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

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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?

Author's Note

TBR Check In: March 2020

February has mostly been a good month! I’m finally starting to get some energy back, and though I’ve had a lot on, between #Februwitchy and my drive to finish my NetGalley shelf by May, I’ve been roaring through my TBR!

Goodreads Reading Challenge

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Somehow I read 50 books in February, which makes it my best reading month since starting blogging! My previous best was 49, in April 2019, which included two 12-hour flights and a bunch of train travel, so I’m genuinely not sure what made me read like the wind this month, but I’ll take it! Like last month, the majority of it is stuff that’s been sat there for a while, or was waiting for a review, so it feels really productive!

My Owned TBR

My TBR is all the way down to 519! It was 565 at the beginning of February! I destashed 27 books, 13 of which were from the TBR, so that helped, and I’ve been heavy on DNFing things that didn’t grab me, so I think that balanced out my ins this month (lots of bookpost from publishers and a couple of things from friends’ unhauls).

Kindle Unlimited

I read one and DNFed one of my Kindle Unlimited books, so there are four left for me to finish up and return. Though I didn’t finish them before March, I will try to squeeze them all in this month so I can cancel my subscription.

  • Fire Falling by Elise Kova
  • The Confectioner’s Coup by Claire Luana
  • A Thief and a Gentlewoman by Clare Sager
  • Heartless by Anne Elizabeth Stengl

Finish Series

The focus on witchy books and review copies meant these didn’t see any love this month either. I need to put some more work into this goal!

  • 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. 3/6

NetGalley

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I made it over 80%! I was at 74% at the beginning of last month, so you can see I really put a lot of effort in here! I have 79 books to review (was 106 on Feb 1st), which is really starting to feel like progress. I submitted 33 reviews, and was approved for just 4 new titles. I have 3 requests pending, but I only expect to be approved for one of them.

Overall

I’m thrilled with my progress for February, and I think March should be another good month. I’d like to keep chopping away at NetGalley, and I’d like to get my TBR down to 500 books (which means just 19 books if nothing else comes in, but really, how likely is that!). It went up to 500 in March last year, so that would be neat, if nothing else… I’d also like to focus on my physical review copies and get those reviews up on the blog – it would be nice to have some desk space back!

Author's Note

TBR Check In: February 2020

I’ve seen a lot of people say that January felt interminable, but for me I feel like it’s gone in a flash! Let’s see how I got on with my reading goals this month…

Goodreads Reading Challenge

feb2020

31 books for me in January, which is a book a day (I totally forgot about one of them until a few days later, so the above picture is wrong)! All but one of them were from my TBR, and more than half had been there at least six months, so backlist reading is going well.

My Owned TBR

My TBR is down at 565 from 574, so 9 books fewer than the start of the month. I did gain a fair few books – I bought ten, and also had a lot of book post from publishers, and NetGalley approvals. I think a book buying ban in February might be a good idea to get this chopped down faster – and it is the shortest month, so might not be too painful!

Kindle Unlimited

I read two and DNFed two of my Kindle Unlimited books, so there are six left for me to finish up and return before March:

  • Cara’s Twelve by Chantel Seabrook
  • Fire Falling by Elise Kova
  • The Confectioner’s Coup by Claire Luana
  • Enchanting the King by ED Walker
  • A Thief and a Gentlewoman by Clare Sager
  • Heartless by Anne Elizabeth Stengl

Finish Series

I didn’t read a single series book in January, oops!

  • 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. 3/6

NetGalley

74 percent

Up to 74% on Netgalley, from 71%, with 106 books to review (down from 115). I submitted 19 reviews in January, and was approved for 10 new books. I’m pleased with this, but still need to speed up a bit if I want them all clear by May! I have four requests pending (one of which I’m definitely going to be declined for because HMH Teen have never once approved me) so if I can be restrained, this should be a quiet month on NetGalley.

Overall

I’m hopeful for February! I have a readathon running, #Februwitchy, which should give me good motivation to get through a few more neglected backlist books, and maybe even let me make some space on the shelves. I’m also considering taking part in Tome Topple, to get a couple of longer books out of the TBR. Wish me luck!

Author's Note

#Februwitchy Readathon

In case you missed it over on Twitter, I’m hosting a readathon for the first time! Introducing… #Februwitchy – because why should October get all the witchy fun?

februwitchy

Read witchy books!

The aim is super simple: read books about witches for all of February. There are no prompts, but any books with ‘witch’ in the title, or where the main character is a witch, will count – and to be specific, that’s where the main character is explicitly referred to as a witch on page, not just a book with a magical heroine. Non-fiction about witches is also welcome!

To clarify:

  • The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol would be perfect – it both has a ‘witch’ title and a witch main character!
  • The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton doesn’t have ‘witch’ in the title, but is a witch, so it counts!
  • Witchmark by CL Polk doesn’t refer to its magic-doers explicitly as witches, but it does have ‘witch’ in the title, so it’s in!
  • BUT Harry Potter books would not count – there’s no witches in the titles, and he is explicitly referred to as a wizard, not a witch. See what I mean?

We’ll have reading sprints!

Reading sprints will be held over on Twitter on Wednesday nights from 7pm-8pm (GMT). Follow me @cat_book_tea, and join in with some chunks of reading time and some fun games about what we’re reading. I may award extra broomsticks during these sprints!

There’s also… a prize!

While you take part in #Februwitchy, you can earn broomsticks, and the person who has the most broomsticks at the end will win a book of their choice (up to £10). This is open anywhere the Book Depository ships.

To earn broomsticks:

  • Post a witchy TBR with the hashtag (only once!)
  • Finish an eligible book
  • Participate in a reading sprint (there may be extra broomsticks available during these)
Sign up!
Does this sound like your cup of tea? You can sign up in this Google Doc and add your TBR and finished books! Please don’t alter the ‘broomsticks’ column – I’ll take care of that!
You can take part anywhere you like – your blog, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you talk about books – but bear in mind I am only on Twitter and WordPress, so if you want me to see it, you need to tweet me, comment here, or put your posts in the spreadsheet. You can take part as much or as little as you like – not all of your February reads have to be witchy, just as many as you like! And you don’t have to play for broomsticks, they’re only if you want to be in with a shot at the prize – you can read witchy-ish but non-eligible books alongside, I’m still interested to see those even if they don’t earn broomsticks!
And let me know if you have any questions!
I hope you feel like taking part – I’d love to see your TBRs and chat about your favourite witches! We start February 1st 2020 and run until February 29th 2020!