February wrap

Well, after a fairly ordinary January, I found myself devouring books in February for no particular reason other than picking some really absorbing titles and, if I’m honest, finishing a couple of books that didn’t quite make it the previous month.

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

The Stats

Books read = 10 (I know!)

Pages read = 3,861

Goodreads progress = 22% of my goal, 4 books ahead of schedule

I’m going to cover the books I read in a couple of posts over the next few days so look out for them. I will mention one DNF or (more accurately) one set aside for later as I think I still want to read it. That book is The Quantum Curators & the Faberge Egg by Eva St John. I picked it up because I had been reading a lot of intense and dark stuff and thought I could do with a bit of humour and whimsy but apparently I was wrong. Nothing negative to say about the book, I was just in the wrong frame of mind, and intend to pick it back up at some point.

March pre-orders

Coming up this month:

  • Stars and Bones by Gareth Powell – this may look familiar as I mentioned it last time; due originally for publication in February I actually received it this morning
  • Sundial by Catriona Ward – Stephen King says it’s authentically terrifying so who am I to argue?
  • The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James – a true crime blogger gets more than she bargained for….
  • Femina by Janina Ramirez – a new history of the middle ages focussing on the women written out of traditional narrative, really looking forward to this
  • Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough – another book about not being able to sleep – feel drawn to this theme at the moment even as my own intermittent insomnia is dormant (I’m probably going to regret saying that…)
  • A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs #17 – I am very behind with this series also
  • The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd – maps, I love maps
  • Dark Queens by Shelley Pulaski – more medieval history focussing on women; i think I see a pattern here
  • Escape from Yokai Land by Charles Stress (the 12th Laundry Files book – I really need to catch up with this series being only at book 7) – also arrived this morning and now I look at it properly it is (a) a novella and (b) actually book 7.5 so will probably shoot up my TBR 🙂

Currently reading Gallows Court by Martin Edwards but haven’t picked my non-fiction read as yet.

What are your plans for March? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great month everyone, stay safe!

How can it be September already?

Way back on August 2nd I let you all know that I was taking the month off from blogging and would see you all in September, and what do you know that’s, um, now!

It’s been feeling quite autumnal in my little part of London over the past day or so, if by autumnal you mean grey, damp and chill. This is also going to be a big month for book publishing; a shame as I’m launching into a low spend for the rest of 2020.

The Kibble Palace in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. I used to live near there when I was a student and it always makes me think of Autumn and the start of a new year at Uni.
Photo by Crawford Jolly on Unsplash

But setting aside all of that, July & August were both good reading months; here are the stats to prove it:

  • Books read = 8 in July, 7 in August
  • Number of pages = over the two months I read 5180 pages
  • Progress against Goodreads = 85% of my target, 11 books ahead of schedule

Very pleased with that.

In terms of the Twenty Books of Summer challenge, which ran between 1 June and 1 September, I did read 20 books but only 7 were from the booklist I announced.

I’m still going to count that as a win and I dare any of you to question that!

I mentioned a low spend earlier and that’s because I have made a lot of impulse purchases over the past few months, so I’m trying to stick to what I have pre-ordered and shove everything else onto my wish list.

Speaking of pre-orders, here is what I have on the slate for September

  • The Trials of Koli by MR Carey
  • Written in Bone by Sue Black
  • Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
  • Sweet Harmony by Claire North

I’ll write more about those in my Sunday Salon posts as the books arrive. I’ll also be doing some round-up posts so that you can find out a little about what I read, so keep your eyes open over the next few weeks.

I hope you all had a good summer and look forward to a good reading month!

June Reading Round-up

Halfway through the year already. Time is moving quickly despite being at home 99% of the time and the pace of life feeling slower, but that’s physics for you.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

The Stats:

  • Books read = 5
  • Number of pages = 2267
  • Progress against Goodreads = 60% of my target, still 7 books ahead of schedule

20 Books of Summer – 3 out of 20 (not good, need to get my act together )

June PBB book club – we read Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, a 5* read if ever there was one, and I saw this morning that it received the Locus Award for best fantasy novel of 2019, which is very cool and well-deserved.

June purchases – not going there; I’m seriously looking at a no extra spend for the rest of the summer, but will settle for cutting back.

July pre-orders:

  • Malorie by Josh Malerman – this is the sequel to Bird Box, which I really liked, so I’ll be very interested to see how the story develops
  • Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings – In a small Western Queensland town, a reserved young woman receives a note from one of her vanished brothers—a note that makes her question memories of their disappearance and her father’s departure.
  • Bryant & May: Oranges & Lemons by Christopher Fowler – I think this is the 18th B&M novel and I have them all. Still one of the very best series around
  • A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer – Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion—a veritable cabinet of curiosities—once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities. The first in The Misadventures of Jonathan Lambshead series.
  • Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay – New England is locked down, a strict curfew the only way to stem the wildfire spread of a rabies-like virus. The hospitals cannot cope with the infected, as the pathogen’s ferociously quick incubation period overwhelms the state. The veneer of civilisation is breaking down as people live in fear of everyone around them. Staying inside is the only way to keep safe. This might sound familiar, and I might not read it for a while 🙂
  • Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell – a rock novel! This is the story of Utopia Avenue’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker
  • Stranger in the Shogun’s City by Amy Stanley – a history/biography of a woman named Tsuneno, born in 1804 and her life in Edo (now Tokyo). Looks fascinating
  • Hell in the Heartland by Jax Miller – On December 30th, 1999, in rural Oklahoma, 16-year-old Ashley Freeman and her best friend, Lauria Bible, were having a sleepover. The next morning, the Freeman family trailer was in flames and both girls were missing. Yes it’s true crime, don’t @ me
  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson – Amazon says this is The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Village, so read into that what you will.

The PBB Book Club selection for July is Augustown by Kei Miller, a good choice as I’m trying to read more BIPOC authors.


So that’s it! I’m very behind on reviews but hoping to crack through them all and be up to date by this time next month. Wish me luck!