So, in typical me fashion, I took a week break that turned into two months. If I adjust my schedule, I really struggle to deal with it and tend to just completely drop the ball! Anyway, I’m back and going to try to come up with a schedule that works for me without me just disappearing. Today’s post is a round up of what I’ve got going on reading-wise this month and what I was reading while I was away!
WHAT I READ: JUNE + JULY
The Stats: here’s the roundup for June and July. In June I read 14 books and in July I read 17 books. Two solid months of reading for sure! In June I was just shy of my 5,000 pages per month goal at 4962 pages but in July I SMASHED it with 6558 pages. My June average rating was 3.93 stars and my July average rating was 3.70 stars.
The favourites: despite reading 14 books in June and despite rating some of them pretty highly, when I looked back, there weren’t really any that I connected to strongly on an emotional level, which is the true hallmark of a favourite for me. All of the above were July reads.
I had previously read Libba Bray’s The Diviners in 2015 and I absolutely loved it. It’s one of the most fun and engaging and thoughtful books I’ve read in a long time, particularly in YA speculative. In July, I finally pick up the sequels, including the final book which came out earlier this year. The whole series was incredible. I loved the characters, the setting, and I loved the way that Libba Bray tackled a range of issues without the books ever feeling didactic. I couldn’t applaud this series more and I’d recommend if you’re into the speculative fiction genre at all you check these out!
Behold the Dreamers is a really timely novel about what it means to migrate from one country to another, leaving your original culture behind and attempting to adapt to the norms of a new country. Not only this, but doing so as a black person moving to America. The couple on whom the story centres have different approaches to America and different experiences while they’re there, and their triumphs and tragedies are both universal and specific. Obviously this situation isn’t something I’ve experienced myself, in any sense, but I felt very involved and engaged by this story.
Blindness is a creepy, creepy book, especially if you read it during a global pandemic. It takes place in a unknown country where, one day, people begin to go blind for no explicable reason. At first the government attempts to limit the spread of the blindness by quarantining those affected but they quickly realise that it’s become out of control (sound familiar yet?) Things deteriorate from there. I’ll not spoil any more of the plot, but please be aware if you choose to read this that warnings apply for sexual assault, body horror, and violence.
There was very little chance of me not enjoying Born to Run. I’m a massive Bruce Springsteen fan – mainly because of my dad – and I couldn’t wait to read about his life, especially before he was famous. A lot of it is pretty typical rock star memoir fayre, but it’s written in a very relatable way, and is as funny and self-deprecating as I expected. Honestly, Springsteen sounds like in a lot of ways he would have been a nightmare to work for early in his career but presumably that level of control-freakery and intensity explains his enduring success!
AUGUST TBR – READ UNTIL YOU DROPATHON
This month I’m taking part in Read Until You Drop-athon hosted by Cerys! This is a really chilled-out readathon where the aim is to read as much as possible throughout August – with a loose goal of 31 books in 31 days. I have a lot of short books on my owned TBR (which between my physical books and ebooks is about 1,500-strong) and I’m using this as a reason to read through some of these. In a lot of ways it feels like cheating because I’m reading a lot of middle-grade, novellas, and graphic novels but one of the reason I’m doing it is to make headway towards really cutting down that TBR and to not feel under pressure in future months if I want to pick up a super-long book that I’m not cutting down on the books I haven’t read!
As such, I’ve abandoned my usual TBR method. I am well known for loving a spreadsheet, so I exported my TBR from LibraryThing (which is where I catalogue all my books) and sorted them by page count. Once I’d cleaned up the data a bit, and split them by paper book/e-book, this was the result:
I’m skipping over certain books if I have other plans for them, so this is just a rough guide to keep me on target. My previous record was 31 books in May 2018, and August has been a good reading month for me the last few years (27, 22, and 21 books over the last three years) and I’m hoping between the short books and the previous, I’ll be able to beat that record!