A looong post for you today. June has crept up on me – how are we halfway through 2021 already? I’m going to be getting emails about Christmas stock soon at work (which feels even weirder as we missed Easter this year). Even with being back at work, time still feels very much out of sync and I’m sat here in June going…huh?
It’s been a challenging year. Lockdown #2 was far harder to endure than the first one, and I was climbing the walls far more than I care to admit, and I have never been so happy to be back at work (although it was a massive shock to the system). However, all that time at home has meant that I’ve done a huge amount of reading and I am currently sat on 130 / 200 for my GR reading goal (although I am still behind on reviews, as reading is often easier than the writing so I’m actually a dozen or so ahead of that but I haven’t added them yet). I’ve also had the opportunity to do some new bookish things this year. I’m a panelist for the BBNYA 2021, and just finished my round one reading and feedback. I’ve also had the chance to do some beta reading which has been fantastic, and I am hopefully going to be helping out with Norsevember later this year.
The Indie Fantasy Addicts Summer Challenge is also just around the corner, and I am busy building a TBR for that and trying to clear my backlog of netgalley and reviews so I can focus on this challenge – and I have some super titles that I’m really looking forward to diving into.
Life – and my blasted back – got in the way again, so here is a very belated final post for the #WyrdAndWonder challenge for the final prompts. It has been a blast taking part again, and it has dug up some old books that I want to revisit – and my poor TBR weeps.
This year Storytellers on Tour have introduced the Ultimate Tour Experience (Information and Rules can be found HERE) which is a fun book bingo challenge based on the books that we read for the various tours and blitzes they run, and this is the first of three check-ins for the year. I have decided to do the challenge on hard mode, so I will only be using one ticket from each book rather than the possible two (otherwise I might already have completed it).
I was tagged in the ‘I’m a sucker for…’ blog challenge by Peter across at The Swordsmith. There are lots of things I enjoy and look out for in books, but the following are the two (plus a third, current obsession) that stand out for me.
I’m back with my first review of the year, and with my first read of 2021 – Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. The Malazan books are something I have heard mentioned over and over again, with very mixed opinions, to the point where it felt like an almost mythical series. I had already planned on doing a series challenge this year to clear some of my TBR, and I decided that now was the time to dive into some bigger ones as well – both Malazan and Wheel of Time. I decided to start with the one that I was least sure of, and well… I loved it.
The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.
However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…
We did it, we survived 2020. I have to admit that 2021 doesn’t look so different at the moment, especially with what else happened last night at 11PM, but while we face an upward hike – I’m currently stuck at home and furloughed once more – I am optimistic. Life is too short to be any other way. And while 2020 was a hell year, it wasn’t without bright spots.
I started this blog and it has grown and gone much further than I ever imagined when I first started, I’ve made lots of friends through blogging, read lots of fantastic books and spent lots of wonderful hours under imaginary skies.
Today I am finally getting around to answering this tag – in my defence some of the questions had me stumped for a while. Thank you to Jake at Jake is Reading for the Sunshine Blogger Nomination, please do check out his fantastic blog (and prepare your TBR for some additions).
How does it work?
Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions prompted by the person who nominated you.
Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
Currently playing catch up with life in general, but reviews and challenges in particular – unfortunately the shift to winter brought a bad arthritis flare up so I have been out of action, and while I have been reading a lot, I didn’t have the focus for writing. However, I am now remedying that and today I am catching up with both the #Norsevember tag and Sunshine Blogger nomination posts (that will be up later in a separate post).
Firstly I would like to thank PaperbackBex for nominating me to participate in the #Norsevember tag, and then although its late in the month and I have no idea who has and hasn’t been tagged I would like to tag the following (please check out their blogs as they are all amazing)
These are all books I have read, and I have commented briefly beneath each one and either linked them to an existing review or marked them with a ** which means the review is forthcoming and I will link them later.
So October has come and gone, in a somewhat different way than I had planned as I ended up spending two weeks in quarantine after coming into contact with colleagues who tested positive for covid. I didn’t have it or at least had no symptoms, I was just very bored for two weeks – and read a lot more because of it. I also had my birthday and was blessed with some lovely books and Final Fantasy VII remake which I have wanted for ages, and is currently driving me up the wall as I am stuck on a battle.
October also saw a little bit of rebranding, because as my blog nears it’s first birthday I decided a revamp was needed. So I changed up the background and created a new banner:
I also decided that come the New Year, I will be doing away with the star-rating system (apart from on netgalley and goodreads etc where it is required) and I will be replacing it with badges. I am still working on the design and details of these, so watch this space, but they are coming.