recap

June recap, half year wrap-up, July bingo

For this wrap-up since we’re now halfway through the year I will look quickly at my monthly reads, then my progress so far this year, before delving into my plans for July.

June wrap-up

June was such a great month for me! I actually read the most books out of any month this year so far, with 17 books read in total (and 3 DNFs).

2 of the read books were e-ARCs so I’m once again more or less on track with my netgalley shelf. On top of that I read another 3 ebooks. I’m still very far from my goal of reading 30 ebooks this year, but every single one counts!

I got to say, I read mostly audiobooks, and mostly books under 300 pages. Though, of the audios I read, it’s about half and half between over/under 8 hours. I’m really enjoying the new audio tracking features on The Storygraph that allows you to track how many hours of audio you’ve read, instead of counting those as pages!

So, for this month I’ve read over 2500 pages of paper/ebooks, and 55h of audiobooks! Not bad, if I say so myself!

Which brings me to…

Half Year Recap

Can’t believe the year’s half gone already!

Continue reading…

So what happened to (mer)May?

Just a quick update this time.

As usual, life got away from me. I had Big Plans for May, which included reading all the mermaid books I’ve accumulated, and more. I read about one and a half of that, and the only one I finished was a comicbook from the library. Dent made in my TBR? 0.

Part of it is that, as of the last post, I was still recovering from Covid. I was better, but still exhausted, and I found it hard to read any paper books, so I just gravitated towards rereading audiobooks. I finished my Murderbot reread, and read a few other novellas on Scribd, and left my paper books to collect dust – including some library books I’ve actually started.

I also was in no mood for ebooks (as usual) and quite busy with both work, and a bunch of medical appointments to reschedule and medical tests to do, and that has basically taken all my energy. As a result, I’ve read a few short books and comics, and that’s it. I did read 11 books in total, but 7 of those were in audio, and 6 were under 200 pages. 2 were comics.

And even then, I’m actually surprised I read this much.

For June, I’m actually cutting myself a break. I made a list for myself with like 3 ARCs I do need to read, and the rest is just “stuff I should finish, probably” and there’s no official TBR. Just taking things as they go. My hope is that I read some nice books that way, and I can focus on getting more posts and reviews out as well, and get the blog back to being active.

I’ve also got a week of holidays planned, which could be either great for my reading, or a disaster. And I’m officially taking part in Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA), as a panelist, so this will keep me busy reading too!

April Wrap-up and May Plans

Teal title card reading "April Wrap-Up" with flower ornaments around it.

Another late post, and the reason is… I caught covid and spent the last week being useless, doing nothing but blowing my nose, sleeping, and having insomnia (the irony, I know!) and brain fog. Even listening to an audiobook was hard, let alone write anything…

I’m on the mend though, and I want to get this out ASAP so I can focus on my May plans.

April was a pretty good month as things go, I read 14 books and close to 3500 pages! As always, a lot of audiobooks – and I cleared some old books from my TBR, that I own in ebook but found the audiobook for instead, so that really helped!

That said… I also blew up my budget by buying so many paper books, so while ebooks went down, paper and overall TBR went up… ah well, the curse of the book enthusiast I suppose!

Continue reading…

(February and) March wrapup

Teal coloured title card reading £March Wrap-Up" with flowery teal and purple ornaments above and below the title

So things got a little bit away from me there…

To give you a bit of context, I’ve been struggling with my health (yes, again, that’s the “chronic” part unfortunately, and it’s making me exhausted, and also depressed, so that’s a double whammy there) while having to restart work, and job searching for something better for both my sanity and my health. Oh, and I moved apartments! So, it’s been busy. And in the middle of all that, I kept thinking I needed to do a February wrapup, until it was mid-March and I thought, well… The same happened with reviews, where I’ve been postponing some so much that I just can’t think what I wanted to say anymore.

So here we are, March has just ended, I’m still in the same job, I’m still exhausted all the time… but on the plus side, I’ve read some cool books! I managed to finish the r/fantasy bingo, as you might have seen earlier this week. I’ve read some of my physical books, too, and a buttload of audiobooks because they help me get through stuff when I otherwise don’t have the spoons to focus.

Continue reading…

August recap and September plans

I can’t believe summer is getting to an end already! Here in Ireland we’re seeing Christmas foods coming up in the shops (I have a lot of thoughts about that!) so that totally changes the atmosphere…

What to say about August?

July was unusual in terms of how many books I read, so August has returned to a more “normal” month for me, with a total of 10 books finished (some may have been started a lot earlier…). I did also complete my original reading goal for 2021, as illustrated by this brightly coloured shelf in my notebook:

Yes, that’s a lot of fantasy books! I know!

I’ve pushed the goal to 100 books, which should be easily doable if I’m being honest – but I did 120 last year and it was pushing myself quite a bit, so 100 seems like a good balance. I may upgrade it again later.

Continue reading…

r/fantasy bingo progress report

As I announced previously, I’ve been trying to fill in my bingo card for the r/fantasy book bingo challenge. It runs from April to April, so we’re just about a third of the way through.

The bingo has 3 difficulty levels, normal mode, hard mode (which has a secondary prompt) and hero mode, in which you’re supposed to review all the books you read. I’m giving myself little stars ⭐for each level. I bought a reward star booklet specifically for this, so I’ve three colours.

You’re not supposed to use the same book twice, and ideally not the same author either. I’ve been penciling in titles so far, in the hopes of finding a title for each prompt that fills in all 3… but I’ve decided to start writing them in properly. Which of course, being an airhead, I could not do cleanly without mistakes… (yes I KNEW I wanted Lunis Aquaria for the self-pub one, I had it in pencil. But that’s another page, right? so I did not see it before I’d written it down for short stories…)

Then there’s prompts like “Backlist” (hard mode: published before 2000) where I’ve one book that fills the normal prompt and has a review, and one mode that fills the hard prompt but no review (and I don’t intend to review it)… So I’m still not sure how to deal with those. I went with normal+hard in my little star rating on the bingo card!

I still hope to find a Hard Mode title for some of the prompts so I’ve left them in pencil, and didn’t put in any stars on my card

I also have a smaller “spare card” as a backup because I do think maybe I’ll get extra lines with second books for certain prompts, but that’s really ambitious. So right now I’ve put the extra backlist star on it, as well as a normal mode star for Tram Car 015, on the Genre Mashup tile.

Really what this made me realise is 1) these 3 modes make it a lot more confusing than I thought 2) I am not so good at planning and being organized as I sometimes think I am.

The fact that you can’t repeat is also tricky. My new-to-me author is also a 2021 publication, I’ve got novels that fit for the 2021 AND debut prompt but I want them to fill some other tile first… So I don’t have a bingo yet, but I think with a bit of effort I’ll soon get the 4th column, as I’ve got a few cat squashers lined up, and I just need to pick a debut author to read.

But yeah, I’m finding the whole exercise a bit confusing and frustrating. I think I’ll keep penciling things in as I read them, and write them in proper when they do hit both hard mode and hero (review) mode. Then come December/January I’ll have a look at what I still need to read and become more serious about ticking them off purposefully.

mini readathon: a recap

So I planned to do this yesterday but i ended up finishing past midnight instead of 5pm like I said, soo it was a bit late.

While I didn’t read quite as much as I’d planned, I did finish 3 books I’d already started:

-Stormsong by C.L. Polk (I’ll be posting a review of the first in the series shortly)

-Jasmine Throne, by Tasha Suri, which keeps blowing my mind that much later. Also got a review ready to go

-Best SFF of the year (2018). Like all story collections there were great hits, and there were some misses. I allowed myself to skip some, but I enjoyed most of it

I’m currently on holidays for a few days in the countryside, and typing this from mobile. I’m excited to be out of the house for a bit, even if it looks like the weather won’t be on my side. My holiday read is gonna be The Unbroken, and I’m really looking forward to that!!

A life update (and mini readathon)

I’ve been unusually silent the last couple of weeks, mainly because i’ve struggled to read pretty much anything. I’ve started half a dozen books, and only finished one audiobook (The Truth, by Terry Pratchett, which I’d feel odd reviewing considering. you know. It’s been published for years and years.

On the why side, there’s not really a reason, I was not really busier than usual, I’ve just been dropping things on account of how tiring the first 5 months of this year (and the whole of last year) have been. And we can go out again, which means I do, sometimes, plan to do stuff other than reading during the weekends. And then my health hasn’t been the best, sometimes the chronic pain is not just “can’t hold a paper book” but “can’t focus on an audio because pain” so I’m learning to deal with that and cut myself some slack

But! I’ve got the next week off work, and while I’ve got Plans, I also want to make the most of this weekend where I’ve nothing to do. So I decided to do a readathon, 5pm today (Friday) to 5pm Monday. You can also join in this storygraph challenge if you’re tempted to do the same.

I’ve a few ebooks lined up (2 ARCs, manly) but this is mostly it:

  • finish Stormsong audiobook (5 hours left give or take)
  • Jasmine Throne ARC (70% in!)
  • Best SFF of 2018 (I’m 1/3rd through?)
  • A Desolation Called Peace (barely started)
  • Pyramids (read or DNF, I’ll decide once I get started)

Then the “I’m not likely to get here but I’ll try” ones:

  • HEartbreak Inc, another ARC I’m really excited about
  • Either The Galaxy and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers, or Ancestral Night, by Elizabeth Bear, as the mood strikes me

I’ll be talking about this on Twitter, and hopefully updating you here on Monday night!