This month felt ridiculously hectic, and I had a lot of trouble focussing and getting any writing done. Blegh. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to, but all in all I still didn’t do too badly.
Twenty books this month – not bad! Although a bunch of them are novellas. Still counts! My highlights were definitely The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales (the first edition, which had a bunch of stories that weren’t in the trad-published edition!); Inda, which I actually managed to review; The Hourglass Throne, which I’ll probably reread at least four more times before I have the words to review it; Manhunt, which, jesus christ, but also, fucking WOW; and Among Others, which was a comfort re-read. The last time I read it was before all my own chronic crap/disabilities kicked in, so I empathised a lot more with Mori’s disability this time around.
On the flip side, The Four Profound Weaves was a let-down, despite how much I’ve enjoyed the short stories set in the same verse; and SongBroken was a fucking transphobic trainwreck I’d like to throw out a window.
After a lot of thinking about it, I’ve decided I’m not going to track the books I read by gender identity or sexuality anymore. For one thing, I hate feeling like a creepy stalker trying to find out those details about someone; for another thing, I will never be 100% correct, not least because plenty of people stay in the closet and they are allowed to do so; and finally: I am simply not of the opinion that you have to be queer to write a queer character. Which I know isn’t the reason people track how many queer authors they’re reading – it’s about boosting queer authors – but that’s what the whole #ownvoices thing feels like to me, so. Not doing that anymore.
Whereas I think there are a lot of very good and valid reasons to pay attention to how many BIPOC authors you read, so I’m gonna keep doing that. Thus, this month 35% of the books I read were by BIPOC authors. That’s much better than the 16% of November, which was the last month I tracked!
Four real reviews; five DNF ones. I’m not in love with the reviews I’ve been writing lately, even when I love the books, and I’m feeling pretty depressed and demotivated. But nine reviews in one month is way more than I expected, especially since this month was so busy. I was working on two cover reveals! (One of which I cancelled with prejudice.) It’ll do.
(My review for Age of Ash will go live on the 5th!)
I wrote about all of these in my monthly DNF post. No need to go over them all again!
I… What??? What??? WHAT???
Not only is SIXTEEN an ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS number of ARCs, I am genuinely breathless at being approved for so many of my most-wished-for books! SO MANY! A few of these actually brought me to tears (happy ones! EXTREMELY HAPPY ONES!) Looking at all the covers together like this, I’m just completely stunned.
The other thing that’s hit me like a baseball bat made of glitter and cake: this month has been the first time authors and publishers have been reaching out to me to ask if I wanted to review something, rather than the other way around! o.o I…honestly, I still don’t know what to do with that. Every Book a Doorway is still a baby blog in my eyes, you know? Not very slick and professional or quotes-worthy, generally. I’M NOT BIG ENOUGH OR IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR THIS!
Nobody tell ’em though, I’m not giving the ARCs back!
Apparently, people notice if you cheerlead the hell out of a book on twitter with lots of unironic caps-lock and sparkly gifs. Which delights me utterly! But still takes me aback. PEOPLE – IMPORTANT PEOPLE – NOTICED MY CAPS-LOCK?!
I say again: WHAT???
I do need to write a bit about the situation with The Atlas Six, because honestly that was a whole different flavour of ridiculous: I actually had a copy of the first, self-published edition, and had almost finished it when I decided to request an ARC of the new edition. I wanted to see what had changed! But when I got it, I didn’t find any new content – which was when I discovered that the ebook version of the new edition is already available outside the US. So I bought it and read that. Overly complicated, much? (I did enjoy it, though, which I’ll write about soon-ish!)
I only have a few currently outstanding requests for ARCs now, and even if they all get approved, that’s most of the books I’m interested in this year. So. Hopefully I can spread them out over the year and not get overwhelmed???
Who am I kidding I’M ALREADY OVERWHELMED AHHHHHHHHHHHH
NINE IS A LOT. Although at least I have actually finished a few of these; I’m just struggling on how the hell to verbalise their epicness, when all I want to do is just write a page of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!s for each of them!
Rec Lists & Misc
I added another four books to my Unmissable SFF of 2022 – The Moonday Letters, which is the latest of Emmi Itäranta’s books to be translated into English; Langmead’s Glitterati, which promises an opulent utopia with ‘unbreakable rules for how to eat ice cream’ (I have no idea what that means, but I want!!!); Sanctuary by Andi C. Buchanan, which is packed full of queerness and neurodivergence and is about a place that’s effectively an animal shelter, but for ghosts!; and Darknesses, an F/F take on Dracula with Black vampires – I genuinely don’t need to hear any more than that!
FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY: I was part of the cover reveal for The Hourglass Throne by KD Edwards – the latest book in one of my most-favouritest series! I am heart-eyes forever.
Next month is so busy; not just in terms of new releases I’m excited about (OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY) but also, I have so many reviews to finish!!! It’s just kind of difficult to put into words the sheer awesomeness of some of these, you know?
Of the books I haven’t already read/have ARCs of, I’m most excited for Bitter, The Embroidered Book, and Dead Collections. BUT GODS DAMN, FEBURARY IS PACKED FULL OF INCREDIBLE BOOKS!
ONWARDS TO FEB, I SAY!