Author's Note

August Wrap Up!

August has been a strange one. I had a great first week, then a slumpy bit, then a panicked final week, so some of my August reads feel like such a long time ago!

Goodreads Challenge

During August I read 46 books, so weirdly I exactly matched last month! That brings me up to 328 books read this year, which is fantastic – I crossed that 300 mark, which was my original year-end goal. I’m now aiming for 365 books read in 2021 – I’ve done it before, so let’s hope!

My Owned TBR

It was a real stretch, and even a week ago I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I did it: I got my TBR down to 365 books! That’s just a single year’s reading for me (on average) so I’m really starting to feel good about my downwards progress. This month it was mostly actual reading, rather than DNFing or unhauling unread books, too, so that’s a lot of effort there. I’m really proud – that’s 25 books down from the start of August. I also read all but two of the books from my Twitter Friends Pick My August TBR post!

Since I’ve hit a major TBR goal, and term’s starting again tomorrow, I’m going to give myself a slightly easier ride in September, and only aim to get down to 360 by October 1st. It’s a reduction of just five books, but any downwards movement is still good, and it will give me a bit of breathing space. 

Having a lower TBR goal is also designed to let me shift focus a little – I want to tackle sequels this month! I have a lot of sequels and later books on my TBR for which I really ought to reread previous books to refresh my memory, but when I’m rushing headlong into reducing my numbers, I rarely feel like I can spare the time to reread, as it doesn’t move the needle downwards. In September, I’d like to tackle at least a couple of these that have been hanging on for a while. I’d definitely like one of them to be a reread of A Memory Called Empire so I can read A Desolation Called Peace! 

Physical Review Copies

I’ve been focusing on ebooks as far as review copies go, as I noticed my NetGalley percentage had slipped a bit. I’ve been keeping on top of newer review copies, particularly kids’ ones, but I’ve not knocked out many of my older, adult review copies. The sequel focus I mentioned above will hopefully let me crack on with the large amount of second books I need to review!

I made a tiny bit of progress on my 20 Books of Summer challenge, by which I mean I read one more book. The review will be going up this week or next, so I’m going to count it, but that still means I only managed to do 9 of them. I’m going to leave the remaining 11 as a priority, even though the challenge is finished.

Wrap Up

Least favourite: While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell

Favourites: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith (terrible title, but great book!); Marshmallow Pie On Stage by Clara Vulliamy; Catalyst Gate by Megan E O’Keefe

Shortest: Tiptoe Tiger by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup

Longest: Catalyst Gate by Megan E O’Keefe

I’d love to read more wrap up posts, so leave me a comment below if you have one!

Tags and Fun

TBR Spotlight: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher

This week the random number generator has reminded me of a book I really need to get around to: #266, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking.

Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.

But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries…

I’m a huge fan of T Kingfisher’s fairy tale and fantasy work. The way she plays with the well-worn tropes, mixes humour and darkness, and creates genre-savvy, practical characters, just really appeals to me. I preordered the ebook of this, but I’m now at the point where “saving for a rainy day” has pretty much turned into “don’t know when I’m going to get to”, so I need to move this up the TBR stat. I know it’s going to be great.

Is this on your TBR, or have you read it? I’d love to know what you thought!

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: New Animal Fun!

I missed last week’s Kitten Corner so here’s a round up of some lovely books we’ve been reading recently, which all turned out to be animal themed! All of these books were sent to me free of charge by the publishers, but all opinions are my own.

Flip Flap Zoo by Axel Scheffler, from Nosy Crow

This zany mix-and-match book is great fun! It’s a little bit advanced for my one-year-old, but the adults in the family have been having a great time mixing up the top and bottom halves of animals to create weird and wonderful creatures. We particularly like the sloose (part sloth, part moose)! Each half of the animal is drawn to line up with all the possible bottom halves, and vice versa, creating a really entertaining set of pictures in Scheffler’s unique style, and there’s a four line poem accompanying each half, which makes for some funny reading both in their correct and unusual formations. It’s hard to read this one straight through, but hilarious to dip into and out of.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: New Animal Fun!”
Tags and Fun

TBR Spotlight: Swashbuckling Cats, edited by Rhonda Parrish

The random number generator today picked a book I think is going to be a lot of fun: #260, Swashbuckling Cats, an anthology edited by Rhonda Parrish!

If you think cats and water don’t mix, think again.

Plunge into worlds of piratical cats: on ships, in space, and beyond the veil.

Fourteen “tails” of adventure-loving cats, puns, and fun, featuring: Beth Cato; Krista D. Ball; Rebecca Brae; Grace Bridges; Lizz Donnelly; Megan Fennell; Chadwick Ginther; Joseph Halden; Blake Liddell; Frances Pauli; JB Riley; Rose Strickman; Leslie Van Zwol; and SG Wong.

Doesn’t this just sound brilliant? I think you know from the title itself if this collection of piratical cat stories is going to be your cup of tea or not, and I can say that it definitely seems like it’s mine! This was a birthday gift this year from the fabulous Moon and I’m saving it for a day when I need something silly, fun, and cheering. Pirate cats – what could be better!

Is this on your TBR, or have you read it? I’d love to know what you think!