February has been a big book haul month for me, but it’s been a dreadful reading month. I got distracted by some unplanned work re-insulating the house and a sudden flurry of work opportunities. So it’s been dashes to the DIY store and big decisions about my future; punctuated by a much-needed and rather extravagant weekend retreat to Scotland for my birthday.

I’ve had a slow start to 2019 as I’m still sorting out where I’ll be working this year, and UK politics is a shambles so who knows what context I’ll be working in. Instead, I’m having fun in the kitchen and allowing a little Marie Kondo into my life. I’m not watching the show, but I like asking whether things ‘spark joy’, although nowhere near my bookshelf (SO MUCH JOY SPARKING RIGHT THERE, EVERY TIME).

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.

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.

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)…