In Short: August

Posted 31st August 2021 by Sia in State of the Sia / 2 Comments

This month has been pretty great – I’ve made some new reader/blogger friends, discovered the most AMAZING burritos, and various new meds for various health things seem to be working really well. AND I READ SO MANY WONDERFUL BOOKS!


I finished…THIRTY-TWO books this month?! I mean, there’s a few novellas in there and a short story, but still! What? How? BY WHAT DARK WIZARDRY??? I have no idea, but that’s the new record of books-per-month since I started tracking it back in January!

I will be seriously surprised if I ever manage top that, unless I spend one full month just reading novellas or something, I guess.

I got to reread a bunch of dear-to-my-heart favourites this month – like the Tarot Sequence, which was part of my buddy-read with the hubby; the Astreiant series; and the Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K Host. (I mega forgot how immersive they are!) And new favourites, which very much includes the Tarot Sequence novellas (which I had not read before), The All-Consuming World, Blackheart Knights, and Susurrus of Mars, all of which were weird and wonderful in very different ways.

Now for the stats!

Out of 22 authors, I read

  • 18 women, 2 men, and 1 nonbinary peep (to the best of my knowledge. I’m also counting trans men as men and trans women as women)
  • 5 BIPOC + 17 white people

Same number as BIPOC authors as last month – grr, I would have liked to do better – but it’s 22.7% of my month’s reading! Which is the best I’ve managed so far!!! (Not that you should give me too much credit – it’s literally 1 per cent more than last month. BUT I’LL TAKE THE IMPROVEMENT, THANK YOU.)

Books Reviewed

Five reviews in one month isn’t bad – it’s a tiny bit over one a week. I’m especially happy that this month wasn’t all ARC reviews – I love getting to sing the praises of books that are already out, not just ones that haven’t been released yet! Five is less than last month, but last month I was also on holiday, so I think five is fine.

Books DNF-ed

Everyone told me that the last book of the Lightbringer series was a disaster, but I was still hoping I’d enjoy it. I often end up disagreeing with the majority opinion, when it comes to books! But alas, no. The Burning White is a trainwreck, and I’m heartbroken about it, because this was one of my very favourite series. But shoving in huge new (and completely unnecessary) plots at the very last second, and then making all of it meaningless because God steps in to fix everything and makes one of your main characters into Jesus…? No. Sorry-not-sorry, but no.

I am very bitter.

Wake of the Phoenix isn’t bad so much as bland; I had to force myself to read as much as I did, and when reading feels like a chore, it’s usually time to DNF the book. The seeds of interesting ideas were there, and maybe they sprout and bloom later in the book, but it just wasn’t worth the effort of slogging through the rest of it to find out. Bland setting, very stupid politics, over-powered character who can’t do things Because Reasons…no thanks.

Light Chaser was one I was excited about, but the first few pages were torture to read – clunky dialogue and hugely pretentious writing. The blurb was also fairly misleading – this is not, in fact, a book about someone whose calling is to gather the stories of others; it’s her job, and there are specific worlds on her route she has to check in on, and the ‘trinkets’ she trades aren’t little music boxes or figurines or anything small and beautiful, they’re swords and armour and medicine, which are only trinkets because she’s handing them out from a culture so advanced these things are almost worthless to them. Not what I was expecting (or wanted) at all.

ARCs Received

I’m still checking Netgalley roughly 21 times a day to see if Erewhon Press has uploaded Scratch Daughters or The Nightland Express yet, but I still snagged some seriously cool-looking ARCs this month! I admit I winced when I opened up The Blood Trials and discovered it’s first-person present-tense – I really wish more publishers included excerpts so you could know that sort of thing before going in!

But I’ve already devoured Activation Degradation, I’m loving The Beholden so far, and I’m excited to pounce on Payback’s a Witch – Lana Harper is a penname of one of my favourite authors. So an excellent haul!

ARCs Outstanding

I’ve finished Light From Uncommon Stars, so the next task is to review it. which I’m struggling will because it ended up disappointing me, which I feel guilty and sad about. I’m stalled on reading The Starless Crown and The Goddess of Nothing At All – I really don’t want to pick either of them up again, which is not a great sign…

Rec Lists & Misc

I wrote up my Faves From the Last Decade – which was supposed to be one book from each year, but as you’ve probably guessed, I couldn’t quite stick to that…

Yesterday was #TransBooks365 on twitter, and I spent four hours putting together a thread of SFF books with trans and nonbinary leads – with sub-sections for not-yet-released books and books by trans and nonbinary authors without trans or nonbinary main characters. It was definitely worth the effort! I’m so happy it’s made so many other people happy, and that I got to spotlight some books and authors who don’t get enough love.

I also just discovered that Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a thing!!! Which I will now be taking part in every week. HEE!

Looking Forward

I’m more than a little bit heartbroken that Scratch Daughters got pushed back to December, but September is still full of incredible releases! Granted, I’ve read some of them as ARCs, but I fully intend to re-read The All-Consuming World (mostly because my ARC was full of typos and I really need to see the no-typos version, please and thank you). I have no idea what to expect of The Robber Girl, but it’s Billingsley’s first new book in ages and yes, I am hyped. AND THE BONE SHIP’S WAKE. BECAUSE REASONS.

Also can’t wait to see how the world in general reacts to Summer Sons and The Last Graduate, both of which I adored.

Last but certainly not least is When Sorrows Come, which!!! It’s the WEDDING! Toby and Tybalt are finally getting marriiiiiiiiiiiiied! Although I’m SURE there will be shenanigans…

That’s it for this month. May September be excellent for us all!

2 responses to “In Short: August

    • I really don’t know!!!

      I am an ENORMOUS fan of The Last Sun, and I very much recommend it. And I loved The Last Graduate even more than I did the first book!

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