April began with a delightful weekend of SFnal novellas for All Systems Read, which left me very focused for both hoovering up my reading list and tackling my review backlog. In other areas, April served up a reality check thanks to my beloved and his sense of humour: turns out some jigsaw puzzles really are absurdly hard and take days. SO MANY DAYS. Consider my patience well and truly tested.
I tackled April with a clearly-defined set of reading goals, and I shocked myself by remaining remarkably on-task (and knocking out the reviews in a timely manner, who even am I?). With a series of reads that pushed my comfort zones and challenged unexamined biases (although I guess we can consider them examined now), thank fuck for Murderbot is all I’ve got to say.
Outstanding read of the month – indeed, zooming into the top three reads of the year to date – was These Lifeless Things by Premee Mohamed, which is a spectacular novella that deserves your eyes, heart and brain. Go feed it. Go on now. It won’t hurt a bit.
- Bite-size Books:
- These Lifeless Things – Premee Mohamed ★★★★★
- Resistance – Mikhaeyla Kopievsky ★★★☆
- Rebellion – Mikhaeyla Kopievsky ★★☆
- The Dragon Republic – RF Kuang ★★★★
- Audio reads:
- Bookburners: Season Three – Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Andrea Phillips and Brian Francis Slattery ★★★☆
- Dark Heights: Season One – CD Miller ★★★☆
I have been focusing on my review backlog this month, honestly, I’m just saving most of them for Wyrd And Wonder. I’ve also had a month of agonising over star ratings. What even are stars? How many is enough? Why does 5/10 feel better than 2.5 stars? I don’t know, and I’m sorely tempted to do away with ratings (which won’t exactly be a big change given how little prominence I give them on reviews; it’ll just remove them from these monthly round-ups). The net result for now has been some tweaks up and down as my impressions have settled. But don’t be surprised if you don’t see stars around here for much longer.
- Bite-size Books: Advanced Triggernometry – Stark Holborn ★★★☆
Stacking the shelves
I went a whole week without acquiring any books, which isn’t quite a record but still came as a bit of a surprise (a good one, on balance; my acquisition has been outpacing my reading for a while).
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: 28 | DNFs: 2
- 4 off the shelf (i.e. not bought in 2021)
- 13 ARCs
- 9 bite-size (excl. short stories)
- 6 audio reads
Authors: 8 male (27%) / 16 female (53%) / 1 trans, enby or genderqueer (3%) + 5 collaborations (17%)
- Authors of colour: 9 (30%)
- LGBTQIA authors: 8 (27%)
- Non-US / UK based authors: 4 (13%)
BookSpin: 2 read | 1 WIP | 1 DNF
What’s coming up?
Wyrd And Wonder starts tomorrow, AAAAAAAH – I am, as always, wildly excited to see what our delightful party of bookworms will be reading and discussing as we revel in all things fantasy throughout May. You are very welcome to join us – there’s no minimum commitment, so you can read a single fantasy novel or write 31 blog posts or just bounce in and out of comments on Twitter or Instagram – Wyrd And Wonder is as big or small as you make it. You can expect wall to wall (although not daily) fantasy reviews, tags and shenanigans here at There’s Always Room For One More and I’ll be doing my best to complete the Wyrd And Wonder challenge over on Instagram.
How was your April?