Author's Note

TBR Check In: November 2020

Well, October raced by, and despite a month of sleep deprivation, it looks like I got lots of reading done! I’m slightly dazed but very pleased!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I actually managed to finish 31 books in October, which is fantastic! I must have slotted in a lot of reading time during naps, because the majority were even adult books, including three non-fiction books and one enormous fantasy chonk! I’m up to 276 for the year. I’m really hoping this is a return to form and I can keep this level of reading up – it will certainly help with the TBR, which is still needing a lot of intervention…

My Owned TBR

The TBR is down from 471 to 469, which is only a tiny bit of progress, and I decided for the first time to start tracking how many books actually came in this month, so that I can see how long they stay on the list. Between purchases, review copies, NetGalley books, and Kindle freebies, I added 55 books to my TBR this month. 10 of them I’ve already read, which is at least something, but I’m more than a little shocked! I have got to put the brakes on… maybe a book buying ban in November? I did do an enormous unhaul earlier in the month, and I also DNFed a lot of old Kindle freebie books, so at least the overall number has gone down, but I can’t believe how many new books that is (which is, to be fair, why I started tracking!).

NetGalley

I have 16 books awaiting review on NetGalley, and I submitted 17 reviews, so there’s actually been almost a total changeover of what the titles are! I’m most looking forward to tucking into Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch, which I was approved for this month – I loved the first two books in this series, It’s Getting Scot In Here and Scot Under The Covers.

Overall

Overall I think I read a very nice mix of things, though I’m still leaning heavily on historical romances as they don’t require me to retain as much information between reading sessions! I’m over the moon to see how much I’ve managed to read this month – here’s hoping it’s a trend that will continue… How was October for you, in terms of books?

Author's Note

A Mini October TBR!

TBRs and I have a long history of not clicking. I’m a mood reader through and through, and really struggle to make myself pick up a book I’m not exactly in the right frame of mind for, so when I make a list I pick things I fancy at that moment, but they may not be what I want when I actually come to read. Trouble is, the only thing I’m really reaching for at the moment, as I mentioned in my monthly check in, is historical romance and middle-grade fantasy. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all – except that I have so many other brilliant books waiting for me on my shelves, some of which are due for review or need to be given back to the people I borrowed them from! 

I’m putting together a tiny list of books I need to make an effort to get to in the next few weeks. It’s tiny for two reasons – one, so I still have plenty of time to read as many comfort books as I fancy, and two, because two of them are well over 850 pages long. It’s not that these are books I don’t want to pick up – just ones that might require a little bit of discipline!

Continue reading “A Mini October TBR!”

Author's Note

TBR Check In: October 2020

September’s been a strange old month, going from heatwaves to having to put the heating on! We’re getting a slightly more consistent nap schedule going, so I’ve had a little more time to read this month, and even managed to run a round of #ConquerAChonker, my randomly reoccurring readathon where the only rule is to read a book over 400 pages! I ended up finishing two chonkers that weekend, which I’m very proud of!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I managed 18 books in September, which I’m really pleased with! Up to 246 for the year, so I’m sure I’ll manage to get past 250, which was my hope, even though I didn’t want to set the challenge higher than 200. Slow and steady wins the race! As I said above, two of those were big fantasy tomes, so that feels extra good!

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is still much higher than I’d like, but it has dipped from 476 to 471. I need to make a little bit of effort to get reading, as I know I have at least five books on their way to me! I did close to review requests again, which should hopefully make a little bit of difference. Downwards to 450!

NetGalley

I have 14 books awaiting review on NetGalley – I’m getting dangerous again… One of them I just need to copy my review across to tick off! I didn’t manage to get either of my big coffee table books read, so that’s my priority for this month.

Overall

I said last month that I wanted to make sure I was reading more of the adult fantasy on my TBR, and I did achieve that – 3 of my 18 were long adult books. I also read two long YA fantasies, but the rest was, as last month, my comfort reading norm of kids’ books and romance – fun, but not so helpful for the huge chonky books on my TBR. So I’m going to plan another month with a bit of fantasy focus –#Hallowreadathon is coming up at the end of the month, so that seems like a good time to crack into something a little magical! I’m pleased this month was a little better for me, so let’s see if I can match September’s total in October!

Author's Note

TBR Check In: September 2020

August felt like it flew by, and I certainly haven’t had much time for reading!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

Another 12 books down in August – I think this might be the new normal, at least until I can get a more consistent nap schedule going for the baby! I’m up to 227 overall (that June book still doesn’t have a listing, and another unlisted book has joined it!), so on track for 250 books by the end of the year.

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is, um, having a bit of a crisis… There are just too many great sounding books, okay! I’m all the way up to 476, higher than it’s been since April, so I really need to stop buying and requesting books – I’m still doing that at my usual rate, even though my reading rate has slowed. I may have to close to review requests again, and get someone else to change my NetGalley password, if I have any hope of getting it under 450 by Christmas!

NetGalley

I have 10 books awaiting review on NetGalley – so much for ‘not letting it creep any higher’… One is already read, and awaiting review, but I do need to crack on with the others! I did receive my first audiobook through NetGalley this month, Dragon Mountain, which is getting listened to in small, useful chunks when I have my hands busy! I have a couple of big coffee tables books that I’ll need to read on my iPad to make the most of, so I must find time to do that.

Finish Series

I might have to ditch this section – it’s so embarrassing to keep having to write ‘no progress’!

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 6/11 are read, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

My reading’s at least consistent, even if I’d like it to be more impressive. One thing I did note though was that I was a bit over-ambitious in setting my planned TBR, as I’ve been reaching for comfort reads; middle grade, chapter books, and romance are always what I want to read when I’m tired, so my huge adult fantasy TBR doesn’t get much of a look in. I think I’ll make a much smaller TBR this month so I’m more likely to tick off a few must-reads than a lot of would-like-to-reads! How’s your August been, reading-wise?

Author's Note

My August TBR

Since I’m not flying through my stacks of books so quickly any more, I thought it might be a good idea to get a little more targeted in my reading, so I’m actually setting myself a TBR for August! I picked five review copies I want to get to soon, and then did the tried-and-tested method of asking Twitter to pick the rest… So let’s see what there is!

IMG_3840 Continue reading “My August TBR”

Author's Note

TBR Check In: August 2020

On time with my check in for the first time in a while! It’s quite a short one this month for obvious reasons, but I’m still chugging along!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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I read 12 books in July – I’m really struggling to mentally adjust to my new slower reading pace! Gone are the days where I could just sink into a book for two or three hours at a time; now it’s more like 15 minutes snatched where I can. I’m up to 215 books for the year (Goodreads is still one behind as one of June’s books still doesn’t have an entry), and hoping to maybe hit 250 by the end of the year.

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is up to 454, thanks to a bumper book post month. I received some amazing proofs and review copies this month, and also met up with Judith and Justine so I ended up borrowing some books from them (even though I said I wouldn’t!). I’m aiming for downwards movement this month, but I know I have a few more books in the post (Orbit again – they’re dangerous!).

NetGalley

I have 6 books awaiting review on NetGalley – two of them are already read, but I’m just waiting to find the time to review them.  I’m determined not to let this creep any higher, so I need to review some more before I can request any more!

Finish Series

No movement again on getting up to date with my series, but I’m hoping to get to book 5 of the Spellslinger books this month!

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 6/11 are read, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

As I say, I’m still adjusting to the new normal. I have to be careful to make time for reading if I want to make any progress on my TBR, as they don’t stop releasing new amazing books just because I slow down a bit! But I’m still here, still reading, and hopefully will be posting at least once a week.

Author's Note

TBR Check In: July 2020

I mentioned last month that I was expecting a bit of a slowdown on the reading front, and… yeah. I still managed a little bit, though!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

I only managed to read 8 books in June, which is not great compared to my usual, but is fantastic considering how exhausted I’ve been and how broken my brain is right now! This brings me up to 203 books, though two of them are advanced copies and annoyingly, haven’t been loaded into Goodreads yet, so my tally looks a little lower on the site. Still, I’m over my goal for the year, so everything from now on is a bonus.

My Owned TBR

My TBR is up 4 books to 440 – I had a couple of review copies from Little Tiger Books, and I also started using NetGalley again, though heavily in moderation! I only let myself request three, and I’ve read and reviewed one already. I’m hoping that The Tea Dragon Tapestry will be a nice quick read, and I was just too excited for A Deadly Education to resist requesting… I’m going to cap my requesting to 3 books at any given time, so hopefully it won’t get ridiculous again!

Finish Series

No series books this month – I’ve been plumping for things I don’t mind if I get distracted from, and these are all books I want to pay maximum attention to.

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 6/11 are read, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out. And book 12 was just announced for April next year!
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

So not a great reading month overall, but still one that exceeded my expectations! Hopefully I can snatch time to finish up a few more books in July – maybe even 10… We’ll see. There are so many amazing books on my TBR that I want to get to, and even more great books coming out in July, so I hope so!

I am finding that I’m spending more time online, because it takes less time to get into than a book, so link me to your wrap ups and check-ins if you like and I’ll try to visit!

Author's Note

TBR Check In: June 2020

So I’m a few days late with my check in this month, but given that I gave birth to a whole human on the 26th May, I think I can maybe be allowed a little leeway! We’re both doing really well, but as gorgeous and wonderful as my lovely boy is, he’s definitely put a bit of a slowdown on my reading progress, so it remains to be seen how the rest of the year will go, haha…

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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I read 33 books in May, bringing me up to 195 by the end of the month. I’m pretty sure I’ll manage to hit that 200 target for the year! I even started a book while at the hospital waiting to be assessed on the labour ward (though I didn’t manage to finish that one til a week later… I wonder why!)

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is down to 436, from 465 last month, so I definitely undid the damage caused by my birthday! I only had one reread, Calling on Dragons by Patricia C Wrede (which I wanted to reread while still pregnant as the heroine herself is pregnant while on the adventure!) so most things came off my TBR. I also DNFed a whole bunch of ebooks I’d picked up for free over the years – I wanted to have a bit of a clearout of things I’d lost interest in, or things I discovered I wasn’t a fan of the writing style of. I did receive some ARCs this month (some pretty amazing ones – Orbit Books is having a great summer!) so that added a few to the list, but I don’t think I bought a single book for myself!

NetGalley

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On May 16th I officially finished my NetGalley shelves! Yep, all the way to 100%, no books left waiting or pending! I will come back to reviewing e-ARCS from NetGalley eventually, but for now it’s nice not to have a ridiculously long list hanging over me, so I can focus on reading some of the physical copies I have on the shelf.

Finish Series

I finished two more of the St Mary’s books in May. These are just wonderful reads, really engrossing and fun, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series – I’m over half way now. The other series have still been rather neglected, sadly.

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 6/11 are read, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

Overall, I’m very pleased with how May went. There was downwards progress on the TBR as a whole, and having that NetGalley obligation gone is a fantastic feeling. So far in June I’ve read a grand total of three books (one of those started, as I say, while in labour back in May, and one just a novelette), so I have a feeling this is not going to be my finest reading month, but for the first time (possibly in my life!) reading is not my top priority…  You probably won’t see many posts from me for a few weeks while I adjust, but I’ll be back soon, I’m sure!

 

Author's Note

TBR Check In: May 2020

Welcome to May! April was weirdly, extraordinarily fast, and I can’t believe we’re here already! This is going to be a big month for me, with a baby due at the end of it, so I’m really not sure what to expect…

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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I read 40 books in April, bringing me up to 162 – that’s the same amount as in March, even though I feel like I read less (really I feel like I did nothing in April – it feels like it should still be the first week!). I’ve been working hard on some of my goals, so I’m pleased to see this progress.

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is all the way down to 465 (from the high 490s last month), despite the fact it was my birthday yesterday! I was generously given 16 books I hadn’t read (as well as several hard copies of things I’ve loved but didn’t own!) so I’m very very impressed with how few books I’ve been requesting and buying through April – we’d be under 450 already if it weren’t for my birthday, haha. Now I just need to make sure I keep up the low-buy and low-request, and I’m sure I’ll get under 450 by the end of the year…

NetGalley

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I am SO proud of how I’ve been doing with NetGalley this month! I’m up to 95% (from 83%, and have only 20 books left to review! Looking back at April’s check-in, I started the month with 72 books, so it’s a combo of DNFs, reading, and typing up reviews for books I read a while ago but never submitted, but I submitted 54 reviews in April. Apart from a handful, everything I read this month was from NetGalley (even if I had subsequently bought a physical copy), which goes to show you how very bad it had been… I still have only one book pending (The Unconquered City by KA Doore), but most excitingly, it all fits on one page now!

Finish Series

I reread the first two St Mary’s books as I’d picked them up on NetGalley for some reason, and then pushed on with books three and four, so there is some progress there! I have books five and six also awaiting NetGalley reviews, and I’m hoping to read even further on as I’ve been reminded how much I adore them. I was given books 10 and 11 as birthday presents so there’s no excuse now!

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 4/11 are read, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

Overall I feel pretty darn good about this month. I can genuinely see the light at the end of the NetGalley tunnel, and it will be such a relief to be able to go back to requesting things I fancy and reading them straightaway, rather than worrying about whether I should be reading something older. If I finish my NetGalley shelf this month, I will turn to clearing my physical review copies too, which I’ve also been working on (there’s some overlap). I also want to continue to unhaul to make a bit of space, so maybe I should start tracking my DNFs too..? But I’m very happy with April’s reading!

Author's Note

TBR Check In: April 2020

This year is just flying past! I hope you are all staying safe – for me, life is more or less the same as I work from home anyway.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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I’m up over 100, and well over halfway through my challenge! I knew this would be the case, because I set my Goodreads goal to allow for me not to do much, if any, reading in the second half of the year, but it does feel weird seeing that percentage so high already. I read 40 books in March, which is pretty good going, including several rereads; I reread most of Josie Jaffrey’s books for work, and also The Inimitable Jeeves as a comfort read!

My Owned TBR

My owned TBR is under 500 for the first time in a year (tipped over in March 2019)! It’s been hovering between 495 and 499 for the last couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to get it down even further. I have plenty of time to read this month, and I’m coming up on my self-imposed Netgalley deadline, so hopefully there’ll be a nice low number at the end of the month.

NetGalley

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 10.36.11

In terms of NetGalley, I’m up to 83%. I have 72 books left on my shelf, and submitted 11 reviews in March. I was only approved for 3 new titles, so I’m getting a lot better at not requesting things! I have one request pending, for The Unconquered City by KA Doore, but I know that series reads really quickly, so even if it’s approved, it should be a nice speedy one to tick back off.

Kindle Unlimited

I cancelled my KU subscription! I didn’t actually finish the last three books, but I got so fed up with Amazon’s constant incompetence in delivering my packages to someone else that I decided I didn’t want to keep paying for this unnecessary service, even though it’s digital copies. I’m a little sad about the books I’ll miss out on, but if it really bothers me I can just pay to own them!

Finish Series

Just the one series book for me, Soulbinder by Sebastien de Castell, which is book 4 in the Spellslinger series. It was a great instalment that did exactly what I wanted it to – the series is full of adventure and fun, and I’m keen to finish it up soon!

  • the Flavia Albia series by Lindsey Davis. 1/7 (with the 8th coming in July 2020).
  • The Chronicles of St Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. 2/10 are read, with the 11th coming in April 2020, plus bucketloads of short stories and a spin-off series that already has one book out.
  • The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. 4/6 are read, and 7 and 8 are coming but don’t currently have publication dates.
  • The Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell. 4/6

Overall

So I achieved my main TBR goal, which is great! This month is going to have a heavy NetGalley focus as that end of May deadline is coming up, and as always, I’ll be trying to cut down through my physical review copies too. I’m tempted to see if I can beat February’s 50 books – what do you think?