Milan, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Sangu Mandanna  ★★☆

Stacking the shelves

Hey, it was my birthday – there were always going to be some books involved…

Reading statistics

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.

I had an unfamiliar moment mid-month when I realised I’d only read books written by men, a deliberately rare occurrence these days. The timely arrival of A Desolation Called Peace in the post and a quick switch out of my novella pick got me back to a more balanced diet.

Books completed: 13 | DNFs: 2

  • 3 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2021)
  • 5 ARCs
  • 3 bite-size (excl. short stories)
  • 4 audio reads

Authors: 7 male (47%) / 4 female (27%) / 0 trans, enby or genderqueer (0%) + 4 collaborations (27%)

  • Authors of colour: 5 (33%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 4 (29%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 1 (7%)

BookSpin: 1 WIP | 1 DNF

What’s coming up?

Having made a commitment not to make any reading commitments this year, I couldn’t – in the end – turn my back on the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards. I love being part of this panel and (as usual) I’m wildly excited about our 2021 panel and shortlist. I am limiting the number of categories I adjudicate in the first round as a gesture to that whole ‘not making commitments, honestly’ thing. So, next up I’ll be adding those nominees to my reading rotation. What nominees. I’m glad you asked. Check out our shortlist.

With March upon us (2021 seems to be moving along a whole lot faster than 2020), watch out for regular reading event updates – our SciFiMonth reading weekender #AllSystemsRead is coming up at Easter and May will once again be a month of Wyrd and Wonder. Come celebrate your favourite genres with us!

How was your February?