July was going to be my month of reading and reviewing all the books, as I had two weeks off. Instead, it turned into an unexpected reading slump and blogging hiatus as the heat dialled up and going away meant getting an awful lot of real-world things done ahead of time. Our trip to the Highlands meant we escaped the worst of the heatwave, although sadly we had to come back a day early following a confirmed close contact / self-isolation ping. Pandemics, eh.

June means Pride and as I had few rigid reading commitments, I indulged in mood reading focused on queer characters. I immediately dived into space opera, which made me so happy I clearly need to balance my recently fantasy-dominated reading diet back out. I’ve loved my fantasy this year (and my fantasy read this month will make my Best of 2021 lists for sure) …but I’ve missed my spaceships.

May is always a joy because it’s Wyrd and Wonder. I started out with big ambitions, but had to dial back posts and social media activity due to a lingering migraine that bit whenever I spent too much time staring at a screen (dammit). I persevered with tree editions (paper doesn’t glare) for some quiet reading in dim rooms, until my brain shut me down with a reading slump. Tch, I can take a hint brain. Well, sometimes.

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 am managing my expectations for 2021, which started with me noticing on New Year’s Day that I had acquired a large and rather painful bruise on my knee: 2020’s final gift. It seems as good a metaphor as any for this year. In case I was hoping for better from 2021, I promptly head-butted a door handle. Yes, ridiculous household accidents are my superpower. At least I remember this one…

August has historically seen me hit a book slump, but this year I got that out of the way in July. The month started out hot and humid, perfect for finding a cool spot to read rather than doing anything more strenuous – and ended up cool enough to want to snuggle up under a blanket with a book. I set to on Subjective Chaos finalists and ARCs – and discovered the joy of audiobooks on walks and whilst cooking. Why didn’t I ever try this before?