March Redux: delighted, distracted, and diminished

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

I slid off my review game in March, distracted first by Stardew Valley and then by chopping off part of my thumb one Thursday, which is as painful and inconvenient as it sounds (but thankfully didn’t involve a trip to A&E). The kicker? Not the first time I’ve done it. To that thumb. Sorry, thumb. Luckily, I don’t need 2 thumbs to read…

Reading Round-up

I didn’t get quite as much reading done as usual this month, but they were all amazing. A Desolation Called Peace is tremendous; there’s so much going on, and all of it targeted right at my reading heart. Kushiel’s Chosen is a sprawling romantic epic as idealised in places as it is dark in others, and always a joy to revisit. The Archive of the Forgotten and Advanced Triggernometry are solid entries in delightful series; while The Unbroken storms out the gates with its arms and its side-eye and I loved it from start to finish.

  • A Desolation Called Peace – Arkady Martine ★★★★★
  • Kushiel’s Chosen – Jacqueline Carey ★★★★☆
  • The Archive of the Forgotten – AJ Hackwith ★★★☆
  • The Unbroken – CL Clark ★★★★★
  • Bite-size Books: Advanced Triggernometry – Stark Holborn ★★★☆

I started Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley, but have laid it aside next to Woman On The Edge of Time as a book I want to finish but am struggling to engage with at the moment. Do take a look if you’re in the mood for introspective drama of personal conflicts in a community wrestling with its relationship with the outside world (…I just can’t read this except through a Brexit lens, and I cannot deal with that in fiction right now).

Additional Reviews

  • Audio read: Bookburners: Season Two – Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Amal El-Mohtar, Andrea Phillips and Brian Francis Slattery ★★★★☆

Stacking the shelves

I exercised some restraint this month.

…no, no I didn’t. I tried, but then review offers and the Gollanczfest deals got the better of me.

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.

Books completed: 18 | DNFs: 2

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

Authors: 7 male (35%) / 8 female (40%) / 1 trans, enby or genderqueer (5%) + 4 collaborations (20%)

  • Authors of colour: 6 (30%)
  • LGBTQIA authors: 7 (35%)
  • Non-US / UK based authors: 1 (5%)

BookSpin: 1 read | 1 WIP | 1 DNF

What’s coming up?

It’s very nearly Easter, which means All Systems Read is nearly upon us! If you don’t have plans for the weekend, grab your unread scifi and curl up on the sofa with us to share reading progress and generally enthuse about the possibilities of fictional futures. And it’s only a month until Wyrd And Wonder – will you join our annual fantasy party?

How was your March?