November is SciFiMonth and this year has been EPIC. My heartfelt thanks and love to everyone who took part – it’s been an absolute blast from start to finish! I read fewer books than I hoped; I was having too much fun scanning the SciFiMonth feeds – and the life admin I put off last month demanded a fair bit of my attention. I’m still not done. But I’m still alive, so I guess it can take a bit longer? And first I better start drafting the final Mission Status of the year. Sniff.
Three years ago, I decided it was time to put a bit more structure around my reviewing – and stole the promise that ‘There’s always room for one more…‘ as the name of my new blog. When it comes to books (and reviews. And cake) there really, truly always is. Three years later, I remain very happy with my little corner of the bookblogosphere. I’m celebrating with a new look and a look back at what I’ve learnt…
No, no, nothing has gone wrong – it’s just Hallowe’en! I finished work at the start of the month, so I had a couple of weeks quietly freaking out over all the life admin I haven’t done in two years until I realised: it’s been two years. It can take a bit longer, right? RIGHT. So the past two weeks have been much more fun: a bread-making course, Bristolcon and now I’m on holiday in Italy drinking excellent hot chocolate. Feeling pampered? You bet.
I always suspected September would be a month too far in the tightrope of work vs well-being, and that pretty much panned out as expected. Exhaustion and headaches made for a short temper, a terrible attention span and less blogging than I would have liked, but thankfully didn’t completely curtail my reading. And I now get some time off, HOORAY!
At some point every summer, I hit a reading slump. This year, it was caused by an overseas trip too far (so tired, people. So tired) and an endless cascade of work deadlines (ongoing through the end of September); too much fun (Nine Worlds!) …and too much reading. I couldn’t keep up with my reviews, and that left me reluctant to pick up anything new until I caught up. I allowed myself a time out, so here’s to getting back on top of reviews and reading in the autumn.
It’s been a scorching hot summer so far, but thankfully the extra degrees haven’t interfered with my appetite for reading. In fact, July’s reading has been extensive, fuelled by daily London commutes, a long-haul flight back to the US mid-month and the 24 in 48 hour readathon! It’s been lovely to reach the end of assigned reading lists and read free-range – before I tackle my ARC backlog in August (probably)…
You’d think I’d have read quite enough fantasy by now after Wyrd and Wonder, but I was enjoying myself so much I’ve just kept going. However, reading to a list wore thin even though I left amazing books to read at end, so I needed a bit of light relief by mid-month. Thankfully a delightful avalanche of bookpost arrived just in time to help me out! Add in sunshine and some relief on the epic work-o-meter and June has been a good’un.
May has been that eye-watering combination of work hard play hard that stretches you too far, but has moments of pure joy. Work was a nightmare, but Wyrd and Wonder has been delightful – my only regret is that work (and a lapse in wifi whilst on holiday) meant I wasn’t able to stay fully engaged through the second half of the month. Still, I think our baby event did well for its first outing and I look forward to next year! Watch out for a wrap post this weekend.
Another busy month in meatspace, and while books gave me some much-needed respite, they were also a challenge in their own right. The month started off with a disappointing novella, then several excellent books that exhausted me in spite of their good points – so I took a step back from “I must read this now” for some shorter reads and books I just wanted to read. Erm, and then I read all the things. And a few more.
March has felt like a slow reading month, partly because it has been mostly work and little play, and partly because I’ve not enjoyed some of my reading as much as I’d like. I want comfort reads, and instead I have had reads I needed to work at, which hasn’t suited me at the end of a long day’s work. Cue some bouncing and frustration…
This month saw my 40th birthday (…going on 4 some days, and no plans to change), the announcement of the plan for Wyrd and Wonder and lots more Subjective Chaos reading! It’s been a great way to celebrate. The coming months are going to be very busy with work (and travelling for work), but I’m so excited about all these projects – expect to get regular updates!
I started the new year trying to catch up on the best of 2017’s novellas in preparation for the Subjective Chaos nominations, as well as signed for multiple read-alongs that I didn’t want to miss (although I ended up pulling out of Dune in the end: one commitment too many). Add in some more globetrotting, and I could do with a sit down, frankly. But I’ve got a lot read!
December has been tricky, as everything that’s been going on in meatspace this year caught up with me. My body gets snarky when I just put my head down and Keep On Keeping On, and it put its foot down about Stopping Now Thanks. This slowed my reading (hooray for comforting re-reads) and stopped me reviewing completely as my brain turned to jelly. I’ll be spending the next few weeks writing up those recent reads, as they’ve been amazing.
It with the usual combination of sadness (it’s OVER) and mild relief (I can read some fantasy!) that SciFi Month comes to an end for another year. I’ve not done as much reading or reviewing as I’d like, as the bits of me not eaten up by work got devoured by jetlag, and Gnomon is a doorstop – so expect a few more SF features to follow as I catch up! (along with a return to my beloved Tremontaine. Sorry, Duchess)
After the travails of September, October has been a bit surreal: all work, my first trip to Dublin, home for a lesson in butchery (that’s not a metaphor), and a lot more work. I’m back in the US for a couple of weeks, learning that yes, Hallowe’en makes me really uncomfortable… and getting really excited for SciFi Month starting tomorrow!