September wrap-up and October plans

I’m writing this early because I don’t expect to be finishing anything else before the end of the month, I’ve started Ancestral Night but I won’t have time to finish. Overall I read what I was hoping to read, and I’m pretty happy overall.

I DNF’d the Expanse (which had been on my “read this month” list for 2+ months) for multiple counts of misogyny and a case of “not interesting enough for me to bear through these boring, offensive points of view”. Other than that I enjoyed all that I read.

Some stats:

  • I’ve read 10 books in total, bringing my yearly read list to 89.
  • I’ve apparently read 2719 pages if we trust Storygraph on that count. I think some books did not have a page count there
  • It’s an average month for me
  • I read 3 audios, 6 ebooks and 1 paper book (and DNF’d 1 paper book too). That’s the most ebooks I’ve read since, like, last October (for reasons explained below)

I did read all the Hugo-nominated novellas as I’d planned, and I’ll tell you about them in another post, but here are the other books I read. I’ll tell you more about my October plans after!

Alice Payne Rides, by Kate Heartfield

I enjoyed the second book in this duology almost more than the first (which I talked about in the last recap). I reviewed them both in full here.

The Conductors, by Nicole Glover

A friend god this for me for my birthday! I carried it around for a bit and the black ink has bled, I think, but it still looks pretty cool! Now, this version somehow has typos all over inside (the consensus on twitter was that they might’ve printed the wrong version of the manuscript…) but the story itself was great: post-Civil War, former slave and Underground Railroad conductor Hetty, off to solve mysteries in her community! And did I mention there’s magic?

The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard

Listen, it’s not a secret by now that I enjoy Aliette’s work. I buddy-read this over August-September with Tessa, and it was fun. It’s not what I’m used to from this author, and I always find it weird to read English language books set in France, but I enjoyed especially her way to weave the intrigue, and the dragons and other imports from Vietnamese culture, and discussions of colonialisation.

No Gods, No Monsters, by Cadwell Turnbull

An intriguing urban fantasy mystery/thriller(?) about monsters and secret societies. A lot of harsh topics and an original way to lead a narrative, with multiple POVs and one omniscient narrator who’s also a character. It was fun! Full review here.

Scales and Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis

I’m writing the review for it at the moment so expect to hear more about this one. It’s all you want from a regency romance, including criticizing elite bullies a la Catherine de Burgh, but with added dragons and magic! who’s never wanted a pet dragon?

#OcTBRChallenge 2021

Last year I discovered OcTBR about a day or two before it was due to start. I had so many comics in ebook format, mostly from Humble Bundle, and I managed to read 30 books in total (some of them very short, to be fair) during that month. So I’m looking forward to do it again this year.

You can sign up on their website to receive emails about the challenge, or just tweet @OcTBRChallenge, or tag your tweets with #OcTBRChallenge so there’s many ways to participate.

What I want to do this year is to strike off my TBR some books that have been there for ages. Some are classics that I own from thrift stores, some have just been taking the dust on my shelves even though I want to read them because it’s never the right time, and some are ARCs that I’ve never gotten around to and the more time passes the more afraid I am to tackle them.
I’m making one exception: the ARC for The Caretakers by Nicole Glover, which is coming out in early October. It’s a follow up to The Conductors, and I did enjoy the first one despite the practical issues with my paper copy, so I’m looking forward to what happens next there.

As for the other books, I called it Do or Dump in my journal. I don’t want to be reading just to say I’ve read those, so I’m giving myself permission to DNF if I’m not convinced, but I do want to get through as many as possible.

If I get through these, I might also look at some dusty ebooks I’ve also had for ages from Humble Bundle, but that’s low priority.

Anyone else also doing OcTBR? Thinking of joining in?

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